I have a 3 year old Win98 machine with an AMD 800 processor. All has been fine until now. When i attempt to switch on, the power LED and the hard drive LED comes on and nothing happens. The reset button and the on/off buttons do nothing when pressed. The only thing i can do is switch off at the mains to get the PC to switch off. After several attempts (by switchng off at the mains) the machine will come on and behave normally. Once on, I can leave it on for hpurs and all is fine. I tried booting from a floppy start-up disc to test if the problem was the hard drive, but the same thing happens, nothing.
Hi Dave. This is a puzzle. Assuming that you have an ATX system, the on/off button is only a momentary contact via the mothreboard to the power supply. When this button fails to control the on/off switching the normal advice is to check the switch connection to the motherboard, the ATX power connector to the motherboard, the switch itself, the power supply itself and finally the motherboard for continuity between the switch connector and the ATX power connector. The puzzle is that the reset switch is an entirely different function and I can't think of anything that would cause both switch functions to fail - unless there is a possibility that the wires joining the switches to the motherboard have been strained and the connectors pulled off the motherboard, or the case front panel dislodged so that the plastic button pushers are not acting on the actual switches.
I had an almost identical problem in February/March, also included was excessive fragmentation of the HDD, and constant searching by the HDD. I tried adding extra RAM, reinstalling all my cards, replacing network card and removing it from the network, all to no avail.
Then I disabled Fast Find, for a totally different reason, and all has been well since then.
Thanks for the suggestions. no I haven't installed anything new for ages, yesterday it switched on 1st time perfectly, it does sometimes, then other days the power comes on and nothing happens and the on/off switch and the reset button do nothing, all i can do is switch off at the mains and try again.
Hi Dave. In addition to what I said above, in an ATX system the motherboard does have control of the power switching. The BIOS will often include the option to delay switch off, and of course the automatic switch off at shut-down etc. Therefore it is quite possible that there is a motherboard fault that affects both the reset switch and power switch. If you've checked everything else, then I think a motherboard fault is most likely.
Thanks again for responses. There doesn't seem to be any loose wires and the neither of the switches (on/off reset) has any effect. It does come on but just sits there with the powere and HD LEDs on without booting and the monitor LED flashes like it does of the PC is off. Once when i switried to switch it on it kept beeping.