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How to make PSU boot after hard power off

Posted on 2004-10-18
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
A computer of mine has a problem where the power supply doesn't seem to turn the computer back on after the power has failed, been pulled... etc.

I must admit the simpleness of the AT PSU's was preferable that if the button was on, then there is a hard connection for the power being on.

It's an ATX power supply which came with the case, the model of the PSU is EXCEL350WCE, and I'm running Windows 2000 on the machine.

Can the power supply be configured somewhere by BIOS or some other APM to turn itself back on in the even that the power fails? It's unacceptable to stay powered off once the power is restored in this situation.

If anyone can shed some light on this problem from their own experience it would be much appreciated. Thanks! Also might give bonus points if the solution requires minimum "experimentation", I'd rather not have it down for too long.
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Question by:Sholva
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Expert Comment

by:Sajen_Jose
ID: 12337154
I think certain computers have an option called "AC Power Recovery" in which the system would be restored back to the state the computer was in when the system lost the power.

Sajen

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Expert Comment

by:zvitam
ID: 12337262
Power supplys do not automaticly restart after power-fail in order to protect you system hardware from burning as a result of power spikes.

The feature is build-in in the PSU, and cannot be overridden.

Even if you could override this feature - I would'nt recommend it.
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Author Comment

by:Sholva
ID: 12337357
Sajen,

I found an option in the BIOS for the computer in question which was:
State After Power Failure,

It was originally on "Auto", I changed it to "Yes" but after turning off the power at the wall, the system didn't restart. The only other was "No", and the help info was clear in the bios that No means the system remains powered off, and yes means the system will restart.

Does anyone know if it's possible the bios will show this option even if the power supply won't follow this option correctly?

As for not restarting due to power spikes, I don't see the point why not to have the option. That's what circuit breakers are for, It's one thing to have to re activate a breaker, it's another to go and hit the power button on a box because it hasn't come back online. Very frustrating if you ask me.
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Expert Comment

by:gerhardub
ID: 12338166
The solution to your problem is purchasing a UPS.

Getting a cost effictive 700VA unit should run most PC's for about 20 minutes, so long as you only plug the PC itself into the UPS.

This is generally how we solve things here... Even the cable box and the Tivo are connected to a 1400VA unit.

Since you appear to be looking into high availability, then a UPS will protect the unit from initally shutting off, and any damage that might occur from power surges.

Otherwise, you're going to need to get a PC that supports power on after loss.  The only computers I've used that had this feature (in recent history, other than the servers in my office), are some of the IBM computers.

Gerhard
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Author Comment

by:Sholva
ID: 12338246
Thanks for your suggestion gerhardub,

UPS isn't an option, I'm not willing to put that kind of money into it. I simply want it so it restores itself like a good old AT machine would. If the power is going to fail then so be it. But I don't want it down for hours, or a whole day just because of a half hour outage.

I don't see why there would be a BIOS option for this if it doesn't work,

Further info:
Motherboard is Soltek SL-65KV2-T (or might be -CT)
Power Supply is Excel350WCE (ATX)

Looking for a solution that doesn't require buying new equipment etc.
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Accepted Solution

by:
crazijoe earned 75 total points
ID: 12338526
I hate to say it but you might have a bad power supply. In most of the cheaper computer cases, the power supplies that come with them are usually throw-ins to sell the case. The powers supply are usually made of inferior parts or shoddy craftsmanship. I have built many computers and usually see 50% of them having bad PS. I would suggest getting a quality name brand PS like Antec or Enermax.
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Assisted Solution

by:kpaske
kpaske earned 75 total points
ID: 12344248
According to your motherboard's manual:
http://217.160.208.211/soltek/download_file/Manual/socket370/65kv2-t_12/65kv2-t-AWARDBIOS.pdf

State after Power
Failure
This field lets you determine the state that your PC
returns to after a power failure.If set to off, the PC will
not boot after a power failure. If set to On, the PC will
restart after a power failure.

As you've discovered, this needs to be set to "on".  So why is it still not working?

I don't think that there is anything wrong with your power supply, but that is a possibility.  I think more likely it has to do with the way the power switch works.  On some cases, the power button isn't a simple on-off toggle switch.  When the power is lost, it defaults to "off" (I've got a case like this).  A quick test you can try is disconnecting the lead that goes from your power switch to your mobo.  As long as there is a power switch on the back of your PS you'll still be able to turn your computer on and off (if not, the computer will stay on all the time until you pull the plug).

Also, don't write off the idea of buying a UPS.  I've got a 700VA UPS that I got for $30 after a Circuit City rebate.  It's good, cheap insurance that will not only keep your system online in the case of power surges and short outages, it will save your system from being shutdown improperly (as long as you install the UPS software correctly) if the power should go out.  
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