Need help fixing on/off switch for a PC

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MaxTek's picture
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Need help fixing on/off switch for a PC

I have a PC (generic run of the mill beige) that was fine and now won't turn on. The switch has doesn't click anymore. Just the tension of the spring when you push the button, so I am assuming it is bad.

Can I replace it with a regular switch from Ratty Shack? The PC switch is a six pole switch that is only using two poles. A green and white wire going to the motherboard. I bought a two pole switch and wired it up. Once pushed I can hear the hard drive attempt to spin and the ethernet light flash on the back but than nothing. The fan in the power supply never moves. After the hard drive noise and ethernet card light stops I can not do it again until I pull the plug from the power supply and than plug back in.

Do I need a special switch?

Thanks.

MaxTek

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Momentary Pushbutton

Is the machine "reasonably recent", in the sense that it's either an generic ATX motherboard/power supply or a custom (Dell, et al) that supports soft power-off? If that's the case then you need to make sure you use a switch that does *not* "toggle", IE, stay "on" when pressed down. (requiring another push to break the connection.)

You should be able to start the machine by momentarily shorting the two power switch connectors with a screwdriver. (Literally just "tapping" it there for a second or so.) If that doesn't work the problem isn't the switch.

--Peace

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Pent II with switch wires goi

Pent II with switch wires going to the motherboard with a plastic push on connector (ATX style correct?)

The switch I bought was a toggle (push button). So I need a momentary switch? Figures it was 50/50 and I got the wrong one.

Thanks for your speed of light reply.

MaxTek

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Yes, you need a momentary swi

Yes, you need a momentary switch.

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Yeah but...

You can just push it on/off really quickly. It will still work, or what I do for cheap ass customers is to just hookup the reset button to the spot on the motherboard where the power button hooks up.

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Re: Yeah but...

You can just push it on/off really quickly. It will still work, or what I do for cheap ass customers is to just hookup the reset button to the spot on the motherboard where the power button hooks up.

You seem to have the same customers as I do...Hahaha.

I tried the rerouting the reset switch to the on/off motherboard spot. I get the same thing. The processor fan cycles for one second and stops. Its like there is a trickle going to the motherboard but the power supply never kicks in. Pushing the button again does nothing. I have to pull the wall plug out and reinsert and only than will the button make the fan cycle for a second again.

Does it sound like the power supply is bad?

Thanks,

MaxTek

Jon
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Is it an ATX plug to the mobo

Is it an ATX plug to the mobo? If so, you can test the ps by unplugging it from the mobo and shorting the green wire to a black one. If leaving the short on gets the drives to spins up, then it may not be the ps but the mobo. If it does nothing then it is most likely the ps. If it's the older two plugs in a row AT supply, then it's a whole other story, but your description sounds like a normal ATX.

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Re: Is it an ATX plug to the mobo

Is it an ATX plug to the mobo? If so, you can test the ps by unplugging it from the mobo and shorting the green wire to a black one. If leaving the short on gets the drives to spins up, then it may not be the ps but the mobo. If it does nothing then it is most likely the ps. If it's the older two plugs in a row AT supply, then it's a whole other story, but your description sounds like a normal ATX.

It is the one piece ATX plug.

I unplugged it from the motherboard and got a piece of wire and stuck it in the green connector and found a black connector on the ATX plug and the hard drive spun right up and stayed spinning.

So that means the motherboard is bad? What now? How does a PC user transfer all their email and documents from a PC that has a bad hard drive? If the bad PC is using Windows ME and the new PC is using Windows ME can the drives be swapped? Or is there too much hardware info stored in Windows that the new PC will not boot etc?

Does that make sense?

MaxTek

Jon
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One thing to check is if the

One thing to check is if the CPU and RAM are seated correctly. If they aren't the mobo might not start up. Several Slot 1 P2&P3 mobos didn't include the retaining clips on the Slot socket, so the CPU is held in only by the friction of the edge connector and friction of the slides the CPU is guided into the slot with. In a tower system this can mean the CPU is hanging sideways from the vertical mobo and can vibrate/be knocked loose in some cases.

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Re: One thing to check is if the

One thing to check is if the CPU and RAM are seated correctly. If they aren't the mobo might not start up. Several Slot 1 P2&P3 mobos didn't include the retaining clips on the Slot socket, so the CPU is held in only by the friction of the edge connector and friction of the slides the CPU is guided into the slot with. In a tower system this can mean the CPU is hanging sideways from the vertical mobo and can vibrate/be knocked loose in some cases.

This tower has the CPU retaining clips. I reseated the ram and removed the Pent II CPU and took it apart and cleaned it and put it back together with new thermal compound. Same issue.

It was very dirty and does have some areas that look like they got pretty hot. But still have no way of knowing which is bad, the motherboard or CPU.

Do you have any idea about my hard drive question above?

Jon
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If it is a bad, it's a bad dr

If it is a bad, it's a bad drive. I suspect you meant recovering file from a PC with a bad mobo, but a good drive. It would be as easy as putting the drive in the new PC as a second drive an either leaving it as that or copying the needed info over and then removing it. It might also be good to mount it in an external case so it can be enabled as needed and stored when not, which might increase its remaining life span.

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Re: If it is a bad, it's a bad dr

If it is a bad, it's a bad drive. I suspect you meant recovering file from a PC with a bad mobo, but a good drive. It would be as easy as putting the drive in the new PC as a second drive an either leaving it as that or copying the needed info over and then removing it. It might also be good to mount it in an external case so it can be enabled as needed and stored when not, which might increase its remaining life span.

The hard drive is good. I meant the motherboard and/or the cpu. I heard it is very hard to locate certain data like email when doing something with drive as you suggested. Hidden or invisible folders etc.

thanks for all your help.

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Re: Is it an ATX plug to the mobo

Is it an ATX plug to the mobo? If so, you can test the ps by unplugging it from the mobo and shorting the green wire to a black one. If leaving the short on gets the drives to spins up, then it may not be the ps but the mobo. If it does nothing then it is most likely the ps. If it's the older two plugs in a row AT supply, then it's a whole other story, but your description sounds like a normal ATX.

Of course this PC troubleshooting has turned into a nightmare. First I took your advice (which I appreciate) and shorted the green wire to the black one and the drive spun right up. So I found a motherboard on Ebay and got it in the mail today. Installed everything and the same thing. Nothing. Except now when I try shorting the green wire to the black one on the power supply it barely makes a noise. Just a faint sound like the hard drive is doing something but definitely not spinning up. Messed around for an hour before I gave up and took out the power supply from my personal pc (which isn't in use anyways) and the bad PC fired right up with the new ps.

So the question is, can the ps be dying and still pass the green and black short? Now I have an extra pentium II motherboard with cpu.

MaxTek

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Re: Is it an ATX plug to the mobo

So the question is, can the ps be dying and still pass the green and black short? Now I have an extra pentium II motherboard with cpu.

Yes.

First rule of PC troubleshooting is to swap every part you have a spare for before you go buying stuff. ;^b

--Peace

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Re: If it is a bad, it's a bad dr


The hard drive is good. I meant the motherboard and/or the cpu. I heard it is very hard to locate certain data like email when doing something with drive as you suggested. Hidden or invisible folders etc.

thanks for all your help.

No, it's really easy. You can just show hidden files, show system files, then go to the root, documents and settings, find your user, then just do a *.pst for outlook search, making sure to include hidden and system files. you can do a search for "outlook express" in that folder and it will come up with the store info.

this might help
How OE stores files on your hard disk

All of your OE mail folders and messages, local IMAP and Hotmail folders and messages, and all of your subscribed newsgroups and messages are stored in one folder called the store root, or store root folder, or store folder, and in at least one place in OE, the Store root directory. It's default location is

C:\Windows\Application Data\Outlook Express\{GUID}
or
C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{GUID}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

where {GUID} is the Global Unique IDentifier (technical jargon for a unique long number) used to specify an Identity. Depending on your operating system and upgrade history, your store folder might be located elsewhere. To determine the location of your store, click Tools| Options| Maintenance| Store folder.

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Re: If it is a bad, it's a bad dr


The hard drive is good. I meant the motherboard and/or the cpu. I heard it is very hard to locate certain data like email when doing something with drive as you suggested. Hidden or invisible folders etc.

thanks for all your help.

No, it's really easy. You can just show hidden files, show system files, then go to the root, documents and settings, find your user, then just do a *.pst for outlook search, making sure to include hidden and system files. you can do a search for "outlook express" in that folder and it will come up with the store info.

this might help
How OE stores files on your hard disk

All of your OE mail folders and messages, local IMAP and Hotmail folders and messages, and all of your subscribed newsgroups and messages are stored in one folder called the store root, or store root folder, or store folder, and in at least one place in OE, the Store root directory. It's default location is

C:\Windows\Application Data\Outlook Express\
or
C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\\Microsoft\Outlook Express

where is the Global Unique IDentifier (technical jargon for a unique long number) used to specify an Identity. Depending on your operating system and upgrade history, your store folder might be located elsewhere. To determine the location of your store, click Tools| Options| Maintenance| Store folder.

Thank you very much for that very helpful info. MaxTek

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