Kronos power cycling error

Korg Kronos power cycling error

While rehearsing online with my band my Kronos suddenly froze. The fan began to blow harder and just before I got an error message I heard some kind of beep sound through my headphones. “eeeee” and froze.

The error displaying was:

It says: “A problem has been detected, which may have been caused by cycling power too quickly. Please turn the KRONOS off, wait for 10 sec. and then turn it back on.”

a variation of this is: “A problem has been detected. Please turn the KRONOS off, wait for 10 sec. and then turn it back on.”

Well, it can happen I thought, so I restarted the Kronos and after 10 minutes it happened again.
What do you do: first Google it and check the Korg forums and the Facebook pages about this error.

Suggestions of users were:

  • Disconnect all USB devices like controllers, sticks, computer, pads, key-tars etc and restart.
  • Update your Kronos OS and Sub-system Firmware (note: both are 2 different things!) to the latest version
  • Memory is not seated well enough, you need to reseat the memory
  • If that doesn’t help, maybe replace the memory
  • Your power is not stable: make sure you try another power outlet
  • Power supply is failing, get it serviced
  • Main board is failing, get it serviced
  • Reinstall your Kronos from CD-roms
  • “Just turn it on, and even if it does load up properly, turn it off and turn it on again. This works for me every time and it never shuts down again for the rest of the day.” (nope, not for me!)

What did I try (and didn’t work)

First of all: try the suggestions for yourself. Begin with the cheapest ones, like disconnect all USB devices. Most of the time would reseating the memory help or updating to the latest operating system.

Ok, let’s try some suggestions:

Memory:

I did open the Kronos to see if something is wrong with the memory banks:

As you can see there’s a PC board in the Kronos, the Kronos 2 (which I have) has 1 bank of 4GB inside:

Reseating the memory:

  • I removed the bank and reseated it. I pressed firmly like I’m used to do with computers. You hear a “click” sound which confirms that it’s correctly seated.
  • I turned on the Kronos and played a while with it and… it froze again

New memory

Sorry for the low quality photo:

  • This is the memory I got from a friend: It’s Kingston and these are 2 x 2GB memory
  • inserting went fine, the Kronos detected all memory and played for a while perfectly, like 30 minutes and then… froze
  • I reinserted the original memory, because I know it’s not the problem

Important note: for many people reseating or replacing memory has proved to be working and solved the problem. For me, it didn’t.

Updating software

I did an update of both:

  • Kronos System 3.0.3 (copy it to stick and update using the global)
  • Kronos Sub-System v 1.10 (you need a USB cable to do this)

Unfortunately, the problem wasn’t solved for me.

Power

Ok, what’s next. The power could be not stable enough. However, if that’s the case… I’m wondering what that means for doing gigs with the Kronos.

  • I tried a new power cable… froze
  • Another outlet, I used an extension cord from the bathroom to my studio… froze

Ok the 100% way:

I repaired my old APC Back-UPS with a new battery. Now the Kronos has stable power… froze! #$*&@@!

Power is not the problem (in my case).

I was getting desperate, I almost ordered a Korg Nautilus, but you can see my considerations here. I contacted our local Korg importer. He said that I get it serviced, but it’s a 2 hour drive for me. I also contacted a shop if they wanted my Kronos in trade for another second hand one that works. They only offered me to repair my Kronos and when I asked what a trade would cost, they never sent me a message back.

In the mean time I’m rehearsing online with my band and every time it crashes I continued playing on my Triton, while rebooting the Kronos (which takes 2 minutes as you know). I really considered another brand, but there isn’t a good replacement for Kronos, really there isn’t.

OK OK what did work?

One day I saw a message on Facebook that someone else had the same problem, and another one, and another one. Many people showing their frustration. Then I saw a message of a guy Jack, who said:

I ran into this problem as well every day. I was advised to reseat the RAM, and also replace the low-quality SATA cable that connects the SSD, and then use the restore discs to reinstall the OS, as the SSD was getting ready to fail.
Instead, I replaced the SSD with a faster and larger one, and cloned the old one to the new one. I didn’t use the restore discs. I haven’t had this problem arise since.

I was willing to try this. I ordered a new Samsung SSD (Samsung 2,5″ 870 EVO 250GB):
Now the thing is, how to clone the original SSD from the Kronos to this new one.
First to remove to old one from the Kronos:
It’s attached with 4 screws and you just unplug the Sata and powercable from the SSD.
Very easy, there’s not a lot that could go wrong here. Then put the SSD in a dock:
Then I need to make a backup of the SSD. Now, I have IT experience and I’m not eager to connect this SSD to a Windows machine. I know that windows always wants to write “system volume information” to external drives. I just want a clone of the drive not Windows writing anything to that drive. I’ll try to make a long story short:
  • I tried Clonezilla, it’s free and it boots from cdrom. So no windows in the background. It’s a little complex, but it should do the work. However: it sees that the OS on the SSD is not shutdown properly (duh, it’s a Kronos running linux and if you turn it off it’s off, there’s no shutdown procedure). But, before it can clone the drive it wants to fix this? Well, no… I didn’t dare, because then you’ll have to write again to the original SSD.
  • Then I tried an old version of Acronis true image I had lying around, but it didn’t understand the linux partitions on the SSD. I think a new version would understand but that’s a paid version.
  • A friend had an image of also an old version Active Disk Image. First I had some trouble getting it to work, the software didn’t recognize my mouse and keyboard, but I fixed it by using another PC. Yes. It made an image of all the partitions without any trouble.
  • Now I had an image and I put the new disk into my dock and did the procedure to write to the new disk, but:

  • Somehow that version wasn’t able to write the image, because it failed to create the partitions on my new SSD drive.
  • Last resort: I downloaded the trial version of the latest Active disk image and ran it (in windows 10, yes), opened the same image (from 64GB usb stick BTW) and it wrote the image
  • I put back the new SSD into my Kronos and:

It worked, it even seems a bit faster.
I really think my old SSD had some kind of problem. At times it probably fails to deliver data and then my Kronos freeze’d.

It’s now 1,5 week without any freezing. So I can say: this worked for me!

I found a simpler solution to clone your SSD disk. You can use a Sata Docking Station like this

Any brand should work, just as long as it has a cloning function.

If you’re going to do this yourself, it’s at your own risk! Always.


Another project: M3 touchscreen replacement

I was feeling confident after this project. I also have a Korg M3 with a failing touchscreen.
I already have had the M3 serviced by a dealer and it costed me around 150 euro. Now I ordered online a screen for really about 12 euro. (I ordered two, just to be sure).
And took this video:

And replaced the screen, it worked flawlessly. The only remarks I can make about the video is:
  • Removing the module is never shown in any youtube movie: you need to remove the 4 screws on the front below the module. (between the keys and module), then you can remove the plate and the module will come out.
  • I used sticker removed for the old sticky tape that held the original touchscreen in place. Now it’s very clean and I could place a new one.

 

While I was working in the M3, I also replaced the battery.
Before replacing the battery I made a backup, but it didn’t seem necessary. I only had to set the date and time again.
And now: we have 2 working machines again: