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Shutting Down With The Power Button:

by Stiff Paul / September 27, 2007 12:58 PM PDT

Hi! I had to shut down my pc because it froze up and I could'nt shut it off any other way. I would like to know if this will hurt my pc?

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reply
by caktus / September 27, 2007 4:26 PM PDT

Note: If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

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Locked up? No it won't.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 27, 2007 10:01 PM PDT

While more info could tell more, the answer is that it's the off swich, plain and simple.

Bob

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Not usually
by ChuckT / September 28, 2007 7:55 AM PDT

While it will not hurt your computer, you MIGHT lose some information in any files you had open at the time.

More often than not, all that you might see is some delay in the next start of your computer, while some file closure and clean-up happens.

There might be, more than likely, some oddities that windows do not re-open to the properties you thought you had set prior to the forced shutdown.

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Shut down
by PKsteven / September 30, 2007 7:42 PM PDT

To put it this way, it's not the best practice to do a shut down in such a way, however it is needed many times. I often say, if Windows is going to make you shut down cold, make a kick button on the side so you get some satisfaction out of it.

So really, it's not deemed "good" for a computer, not so much the shut down but those who shut it down, don't allow X amount of time for hard drives to stop spinning, etc...and then hit the switch back on immediately.

Other than that, as Bob said, it's a shutdown switch. It needs to be used sometimes and as long as you don't do this constantly or as I mentioned above, not give components a 10 to 15 second shut down time, then you can be causing some grief to the system. So I wouldn't worry about it.

Paul

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Shutting Down With The Power Button
by Michael Yeo / October 12, 2007 1:54 PM PDT

Hi Stiff Paul, it could be either that you might have not shut off your computer completely, SAFE MODE or hang. However, it's best that you get a computer repair person to diagnose your problem.

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The short answer is no ......
by HJBartz / October 12, 2007 2:14 PM PDT

but i take it that you are talking about the power button on the computer box not the power switch on your power point (although i have had occassions where the power button on the box just would not do its job so had to switch off at the mains).

Its a pity that the manufacturers of the latest motherboards and computer boxes have removed the reset button - since you dont mention that i take it that you dont have a reset button.

But i do recommend that you have someone look at your computer and find out why it froze in the first place.

cheers

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Re: had to switch off at the mains
by ChuckT / October 12, 2007 5:09 PM PDT

I know that the "Power" switches on modern computers do not immediately remove power from the computer (unless there is a BIOS setting that demands some action with such a push). Instead, pushing the "Power" button is only a signal for your OS to perform some defined action in your Power Options Properties, Advanced, Power buttons selection.

But, HJBartz, perhaps you were not aware that holding the holding in the "Power" switch for about 5 or 6 seconds does indeed force the power off the computer. You don't have to use the "mains" switch (some switch on an external power strip?) as long as you can wait the 5 or 6 seconds.

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as long as you can wait the 5 or 6 seconds
by HJBartz / October 13, 2007 12:15 AM PDT

Obviously you've never had an AT box with a faulty power switch where the last switch-on was the straw that broke the camel's back - so to speak. (you know, those boxes where the power button was actually hard-wired into the power supply? Happy )

btw now that you've mentioned it: if the setting in Power Options Properties, Advanced, Power buttons is set to "do nothing" or any of the other settings found there what do you do when your computer freezes? Obviously there is some inter-action between the bios and the OS on this - ie what controls the switch - the bios or the OS? - see what i mean?

cheers

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Obviously you don't know me
by ChuckT / October 13, 2007 4:02 AM PDT

I have had many, many dozens of computers, since about 1972. I also spent at least 20 years supporting many hundreds of computers at a major corporation. I mentioned that all modern computers have "Power" switches wired through a signal to the BIOS. That is why a quoted "Power" since it really isn't, but then again ...

As for the settings in the Power Settings of the control panel, when they are set to "do nothing" and what to do when your computer freezes - you hold the "Power" button for those 5 or 6 seconds. That action will force the power to be halted. That will be no less good-or-bad as pressing a Reset switch if you have one. And if you don't have one, then press the "Power" button for those 5 or 6 seconds.

You asked "Obviously there is some inter-action between the bios and the OS on this - ie what controls the switch - the bios or the OS? - see what i mean?"

No I don't. The "Power" switch is wired to the motherboard (not to the power supply), and the BIOS "watches" over the status of that switch. The switch is only a momentary-action switch - it does not have a defined position or other position, such as flip it up and it is on, and flip it down it is off. It just is a signal to the circuitry and firmware of the motherboard. When that switch is pushed momentarily it signals the BIOS to process the settings of how to handle that signal. Typically it will just pass on another signal to the OS to have the OS determine what you want the action to be. that may be to initiate a shut down, or to initiate a sleep mode, to initiate a hibernate, or to do nothing. But if your computer is "frozen" it will never get to the code that defines "what do we do when we get the 'Power' signal."

It is during those times that you hold the "Power" switch for those 5 or 6 seconds and the BIOS has the additional override when it knows to tell the power supply to stop, no questions asked.

Now, I have seen at least one computer BIOS setting where it had an option to immediately shut off power if the "Power" button is pushed. Usually you won't see that, I would think. And actually I would never select that setting anyway.

What's a person to do if they can't wait the 5 or 6 seconds? Like you are seeing smoke and or flames coming out of the computer? THEN reach for the 'mains' (as you called them), or simply pull the AC plug out of the computer.

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Obviously you don't know me .........
by HJBartz / October 13, 2007 8:43 PM PDT

that's obvious and it goes both ways - i can only claim to have been involved in computers since 1984/85. Since then i've built a large number of 'white' boxes for myself and clients (with ongoing service support). I would have to agree with you re the modern boards and the power switch (btw there would be less confusion if we just called it the 'on/off/reset' button - still get asked by some of my clients "where's the reset button?").

re: you hold the "Power" button for those 5 or 6 seconds .... there are always exceptions to the rule. Like you can hold the on/off switch in for as long as you like and still nothing happens - except your finger turns blue.

re: I have seen at least one computer BIOS setting ..... every ATX motherboard that i have seen so far has that option plus more clearly visible. (i'm talking about retail motherboards, not OEM such as IBM, Dell etc. - you would, with your experience, appreciate the difference)

re: Like you are seeing smoke and or flames coming out of the computer ... firstly, you can say, with a high degree of certainty, that the computer has been "fried"; secondly, in this scenario, never ever advise anyone to pull the AC plug out the back of the computer - first action will be to place a hand on top of the computer ( smoke/flame = short in the power supply = unknown path of electricity = possible painfull electric shock and at 240 volts AC, in my case, that aint pleasant). I've actually had the experience of the plastic encasing the ac cord melting due to a short in the power supply (but that is another story). Anyway i now keep a small CO2 extinguisher handy on my work bench and in my office.

re: The switch is only a momentary-action switch - it does not have a defined position or other position, such as flip it up and it is on, and flip it down it is off .... ah, that's a typical definition of the reset button. And, in fact, all it does is temporarily bridge two contacts in the switch casing. When you release the button the switch itself returns to the previous state. The power button, however, in all of the cases i use has a definite on and off position even though you cannot see it by looking at the switch button.

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RE: Shutting Down With The Power Button
by RClayton / October 13, 2007 7:39 AM PDT

I have had to shut down using the power button many times in the past because of the system freezing. I found another solution that helps me 2 fold. I installed RAM FREE PRO from CNET's download site.
With this program you can control/free up ram and force a shut down or a restart from the systray. I found this to work every time for me!
FreeRAM XP Pro, optimizes computer RAM (Random Access Memory).
This software is available for download from CNET and Simtel, among many other sources.
Hope this option helps..

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Yes & No
by prince10bee / October 13, 2007 12:17 PM PDT

Pressing the POWER button on your computer will shut it down (close all programs, shut down windows, and turn off your computer). Pressing the RESET button will restart your computer improperly (without closing your programs & shutting down Windows). Only press this if your computer freezes. Do not use it as a form to restart your computer under normal conditions. Pressing the button probably won't harm your computer but I wouldn't take chances.

P.S. Switching your power supply off will improperly shut down your computer (without closing your programs & closing windows). I also wouldn't take chances with this button. (Only press it after properly putting the system in sleep mode (or shutting it down).) The only time you would want to turn this off if you need to open your computer (which you probably will never do).

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PC Froze UP Again:
by Stiff Paul / October 13, 2007 1:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes & No

Hi! I had to shut my laptop PC with the power button again last night after going to a website called www.camstreams.com My pc got locked up while viewing that sight. My pc froze I could not use my mouse or use the task manager to close programs. When I turned my laptop back on my firewall stopped working. I could not get it to stay turned on. I did a restore to an early date but that didn't solve the problem. I even did a virus and spyware scan. I had to end up doing a compleat PC restore. I have a Gateway Laptop with 2 gig of ram, 160 harddrive. AMD Turion 64 dual prosesser. I bought the laptop in Oct. 2006. And I have Windows Live 1 care for protection. I think sometimes shutting off with the power button can mess up a pc sometimes.... Take Care! Paul

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If
by PKsteven / October 14, 2007 10:56 PM PDT
In reply to: PC Froze UP Again:

you are getting freeze ups, you may be having other issues like over heating or power supply or others, unless it was a corrupted OS and your reinstall solves the issue.

If you think that way of the power button, I look at my 10 year old Athlon which is still ticking has been shut down by power button more times than I could dare to count, as well as my 5 year old HP, oh , I do have an oldie in my basement too from ancient Egypt, with DOS. that one has been shut down by power button many times, still runs though.

Of course I could quit using the power button, maybe I'll get another 40 out of that one....

Paul

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Win XP - hangs before shutting down
by Grey / October 15, 2007 3:03 AM PDT
In reply to: If

I had the hanging problems for many months. Finally I read in one of the Forums the solution and since I installed it, now over a month, the problem is gone.
Windows XP users: The User Profile Hive Cleanup service helps to ensure user sessions are completely terminated when a user logs off. System processes and applications occasionally maintain connections to registry keys in the user profile after a user logs off. In those cases the user session is prevented from completely ending. This can result in problems delaying or hangs when users shutdown Windows.



To accomplish this, the service monitors for logged off users that still have registry hives loaded. When that happens the service determines which applications have handles opened to the hives and releases them. It logs the application name and what registry keys were left open. After this the system finishes unloading the profile.

Using this service will speed up the shutting down process of Windows XP users.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1B286E6D-8912-4E18-B570-42470E2F3582&displaylang=en

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been...
by PKsteven / October 15, 2007 4:36 AM PDT

around that for a while. While good info, it doesn't do much in the way of a complete freeze up. When you get a complete system freeze, the only option IS and WILL be, the power button or a reset button unless one prefers to kick the cord or power off the PSU.

I guess I don't understand all the phenomena surrounding the power button. While it's not good practice to use as a regular shut down <all the time> Sometimes it is simply needed or it wouldn't be there. Not waiting for components to fully shut down before re-powering is what will really stress the components.

Paul

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Laptop froze up again
by mikepro1 / October 15, 2007 2:48 PM PDT
In reply to: PC Froze UP Again:

Heat. It screws em up. Laptops get so hot they're unconfortable to set in your lap! ALWAYS place laptop on a hard flat surface to ensure no vents are blocked. (And the fan should be whizzing along fast)

The high heat levels affect the tolerance of internal components, i.e., capacitors, resisters, etc. This will de-stable the PC.

{Although an outside chance, the website may have been secretly downloading or scanning your PC. Interrupting it may have lead to the problem.)

Lastly, whenever you can't get a normal Restore, go into F8 and select: Last known good configurstion.

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When not to power down.
by mwooge / October 13, 2007 9:00 PM PDT

A bit off-topic but: do not power down or even reset until the system is up and running. When the computer is still going through its startup procedures, it's sometimes writing to the registry. Forcing a power-down or reset at this time will destroy the registry.

If this happens, you can repair the HD by restoring the registry, assuming you have a backup. The rest of the data on the HD should still be there.

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