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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All Answers

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Reponse To Answer

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

You know, I've never seen a computer do this, but plenty of other electronics (stereos, TVs, etc.) turn on by themselves. Because most stuff is never really off, but on standby. Half the people I know who have also seen this will insist that it is caused by visitations from "the" spirit world.

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

I believe your computer can overheat. Check Bios settings you'll find the answer there.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to overheat?

Its running nice and cool according to speedfan and the bios temps.

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Earthing Problem

by meghal.shah In reply to Computer turning off and ...

check for the proper power connection in the Room. Have a proper Electrical

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Earthing Problem

I could always run an extension cord from another outlet and try that...
I don't think I have a thick enough cord available that is long enough to escape that breaker circuit.

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Power fluxuation influences

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

Computers are so much fun when they do something weird until it is absolutely irritating. I have read for the most part the conversation and find that some people don't read the previous posts :). I Thought many of the similar considerations and if indeed this machine is still acting consistently in this manner; there is one other thing I have not seen mentioned yet.

I could indeed have missed this but what got me thinking of this possibility is that someone mentioned electric contacts like in stereos, we have such a stereo if plugged in it will mysteriously come on. This problem is dusty contacts in the (drum roll) POWER SWITCH. It may indeed that with all the reasonable solutions which I would have thought too; that the real culprit here is possibly the simple power switch at the front of your machine. Changing the way it lays may possibly shift the minuet weight of the switch to 'solve' the problem for now; and yet the problem may still exist tho dormant for now.

Given what sounds like so minor rough treatment of the machine, there may be wear or dust inside the power switch that the slightly different motion is just enough to activate 'the ghost'. This is also evidenced by that while you are not walking by it works normally; maybe even have someone else walk by while YOU are sitting at the machine as you normally would; have them walk the 'offending' path.

Possible solution: Replace the power switch.

Let me know. I am eager to know the final solution.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Power fluxuation influenc ...

I'm thinking reset button, but yeah, its definitely possible. How do you disconnect those to find out?

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Switch connections

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

It varies between vendors. Some of the switches if you look will have slide connectors on those, some unfortunately soldier them in thus you would need to trace those wires to the Motherboard connection and unplug at the motherboard. It should be a simple slide plug. Of course use a ground strap so that you do not fry any of the components.

The reliability of these switches is very good, but they can of course get damaged. Your machine does not sound old enough for wear issues. I have some antiques that still work fine in that area. Which means in one of your moves you may have had excess pressure on one of the switches that may have given the circumstance for the current problem.

Someone else may have to answer this part tho...The reset switch might not have to be connected for the machine to work, and then again might be in the POST check and may be required. If it allows no reset button that would mean you don't have the reset control. A minor inconvience by comparison. Either switch could still be the problem; but I think it will only be one. I would possibly take a picture of both switches and head to the local tech store that sells parts. The switches should not be expensive, they are for the most part simple relays with a spring release toggle built in.

The Power Switch must be used...I am not to comfortable with 'hot wiring' the power switch as a bypass.

It explains other things you described too; if the power cycles in mid POST then it can give some rather weird problems like the monitor issues you mentioned that is usually 'solved' by a clean problem free boot. If power fluxuates in operation it can have odd acting results too; that was a reason to suspect the power supply.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to Switch connections

I forgot to mention, the case is from 2003, I upgraded the contents recently, but kept the old case.

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Well time for a new case...

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

It will certainly get rid of the Ghost in your computer for ever. :)

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