Strange computer problem that I seem to have solved

For a good while there, half the time after I booted up, my machine would have one or more of the following issues:

  • Couldn’t start any programs, Windows would be nonresponsive
  • Browser (Firefox) would open, but wouldn’t load any web pages despite the network screen insisting that it was functional.
  • Even the mouse would be nonfunctional upon occasion

But, after hitting the reset button on the machine and reloading, it would be just fine 99.9% of the time. After awhile I kind of got used to the song and dance, but once last week in a flash of insight, I figured I would hold down the power button just a hair longer than usual. And what do you know, the problem so far has not reoccured. Very strange-can’t imagine why that would make a difference. :confused:

Here are the only relevant pieces of information I can think of:

[ul][li]Holding down the power button usually forces the power off without initiating a shutdown. It’s the emergency backup way of shutting off the computer when it won’t respond to the shutdown request. Maybe the forced shutdown kept some software from doing something weird at shutdown.[/ul][/li]
[ul][li]I’ve also notice that, when when I shut off the surge protector, there will still be a small amount of power in my box. If I do not press and hold the power button while the surge protector is off, my computer will not start up properly the next time I try. I wouldn’t think you’d be able to boot like that, but maybe you can. See if the problem comes back if you flip your surge protector or powerstrip off and back on. (If you don’t have one, just unplug the computer and immediately plug it back in.)[/ul][/li]Sorry that that’s all I can come up with.

On my home desktop, pushing the power button briefly puts it into suspend mode while holding the button for 4 seconds fully shuts it down. If I try to put it into suspend mode it usually chokes upon waking up for whatever reason but shutting down and rebooting works fine. Perhaps that is what you are seeing.

First, a power button only sends a message to the power controller. When and how long that button is held is what firmware inside a controller sees. Power controller decides when to power on the supply. Then, much later, decides what hardware (ie CPU) is allowed to work.

Second, symptoms are only sufficient for speculation. One step better than wild speculation. To understand this problem means hard facts. For example, hard facts are stored in the system (event) logs. Facts relevant to each type of startup are obtained from Device Manager. And what exactly is a power controller saying to each device. That means taking voltages from six wires (between power supply and motherboard) with a 3.5 digit multimeter.

To have useful answers means hard facts and numbers. Otherwise, answers are only from speculation.

I’m wondering if it might have something to do with the spin-up time of your hard drive(s). You might look in the BIOS to see if you can adjust when the drives are started by a second or two.

Well, like I said it’s apparently solved, just wanted to see if my hypothesis was plausible (I certainly don’t need to waste time rummaging around in logs-if it ain’t broke don’t break it again :))

Your symptoms could be explained by many reasons. Your hypothesis assumes no knowledge of a power controller or how a computer works. You have no reason to believe a solution exists. Your symptoms (including current operation) are consistent with those many other reasons.

Posting here is more difficult and dangerous (ie malware) than reading event logs. Read logs to see a problem before failure happens. Reading logs breaks nothing. The problem remains. Make preparations for a problem that may reoccur at a worst time.