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Computer Would Not Wake Up or Restart

Posted on 2014-03-05
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Last Modified: 2014-03-10
HP Pavilion P7-1154 desktop with Windows 7, with latest updates.

The system operated normally early this morning, but later my wife could not get it to wake up, nor would it restart.  It was showing power (highlight light and fans running).  I tried a hard shutdown (holding power button down) and it shut down.  When I pressed the power button again, the light came on and the fans ran, but there was no hard drive activity and no signal to the monitor - could not access the BIOS.  After several attempts, I decided to look inside.  Before I opened the case I thought I'd try pulling the power plug and hit the "on" switch to drain all power, and try to restart.  Lo and behold it started up normally.  It took a while to come up to a steady state, but eventually all was well.

Just wondering if this is some sign of a problem that needs to be addressed before a hard failure occurs.  Should I try any diagnostics?
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Question by:Rodger Reedy
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by:aadih
aadih earned 125 total points
ID: 39908135
Most probably it was a temporary glitch. If it does not repeat, then there may not be any problem at all.
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by:Darr247
Darr247 earned 125 total points
ID: 39908138
One thing you might try if it happens again is to use a flashlight aimed at the LCD display to see if the backlight has actually failed to illuminate.
More-common with fluorescent backlights (typically driven by a DC to AC inverter board, which is another failure point), it's also possible (but much rarer) on LED backlit LCD screens.
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by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 39908184
I don't think it had anything to do with the monitor as there was no indication of hard drive activity on the computer.
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by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 125 total points
ID: 39908321
I agree you may have a legitimate concern of pending hardware failure. I seen this happen before the powersupply fails in some Dell small form factor cases. But as aadih states if it does not repeat, you don't have to be too concerned at this time. If it happens on a regular basis and the system is still under warranty I would contact HP for a replacement power supply.  If the system is no longer under warranty, I would make sure you keep a back up of your data, then use the system until it fully dies, or if you want to buy a replacement power supply you can go that route. One other thing I would check is to inspect the capacitors on the motherboard, to see if any of them are bulging or leaking. The capacitors are the things that look like tin cans on the mobo. They should be flat across the top and should not show any sign of leakage, such as  which range from a beige  powdery or coffee grounds like substance on the caps. Bad capacitors are that great of an issue over the past 5 or 6 years but they really had some issues over 20 years ago many companies such as Dell, HP and other had many mobo fail due to bad caps.  To see what to look for go to http://www.badcaps.net/
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Author Comment

by:Rodger Reedy
ID: 39908850
Agree that the power supply could be an issue.  The former computer just before this one failed due to the capacitors.  I do regular backups so I will just plod forward and see what develops.  It is beyond the warranty period.
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Jeremy Tyre earned 125 total points
ID: 39909095
There are various power supply testing tools available for very good prices.  These will help you figure out if the is a potential hardware issue and if the power supply needs to be replaced.  Check out this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261023

It could also be a system file issue.  Try running SFC /SCANNOW and see if that shows anything.  

Let me know what you find out.
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