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

By 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?

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

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.

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.

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.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Have you ever made sure t ...

I had a look in the bios, there is a lot of "wake on" options, but non for lan, closest is wake on dial, or wake on PCI event. All of them were turned off though, and still are.

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Reponse To Answer

by seanferd In reply to Have you ever made sure t ...

What about the device properties for the NIC in Windows? Power Management tab.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Have you ever made sure t ...

How do you access device properties for a NIC within windows? I only know of the connection properties.

XP Pro SP3 32bit.

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Reponse To Answer

by seanferd In reply to Have you ever made sure t ...

Ah - you can get that via connection properties (with like 8 clicks), or go straight through the Device Manager.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Have you ever made sure t ...

Just looking at this on my work computer, I see a lot of options. but "Wake up Capabilities" sounds the best. Which do I want?
"Magic Packet"
"none" <-- I assume this one, but just being sure.
"Wake up frame"

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by bsharpe37 In reply to Computer turning off and ...

Have you tried putting it in your microwave? If you haven't you should, Once it's all cooked good, you should go to and buy another PC. Either that or Re-install you OS and see what happens.

Take it apart. Take every piece of your computer apart, then put it back together. Make sure everythign fits good. Make sure you have you RAM in the correct positions.

Would it be possible to get an entire hardware list of your system and installed OS version.

The BIG Question I didn't see anyone ask ( I may be wrong there were a few wall of text posts i skimmed), What Changed? Obviously it wasn't like this from day 1? New hardware - you mentioned you installed a USB hub, did it hagve a driver that faults when under powered by a board causing a short in a wire?

Maybe just maybe if you have another computer around, change out that computer with this one for testing purposes. Does it Restart when you walk by it?

If no then we can rule out a power supply issue, I think the gremlins would have given up by now also.

OK, saying it doesn't restart after moving you 2nd machine into the same location of this machine does moving the faulting machine to another location solve the issue?

Saying NO, it still has the same issue in another location, lets try changing some components. Take the faulty machine and throw it out your window ( Not really) get your good machine and thiis one change out each component one at a time. Start the system and Test.
Yes this is a lot of run around work to find a solution but seeing that there is such an a large amount of replies it's time for some real troubleshooting. That right fix's all issues LOL JK.

Change out you hardwarte with the unit in question with known good. If you have changed out every pice of hardware except the motherboard, then Try changint hat out too.
Still having the same issue? after changing out the hardware? 100%
Look in the case, is the board correctly grounded to it's case or did someone forget to put some spacers in it?
All the wires from case plugged into mainboard in correct locations as per diagrammed when you got the board?

Lets say it's all correctly grounded in the case, 100% of the hardware was changed out and even the HDD and OS were changed with all cables correctly connected. SO theres no External sensors built into you case such a IR ect?

Lets say No there's nothing special about this desktop. So whats that leave us with? Well if its not a internal issues with the desktop lets move external.

Cabling I know there were several people posting about it. So you moved your desktop and it still has the same issue. Well. Lets start Unplugging all the extra crap you have plugged in. Even that nifty surpe protector. Yes we are going to use the standard wall socket! "WHHAAA!" Thats right, plug 1 monitor in and the desktop into the wall. Nothing else. Plug just your monitor and PC in to eachother ( VGA I assume) - Do not plug you your Mouse Printer Portable Cellphoen charger or keybaaord into your computer at this point. Then Walk by it.
Still rebooting?
Ok so its not a mouse or keyboard issue, GREAT - Well i figured it wasn't but couldn't hurt to test. Also you were able to test if the system was getting under powered or Circuit overloading.

So lets say it is still doing it, you have friends right? Well lets say you do, take the PC to their house with your monitor and keyboard and mouse. Thats right box it all up.

Say you arrive at their house, Install your PC at their house, walk by it, does it still reboot? This will test is the wifi signal theory someone suggested was causing an issue. ( That is assume your friend doesn't live next door or near a super mall of wifi's)

Lets say the issue still happens, you even hooked it up on his kitchen counter so that it's not touching the floor and is correctly grounded. You even left your gremlin at your house. Hum, at this point it';s looking fairly strange...

So lets take another approach, take all your hardware out and out it in your other computer case, YES Change cases. We probably could have done this sooner but I didnt think of it till now. Luckily you can arrange these in any order you want.

So we changed out the hardware into your other case and the issue still happens, well at this point we just ruled out the case, all the hardware all the software independently. SO Something much be conflicting with each other. Time to look into compatibility. Lets check each piece of hardware. You had mentioned you video card had some trouble seeting correctly. well lets swap it out and test with one that is approved.

Do the same for each hardware.

So you issue still persists. I believe you have gained super powers to restart your PC by walking in-front of it, a task I could only hope to achieve as my users forget to restart their computers before they call me. That or there's something wrong as I ran out of IF-Then statements. :)

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Microwaves?

Ok, go over these 1 at a time...
Can't be OS cause it can reboot during POST.

I can give you a rough list, not by model number

AMD 4800+ Duel core
Asus board with nForce chips
nVidia 9600 GT
Antec 550 Watt PSU
Soundblaster Live 24Bit sound card + onboard sound, both are active and in use.
4 Seagate HDD's of different sizes
2 DVD drives, one reader only, one is reader/writer. Reader/writer is new.
Standard floppy drive.
RAID controller for extra IDE plugs.
It has 3gb of RAM (3 chips out of 4 slots)

The only significant changes I can see is that DVD drive. I intend to unplug it to test if it is the problem. I unplug that USB hub when I turn the computer off to prevent damage to the PSU from the low draw of electricity.

The computer sitting next to it is not restarting when I walk passed it.

Computer parts are expensive, even the cheapest pieces, if I need to buy new parts for the computer, every part to test it, why am I bothering, I'll have enough parts for another computer. Otherwise, I have no other computers that are within 13 years of that computers hardware.

The board has been in use for about 2 years before I moved, it is possible something got shuffled in the move, when I take it out to open it up and re-hook up my video cards HDMI audio cables, I will check that (Or when I get a new video card and power supply, whichever happens first)

Lord knows if they are all in the correct locations :). I was thinking recently, the HDD activity lights have been broken for ages, the wires to them are broken. The wires run to the door, and then inside the door. But right at the hinge, the wires are bent each time you close the door, resulting in them breaking. Could it be possible that my walking by sent just enough electricity down one of those lines to freak out the mother board and cause a restart? Could this explain why the problem seemed to stop happening when I closed that door?

Of course there are no IR sensors, would be pretty useless on a desktop, especially pointing forwards at a user.

Surge protector is gone, still had the problem.
I can try unplugging some devices, but do those devices even draw full power during POST?

My condo is only slightly bigger than my friends bedroom, no way in heck could he have room to try that, though it would be cool if we could :).

My gremlin always travels with me, he sits in my car and play swith the ABS and check engine lights.

My video card has no trouble "seeting" correctly, it seats perfectly. Randomly the computer will restart if you jiggle the video cables. This has happened for awhile now. Leads me to believe this is all related to some failure of the video card.

To restart a computer remotely, use the shutdown command with the appropriate switches.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Microwaves?

Forgot to mention, this was happening when I had nothing hooked up via USB. While investigating it the first time, I figured while I was back there, I'd finish hooking up all my toys :) .

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One MORE thing to try out....

by Peconet Tietokoneet In reply to Computer turning off and ...

Place the computer on its side and then restart it and then do a walk past it and see if reboots by itself. If it does not then something is loose.
Other than that i will say your computer is asking for for your help the only way it knows how by rebooting to grab your attention.
Very weird situation you have. I have not heard or seen this happen before, only beeps to say either the video card is not slotted in properly or missing memory. Take it apart completely and give everything a good clean including your processor and heatsink, i do this every six months with every one of my computers (five altogether). It takes me about four to five hours on each one then i do a test to find out if i missed anything out. Your issue is very weird, i would put it in the town museum for being the only computer with a ghost attacted to it. :)
Hope you find out what is causing the issue.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to One MORE thing to try out ...

Sadly it stopped restarting again, will have to wait for it to break again before I can try putting it on its side.

Maybe the gremlin is on vacation?

I had an idea though, maybe I should just re-overclock my video card, if it can run stable at the clocks it used to run a year ago, its probably fine, if its now unstable, its probably dying.

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