My friend has a Packard Bell Computer 86 (family 6 model) running on windows 2000 pro - when he shuts down the computer a message appears "it is now safe to tun off your computer" - how can we get it to turn off automatically? - I should add that the only way to turn off the computer is to unplug from the wall?
The motherboard/PSU are usually the key here - they need to be an ATX/ACPI, and Windows would have needed to detect it as being ACPI compliant when it was installing the O/S in the first place. If it doesn't detect it properly then you will always get the 'Its now safe...' message as Windows thinks its the 'old-style' AT power/motherboard combination which can't auto power-off.
To my knowledge you can't bypass this without reinstalling the O/S and manually selecting an ACPI Compliant BIOS (press F5 as it starts the install [when it asks about any special SCSI drivers you may have] to be offered a selection menu - scroll to the ACPI compliant option.) NB This will ONLY work IF the motherboard/PSU are ATX and ACPI compliant - Packard/Bell sometimes use 'cheaper' technologies to keep prices down so they might not be.
If it is the older PSU you should turn it off by pushing the main power button on the base unit - you shouldn't need to literally pull the power cord out.
Even if Windows doesn't turn the computer off, the power switch should. Sometimes the BIOS has the option to require the power switch to be held in for a period of time - usually about 4 seconds - before the computer switches off. If the computer is less than about 6 years old, it is fairly safe to assume that it is an ATX system, and so should switch itself off automatically at shutdown. If its nearer 1995 vintage it may have an AT power supply, in which case the power switch should actually break the mains supply to the PSU. You can get a good idea which it is without opening the case because the AT switch will have a more positive click action.