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Rikkitic

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#217738 10-Jul-2017 18:10
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My media pc is an old Compaq duo-core something or other running Windows 7. At night we just switch everything off from the wall and switch it back on the next day. I know you are not supposed to do this, but it has worked without problem for years. An added advantage is that the computer auto-starts when the power comes back on. We have become accustomed to this convenience and do not want to give it up.

 

However, it seems we have finally run out of luck. Lately the computer has been having problems starting and I see a disk error 11 or something like that in the event log. I tried running chkdsk several times, but it hangs at 11% when checking files and returns an ‘unspecified’ Windows error.

 

For me this is not a biggie. The pc is used only for streaming and playing media files, nothing else. I can easily format the drive and start over. The drive itself is a relatively new SATA laptop drive so I don’t think it is stuffed, but if it is I can easily replace it. All of this is a price I am willing to pay to be able to keep switching the pc on and off at the wall. I don’t want to have to change that.

 

I do wonder if there is a tidier way to do this. I keep discovering amazing little gadgets I never knew existed that do all kinds of clever stuff. So is there any way to do a clean shut down when the powers fails, together with an automatic start-up when the power comes back on? The second part is the one I am having a hard time finding an answer for. Lots of UPS gadgets can do the clean shutdown, but how do you get the computer to automatically boot back up at power on if the shutdown has been clean? Is there a way to do this without having to press the power button? That is the answer I am looking for.

 

 





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MikeB4
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  #1819021 10-Jul-2017 18:34
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I am surprised it lasted as long as it did. That method of powering off is incredibly bad considering it's for the sake of 30 seconds to a minute. If you keep doing it id certain you will repeat this over and over.

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gehenna
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  #1819022 10-Jul-2017 18:35
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Those errors mean there is a physical disk problem.  Reformatting won't fix it.  You're better off replacing the drive.


Rikkitic

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  #1819038 10-Jul-2017 18:49
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MikeB4: I am surprised it lasted as long as it did. That method of powering off is incredibly bad considering it's for the sake of 30 seconds to a minute. If you keep doing it id certain you will repeat this over and over.

 

It lasted for just about exactly a year with never a glitch with the current drive. Longer with earlier ones. It's for more than the sake of 30 seconds. It's also for the sake of not having to get down and crawl on the floor to get behind the computer (awkward for us old people) and then wait for it to shut down, and for the important added safety of not having to go to bed with thirty vampire devices drawing current and overheating in standby mode in an old farmhouse long overdue for a big fire.

 

 

 

 





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NightStalker
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  #1819039 10-Jul-2017 18:49
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was curious so had a quick

 

just some clues really

 

http://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA159550/
https://superuser.com/questions/638410/how-can-i-set-my-windows-7-desktop-with-a-ups-to-automatically-turn-on-after-a-p
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/how-to-turn-a-computer-on-after-ups-shuts-it-down/92824d49-703d-4dbb-a2bd-a0e1cd7fc8fa

 

reading through the above .

 

you would need at least a UPS to gracefully power down the PC.
The BIOS needs to be checked and set correctly for its different power states.

 

With that the UPS "may" be able to wake up the pc once power is restored but that may depend on the UPS and software provided.
one comment mentions that wake from USB may work. 

 

another way that may work to wake the pc up is to use WOL (wake on lan). 
You would need another device (maybe your router can do it or if you have a NAS) on the network to continuously send WOL requests to the pc.    

 

 

 

 


Rikkitic

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  #1819040 10-Jul-2017 18:50
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gehenna:

 

Those errors mean there is a physical disk problem.  Reformatting won't fix it.  You're better off replacing the drive.

 

 

I don't mind replacing if necessary but if there are damaged sectors would they not be marked off during the format?

 

 





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Rikkitic

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  #1819055 10-Jul-2017 19:01
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NightStalker:

 

was curious so had a quick

 

just some clues really

 

http://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA159550/
https://superuser.com/questions/638410/how-can-i-set-my-windows-7-desktop-with-a-ups-to-automatically-turn-on-after-a-p
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-performance/how-to-turn-a-computer-on-after-ups-shuts-it-down/92824d49-703d-4dbb-a2bd-a0e1cd7fc8fa

 

reading through the above .

 

you would need at least a UPS to gracefully power down the PC.
The BIOS needs to be checked and set correctly for its different power states.

 

With that the UPS "may" be able to wake up the pc once power is restored but that may depend on the UPS and software provided.
one comment mentions that wake from USB may work. 

 

another way that may work to wake the pc up is to use WOL (wake on lan). 
You would need another device (maybe your router can do it or if you have a NAS) on the network to continuously send WOL requests to the pc.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good info. Thanks for the links.

 

 





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MikeB4
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  #1819056 10-Jul-2017 19:02
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If the platters, or reader or controller is physically damaged it could well be terminal. Why not move the PC so you can reach it. The PC will draw way less power in sleep mode a year than the cost off HDD replacement.



richms
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  #1819058 10-Jul-2017 19:02
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perhaps, but the idea of marking off damaged sectors at the file system level is kinda dead since the invention of IDE drives, the drive is silently remapping sectors as they fail onto spare ones and presenting the OS as a perfectly clean drive. Untill the point that it is out of spares.

 

That usually means the drive is beyond stuffed and the chances of unrecoverable read errors are really high since it has been unable to remap out the weak sectors.

 

Stick with a spinning HDD if you are going to keep doing unclean shutdowns, IME SSD's are much more prone to corruption when having the power yanked from under them.





Richard rich.ms

Rikkitic

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  #1819060 10-Jul-2017 19:05
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MikeB4: If the platters, or reader or controller is physically damaged it could well be terminal. Why not move the PC so you can reach it. The PC will draw way less power in sleep mode a year than the cost off HDD replacement.

 

Thanks for trying, but it's the way it is for a reason. That is how I need it to work. I would rather do it correctly, but if the price is a new drive every year I am also prepared to accept that.

 

 





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blakamin
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  #1819062 10-Jul-2017 19:06
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edit:

 

Just leave it on. 


NightStalker
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  #1819066 10-Jul-2017 19:10
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another thought about turning off/on

 

How are you watching stuff on the computer (Logitech remote etc?)

 

I have a small pc I use for media (plex/kodi) as well but I don't really fully power it off.
Its kept inside the TV cabinet with a USB extension cable going to a flirc blutacked under the TV.

 

Basically a flirc is programmable infrared receiver so you can program any remote button pushes to represent a keyboard.
I have one button on the remote that brings up the start menu so can I make the pc sleep from the windows menu and by pressing any key on the remote it wakes up (wake from USB).
If I could be bothered I could write a simple script and assign it to a button so it shuts down from a button press as others have done in the flirc fourms. 

 

Not exactly what you want (sleep vs shutdown) but when your pc has power reconnected if you can set it to wake from USB (test with keyboard) when its been shut down (depends on BIOS options) then a flirc might work for you.


turb
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  #1819076 10-Jul-2017 19:29
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Can you get to the CMOS battery? Try changing it.
I can't promise it'll work, but it's a small investment.




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Rikkitic

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  #1819080 10-Jul-2017 19:33
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I didn't really want to get into this, but I guess I should have expected to. We live in an old farmhouse, with old electricity retrofitted in the 1950s. Most rooms have only one single power point high up the wall (for some unfathomable reason). We are, to various degrees, old and infirm. I am the only one with the know-how and patience to fiddle with anything technical. Rooms have awkward layouts and Rimu paneling that make it difficult if not impossible to install new outlets without more damage than I care to do. We have to find ways to make things work within existing parameters, not invent new ones.

 

The high up the wall power points are ugly enough without running multiple cables from them. So there is just one, feeding the many extension cords on the floor. There is a window bench upon which sits the TV, receiver/amp, DVR, Blu-Ray player, STBs, HD recorder, and many IR switches and other devices all controlled from a Harmony One. No room for a computer so it sits in front on the floor. I have a home-made flirc that operates the pc from the Harmony.

 

Things are the way they are because that's the way they have to be. One switch controls it all. This is important for safety when all the extension cords and bent plug pins are unattended. When we go to bed we switch it off. All I want to do is find a better way of switching off the pc. So it switches back on when power is reapplied.

 

Other infrastructure is undoable. There is only one power point. It feeds everything through its switch. There is no way to have one line with a switch and another without. There is only the one. Everything has to be fed from that.

 

This is what I have to work with. I just need to find the best possible way to do it.

 

 





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gzt

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  #1819178 10-Jul-2017 21:00
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Look at your bios power management. That is where the options are for startup behaviour when power is applied.

You may have a bios setting called automatic power up. Switch on at the wall and it will start regardless of the shutdown method.

After that you can think about shutting down nicely instead of crashing the head into the disk every time ; ). Well that's probably not what happens these days but it won't be so far off.

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  #1819194 10-Jul-2017 21:31
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If you don't have that, then windows power management hdd setting to 1 minute or something you can live with, should park the heads on/if idle before the intentional bad shutdown.

WD green has aggressive power management firmware apparently parks the heads every three seconds idle. Not everyone's cup of tea. Designed for it, but other brands may have some ability to tune in firmware also.

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