PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/the on-off switch



I have two computers, and a router. I have DSL and I have a modem.
One of the computers is 10 years old and working OK but slowly.
In recent days, when I push the ON button, the computer doesn't turn on unless I get lucky.
What to do?
Is it OK to turn the modem off at night, and on again in the AM, or can you suggest something?

Thanks for your help.


ANSWER: Being as the computer is 10 years old it might either have a dying power supply or the power button itself could just be worn out.

Unfortunately a computer that is 10 years old is probably going to be more trouble than it is worth to fix it, but you could try finding a new power supply at least since those are fairly inexpensive just to see if that does solve the problem.

You didn't mention 'why' you want to turn your modem off every night so I don't know what to "suggest something" for. But to answer the first part of the question, it is technically OK to turn it off. If you're trying to make your internet unavailable at night then you're probably better to turn off your router, not your modem though.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you, Mike, for your very clear and prompt reply.
I can see that I didn't explain my "solution" very well, so I'll try again.

Turning off the modem is not smart, period.
What I really want to try is to turn off the power, at, say, the surge suppressor. How does that sound? So, come the next morning, I turn on the suppressor and the computer comes back on!


Ah ok, yeah that makes more sense now.
Unfortunately chances are turning the power off at the surge protector won't work unless you first go into the computer's BIOS and set it to turn back on after a power failure.

Also, Windows itself doesn't do well with abrupt power cutting like that. The operating system is designed to be shut down through the Start menu and using the surge protector to cut the power to the PC would likely corrupt the operating system.

All things considered, leave it on. I never turn my PC off myself. It doesn't hurt it to do so and doesn't take noticeable amounts of power.

Business servers are essentially just larger PCs, as far as hardware is concerned, and they run for literally years without being turned off.

You could also go into the Control Panel, under Power Options, and set it to go to Sleep after a certain amount of time being inactive, then just use the mouse or keyboard to wake it back up.

Something else that just occurred to me as I was typing, the BIOS of most PCs have a setting in them to put in a scheduled time for the PC to turn itself ON. Like a certain time every day.
You could then use a Scheduled Task to turn the PC OFF. [See link below]
So Windows would shut down the PC, and the BIOS would turn it back on, on a schedule. This wouldn't involve the power button at all.


PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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Mike Rigsby


Areas of expertise: PC Hardware, Peripherals, Barcode Scanners, Printers, and Applications, Networking, Microsoft Applications. I am good at researching issues and have a lot of contacts in the IT industry. So, if I can't directly answer a question I can likely find the answer. Areas I won't be much help in: Apple Computers, Linux, older Networking technologies like Token Ring, or Thick/Thinnet.


I'm currently a Network Administrator for a contract circuit board manufacturer in Oregon, USA. I've been working on PCs from a hobby standpoint for better than 25 years. I've been doing it professionally for 4+ years.


A+ Certification, Network + Certification, MCP, MCDST, MCITP

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