Computer turns on... and then off- Please help

By ru52 ·
I have a Dell Inspiron Desk top. I recently changed internet server and left the router etc plugged in over night. When I got up the lights on the modem and the PC were going balistic and then the PC turned itself off. Now when I turn it on, it powers up for about 5 seconds and then switches off dead until I unplug and replug. Any suggestions/ideas?

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install a fresh copy of windows

by anansimann In reply to Computer turns on... and ...

I would try to install a fresh copy of windows or try to repair the present installation of windows.

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Well a bit of diagnostic work here wouldn't hurt

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Computer turns on... and ...

But you'll need to download a few CD sized Files and copy them to CD to make them bootable.

The first option would be The Ultimate Boot CD available here

or you could try a Live Linux to run the computer on to see if it's actually going to work properly you can download or buy from this site

As for the PC it sounds as if you have a power problem where you live or at the very least where the PC is situated. If you are to-wards the end of the Mains Line or there is some heavy industry around you can get large voltage spikes being produced which will cause the computer to turn itself on. In severe cases these spikes can destroy computers and can be caused by Air conditioning, Central Heating starting Swimming Pool Filters and things like that. If that's the case here you need to have some isolation between the computer & mains so a UPS that isolates the computer from the mains would be the way to go but remember you need a proper UPS that filters and not just provides power in the event of a power loss.

Routers can be adversely affected by Power Spikes as well and they need to be unplugged for about 10 seconds and the plugged back in and allowed to establish a connection. Run this off the UPS as well and it should stay protected.

As the system is starting then stopping after a very short time it sounds as if the Power Supply isn't getting the signal to continue to run so you really need to check both the Power Supply and M'Board for any signs of damage. The PS is virtually impossible to check short of plugging in a PS Tester and seeing if it works. The M'Board can be tested with some of the utilities available on the Ultimate Boot CD.

If this is still Under Guarantee get in touch with the supplier and get them to check it out but remember to backup all your data first because the first thing that they do is blow away the Windows install and wipe the HDD and then reinstall the base OS and see if the system works.

If you think that you have traffic on the Internet Connection it would be a good idea to check for Spy Ware or as it's sometimes called Malware. It's possible that you're computer has been taken over and is being used as a Bot.

There is some fairly decent Spy Ware Scanning applications available at the following web sites

You can download & install both of these applications and update them before you try running a scan and then you have to boot the machine in Safe Mode to make sure that you actually remove any nasties that you've picked up along the way. To get into Safe Mode press the F8 key between the POST screen and the first windows Splash Screen and chose the Safe Mode option from the list.

First run the Ad aware SE Scan and remove anything that it finds and then rerun the scan just to make sure that it's actually removed what it picked up and that there is nothing hiding behind what you've already removed. You may need to run this scan several times initially till it comes up as clean. The run the Spy Bot S & D Scan but Remember some of your applications may be picked up as Spy Ware by this application so if you see something that you actually use untick it from the list or you will cripple that application. The most obvious ones that you may want to keep are Windows Defender and some of the On Line Banking Utilities but there are several other's that are available for download that you may wish to keep things like Web Search if you have installed it come to mind here.

When you have removed all the unnecessary items rerun the scan again just to double check that you removed everything that you wanted to and that there is nothing else hiding behind what was already installed and remove any items that you do not recognise, the same message applies here about your installed software.

NB SAFE MODE only means that it's safe to work on the OS not that it's safe to open an Internet connection and start to download things or expose the computer to the Internet. As you only have a minimal set of drivers installed and programs running there is virtually no protection for the computer so don't download anything while in Safe Mode or connect to a LAN that may be infected,


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