Harddrives are cheap nowdays but they are also starting to go out faster as the capacity rises and also more cheaply designed for profit. Run smart and look at the days each hd has run. It doesn't matter what drive I have used in the last 5 years, they do not last like they used to. I have shut one pc down everynight and left one running every night but lose hd's no matter which but I do not replace as often the hd on the pc I shut down everynight.
I've found that a lot of times you can cure this problem on a laptop by shutting the lid for a second or two, then reopening it. There is a magnetic (or other) switch that will detect the close/open, then send a internal signal to wake up the display. ~~~~~~~~~ scross, Thank you for passing that tip along. I hope I don't experience that problem anymore, but if I do I'll keep this in mind.
A question about power button shutting down pc: I've had two BSODs in three days. I used the power button to shut down the pc and it shut down very fast. When I used power button to start computer I get the Windows screen saying it was shut down improperly and there is a critical kernel error in the Event Viewer. Is this from Windows shutting down the pc and presenting a BSOD, or did using the power button do this? (not that I had any choice).
Power button = clean shutdown without user interaction.
I've got an old XP system in the basement, maybe I'll check it this weekend.
One single push - release of the power button makes the shutdown menu appear on all my XP systems.
Even when the machine is completely locked? I find that hard to believe. The ONLY reason to ever use the power button is when the machine is hopelessly frozen and you have tried everything you can think to try to unlock it just enough to get a normal shutdown but nothing gets you that. That is when you finally, with no other choices left, resort to the power button and an improper shutdown. In this situation, a single, quick push will accomplish nothing. Only holding the button in until it does a hard shutdown works. If a single push brings about the shut down screen, and it actually will shut down normally then, well, then the power button was unneeded. You should be able to get to the shut down screen via task manager so the only time that power button is needed is when there is a total freeze with 100% CPU (or close) being utilized. In that situation, you have no maneuverability. -- When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
Obviously this doesn't apply to a locked-up computer. We are discussing that the power button executes a clean system shutdown.
If the computer is locked up, then clean shutdown is by definition not possible. If you could cause the shutdown program to execute, then it wasn't locked up.
As for all the crap about "the ONLY reason to ever use the power button is when the machine is hopelessly frozen", well, it's crap. If power button and Start->Shutdown are functionally equivalent, then it is simple user preference as to which you use.
Recall, I started this tangent in response to bullshit postings about how you must 'never' shut down a PC with the power button. Over a decade ago, the PC power system was re-designed so that no-one ever needed to offer that advice again. Normal use of the power button is now just a way to tell the OS that the power button was pressed (with the 'long press' as a backup in case the OS isn't listening).
I've got an old XP system in the basement, maybe I'll check it this weekend.
System is XP, latest patch level, installed by me recently (the 'old' refers to the hardware), no specific power configuration, pretty much out-of-the-box.
System is sitting at the 'classic' desktop.
I pressed the power button.
The screen switched to an 'XP-style' display with darker blue bands top and bottom, saying something to the effect of 'logging you off'. That message then changed to 'saving your settings', and then it changed to 'Windows is shutting down'.
After about 20 seconds with heavy disk activity, all lights went off on the PC: the power had been removed.
So, what have we shown?
1. Power button = clean shutdown (there are OS messages saying so!)
2. Power button = shutdown without user interaction, at least as configured on my XP PC.
I suppose some of you may have Windows computers that don't do clean shutdown on power-button, but I've never run into one of them since ACPI replaced APM (around Windows 2000, I think), so I can't explain that.
Right now there are 6 Windows desktop computers in the house, and they all behave the way I describe in this post, making allowances for the fact that I described XP and 4 of them run Windows 7. (The 2 laptops are different, they're configured so power button = sleep). The two Windows PCs in my office at work behave the same way too. This is not arcane voodoo, it's just how the hardware and software are supposed to work together -- it's designed like that precisely so no-one has to say "you mustn't use the power button to shut down Windows".
While this does show what you are taking about, I think the unknown here in this case is how long did you hold the power button.
I know on my system, if I hold it long enough, it will just power it off hard (like if I unplugged the power cord). However, if I press it for like 1-2 seconds, and then release, it does exactly what you have said.
The time duration may be different from system to system, depending on settings. But, I think that may be what people are confused about in this thread, as it relates to "using the power button to shut off the computer". Done correctly, like you have shown, it does do a "graceful" shutdown of the OS, and all is good.
However, if you hold the power button, and it instead does a "forced" shutdown (same as pulling power cord), then that is not good.
All I'm getting at is when you say "I pressed the power button" does not explain fully how long you pressed it.
I did "press and release". I didn't see anything because I was looking at a BSOD screen which turned black when I pressed the power button.
Ah. If you're looking at the blue-screen-of-death, then you don't have a running operating system to be shut down. Windows has already crashed. You are looking at its suicide note. The improper shutdown has already happened. Nothing you can now do except to remove the power.
(Aside: why do operating systems crash? Because not crashing would be worse. The kernel ceases operation because it has discovered that it isn't working properly - and, for example, allowing a known-behaving-badly system to continue to write files may result in total file system destruction in the worst cases).
Dell says you must hold the power button 10 seconds to get it to do a hard shut down not 3-4 seconds. Even if there is no lockup, pressing the power button for a couple of seconds does NOTHING on a Dell XPS (I have tried it in the past when this same discussion has come up here).
I guess Dell didn't get the message about the redesign of the PC power system. They very clearly state, as late as 2006, to never use the power button for shut down because doing so risks loss of data because the shutdown will be abrupt. -- When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
1) Try holding the power button down while timing until the power goes off. I bet it's under 10 secs. In any case that's a detail: the point is that there are separate soft-off and hard-off actions, distinguished by press time.
2) Since the PC *does* implement ACPI (it's a fundamental piece of the architecture, not an individual vendr choice), it is surely a matter of configuration as to what the soft power button does. Have you looked at the settings?
I'm not sure if it's real or imagined, but I have the impression that using the power button shuts down a little faster than using the Start button. I take my laptop home every day and so power it off twice a day or more if I need to take my laptop somewhere at work.
I work in IT and have the need to power off/reboot many computers. I always opt for the power button first and the Start button last. When it comes to reboots, if in front of the unit, I will power it off and then power it back on rather than issue a reboot via Start. There is a satisfaction knowing there was a full power cycle versus just a software cycle. -- Strange as it seems, no amount of learning can cure stupidity, and formal education positively fortifies it. -- Stephen Vizinczey
From a 2002 Dell User's Guide. The Power button behavior is configurable. Pressing and holding the power button for 6 seconds will always result in Computer Turns Off. -- i before e, except after c... weird?
You are referring to Power Options Properties/Advanced button. I have not looked at that tab in over six years. I set it the day I got the computer (all of Power Options) exactly as I have set all computers set since my first one. I didn't remember there is a box there for Power Button. It says "Ask Me What to Do". I have never been asked what to do on the few occasions I have been forced to use the Power button when the computer is on. I have never been asked what to do on the rare occasions where I have the computer turned off and have to use the power button to start it. So, I guess that doesn't work. I have never used the power button on any computer when it is on (which is 99.9% of the time) except when a lockup has occurred and it is the only thing I can do. I rarely use the power button to turn the computer on because I rarely turn it off.
The only time I ever look at anything to do with Power Settings is if my screensaver or the monitor acts up. Screen saver and Stand down for the monitor were a mess on 98SE but that was due to buggy programs like one from American Express that had hardware attached to the computer preventing Stand down (monitor only) and to Power Savings itself...I recall having to uninstall and reinstall Power Savings many times on 98SE. Then on my first XP computer, the monitor would never turn off but that turned out to be an nVidia bug and was eventually fixed. After it was fixed, many years ago, I never needed to look at any of that after setting it up on the first day on a computer. My screensavers rarely act up on XP.
I recall Vista and Windows 7 have a HORRIBLE power savings interface. It took way too long, in Win 7 public beta I had, to get Windows set up like in my other computers for Power Savings. I was treated like I was about two years old and totally without any understanding of Windows and had to wade through a ton of junk to be able to set Power Savings up. Power Savings in XP is far superior as it is very fast to set up.
I remember Windows 7 actually scolded me for setting it up the way I wanted it. That was ridiculous. I have that ridiculousness to look forward to when I get a new computer.
Edit: This is hilarious. I checked one of my virtual XP machines that I have had since 2006. Evidently, I NEVER ONCE looked at the Advanced button on Power Options Properties on it. I did set Power Schemes on it though. I know I never looked at the Advanced button because it has the box next to "ask for password on resume from standby" checked. I have no password on it and I would never check that box. Under "Power Button" it has "shut down". I never would choose that option either. -- When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
Yep. I have been telling you that you are wrong because you are wrong.
When I press the power button (briefly) the computer is supposed to ask me what to do. No computer has ever "asked me what to do". The computer is non responsive ...unless I push for longer and then it does a nasty shutdown.
Explain to me how my computer is supposed to shut down gracefully, and without my intervention, if I have the setting on "ask me what to do"? Also, explain to me why my computer (or any computer) has NEVER asked me what to do. "Ask me what to do" is the most logical of the choices one can make but it doesn't work. Are you saying that "ask me what to do" works on your XP Pro computer? If so, then tell me how to get it work on mine.
Hibernate also does NOT work on any of my computers running XP. Hibernate works ONLY if I use Power Chute software, and it will put the computer into hibernation (and bring it out), if there is a power outage. But Hibernate as part of Power Savings, withOUT Power Chute installed, and USB connection used between APC UPS and the computer, does NOT work on XP. It works on Vista but not XP.
Edit: Simple Google search found sites saying things like this:
"Selection of Ask me what to do will display the shut down menu when power button will be pressed. Thats all you need to make the shut down menu appear when power button is pressed in Windows XP. "
But I have NEVER gotten the shut down menu when the power button is briefly pressed and the computer is not hopelessly locked and that is on more than one computer running XP. Power Savings is slightly better in XP than in 98SE but still is not very good because Hibernation also doesn't work, some other settings don't work, and programs like nVidia drivers can completely mess up Power Savings. -- When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson
You previously claimed to only use the power button if your computer is "locked up", and pretty obviously, nothing is going to work if your computer is locked up. So we can immediately ignore your complaints that the option doesn't do anything when the computer is not working.
Pretty obviously, if the computer is working, it does not shut down without intervention if you have configured it to ask for intervention. (I will cop to prior ignorance of the ask-me setting, which I think is not the default).
Pretty obviously, the computer cannot shut down gracefully, or even ask you about shutdown, if it has already crashed (=totally ungraceful shutdown) or locked up (=isn't responding to input).
As for whether 'ask me' works when not locked up, you don't have to take my word for it, Dcotor Olds has already said that it does.
As for why it never works on your computers - because your computers are different to everyone else's, and are plagued by weird problems that no-one else seems to experience.
As for hibernate - entirely different issue, though the previous comment applies as well.