Computer tower sounds like engine sputtering

March 7, 2011 at 09:36:35
Specs: Windows XP
When I push the power button of my Gateway computer tower, I have to hold it down. Now, I have been holding it down, and it sounds like a car engine firing up and not quite catching on or maybe like it's sputtering ... then it turns on. Does anyone have any ideas about what this could be or what I could do? Please help!

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March 7, 2011 at 09:46:37
The power button on ATX systems is momentary switch similar to a doorbell button. All you need to do is press & release, you should NOT be holding the button down for any length of time. What made you start doing that?

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March 7, 2011 at 11:11:01
I started holding it down a while ago because it seemed like after a couple of viruses got cleaned out, I needed it in order to turn off the computer quicker. It seemed to take forever for the computer to power down. So... that's what I started doing. You know how when you call tech people, they say hold it down to power off? So... I just didn't stop after a second virus.

Anyway, now, I'm afraid to turn the computer off because it took forever for it to turn on today.

Someone on another site said it sounded like my hard drive is failing. I'm not a tech person so I'm not sure I know the difference between many of these terms, but do you have any suggestions on what I can do to fix or what I might say to a repair person?

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March 7, 2011 at 11:36:49
You shouldn't be holding the button to turn the system on or off. I suggest you stop doing it. If it takes a long time to bootup or shutdown, it's either because you have too much sh!t loading in the background, you have too little RAM, or both. It would help if you'd post your system specs.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager - in the lower left of the Window, what is the number of processes? Leave Task Manager open, make sure it's on the Processes tab, then click on "User Name" at the top of the column. This will rearrange the processes. You may have to click twice to bring your name to the top. You should be able to identify every process associated with your user name, if you can't, post what they are.

You should also install CCleaner-Slim & use it regularly:

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March 7, 2011 at 14:44:17
As you stated, I shouldn't have been holding the button down. I turned off my computer without holding it down -- while in fear, of course.

Anyway, it took a few moments and then showed the message that the system was shutting down. Of course, I'd forgotten that was the proper way to let the system shut down.

I waited a few minutes, and then pushed the button. It stared right up. No delay.

Thank you for your help!

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