Restart w/o using on/off button?

Hewlett-packard / Pc098a-aba m1070n
July 14, 2009 at 16:24:17
Specs: Windows XP, 2.8 GHz / 511 MB
Hello. For reasons I cannot figure out, when I shut my computer off using the on/off button it is very hard to get it to come back on again. So I leave it on all the time and go to standby at night. Usually I can restart OK going to start and clicking restart when it needs to be rebooted. That isn't really what I'm posting about, as I've posted about it before and cannot get it resolved, but that's just a little background.

Sometimes, however, it will freeze at startup (where the Windows XP is up and the blue line is scrolling across) and the only way I can get it to shut off is to use the on/off button. But then I have to really sweat getting it to come back on again. Is there another way to restart the computer when it freezes there without using the on/off button? Escape doesn't work.

I know this sounds like a bandaid since I'm not solving the real problem, but can anyone offer any suggestions? It may only be a problem with the on/off button itself (it's this funky kind of squarish clunky thing and it has always seemed awkard to me), but my resources are extremely limited right now and I'm just trying to keep this going until I am better situated financially.

Thanks in advance for your help. You guys are always great.


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July 14, 2009 at 16:35:53
why aren't you shutting down like in Start and Shutdown? No button required until you want to boot up.

You can unplug the computer power cord if you don't want to use the on/off button though you should still have to use the on button to start up.

BTW continuing this practice will continue to corrupt windows until it won't boot anymore. You may wish to address the actual problems than continue the present practice.

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July 14, 2009 at 20:14:45
Thank you, wanderer. I can use 'Start' and 'Shut Down' OK, but it is getting the computer to come back on that is the problem. I have tried to figure out what the problem is regarding why it won't start up, but as I said I have not been successful.

Does it sound like a hardware problem, as in a bad connection in the computer itself, or do you think it's a software issue? Any advice on either problem would be helpful, as I do wish I could just turn it off and on.

Thanks for the input.


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July 14, 2009 at 21:09:54
So your real problem is booting the computer when it is cold?

That could be a weak or failing power supply. There could be other causes too.

How old is the computer?

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July 15, 2009 at 06:34:19
OtheHill, thanks, yes it is the starting that is the problem and it's not only when cold. Any time I have to start the computer using on the on/off button on the front, it will light up and start to hum and then shut down. I will do this over and over until finally it will catch and stay on. It used to be a minor problem but now happens nearly all the time and sometimes I have to push the button 15-20 times. Sometimes it doesn't light up and hum at all.

I've owned this computer for nearly 5 years; however, it was used daily for only a couple months after I bought it, then carefully packed away nicely for 4 years; then used daily for a couple months and then packed away again for a few months; and now I've been using it daily for about 6 months. So, in all, it's only been in use about 10 months.

I've always done all the windows updates, have had system suite anti-virus for years and always get the new version out and update and scan everything religiously. Don't know if this is a software problem or hardware, but it's not been used much and treated well.

I was previously having a problem with it freezing at the start-up screen (when you see the Windows XP with the blue scrolling bar) and then I would have to manually shut it down with the on/off button, but since I try to never turn my computer off, that's no longer a problem. Doing restart after updates has always been OK, and it will reboot just fine. However, yesterday it locked up at the Windows XP screen after a restart and I had to shut it down manually and had a pretty tough time getting it to come back on.

Thanks for the help.


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July 15, 2009 at 07:24:49
I think the problem with your power button. Can you just swap the power and reset button and see if it solves your problem?

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July 15, 2009 at 08:31:13
when you get it to turn on put your hand behind the power supply. Do you feel the power supply fan moving air?

It could be hardware based but certainly by now the disk and OS have been corrupted which is what results in the lockups/blue screens.

What antivirus and antispyware programs do you run?

Software wise:
confirm spyware/virus free
run chkdsk /r at a cmd prompt and answer yes to the question. reboot so it runs.
report errors if found
run disk cleanup and cleanup everything
run defrag

Hardware wise;
open the case and with canned air blow out the cpu, power supply and all fans.
push on each side of the ram chips to confirm they are properly seated.
reseat all cables at each end

How to bypass the on/off switch:
go into the bios and look for a setting, usually under power management, that says something like turn computer on after power failure. Enable this setting.

Put your computer on a power strip. Shutdown like normal. Turn the power off on the power strip. When you turn the power on the computer should boot up.

This operation will depend on the bios and its support of this feature.

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July 15, 2009 at 13:08:01 and wanderer, thank you for the response. I am going to have to find someone a little more techy than I am to take care of these things for me. I have been using system suite for several years and that is my spyware/antivirus software and I do all the updates and run all the scans and defrags,etc., and I don't come up with any viruses or any problems. As far as the fan, I don't feel anything back there! I don't know what a bios is . . . and the replacing the on/off button and the other things are pretty much beyond me. I had a great tech guy living nextdoor, but had to move, so when I find a new helper I will ask him to fix these things for me. Thanks for all your help, everyone.


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July 15, 2009 at 14:26:12
No fan movement from the power supply means the power supply needs to be replaced ASAP. You will overheat your computer and damage the components.

Take it to a shop for repair. Do not continue to use!

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July 15, 2009 at 14:46:22
Yikes! Thank you wanderer . . . signing off now!


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