PC restarts 20 minutes or so after power off

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Synergy56, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. Synergy56

    Synergy56 Guest

    Hi all

    A non computer savvy friend has a recent model Dell home computer.
    Sorry, I don't know the model. She is still trying to find that and
    tell me.

    She says that it often mysteriously starts up by itself after it has
    been powered off for about 20 or 30 minutes. I've talked her through
    various things and it certainly seems like it is really shut down, not
    on standby. The fan stops, lights go out.

    I tend to think that its a hardware fault. I'm an electronics
    technician from long ago although I haven't done anything with modern
    PCs. I'm well aware of most things these days being 'not really off'
    especially if there is a remote control involved or something. I don't
    think the front panel power button is a real AC power switch since
    nothing mechanically moves when the software turns it off. There must
    be a solid state switch or something.

    She has spent time on the phone with Dell support and the final
    suggestion was to wipe it clean and reinstall Windows XP and everything
    else. It sounds like they're saying that because of knowledgebase
    articles about viruses and worms 'restarting' the computer but that's
    all talking about an immediate restart. If it really is powered off
    then there is no CPU to execute anything so it can't really be a
    software thing.

    I asked her to try to make it happen by pulsing the power off and on
    after a shutdown. I thought maybe power glitches were making it restart
    but that didn't seem to do anything. She has some sort of power

    I think the machine is still under warranty but if it is a hardware
    fault, then I think it will be an uphill battle to convince anyone of

    For now she just unplugs it from the power.

    Thanks for any ideas.
    Synergy56, Sep 22, 2005
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  2. Synergy56

    wayne Guest

    Modern PCs have the ability to Wake up remotely. Does she have dialup
    or a high speed connection. Whichever one she has just unplug either
    the USB/Network or Phone line and see if the computer still starts up.
    If it does not you have solved the problem and a call to Dell should
    walk her thru going into the BIOS to turn the "feature" off.

    If it still does you probably have a faulty power switch

    wayne, Sep 22, 2005
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  3. Does she use dial up modem connection or have her telephone modem
    plugged in to the phone line?? If so, her machine might be set up to
    "Wake" on ring. Can she identify that the machine starts after a
    incoming phone call??

    There is also a Wake on LAN on most machines. That too can cause a
    machine to start if there is "data noise" getting to her LAN if on

    Look for a BIOS setting to make sure the Wake on XXX are disabled.
    Most modern machines do have some circuits operating even when "OFF".
    That allows that Wake stuff to work.
    Sounds like a modern day tech who doesn't listen to the REAL problem
    and has no idea what he/she is really doing. It is all script they

    Good luck!
    See signature below, Sep 22, 2005
  4. Strange. You've checked for Ethernet, Modem, etc wakeup in the BIOS?
    Is the "what to do after power failure" set to "Stay Off"? There
    isn't any BIOS setting for waking up at certain times?

    If it's repeatable you can eliminate software by disconnecting the
    hard disk and seeing if it still powers up (and gets stuck at the "no
    operating system" error message). Dell only wants you to reinstall
    the OS to get you off their case for a couple of days.

    Maybe check for a BIOS update, or reflash (and reset the defaults) on
    the existing BIOS?
    William P. N. Smith, Sep 22, 2005
  5. Synergy56

    Synergy56 Guest

    Thanks everyone. That's given me some things I hadn't thought of.
    Synergy56, Sep 23, 2005
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