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PC only runs with cover off?

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It does sound like a case alarm, i have a small switch on my old Windows ME system, i make sure that it pressed now and again to make sure it is working. Also make sure that the case is earthed. It should be from the power supply box. The thought of static could also be the cause, make sure that the power supply is well connected (metal to metal) to the case in question and does not have any gaps so as to give good contact. Is the case near the floor?, if so raise it a little so it is clear of the floor, make sure it is well vented.