Questions

Computer turning off and on, on its own....

+
5 Votes
Locked

Computer turning off and on, on its own....

Slayer_
Ok, so this is strange.

It started off two days ago, I closed a cabinet in my room, and when I stood up, my computer turned off and restarted (my computer is set to stay off in a power outage). I figured, maybe it vibrated the video card, its happened before. Ok.
So I wiggle the tower a little, no issues. Stand up, walk passed it from right to left across the front of it, and it restarts again, wtf?

It didn't occur to me yet, but ok, so I just turned it back off (held power button) and walk away. I came back to put the item back in the cabinet, walked passed the machine from right to left again and the computer started itself!
So I waited for it, got to the login screen and it froze at the login....
So I hard restarted it, froze immediately after login, hard restarted again and it was running, but suddenly now, it didn't like resolutions under 1280 x 1024, anything less and it left about 50% black space on the screen on either side (25% on the left, 25% on the right). So I rebooted, I could see the windows logo and post was getting squished. Then it booted up again and 3 seconds after logging in, the screen turned black and white!
I thought maybe my old monitor dying, so I turned on the second monitor and turned on duel view, black and white on both!

So reboot again, same problem. So I go update the video drivers. Problem solved, but it still hates the resolutions. Ok, screw it, moving on.
Last night, it shut down again while watching a movie, it would not beep at the post for the first few tries, then it fired up after I unplugged it for a bit.

Now brings me to today, when I made the real connection.
I fired it up, and walked out to change the TV channel, I came back to grab the stereo remote out of the cabinet, and when I walked passed the computer, from right to left, I heard it restart. So I stepped back, and repeated my walk, and sure enough, it restarted again the very moment I stepped on the carpet.

So I tried standing there, lifting my foot up and down, etc, nothing. Only when I walked passed it. I made sure I did not rub the case, I even tried walking passed it naked, it still restarted! Then I closed the front door on my case (One of those cases that can cover the CD drives) and walked by it, it restarted one more time, so I tried again, on my last walk through, my monitor made a click sound and the video re snapped to the edges properly again. And it has stopped restarting when I walk passed it (for now anyways). I now take the long way around my computer to avoid walking in front of it.


WTF????? Any thoughts?

Edit-
I double checked, all my games that suddenly had problems with the resolution are fine again.


Edit-
Here is a folder of images.
The silver computer is the one with the problem. Its ventilation is on the front, left and rear, the right side is where the board is mounted, so no fans. So I can't see there being any ventilation issues.
http://trevorsarchives.homenet.org/temp/PC%20Pics/


Edit-
It has started doing it again. I have removed the filter on the power, its still doing it. But the monitor and display seem fine so far.

Edit-
Confirmed that the monitor is causing some problems, I can smack it and have the edges of the screen wiggle or even snap to the sides, to the top, etc.
By keeping the door closed the restarting has stopped. I'm starting to wonder if static is affecting the reset button, the next time I am in the case I am going to unplug the reset button and see if that solves the problem.
  • +
    3 Votes
    OH Smeg

    However more likely a bad Power Connector somewhere so have you looked at the power lead s/Power Boards involved?

    Could also be something that is moving when you walk past that is resting on a power switch/plug or whatever and that ripple is causing the start stop process.

    Don't rule out loose wires in things like Plugs/Sockets either.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I tried shaking the tower and moving it, no issues. Would a bad power supply cause the display to turn black and white, and why did my walking stop bothering it when the display fixed itself?

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    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Maybe I need to feed the gremlin? What do they eat?

    +
    1 Votes
    seanferd

    Or maybe you have an alien implant. But I'd check the wiring running to the socket to make sure that pressure on a spot in the floor isn't disrupting a circuit. I bet running the mains through a UPS would keep the computer from behaving this way, but it will eventually kill that if it is a wiring problem.

    ed. - (Or a power cord under the carpet?)

    Or do you, even while naked, walk around wrapped in copper wire? Maybe while shaking an iron rod?

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I live in a condo, the carpet effectively sits on top of cement, better not be wires under it. And I tried standing and jumping on the spot, no effect, Walking left to right didn't bother it, just right to left.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    OK - weird. Then no flexion in the floor, no old, bad wiring scheme...

    Does this thing have an active IR port that can wake it? Or any other wake (like WOL) enabled?

    And this doesn't occur if you walk left-to-right? I'm just trying to imagine how you could be creating induction or a signal that this (otherwise oddly behaving) machine could interpret as a wake signal. Is there a fairly powerful RF signal permeating your condo?

    Truly odd.

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    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    There is a very high concentration of Wifi signals, maybe that's it???


    I figure the auto turn on could have been a USB splitter I had hooked up, I noticed when the machine was off the light on it was still on, and I remember reading how that can trick a power supply into thinking its time to start up.

    But even unplugged, walking passed it was causing it to restart. If it was power related, I would expect the BIOS to keep the system off. I have seen a bad video card restart the system before, the black and white would indicate video card problems, but how can it be when I only walk passed it???

    Maybe it's time just to replace some of the core components again, they are getting strange, time for a new mobo, video and power supply?

    +
    1 Votes

    Static from the carpet interfering with the monitor. Do a test and see (if at all possible), raise the computer above the floor and place on a woodwork table.

    If the issue comes back i would suggest another power supply unit.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    It presently sits about 8 inches off the ground, on a metal rack, and in the metal rack, the tower sits on top of a wood platform with rubber legs.
    The monitor is on a solid wood desk. I proved the problem happened on the other monitor as well, which is run using HDMI, and is in the other room and is actually an HDTV.
    I can provide pictures if needed. It does sit side by side with another computer, they are both plugged into the same outlet, the other machine had no issues. Both are plugged into a power filter.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Bahahaha, I like it.

    +
    1 Votes
    oldbaritone

    Check the grounding on the cabinet, and make sure the electrical plug has a good ground. (PLEASE say they aren't using a "cheater plug" adapter, or just snapped the 3rd prong off because it wouldn't go into the 2-prong outlet in the old building...)

    Get some anti-static spray and spray the carpet around the cabinet.

    Get anti-static mats and put them around the cabinet. Be sure they are properly grounded. See #1 above...

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I would assume the wood stand with the rubber legs would protect it from ESD should it not?
    It is not touching the cabinet, the cabinet is just my only reason to walk through that spot.
    It is grounded nicely using one of those dirty electricity filters. There are a lot of cables touching each other behind the machines, but all are in good condition, no exposed wiring.
    When I can get a picture and post it, I will, maybe that will explain the situation better.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Wait, do those filters maybe wear out? It has a lot of use on it, it used to be used in our body shop to keep our computers from blowing up, worked great too, before it, we were popping motherboards every 2 months. After we added it, the machines had no issues.

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Some are single use only and then they need replacing, others can take several hits before expiring and then others are used to just divert Surges through Capacitors to earth.

    Here it depends on what the filter gets hit with as to what happens but that may be a starting point to work from.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I have added pictures

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    2 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    1. The picture labelled 'Filter Box' - the white plug at the top doesn't seem to be fully seated. in the image the left hand side looks to be deeper in, as if the plug is on a slight angle. not sure if this will have much of an affect or not.

    2. The boxes are too close together, move them as far apart as you can on that stand. There appears to be some space between them and the uprights, well push them apart and right up against the uprights. That will maximise the ventilation around them, thus the cooling effect of the air while reducing the risk of electro magnetic interference between the two systems.

    3. The wiring, try to separate the data wires from the power wires, even if it means using some cable ties to run them in channels a few finger widths apart. this will minimise the risk of electromagnetic interference between the two as well. The power cables have a stronger and larger field around them to the rest and if close enough to the data cables, it can cause some troubles.

    4. Check the cables for fine breaks in the wire within the cable. This can be done by carefully running the cable through your fingers while looking at it closely. Some breaks can occur in the copper inside without having a break in the covering plastic.

    5. Apart from this an what the others have said, watch out for free radical electrons staging a revolution.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    The cases are about as far apart as possible now, I was only able to add about a 1.5 cm between them.

    I checked the plug, its seated against the wall flat.

    The power cables are separate from the ethernet lines, the USB and power and VGA cables are intermixed. Could that cause restarts and black and whites?

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    The issue with the cables is that ALL of them have an electromagnetic field around the. If properly shielded and the shielding is working they should be OK. But I've learned from experience that the concept of proper shielding and it working well is rare. The field around the data, usb and vga cables isn't that strong, but the one around the power leads is far stronger than the rest. I generally try to run the power cables well away from all other cables as much as possible. If I can separate the other cables any more, then I split off the video cables as they are the next highest in power levels. You may wish to try moving the power away from the other cables and see if that has any effect.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    But the power cables can be strapped together and moved away, is that correct?

    Also, should the power cables avoid contact with the case, cause presently, not sure if you can tell from the pictures, both power bars sit on top of the white machine, and the power lines are draped down between them. That would technically be the mother board side of the silver machine, the one with the problems.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    As a general rule it doesn't hurt anything to have the power cables near each other as they aren't carrying any signals that can be interfered with. The Electromagnetic field will only set up an echo current, as the worst possible damage - ie a current when that cable is not powered up. The power boards will also have an electromagnetic field around them, and these should also be separated or shielded from the data cables and the electronic components.

    In most cases a few finger widths is all that's needed as the field is weak, but electronics are touchy things and you can never know for sure, as some components are more susceptible to interference than others.

    In most cases PC's have their PSU at the top of the case and the motherboard is four or five inches lower down, thus a power board on the top of the case shouldn't affect the motherboard, but may affect a hard drive that's set right at the top of the case.

    A basic home made shield can be a couple of sheets of rubber, say some old thick rubber mouse pads, with a sheet of aluminium foil between them and the foil earthed to the steel frame on the shelf above the computer. If it is a EM force field issue from the power boards, that should redirect it away from the PC and protect the PC. But you really shouldn't need to go to this extreme due to the note above re psu location.

    +
    1 Votes
    amitmaniar

    Thats an innovation.
    Just kidding !!!
    Check your RAM. Might be not plugged well.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I gave them a push and tug, it seems locked in.

    +
    3 Votes
    dogknees

    Remove all except the KB, mouse and screen from the PC. Plug the PC into a socket and disconnect ALL other equipment in the area from the power.

    Then try it and if the ghost goes away, start adding one device at a time until he(she) returns.

    Also look for the Wakeon settings in your bios and disable those you don't need.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Each computer has its own power bar, so this is doable. Though I will have to wait for the ghost to return first :).

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    As for the wakeon settings, that could explain how it started itself, but not how it keeps restarting itself when I walk passed it from right to left.

  • +
    3 Votes
    OH Smeg

    However more likely a bad Power Connector somewhere so have you looked at the power lead s/Power Boards involved?

    Could also be something that is moving when you walk past that is resting on a power switch/plug or whatever and that ripple is causing the start stop process.

    Don't rule out loose wires in things like Plugs/Sockets either.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I tried shaking the tower and moving it, no issues. Would a bad power supply cause the display to turn black and white, and why did my walking stop bothering it when the display fixed itself?

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Maybe I need to feed the gremlin? What do they eat?

    +
    1 Votes
    seanferd

    Or maybe you have an alien implant. But I'd check the wiring running to the socket to make sure that pressure on a spot in the floor isn't disrupting a circuit. I bet running the mains through a UPS would keep the computer from behaving this way, but it will eventually kill that if it is a wiring problem.

    ed. - (Or a power cord under the carpet?)

    Or do you, even while naked, walk around wrapped in copper wire? Maybe while shaking an iron rod?

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I live in a condo, the carpet effectively sits on top of cement, better not be wires under it. And I tried standing and jumping on the spot, no effect, Walking left to right didn't bother it, just right to left.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    OK - weird. Then no flexion in the floor, no old, bad wiring scheme...

    Does this thing have an active IR port that can wake it? Or any other wake (like WOL) enabled?

    And this doesn't occur if you walk left-to-right? I'm just trying to imagine how you could be creating induction or a signal that this (otherwise oddly behaving) machine could interpret as a wake signal. Is there a fairly powerful RF signal permeating your condo?

    Truly odd.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    There is a very high concentration of Wifi signals, maybe that's it???


    I figure the auto turn on could have been a USB splitter I had hooked up, I noticed when the machine was off the light on it was still on, and I remember reading how that can trick a power supply into thinking its time to start up.

    But even unplugged, walking passed it was causing it to restart. If it was power related, I would expect the BIOS to keep the system off. I have seen a bad video card restart the system before, the black and white would indicate video card problems, but how can it be when I only walk passed it???

    Maybe it's time just to replace some of the core components again, they are getting strange, time for a new mobo, video and power supply?

    +
    1 Votes

    Static from the carpet interfering with the monitor. Do a test and see (if at all possible), raise the computer above the floor and place on a woodwork table.

    If the issue comes back i would suggest another power supply unit.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    It presently sits about 8 inches off the ground, on a metal rack, and in the metal rack, the tower sits on top of a wood platform with rubber legs.
    The monitor is on a solid wood desk. I proved the problem happened on the other monitor as well, which is run using HDMI, and is in the other room and is actually an HDTV.
    I can provide pictures if needed. It does sit side by side with another computer, they are both plugged into the same outlet, the other machine had no issues. Both are plugged into a power filter.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Bahahaha, I like it.

    +
    1 Votes
    oldbaritone

    Check the grounding on the cabinet, and make sure the electrical plug has a good ground. (PLEASE say they aren't using a "cheater plug" adapter, or just snapped the 3rd prong off because it wouldn't go into the 2-prong outlet in the old building...)

    Get some anti-static spray and spray the carpet around the cabinet.

    Get anti-static mats and put them around the cabinet. Be sure they are properly grounded. See #1 above...

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I would assume the wood stand with the rubber legs would protect it from ESD should it not?
    It is not touching the cabinet, the cabinet is just my only reason to walk through that spot.
    It is grounded nicely using one of those dirty electricity filters. There are a lot of cables touching each other behind the machines, but all are in good condition, no exposed wiring.
    When I can get a picture and post it, I will, maybe that will explain the situation better.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Wait, do those filters maybe wear out? It has a lot of use on it, it used to be used in our body shop to keep our computers from blowing up, worked great too, before it, we were popping motherboards every 2 months. After we added it, the machines had no issues.

    +
    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Some are single use only and then they need replacing, others can take several hits before expiring and then others are used to just divert Surges through Capacitors to earth.

    Here it depends on what the filter gets hit with as to what happens but that may be a starting point to work from.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I have added pictures

    +
    2 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    1. The picture labelled 'Filter Box' - the white plug at the top doesn't seem to be fully seated. in the image the left hand side looks to be deeper in, as if the plug is on a slight angle. not sure if this will have much of an affect or not.

    2. The boxes are too close together, move them as far apart as you can on that stand. There appears to be some space between them and the uprights, well push them apart and right up against the uprights. That will maximise the ventilation around them, thus the cooling effect of the air while reducing the risk of electro magnetic interference between the two systems.

    3. The wiring, try to separate the data wires from the power wires, even if it means using some cable ties to run them in channels a few finger widths apart. this will minimise the risk of electromagnetic interference between the two as well. The power cables have a stronger and larger field around them to the rest and if close enough to the data cables, it can cause some troubles.

    4. Check the cables for fine breaks in the wire within the cable. This can be done by carefully running the cable through your fingers while looking at it closely. Some breaks can occur in the copper inside without having a break in the covering plastic.

    5. Apart from this an what the others have said, watch out for free radical electrons staging a revolution.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    The cases are about as far apart as possible now, I was only able to add about a 1.5 cm between them.

    I checked the plug, its seated against the wall flat.

    The power cables are separate from the ethernet lines, the USB and power and VGA cables are intermixed. Could that cause restarts and black and whites?

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    The issue with the cables is that ALL of them have an electromagnetic field around the. If properly shielded and the shielding is working they should be OK. But I've learned from experience that the concept of proper shielding and it working well is rare. The field around the data, usb and vga cables isn't that strong, but the one around the power leads is far stronger than the rest. I generally try to run the power cables well away from all other cables as much as possible. If I can separate the other cables any more, then I split off the video cables as they are the next highest in power levels. You may wish to try moving the power away from the other cables and see if that has any effect.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    But the power cables can be strapped together and moved away, is that correct?

    Also, should the power cables avoid contact with the case, cause presently, not sure if you can tell from the pictures, both power bars sit on top of the white machine, and the power lines are draped down between them. That would technically be the mother board side of the silver machine, the one with the problems.

    +
    0 Votes
    Deadly Ernest

    As a general rule it doesn't hurt anything to have the power cables near each other as they aren't carrying any signals that can be interfered with. The Electromagnetic field will only set up an echo current, as the worst possible damage - ie a current when that cable is not powered up. The power boards will also have an electromagnetic field around them, and these should also be separated or shielded from the data cables and the electronic components.

    In most cases a few finger widths is all that's needed as the field is weak, but electronics are touchy things and you can never know for sure, as some components are more susceptible to interference than others.

    In most cases PC's have their PSU at the top of the case and the motherboard is four or five inches lower down, thus a power board on the top of the case shouldn't affect the motherboard, but may affect a hard drive that's set right at the top of the case.

    A basic home made shield can be a couple of sheets of rubber, say some old thick rubber mouse pads, with a sheet of aluminium foil between them and the foil earthed to the steel frame on the shelf above the computer. If it is a EM force field issue from the power boards, that should redirect it away from the PC and protect the PC. But you really shouldn't need to go to this extreme due to the note above re psu location.

    +
    1 Votes
    amitmaniar

    Thats an innovation.
    Just kidding !!!
    Check your RAM. Might be not plugged well.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    I gave them a push and tug, it seems locked in.

    +
    3 Votes
    dogknees

    Remove all except the KB, mouse and screen from the PC. Plug the PC into a socket and disconnect ALL other equipment in the area from the power.

    Then try it and if the ghost goes away, start adding one device at a time until he(she) returns.

    Also look for the Wakeon settings in your bios and disable those you don't need.

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    Each computer has its own power bar, so this is doable. Though I will have to wait for the ghost to return first :).

    +
    0 Votes
    Slayer_

    As for the wakeon settings, that could explain how it started itself, but not how it keeps restarting itself when I walk passed it from right to left.