Solved

disable on/off switch

Posted on 2002-06-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I want to disable the on/off switch of my computer (long story) I looked inside, there are several wires coming out of the switch mechanism, different colors, with flat silver leads. I pulled on one, but it doesn't want to detach, it slides halfway off and catches. If I remove one of these, I'm certain I will acheive my goal, but they won't come off! Any ideas how to detach the little buggers?
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Question by:Brandi
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by:SysExpert
ID: 7096691
I don't quite understand.

If you pull off the wire, the computer can not be turned on.
Is that what you want ?
If it is, then use a good plier to pull off one of the wires.

Unless it is soldered, it will come off.

You can try a different wire if you want.

Make sure that you cover any exposed ends with electrical tape or heat shrink tubing !!

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:Brandi
ID: 7096767
It is my understanding (perhaps incorrect) that these connections are not 'fixed', that you can take them on & off. You can visibly see they are not soldered.
I know, you all want to know -why?
I'm going out of town & my roomie won't stay off my computer, he keeps bypassing the Win pwd, so I thought I'd disable the switch, replace the cover, and it will be down for the duration!
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by:jhance
ID: 7096780
Generally they are fixed to the switch but plug in to the motherboard.  You should be able to remove the end of the cord that goes to the MB.

How are you going to turn ON the computer once this is done though?
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by:mikecr
ID: 7096794
Why not do this. Set an admin level password to the bios, then set a bios boot password, then noone can get in but you!
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by:pjknibbs
ID: 7096976
Brandi: You should find the front panel switch has two wires which go to a pair of pins on the motherboard (assuming you have an ATX machine), so you can just unplug those to prevent the machine being turned on. Alternatively, you could just take the power cables with you--unless your roomie has a ready source of computer-style power leads (or is REALLY desperate to use your machine) then your computer is likely to be untouched for the duration.

Of course, if you were to install Win2K or WinXP you wouldn't have this problem in the first place, because the logon password CANNOT be bypassed on those systems...
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7097051
I agree with mikecr, he suggested what I was going to.  Setting a BIOS power-on password is the easiest method and doesn't require removing any of the case leads which are sometimes tricky to re-attach.

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:Brandi
ID: 7097058
1) The switch is convieniently located at the top front of the case, it is a quick & easy matter to pop the case, push it back a bit, and pull the wire. Much easier than taking it all the way off to access the MB. When I return from vacation I will just plug the wire back in.

2) I have Win98, a windows admin pwd is not an option, possibly a bios pwd would be... but my roomie is more of a software weenie than a hardware guy, I think he may be able to thwart bios pwd, but would never think of a wire dissconnect...
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by:HJohnson
ID: 7097086
Here's some ideas.

There's usually also a little power switch in the back of the computer - would your roommate know about that one?  

If your computer comes with a separate video card where the monitor is plugged in (the card would be plugged into a slot on the motherboard), you could just pull it out a bit so there's bad/no contact and the computer won't start - just beep.  (this is a hard one to find and fix - for your roommate)

Pull out the CPU/FAN and hide it.  Usually pretty easy to do, but make sure you are comfortable with the process.

If possible, pull the cable out of the back of the monitor, but make it look like its still connected.

Turn the brightness of the monitor all the way down till it's black.

Go into the BIOS of the machine (usually using the DEL key on bootup will get you into it) and change the peripheral video bootup device from PCI to AGP (or vice-versi).  This will disable the video/monitor.  Again, make sure you are comfy with the process as you could make the machine unbootable.

Find the power cable (four prongs) to the hard drive and wiggle it until its almost off.  

Let your nextdoor neighboor store your computer while you are away.

...I could go on and on...  good luck.


To re-enable anything, just do the reverse of what you did in the first place.  


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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7097113
I think your roommate would have a pretty tough time disabling a BIOS level password, regardless of his skill level.  To disable that BIOS password, you have to either know what it is already, or pull the battery from the motherboard which provides power to store it.

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:Brandi
ID: 7097147
Great ideas, all! I worry that the roomie knows about the battery thing on the bios pwd. He'll have all weekend to defeat this challenge. I am still partial to disabling the on/off switch, if anyone is intimately familiar with this piece of hardware...
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by:HJohnson
ID: 7097183
heh heh... do them all!     (woot woot!)
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by:Ajnin
ID: 7097248
Why not disconnect the power supply from the motherboard?

But if your roomate is smart enough to remove the battery then he may notice the cable diconnected and try to connect them back which could be a really bad thing.

This will force the user to logon to 98.
http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/629/

No way to fully secure there is always a way around no matter what you do. Just depends on your roomates knowledge.

Regards
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jhance earned 75 total points
ID: 7097304
Open the case, take the hard drive out, take it with you.
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by:griessh
ID: 7097344
Take the fuse of the Power Supply! That's hidden, easy to fix and he won't find it right away ...

======
Werner
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7097376
I'm questioning why you live with this person if you have such a major trust issue...why not just tell him "Stay off my computer please while I'm gone!"

-dog*
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by:rayt333
ID: 7097416
jhance has the right idea, take the HD or memory, or even the CPU.
I don't know about your switch but most of them has the wire soldered to them, if you want to go that route then as mentioned unhook the other end from the MB, but make sure you hook them back to another unused set of pins or your roomie may figure it out pretty quick.

Hell just take the whole computer with you (minus monitor, keyboard, ect)
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by:rayt333
ID: 7097423
You can always rename the file win.com to win.old and he will not be able to get into it, then rename it back when you get back.

Or go into the CMOS setup and change boot order to CD-Rom only

there is a number of things you can do to disable the computer temporarily. But I would hazard a guess your friend  (or some of his friends) will be able to figure most of them out given a few hours of unrestricted access.
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by:magarity
ID: 7097529
You don't like the BIOS password idea because opening the case and jumpering the reset jumper is possible.  But this same person can't figure out how to wire the power switch back on?  Please.  Relocate the machine and/or vital innards to other premises.  Access to console guarantees crackable security.

Otherwise, other than the rudeness, what is the problem?  Delete your cookie file so this person can't log on to your passworded websites and such.

Does your bedroom not have a lock?  A new doorknob with a lock will not cost too much at the hardware store and you can take it with you to your next abode.

Besides, once you hack apart the power switch, your roommate will be on here saying he just bought a second hand computer whose power switch seems to be broken and we'll walk him through the reverse operation you just performed to disable it.
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by:rayt333
ID: 7097536
And what is to stop him from doing something of his own makings to the computer once he is done playing with your stuff?  Then you would be back here begging for us to help you undo his damage.

If you are that worried then take the computer with you or put it in a secure storage location.
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by:tmj883
ID: 7097539
Personally, I would rearrange his face, not my computer. T
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by:rayt333
ID: 7097540
You give me a few hours of unrestricted access to your computer and I can guarantee I can get full acess to it and also do something to it to prevent you any further access to anything on it. And there would be no proof I did anything to it.
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by:tmj883
ID: 7097593
A more productive suggestion: install a keyed high security antistatic power switch. $US 12-15 www.alliedelec.com
stock numbers 870-555X---870-556X
Simple installation...no key...no power.
T
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by:rayt333
ID: 7097692
But you can remove the cover and short the pins on the MB to start an ATX system, as long as the person has unrestricted access they can do pretty much what they want, assuming they have (or their friends) some computer knowledge. There is hacker programs to find passwords fairly quickly so that is not really an option.

The only foolproof method is to not allow unrestricted access, keep the computer away from them.
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by:mikecr
ID: 7098736
Another thought, just take the power cords with you for the monitor and the computer. He would have to buy some to plug in so that he could power everything on. If you do that and the Bios password, that should be enough obstacles to deter him.
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by:Ajnin
ID: 7098773
Taking the hard drive sounds like the best idea.
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by:Kyle Schroeder
ID: 7099102
Again I ask, if you can't trust this person not to mess with your computer if you ask him not too, why are you living with him?

-dog*
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Author Comment

by:Brandi
ID: 7099518
Thanks everyone! We've been thru this "stay off my pc" thing, he won't. I am moving out ASAP. I like the removing the hard drive idea. It is easy to do, and my files WILL be secure that way! Boy will he be pissed!
Brandi
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Author Comment

by:Brandi
ID: 7099524
Guess my original question was not answered. But it turned out to be a question of how to REALLY deny acess!
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by:jhance
ID: 7099542
I'll bet you can have some fun with this too.

Just act casual when you come back, turn on your PC as you normally might.  Of course, it won't work w/o the hard drive.  But get really torqued at HIM for messing with it.  
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