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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The power button on my tower has decided to give me problems, it want's to slide inside the housing. I have everything plugged into a power strip, so thats how I've been turning it on and off. Am I hurting anything doing this?
 

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Master Of My Domain
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by totally cutting the power, eventually the battery that allows the pc to holds it's settings will die. then you may have to set things up again if you are not using the default BIOS settings.
 

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THe BIOS is seldom battery powered its ususally EEPROM, The clock is usually the only thing battery powered on modern mother boards.


As long as she is propertly shutting down the computer and letting it power itself off (or shutdown to an off request ) then the power strip is fine.
 

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Miniature Horse lover
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The BIOS is seldom battery powered its usually EEPROM, The clock is usually the only thing battery powered on modern mother boards.


As long as she is properly shutting down the computer and letting it power itself off (or shutdown to an off request ) then the power strip is fine.
Yes that is about it.
I have been doing this power-strip shutting off the entire machine (only when it is completely Shutdown) and after SIX Years my battery finally needed to be replaced, I did that, and the CLOCK was the ONLY thing that needed to be reset.~! Real easy now I am set for another 6 years but I will have a new puter before that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Therin lies the problem--and it sounds as if I'M causing one.
The only way I can avoid using the tower button (on/off switch) is to shut off/ turn on the computer by the power strip. Couse I can turn it off the right way-but then I can't turn it on, without using the button.
So, I'm guessing, by what Meloc said, I'm setting myself up for bigger problems.
(Is whatever holds the "button" in place just worn out?)
 

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Miniature Horse lover
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Are you not using the Shut down Part?? Where you click on the Start Menu click on turn off computer, and then a prompt comes up and asks you what you want to do? Restart, Shutdown, etc?
Isn't That the way you been shutting down the computer??
Doing the powerstrip saves electricity that is why AFTER the computer Does Shut Down on its own, then I kill the power strip.
If you are just Killing the power while the Computer is up and running, it IS hard on it to do it that way and may cause problems.
 

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Voice of Reason
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So, I'm guessing, by what Meloc said, I'm setting myself up for bigger problems.
I'm with Gary in this one. I think continuing to use the power strip switch will be fine.

I'm not seeing rechargeable batteries on mainboards any longer. I haven't see those since the 486 days. Today you mostly see Lithium CMOS batteries that are roughly the size & shape of a nickel, and my understanding is that they are not rechargeable.
 

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If you are willing to open up the computer you might find that it would be an easy chore to fix the switch. I had this happen on one of my computers and when I opened it up I found that the switch mechanism was held in with a form of "hot" glue. I used my hot glue gun to reinforce the mounting of the switch parts and it has been ok now for over a year. As long as the switch will still open and close you can use gobs of hot glue to hold it in place. I think the switch only switches around 5 volts so there is no problem with shorting or leaking through the hot glue. This would sure beat what you have to go through now.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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this was updated last month, but who knows? you guys know more than i do.



"A CR2032 CMOS battery is not designed to be rechargeable; that is, to be able to go from being fully charged to being fully discharged and then recharged repeatedly. However, it does receive a trickle charge when the computer is switched on. This extends the life of the battery considerably if the computer is used regularly. Such a battery can last up to five years or more. However, it discharges completely in a few weeks if the computer isn't used, because it keeps the CMOS BIOS chip powered up. The motheboards are shipped from China with the CMOS jumper it its disconnected position to prevent the battery from discharging.
Most motherboard vendors and PC manufacturer's set the jumper in its enabled position when the motherboard or PC containing the motherboard is sold. However, motherboards can be sold with the jumper in its disabled position, which renders the PC that uses a motherboard in that state unable to retain customised settings. A dead or disabled CMOS battery usually produces an invalid-settings or settings-lost message at startup, not a blank screen. The user would then have to enter the BIOS and enable and save its default or failsafe or optimal setting every time the PC starts up.
With ATX motherboards, the power supply provides power to the CMOS chip if the PC iitself is switched off but is attached to the mains supply, which is switched on. A user who unplugs the PC from the mains or switches the power off at the mains supply, will shorten the life of the CMOS battery. "

http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/BIOS.htm
 

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Voice of Reason
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However, it does receive a trickle charge when the computer is switched on. This extends the life of the battery considerably if the computer is used regularly.
I actually wasn't aware of that. Thanks.

But the fact remains that he still intends to use the computer regularly, which should be enough to keep the battery up.
 

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"A CR2032 CMOS battery is not designed to be rechargeable ... However, it does receive a trickle charge when the computer is switched on ... However, it discharges completely in a few weeks if the computer isn't used ... A user who unplugs the PC from the mains or switches the power off at the mains supply, will shorten the life of the CMOS battery. "
http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/BIOS.htm
The ONLY part quoted above that's not complete BS, is the first phrase. Lithium batteries DO NOT receive a trickle charge from the motherboard, and they DO NOT go flat in a few weeks if the computer isn't used. Whoever wrote that doesn't know what he's talking about, and is mixing in some things that apply to the rechargeable batteries some motherboards used to use.

When I need a battery for a motherboard, the first place I look is in all the old computers lying around here. Most of them are in the 8-10 year old range, haven't been powered on in YEARS, and most likely still have their original battery. Half of these batteries are still good, and I usually get a couple years' use out of them. And my computers always get line power turned off with a power strip or UPS after they're shut down.

But, thanks for the reminder of how easy it is to find bad advice on the internet.

Many computers have a setting for what you want it to do when the power comes on, the choices being stay off, power on, or last state. I usually set it to come on when the power is turned on. That setting is there so you can make it do what you want if you turn off AC power with a power strip.
 

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Voice of Reason
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The ONLY part quoted above that's not complete BS, is the first phrase. Lithium batteries DO NOT receive a trickle charge from the motherboard, and they DO NOT go flat in a few weeks if the computer isn't used.
That's always been my understanding.
 

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My two cents.

Shutting down a computer by basically just cutting the power, by outlet strip or ripping the power cord out of the wall is begging for disaster.

When shutting down, there are certain steps the OS needs to perform before powering off.

It is the exact same thing as loosing the power every day. Eventually you will crash and that's that.

The only time you should do a cold boot or shut down is in an emergency when all else fails.

Sounds to me that this is a Win98 machine which really makes the point moot at this point. It's old and out of date anyway.

Unless you use the steps that Backwoodsman said.
 

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Miniature Horse lover
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And if th is what you are doing the best in the world you should be doing then is just LEAVE the bugger ON Never turn it off. You can set it to go to "Sleep" But leave the machine running, 24/7. The is a specific order in which programs shut down, and Windows has many on the back ground that you do not see. Shutting down at any point time by using a power strip may just Leave one or more Programs hanging in mid air, and bingo you will crash the machine at some point in time.
Leave it ON never shutting it down would then be a better option. IMO.
Heck at work we Made parts for the hard drives those robots were ALL controlled by computers and Never never shut down even when the unit was not working. UNLESS the unit was going to be for an Extended period of time like Months.~! But that was the only case, other then that they ran 24/7 365~!! For Years and Years some were old Windows 95 some even older then that and still working just fine.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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i won't argue if it is possible to trickle charge a NiCad, the important issue is if the system will lose any settings if it is totally disconnected from power. in a sense, gary is correct. some, or even many pc's have a flashable bios. i should have stated that the cmos can be cleared with a loss of power and that could result in the use of default settings from whatever bios the system has...flashable, non-flashable...whatever. if the user has settings that are not the default settings (it happens often in custom built machines), a loss of power can clear the cmos if the battery is dead. if that happens, the default settings programmed on the bios chip, whatever bios chip, are used. if they don't jive with what your setup requires, you may then need to change settings to get things running properly again. this is how i understand it to the best of my knowledge and according to dozens of pages of bogus info on the web concerning bios, cmos and the use of jumpers to clear the cmos. apparently the clock is not the only thing that requires energy to retain settings. so, if a person were to rely on the battery by disconnecting the power on a routine basis, eventually the battery will die and the cmos settings will be lost resulting in the use of default settings, again from whatever bios you have.

there is lots of interesting reading if you google all of the terms...eeprom, bios, cmos, battery...and if you believe any of it.

as to the switch, the hot glue sounds like the best advice given by anyone. i have rigged switches for several machines. i built a few ATX machine in AT cases and had to rig a switch to the motherboard instead of the 115v switching directly to the power supply. the only problem is that with some cases, you have a real hard time getting the front panel off. some are screwed on and others have tabs that can break if you don't have 4 hands to "jimmy" all of the tabs when you try to remove it. then again, others allow direct access to everything you need. the only way to find out is to try.
 

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Voice of Reason
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i won't argue if it is possible to trickle charge a NiCad
But they haven't used NiCad CMOS batteries since the 486 days (they didn't work very well in that application). They use Lithium CMOS batteries now.
 

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Master Of My Domain
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dude...whatever. if you want to argue, talk to the hand. it's about power loss not charging batteries.
 

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I'll second the hot glue fix. I've used hot glue to secure power switches more than few times when case modding. It holds up pretty well.

If the button is too far gone for the hot glue fix and you aren't terribly concerned with appearance, you can remove the actual power switch from the button mechanism and feed it out the hole in the case that the button occupied so it's accessible. The switch is usually held to the button assembly with plastic tabs and is pretty easy to seperate.
 

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Voice of Reason
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I'll second the hot glue fix. I've used hot glue to secure power switches more than few times when case modding. It holds up pretty well.

If the button is too far gone for the hot glue fix and you aren't terribly concerned with appearance, you can remove the actual power switch from the button mechanism and feed it out the hole in the case that the button occupied so it's accessible. The switch is usually held to the button assembly with plastic tabs and is pretty easy to seperate.
Better yet, get a new case. Heck, they start at only $20. It's a job to transplant everything into the new case, but everyone will think you got a new computer! :)
 
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