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Computer power button troubles

  1. May 19, 2013 #1

    Mentallic

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    So I can't turn on my computer because the power button is faulty. This has been a problem I've had for years now, and for years I've tried to avoid turning my computer off at all costs and rather would put it to sleep so that I can turn it back on with a press of the keyboard, but someone recently used my computer and shut it down, so I'm stranded here with battered and bruised fingers from pressing the power button so much.

    I've read that it's possible to bypass the power switch by short circuiting something or other, but I'm not going to have any hope in figuring this out alone. I need help.

    Also, it's an acer and the model is an HP Pavilion dm3 Notebook PC.
     
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  3. May 19, 2013 #2

    tiny-tim

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    sometimes the button on the outside of the computer merely presses on another button inside

    have you tried taking the cover off, and looking for an inside button to press?
     
  4. May 19, 2013 #3

    Mentallic

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    My friend suggested tearing off the button and pressing the inside button (if it has one) manually. Is this what you mean? Or by cover do you mean the side of the box?
     
  5. May 19, 2013 #4

    jedishrfu

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    Is this button on your power supply (like right next to the fan)?

    If so you could consider replacing the power supply.
     
  6. May 19, 2013 #5

    Mentallic

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    No, I don't believe it is, but I also want to avoid replacing anything because I'm about to scrap this computer, I just want to turn it on once more to grab some files and transfer them to my new computer. The files aren't worth going through the money and hassle of replacing the power supply though.
     
  7. May 19, 2013 #6

    jedishrfu

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    You could remove your hard drive and get an external HD enclosure with USB connection. I've done that in the past and it works well.

    One caveat is that it works well for FAT FILESYSTEMS not sure about NTFS although I know Linux can read NTFS ( knoppix).
     
  8. May 19, 2013 #7

    Mentallic

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    All I need to do is to short circuit the correct wires to get it started, and if that doesn't work or cannot be done, I'm just going to trash the machine. I'm also not going to be buying anything to fix this, because like I said, the files I want to recover aren't worth putting considerable time and money into, and especially not into hardware that's only going to have a one time use.
     
  9. May 19, 2013 #8

    jedishrfu

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    Yeah I don't like to just throw out hard drives as someone may try grab personal info for it even if I've scrubbed the drive. So if you do throw out the machine drill lots of holes in the drive to make it unusable.
     
  10. May 20, 2013 #9

    tiny-tim

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    yes, that would work too

    but tearing off the outside button might be quite difficult, so unscrewing the cover (or side) and lifting it off, and the outside button with it, might be a lot easier

    i don't know whether this applies generally, but certainly some computers have a convenient finger-sized button on the outside, and a real, much smaller, button fixed to the inner frame
     
  11. May 20, 2013 #10

    Mentallic

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    Thanks, I'll do that.

    I unscrewed the box but couldn't figure out how to take away all the appliances that were in the way , so I tore off the button. Well, this didn't get me any closer to the solution either, so I tore off the entire front and after a bit of fiddling with the wires, I figured out which two connected to the start button. I stripped the protective casings and sparked them together and it started working! :smile:

    Only thing now is I have two free wires hanging there and I don't know if they're dangerous or not so I think I'll just grab what I need and unplug the computer when I'm done.
     
  12. May 20, 2013 #11

    jedishrfu

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    You could convert your machine into a steam punk device by adding a knife switch and some other retro stuff like gears. :-)

    http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/39-amazing-steampunk-computer-mods-200834
     
  13. May 20, 2013 #12

    jim hardy

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    Actually drives are fun to take apart. The head positioner has an incredibly strong rare earth magnet that's great for the fridge. I used one to hold the end on wife's paper towel dispenser instead of that annoying "screw-on thingie" that took about fifty turns... (please pardon that highly technical term)

    Congratulations on your victory.

    Typically those wires have no more than 5 volts on them - they wake up a startup circuit someplace.
    If you didn't see sparks when you "sparked them together" they're probably safe, if you DID see sparks, well, proceed with caution.
     
  14. May 20, 2013 #13

    Integral

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    Laptop or desk top? IF it is a laptop all bets are off, good luck.

    If it is a desktop then just open the case and find the header for the power switch. Now you can just short the pins or replace the switch with a NO momentary contact switch.

    On all motherboards I have worked with the power connection has "power" written next to it.
     
  15. May 20, 2013 #14

    Mentallic

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    Given my handyman skills? Hah! good one :biggrin:


    Thanks, I didn't see any sparks so I have more a peace of mind knowing it's not a big hazard, but my family still won't touch it with a 10ft wooden pole.


    Desktop. May I ask what a no momentary contact switch is? And I'm also wondering what happens if I just wrap the two free wires around themselves. I'm guessing this would be equivalent to holding down the power button nonstop, right?
     
  16. May 20, 2013 #15

    jedishrfu

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    A momentary switch is like a door bell. You press the button and it rings. You hold it done and you might burn out the ringer coil due to the continuous flow of electricity into the coil.
     
  17. May 20, 2013 #16

    Integral

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    Momentary contact, means it returns to off after being pressed. NO, means Normally Open. so it is open in its normal state. You can also find NC or Normally Closed switches.

    If you have access to the wires from the switch, all you need do is briefly touch them together, no need to hold. If you hold for 4 sec it should shut the computer down.
     
  18. May 21, 2013 #17

    tiny-tim

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    so NO doesn't mean no ? :redface:
     
  19. May 21, 2013 #18

    Mentallic

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    Ahh ok thanks.

    Everyone down here in Australia knows the phrase "no means no" as referring to sexual abuse, because of a well-known ad campaign that was circulating for a while. I don't suppose you were implying the same? :tongue:

    One last thing, I'll assume that jim hardy was correct in saying that the two wires probably have 5 volts running through them since I didn't see any sparks on contact, exactly how "safe" is this? Would touching them both together with clammy hands give a similar sensation to sticking your tongue on a 9 volt battery? I'm just trying to gauge whether it's ok handing down this machine to my little sister because she's begging me to give it to her.
     
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