Northgate on/off button acting up!

September 3, 2009 at 07:18:09
Specs: Windows XP
I have a Northgate AMD Athon 1.66GHZ 244mb ram. Lately my button needs to be pushed several times to start it and sometimes in different methods. I beleive i need a new one. Where can i get one?

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September 3, 2009 at 08:13:48
If you mean you have a Northgate brand name desktop computer, you need to tell us the model of it.That's probably on a label on the outside of the case somewhere.

The power button on a desktop case can stick inwards physically sometimes such that it's engaging the switch under it all the time, which will often make the computer shut down in about 4 seconds, depending on the mboard's bios Setup settings - make sure it is not doing that - but otherwise, the switch itself that it presses on is extremely reliable, and it is extremely rare for anything to be wrong with it.
You could try this but you'll probably be wasting you time....
- If the case has a Reset button, it has the same type of switch - momentary contact, on only when the button is pressed in - you could connect the female wiring connector for that to the pins on the mboard for the power switch, and use the Reset button as a power switch
- if the case has no Reset switch, if you remove the female wiring connector from the power switch an breifly short the two pins for the power switch with something metal , that does the same thing pressing the power button does

but that probably will not change your symptoms at all because there's probably nothing wrong with the power switch - something else is wrong.

When a desktop computer does not start up normally every time when you press on the power button, almost always, something else is wrong.

"...and sometimes in different methods."

What do you mean when you say that?

e.g. If Windows is not starting up normally and is asking you what mode you want to start it up in, that has nothing to do with the power button and the switch it presses on.

These are the most common reasons a desktop computer does not start up normally every time when you press the power button:

Assumimg you have NOT been fiddling with anything inside the computer case since the computer last worked normally...

- a poor ram connection

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

- your power supply is failing

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives may spin, leds may come on, yet you may get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
See response 4 in this:

If it is failing, you can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS with the same capacity or greater.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.

- there is a poor connection inside the case somewhere.

Unplug the case/power supply.
Power off your monitor.
Open up the case by removing the left panel as seen when you're looking at the front of the case.
Check all the connections of the wiring to make sure they are all the way onto their pins and into their sockets, especially the main connector from the power supply. The wires close to the mboard going into the main power connector/socket should be more or less perpendicular to the mboard surface rather than at an angle. You could try unplugging the main connector, plugging it in again. Most mboards have an additional socket on the mboard other than the main one that a connector from the power supply must be connected to. Some video cards installed in a slot have an additional socket that a connector from the power supply must be connected to. Make sure all cards in slots are all the way down in their slots.If in doubt, remove thecard, install it again.

Your problem could be caused by the cpu (processor) overheating. In that case the computer probably starts up fine when it has had a chance to cool to room temerature, and it works okay for at least ashortt while, then the computer behaves abnormally .
The most common cause of the cpu overheating is the cpu fan and heatsink are filthy.
The second most common cause is the cpu fan bearings are failing.

While you're in there, if the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.

With the cover still off, restore the AC power, start the computer and make sure the cpu fan spins - if it doesn't spin, if you're sure the power supply is working okay, don't use the computer until you have replaced it.
If it spins too slowly, and/or if it makes rattling or screeching noises, most likely to be noticed when the computer has cooled to room temp, has not been used for a while, and then is started up, the cpu fan's bearings are failing - replace it as soon as you can.

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September 3, 2009 at 08:36:12
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