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  • #2253956

    PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in


    by pantera4life00 ·

    I have a pc that sometimes refuses to turn on. The only way to get it to work is by unplugging it and plugging it back in. I’ve already replaced the power supply so that’s not it. Other than that operation is totally normal. Never shuts down unexpectedly or anything while it’s running. Any thoughts?

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    • #2527127


      by pantera4life00 ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in


    • #2527125

      Have seen

      by xt john ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in

      this happen many times at our sites… Usually the power on switch itself is shot. One way to test it, follow the ribbon connector or wires from the switch to where it attaches to the motherboard. Disconnect the connector from the motherboard and ‘jump’ the connectors with a small screwdriver to see if the power supply kicks on. If it does… switch is bad.

      • #2527121

        Only happens on a weekly basis

        by pantera4life00 ·

        In reply to Have seen

        It only happens about once a week. That’s what threw me. If the switch was bad, wouldn’t it happen every time?

        • #2527118

          It’s hard to say

          by xt john ·

          In reply to Only happens on a weekly basis

          for certain, sometimes these things can be intermittent, like after the machines been running awhile, etc. If the power supply didn’t fix the problem, the switch would be the next, simplest thing to check.

        • #2527084

          I’ve seen this happen when you are at the end of a Mains Supply

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Only happens on a weekly basis

          And get a lot of spikes and other rubbish over the mains. The spikes effectively scramble the M’Board CPU and the only solution is to unplug and then plug back in. Though this generally affects things like Cable/ADSL Modems and Hubs first it can happen to a computer.

          The fix here is to fit a UPS in line to prevent the Spikes getting through and causing the problem.


        • #2526465

          That’s what I was leaning towards…

          by pantera4life00 ·

          In reply to I’ve seen this happen when you are at the end of a Mains Supply

          But what do I know! I replaced the case once already and find it hard to believe that the switch was defective in both cases (As cheap as it was – PowerUp = Junk). After changing the power supply as well I figured it was a power issue. The pc is connected to what looks like a pretty old surge protector. This is my fathers pc. I had to build it with a $400 budget. I dont think he’ll be willing to dump money into a UPS. Is it necessary or could a good surge protector take care of the problem?
          This is the one I have laying around that I was going to replace it with:

        • #2526188

          Most Surge Protectors work to slowly

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to That’s what I was leaning towards…

          The better ones will divert a surge in around 4 Nanoseconds but the damage is done in under the first nanosecond. I’ve seen people spend hundreds of $ to fit a surge protector and still have no benefit when a $60.00 AU UPS would have done just as good a job. Though to be fair these cheap UPS’s don’t have great batteries in them and you may be required to replace the Batteries sooner rather than latter.


        • #2532029

          Here’s one that should work…

          by pantera4life00 ·

          In reply to Most Surge Protectors work to slowly

          I found out today that the surge protector he’s using is 10 years old. I purchased a tester from a hardware store that you plug into the wall and it indicates if the wiring is correct and properly grounded. He’s not insterested in a UPS because he doesn’t want to worry about replacing batteries. I’m going to make sure the outlet is wired correctly and might get a surge protector I was reading about on some audiophile website. They’re supposed to beat any surge protector/power conditioner on the market and last forever. Price isn’t too bad I guess. Here’s their site:

          There has to be cheaper ones though that use the same technology.

        • #2532026

          Why you SHOULDN”T use a surge protector

          by maillists ·

          In reply to Here’s one that should work…

          Or why you should use an UPS.

          MOST surge suppresor/protectors turn into
          extension cords after their first hit. And
          no, the Wiring Fault indicator will not
          indicate a Surge suppresors ability to
          suppress surges. And surge suppresors do
          NOT protect against brownouts, which tend
          to cause more damage to computers than
          surges due to the fact that MOST people do
          not have an UPS, and most residential areas
          require an UPS, and at least half of the
          business areas do. (Especially since there
          is no Federal building code for Electrical
          wiring, or strict enough code to make the
          Service providers of Electricity provide

          Some real life examples: Mom’s OLD house:
          Went through 3 computers in one year. Put
          in an UPS, went through 3 sets of batteries
          in one year, but that still cost less than
          one computer. (if you are chewing up
          batteries even in a cheap UPS it’s an
          indication of possible fire hazards lurking
          in your walls.)

          Mom’s NEW house: Went through 6 battery
          sets in first year. Still waiting for the
          contractor to come out and fix the wiring
          issue. KNOW for a fact there is a wiring
          issue as the SMOKE detectors also have
          wiring fault indicators in them, and they
          go off once a month because of it. (Alarm
          is different for

          In the meantime, it has been a lot less
          expensive for us over all to keep replacing
          UPS batteries, than spending time hunting
          down issues like the one you
          described…which by the way is indicative
          that yes the switch IS now failing…and
          you may want to put a POST code tester in
          that machine if other wierd things happen.

          Also…if the humidity is drier once a week
          than other days…Static electricity will
          build up in the Power Circuit to the
          computer and prevent the completion of the
          circuit. Sometimes unplugging the computer
          fixes this, but usually it requires one
          power the machine on and off several times
          with it unplugged. (Toggle the power

          My vote is for the Humidity factor, as
          sometimes that will always be the problem,
          and it just takes that long to build up
          enough static electricity to cause the
          symptom. But my recommendation is still get
          an UPS if you value the data on the machine
          at all.

        • #2532010

          The reason why I don’t like Surge Protectors

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Here’s one that should work…

          I have a Professional one wired into my Fuse Box cost at trade came to about $1,000.00 AU plus fitting. Granted I don’t pay the sparky to fit the things but it still needs to be fitted correctly and then it only protects 1 Circuit.

          Granted this unit is claimed to prevent any damage from a lighting strike at 100 meters. Well as I always unplug my Hardware when there are thunder storms this really isn’t an issue but I like the added protection. The first year I went through 3 of these units and every one had taken a hit and done their job so they where no longer working and where effectively nothing more than a straight through Mains Power Supply. Still with that many destroyed the cost in replacing them was less than the cost of 1 computer.

          These have now been in place since 1998 and I’ve had 25 of them destroyed so far and they keep getting replaced and the dead ones get checked to see what has happened to them 1 was replaced UG over all that time the rest have absorbed Lighting Strikes and done their job which is one use thing.

          The UPS’s that I use are the big expensive ones that run on 24 V DC so they are not the cheapest available. Since I’ve been using these over a protracted period of time I’ve had to replace 1 set of batteries per UPS since the initial Surge Protector went in place and at $65.00 AU Per Battery they are defiantly a lot cheaper than 1 Surge Protector even if I replace every battery in the place at one time they still wouldn’t come to half the cost of 1 Surge Protector.

          As for a static build up while the Mains Wiring may be correct are you sure that you have a good earth? Do you go out at least once a month and pour salt water around the earth spike? If not then the Earth that is available is questionable and any surge Protector will be unable to dump an excess charge to earth reliably.

          The UPS’s that I use not only filter the mains but LAN and Telephone lines as well so they do much more than just one job but even still I remove the Telephone lines from them when there is a thunder storm around. I would much rather spend a little bit of time in prevention than cleaning up destroyed high end workstations after the event.

          As stated Surge Protectors do absolutely nothing to protect when Brown Outs occur and this is quite common when there is a Power Outage. When the system auto switches back on there is a massive spike followed by a drop of up to 70% of the mains Voltage and then it trips again. At this point in time there is a lot of potential to destroy computers and other electrical equipment.Particularly things with running motors in them and Switch Mode Power Supplies so Computers DVD Players, Video Recorders TV are all susceptible to destruction or at the very least damage which isn’t covered by most Fusion Insurance Policies as they only cover Electric Motors and not electronics. Unless of course there has been specific mention made of this type of coverage with an increase in premiums.

          I should add that the Surge Protector that you listed are similar to the ones that I use but the ones that I use have a higher rating and offer better protection in an over voltage event however they do nothing in an under voltage event which can be very common if you are toward the end of a mains power line and have things like AC Units and Swimming Pool Pumps switching on at the same time when this happens you are in a Brown Out Situation on a regular basis which has a cumulative effect rather than just a repair after the event with no real damage done.


      • #2613592

        “Jump” the connectors with a small screwdriver?

        by notmuch005 ·

        In reply to Have seen

        How do you “jump”? what does “jump” mean? I have a similar power problem and I need to know the step exactly!

        • #2613557

          To answer your question on

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to “Jump” the connectors with a small screwdriver?

          How do you jump something you short out the pins involved just like the On switch does in this case.

          Personally I don’t think that this will work because all you are doing is replicating the On Switch but if the switch is broken it will work.


    • #2528154

      I understand what you are saying, but..

      by pantera4life00 ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in

      the person this is for has never had problems other than having to unplug the pc and plug it back in. There’s been a pc connected to the same surge protector in the same outlet for almost 10 years and no pcs have been sacrificed or had these symptoms until his latest pc purchase less than a year ago. His last pc lasted a decade and was still operational so he has no reason to believe that this one will be any different. Don’t good power supplies have built in protection against brown outs? Doesn’t the pc’s power need to be reset because the built-in protection detected an abnormality and closed the connection so the pc would not be effected/damaged? I also heard that UPS’s have been known to catch on fire, explode. From what I’ve seen, you can’t get a UPS that also protects against brownouts with a voltage regulator for under 90. And that’s just for a beginner’s UPS that couldn’t run the pc and an LCD for more than a minute or 2. He spent 300 on the entire pc. Since then he’s purchased an $80 power supply, a switch for the case, and a $40 surge protector. He checked the outlet with a tester and it was wired correctly. Now he needs to spend another 90 on an entry-level UPS. That would come out to $210 (2/3 of the original cost of the whole pc) just so he does not have to unplug it and plug it back in to get it to turn on once or twice a week. What happens if that still doesn’t solve the problem and it ends up being a bad connection on the motherboard? I need to find the exact cause of this problem before dumping any more money into it. There has to be free monitoring software or something that can detect the problem.

      • #2527991

        You are comparing Apples with Oranges

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to I understand what you are saying, but..

        A 10 year old computer has a XT Power Supply which actually switches on the Mains with a Single Throw Dual Pole Switch so it is either off or on.

        An ATX power Supply which has been in use for quite some time but not as long as 10 years doesn’t have a Mains Switch but switches on the 5 V DC Rail which is always on and there is always power to the M’Board while it is plugged in.

        So you are comparing something that switches Off completely to something that puts the system into a Suspend Mode.

        So use the new Surge Protector, Power Supply and see what happens. I would bet nothing different to what has been happening previously but try it none the less.

        As for the basic UPS’s I can buy then for about $50.00 AU so in the US they should be cheaper and they do protect against Brown Outs as they have Mains In that gets turned into a 12 V DC and then from the 12 V DC Battery there is an Inverted that supplies a Sine Wave type Power to the computer at your current Mains Voltage so there is no Under Voltage Events happening.

        As for resetting the PS that’s not quite right as the M’Board gets a scrambled message and throws in the towel, when this happens you need to disconnect the Mains Lead let the Capacitors Discharge and then plug it back in which is I believe what you have been doing isn’t it?

        But the only way to be sure is to suck it and see so run with the stuff that they have and see if there is any difference. If not then they will have to either start to unplug when not in use or put a UPS in line either way will work though unplugging will be much cheaper.


        • #2527914


          by pantera4life00 ·

          In reply to You are comparing Apples with Oranges

          If they were less than $50 I would buy one. The ones for that price only say that they are battery backups that allow the pc to shut down in the event of a total power loss. They also mention protection against surges but do not mention brown outs until you get into the higher models around 100 USD. Plus the surge protection they offer is less than the cheap surge protectors you can get at hardware stores. I’ve been looking at stores everywhere plus online. I’ll buy one for myself, bring it over to my parent’s house and let him use it for a week and see if it actually solves the problem.

    • #2527903

      Is it a Dell?

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in

      We have Dell 270s and 620s that do that. Apparently it’s the power supply. The only option is to replace the PS or to just deal with it.

    • #2520887

      just carry on

      by jcdshs ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in

      I have a similar situation in the school where I work. An occasional power cut, whether to the whole school or just one circuit in one room, may leave several computers unresponsive. I just educate the staff into unplugging the power cord and leaving it out for 1o-15 seconds while the charge dissipates then plug it back in and off she goes as if nothing happened. No replacing power supplies, buying UPS or any of that. It just seems to be a fact of life with some machines these days not liking power cuts. Even if the machine was on a surge board it still needed the board to be unplugged before life returned to the pc so now I don’t bother with any of that.

    • #2584660

      Me too

      by cbg2 ·

      In reply to PC wont start unless power is unplugged and plugged back in

      This just happened today. I had just powered off in order to troubleshoot an issue with a DVD Writer and CD Writer that wouldn’t operate together. I unplugged CD Writer and DVD Writer worked wonderfully. Then realizing the need to remove a disk from CD Writer, powered off unit and plugged power only (no ribbon cable) into CD Writer. Tried to pwer unit back on but nothing happened, and green power light on back is still lit.

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