Monday, September 24, 2007

A little background about the R409 Canto Computer Issues

The FACScanto Computer in R409 has had a symptomatic problem where it randomly shuts down during acquisition.  It's not that it actually goes through the shut down process, but it appears that the screen and computer just go black!  People have dealt with this by starting up the computer again, and praying that it doesn't happen any more.  Some users have attempted to correlate these findings with the acquistion of large data sets (i.e. acquiring for a long time).  We've, however, seen this happen pretty randomly.  The kicker is that when you check for any errors in the log files, nothing shows up.  Steps we've taken thus far including uninstalling and reinstalling both specific applications (e.g. FACSDiVa) and the OS.  Additionally, we replaced the power supply of the unit, and placed it behind a UPS so that if there were power failures occuring, the UPS would provide some power backup.  It seems none of this has worked, so we are now at the point of more drastic measures.  One option would be to replace the computer.  Sounds easy enough, except for the cost.  These customized computers, which MUST be bought from BD cost upwards of $10K!  So, a purchase such as this is not trivial.  The other option would be to replace the motherboard, which we could probably get for $1K.  Our IS guru is currently looking into options, and we've decided to just put the instrument on the down-list until we find a more permanent solution.  Stay tuned for more details.