PIP20 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

PDF Manuals, Data Sheets, and Press Releases can be found in the MPL Documentation area of this homepage.

Question #297: What's the MTBF of your PIP products?
Answer: Please note that the whole story of MTBF (and especially MTBF numbers) is a lot more complicated than it may look at first sight.
Please check No MTBF for more information.

If you are still convinced that MTBF is really what you are looking for, please see below:
Based on the experience of the past few years, the typical MTBF is above 100'000 hours.

Question #325: How can I reset the BIOS settings to factory defaults?
Answer: There is a special menu entry in the BIOS setup screen, which will reset all BIOS settings to their factory defaults.
If entering the BIOS setup screen is not possible, the recommended way is to switch off the CMOS backup power (either by removing the CMOS battery completely from its holder or by using the corresponding DIP switch as described in the product "User Manual"). That way, the BIOS settings are gone and the default ones are loaded at next system boot. After the system has booted successfully, don't forget to connect/switch on the CMOS backup power again.

Question #389:
  • Under Linux with an active graphical text console, the attached monitor is not working in its native resolution. The resolution seems to the fixed to something like XGA.
  • When GNOME / KDE / or any other GUI is started, all I get is a (more or less) empty screen without any windows or menus to interact with. What's wrong?
Answer: The Linux graphics driver unconditionally enables the LVDS port (as primary port), although there is no panel configured or attached. This results in either a wrong screen resolution on the rest of the display interfaces or in problems with multi-screen mode configurations (you only see a part of the actual screen).

The work-around for both cases is to add the following to your kernel command line: "video=LVDS-1:d".

If this does not help, it may be worth to check the DDC lines of your monitor/cable/connectors as well.

Question #228: I observe power-up problems or sudden, unmotivated resets of the MPL SBC during normal operation. It seems to get worse if an additional add-on card is installed and/or the CPU and/or GPU load is increased.
Answer: Sounds like the external power supply is unable to sustain the highly dynamic power requirements of most modern CPUs.
  • Have you checked that the power supply is suitable for the SBC? Please check the corresponding documentation for details on the power requirements of the SBC in question.
  • Have you tried another, more powerful power supply yet?

Question #248: The RESET LED is blinking. What's wrong?
Answer: This means that the internal power supply of the SBC has detected an overload or even short-circuit condition on one of its power rails.

Please follow the steps below:
  • Disconnect the power, wait 10 seconds, then reconnect the power again.
  • If this doesn't help, disconnect the power, remove all cables and/or add-on cards (especially the ones which may have been recently installed or changed) except the power cord and reconnect the power again.
  • If there is no blinking RESET LED, try to isolate the culprit by reconnecting / reinstalling all the previously disconnected / removed items one after the other.
  • If the problem persists, the system needs most probably to be returned to MPL for a detailed analysis.

Question #351: Since I updated to Linux Kernel 2.6.30 or higher, all I2C peripherals (like temperature sensors or EEPROM) are not working any longer. With an older kernel, everything is working fine.
Answer: Is there a message similar to:
  • "ACPI: I/O resource ... conflicts with ACPI region SMB0"
  • "ACPI Warning: SystemIO range ... conflicts with OpRegion ... (\_SB.PCI0.SBUS.SMBI) "
 present in the kernel log?

If yes, please add "acpi_enforce_resources=lax" to the kernel command line.

Question #406: The BIOS update process for your SBC products seems to be floppy based. But I don't have access to a floppy and/or a floppy drive. Is there an alternative way to update the BIOS?
Answer: For MPL systems with USB boot capability, please follow the steps below:
  1. Create a bootable FreeDOS USB stick (either manually or with a tool like "Rufus").
  2. Verify that the BIOS settings of your MPL SBC are correctly set up for USB booting. Check the corresponding BIOS manual for details.
  3. Verify that the freshly created USB stick boots on your MPL SBC. If it does not, go back to step 1.
  4. Start the MPL provided BIOS Update Image EXE file.
  5. In the program's main dialog, deselect the "Writing on Drive" and select the "File extration" checkbox. Adjust the "File extraction" path to a suitable place on your local hard drive.
  6. Copy all the extracted files onto the previously created USB stick. Make sure NOT to overwrite the existing "KERNEL.SYS" file on the USB stick!
  7. Boot your MPL SBC from the USB stick and follow the instructions on the screen.

Question #393: While installing [Win7|Win8], I encounter the following error message:
Windows cannot be installed to this disk.
This computer's hardware may not support booting to this disk.
Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the computer's BIOS menus."

I checked the BIOS settings and the hard disc controller is enabled but I still get the error above.

What's wrong?

Answer: Most probably you have a problem with your IDE/SATA port BIOS settings.
Please check the IDE or SATA port settings and make sure they match the actual hardware configuration.
The hard disk drive you plan to install Windows to should be listed during BIOS POST.

Question #318: How many PC/104-Plus cards can I use on this PIP SBC?
Answer: Without using one of the PIPPCI Extensions, up to four bus master capable PC/104-Plus slots can be used.

Question #313: My PIP does not start up when power is applied. I checked the input voltage and the fuse inside the PIP, both are OK. The only system activity is a yellow lit power indicator LED.
Answer: If the PIP is in the so-called "Power Button Override" mode (for example by previously pressing the power button for longer than 4 seconds), the system will not start up automatically next time power is applied but stay in "soft-off" (S5). The "Power Button" has to be used to wake up the system again. So either press the power button (if one is installed) or use a short piece of wire to do a short circuit between pin 2 and pin 4 of the external power connector / power button connector depending on your actual PIP model. As an alternative, clearing the CMOS RAM will also help. For more information, please check the "Power Up Behaviour" chapter of the corresponding "PIP User Manual / PIP Technical Reference Manual".

Question #291: I would like to "communicate" with a PC104 card installed on a MPL SBC, but it does not work.
Answer: First, please check what ISA resources (MEM, IO, IRQ) the PC104 card supports and/or uses at the moment. Read the "BIOS User's Manual" carefully and use the information therein about available ISA resources on the system to figure out a conflict free set of values for the various ISA resources. Make the necessary adjustments to the card configuration and / or the BIOS settings. The "BIOS User's Manual" suitable for your MPL SBC can be downloaded from the "Documentation area on the MPL homepage".

Question #290: My MPL SBC does not boot from CD-ROM. What I am doing wrong?
Answer: First, please verify that the hardware (SBC, drive, cables) is in working condition and the CD/DVD you are trying to boot from is really bootable. If the problem still persists, then most probably some BIOS settings are not correct. Please read the corresponding chapter(s) in the "BIOS User's Manual" carefully and make the necessary adjustments. The "BIOS User's Manual" suitable for your MPL SBC can be downloaded from the "Documentation area on the MPL homepage".

Question #345: I'm having trouble to get an USB device to work with one of your SBC. Either the USB device is not working reliable (or not at all) or the MPL SBC is even being reset if I insert the plug into the USB port or if the device is activated. The same USB device works without problem if I connect it to my laptop/desktop.
Answer: Is the USB device powered from the USB port only (no external power supply is being used)? If yes, your USB device most probably needs more power than it is allowed to do. The USB standard specifies that an USB device must not consume more than 500mA for USB2.0 / 900mA for USB3.0 (even not more than 100mA before being successfully initialized). For all USB peripherals with higher power requirements than the values mentioned above, the use of an external power supply is mandatory.
So please make sure that you use an external power supply or try to find another, standard conforming USB device.

Please note that the use of an "Y" shaped USB cable to "steal" power from a second, unused USB port is NOT a solution!

Question #341: I am using one of your SBC and try to run an application on a RTOS, but I am facing some strange problems like missed hardware interrupts, increased variance of interrupt latency, ... . Is the SBC faulty?
Answer: Chances are that you are facing a problem with "System Management Mode (SMM)".
If you wish to use a RTOS or an application with some (hard) real time constrains, it is recommended to disable SMM (or one of the features depending on SMM) in the BIOS setup.
For more information about SMM, please check the corresponding chapter in the "BIOS Users Manual" for your MPL product.

Question #336: I'm using Linux and after a (mostly short) random period of time, the on-board ethernet port stops working. In the kernel log, there is a message about "irq 9: nobody cared". How can I fix this?
Answer: Is ACPI activated in the BIOS? If yes, is ACPI also active under Linux? Please check the ACPI related messages in the kernel log ("dmesg | fgrep -i acpi").
  • If ACPI support is completely missing in the kernel, either use an ACPI enabled kernel or disable ACPI in the BIOS.
  • If ACPI is supported by the kernel, but disabled (for whatever reason), adding "acpi=force" to the kernel command line may help. As an alternative, you may try to disable ACPI in the BIOS, but this is not recommended.

Question #331: I have a problem while receiving data from some external device through the serial line(s) of your SBC. Everything works flawless at slow baud rates but if I switch to a faster baud rate, the data received becomes corrupt. And it gets even worse the higher the baud rate is.
Answer: First, please check that your cabling is correct and within specification. If the cabling is correct, chances are that you are facing an UART "Overrun Error" problem.
Please try the following points:
  1. Make sure that the Rx FIFO is enabled by the SW driver.
  2. Reduce the Rx FIFO trigger level.
  3. Disable "USB Mass Storage" support in the BIOS. Please check the corresponding BIOS manual for details.
  4. Disable "System Management Mode (SMM)" in the BIOS. Please check the corresponding BIOS manual for details.
  5. Reduce the baud rate.

Question #329: I have attached a PC/104 or PC/104-Plus card to the [PIP | MIP] and I am sure that the card is configured correctly both from the hardware and the software side. Nevertheless the card does not work as expected, but shows erratic behaviour.
Answer: Does the card need +12V, -12V or -5V from the PC104/PC104-Plus bus? If the answer is yes, chances are that the I/O drivers and/or some A/D or D/A circuitry are not properly powered.
By default the [PIP | MIP] does NOT provide the voltages mentioned above on the PC/104 or PC/104-Plus bus.
Please check the corresponding "User Manual" and/or "Technical Reference Manual" for details.

Question #372:
  • If QNX is booted with PnP enabled in the BIOS, starting of the Photon GUI fails with the following error message: "io-display is not running"
    If QNX is booted with PnP disabled, the Photon GUI works. What's wrong?
  • If QNX is booted with PnP enabled in the BIOS, QNX does recognize (according to the QNX "pci" tool) the ethernet controller(s), but the network does not work correctly.
    If QNX is booted with PnP disabled, network is working. What's wrong?
Answer: The PnP enumerator of QNX seems to handle PCI bridges with sub-type "PCI (4)" only, but completely ignoring sub-type "HOST (0)".

Add the following line (below the existing "device(pnpbios, ...)") to the "/etc/system/enum/devices/bridge" file:
 device(pnpbios, .type=$(PNPBIOS_TYPE_BRIDGE), .subtype=$(PNPBIOS_BRIDGE_HOST))

Question #337: I'm unable to get the Xorg "xf86-video-intel" display driver to work on the PIP. According to the Xorg and/or kernel logs, the chipset used inside the PIP is not recognized by the driver and/or kernel.
Answer: Please make sure that at least the versions of the Xorg "intel" display driver and Linux kernel mentioned below are in use. For detailed instructions how to update the display driver and/or Linux kernel on your system, please check your distribution's documentation.
  • Xorg "xf86-video-intel" version 2.2.1
  • Linux kernel 2.6.22

Question #328: I'm trying to install [Windows NT | Windows 2K | Windows XP] on a CF card, but the installation fails or the OS does not work as expected. Does the PIP/MIP/IDE2CF not support this application?
Answer: Please make sure that you use a CF card which is configured to report itself as "fixed disk" device to the host system.
Basically there are two "different kind" of CF cards. Most CF cards for the "consumer market" report themselves as "removable" devices, while CF cards for the "industrial market" are normally configured to report a "fixed disk" device.
Although a successful installation of [Windows NT | Windows 2K | Windows XP] is theoretically possible on both kind of CF cards, there may be some tricky problems when using a "removable" CF card.
Our recommendation is to use "fixed disk" CF cards for this purpose.

Question #312: The BIOS POST screen is not displayed after the system is powered. All I get is a blinking cursor in the upper, left corner of the screen, but nothing more. There is also no reaction to keyboard input.
Answer: Most probably, "Console Redirection" is activated in the BIOS Setup. Please check the corresponding chapter in the "BIOS User's Manual" for your MPL product, which is downloadable from the Documentation area on the MPL homepage.

Question #310: I'm having some troubles to get Serial 2 and/or Serial 4 to work. Whatever I tried, nothing is transmitted nor received on this interfaces. On the other hand, Serial 1 and Serial 3 are working flawlessly.
Answer: Chances are that the serial port modules (SERIF) for Serial 2 and/or Serial 4 are not installed in your PIP. As written in the "Serial-2 and Serial-4 Connector" chapter of the corresponding "PIP Technical Reference Manual", these modules are optional. If you did not order these modules preinstalled in the PIP, you can order them belatedly.

Question #302: After a change to some BIOS settings or a BIOS update, my Windows [200x | XP] installation does not work any longer. The system hangs or resets during startup.
Answer: Please check the ACPI setting in the BIOS setup and make sure the setting is the same as at the time the OS was installed. Once Windows [200x | XP] is installed with ACPI support enabled, it will normally no longer work on a non-ACPI system.

Question #296: I'm trying to install Windows 2000 / Windows 2003 by USB CDROM on a PIP, but after a while the installation process stops with an "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE" blue screen.
Answer: This is a known problem with Windows 2000 / Windows 2003. Please take a look at MS Knowledge Base Article 883114 for more information.

Question #146: Does the IDE Flash Disk/Module require any special drivers?
Answer: No, the IDE Flash is seen by the OS like a standard IDE hard disk.

Question #252: What type of power supply connector is used for the PIP?
Answer: All PIPs will be delivered with a power connector. If you need additional connectors, MPL AG will supply them as well upon request. If you insist on buying them yourself or if you need technical information, here are the purchase details:
ManufacturerPhoenix Contact
Order Number1827729
TypeMC 1,5/ 4-STF-3,81
Wire gauge diameter1.5 mm2
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