Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


15589 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

#217738 10-Jul-2017 18:10
Send private message

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.



Plesse igmore amd axxept applogies in adbance fir anu typos



View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic

This is a filtered page: currently showing replies marked as answers. Click here to see full discussion.


15589 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1826947 22-Jul-2017 11:20
Send private message

I have now found what I think is the ultimate answer to the question I posed here, so am posting it for the benefit of anyone else who may come along with a similar issue.


To recap, I want to be able to switch my htpc and all other related devices on and off at a single connection point on the wall. But simply cutting power to the pc causes unclean shutdowns and eventually problems booting up. It is unhandy and impractical to shut the pc down separately every evening, so the question is how to do this automatically.


I asked if there was a gadget that could somehow do this, and amazingly, there is. In fact, there are several, and thanks to the generosity of @Hammerer, I now have them.


The items are ClimateSmart stand-by eliminators and a Tricklestar device. The Tricklestar is particularly clever. It plugs into the mains power and has master and slave power point circuits. A sensor detects if the current draw on the master circuit drops substantially, indicating that the device on that circuit has been shut off or put into standby mode. This causes all power to the slave circuit to be cut. When the master circuit draws power again, the slave circuit also comes on.


I spent a day playing around with different configurations, but the best one was to plug the pc into the master socket and everything else into the slave. I programmed a pc shutdown command into the Harmony remote on a virtual button one level removed to protect against accidental shutdown. When this button is touched the pc enters shutdown mode and shuts down cleanly. This takes 15 or 20 seconds.


As soon as the pc finishes shutting down, its power consumption drops and power is immediately cut to all the other devices on the slave circuit. This is a very elegant solution.


However, it is not quite complete. The pc still has standby power and the only way I have found to get it to automatically come on again is to cut the power completely. A setting in the BIOS makes this possible. The only other possibilities are Wake on LAN or via the USB, but these are not good solutions for various reasons.


By adding a ClimateSmart device to the pc power circuit, I can remotely switch the power on and off. So now the nightly shut down procedure is to press the virtual button on the Harmony, followed by cutting the power on the ClimateSmart. This is not onerous. The time between the two actions is only a few seconds and it can easily be filled by switching off lights or other actions, or just waiting a short while. In the morning the only action required is to press the ClimateSmart remote button to switch the power back on. This causes the computer to boot up automatically, which turns on everything else.


A perfect solution would be to integrate the ClimateSmart remote with the Harmony so it would all work from one button press, but unfortunately that is not practical. The ClimateSmart is an RF device, while the Harmony uses IR. But the existing setup is pretty good. Thanks again to everyone for thinking with me on this and thanks especially to Hammerer who gave me the solution.



Plesse igmore amd axxept applogies in adbance fir anu typos



View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic

News and reviews »

Amazon to Acquire iRobot
Posted 6-Aug-2022 11:41

Samsung x LIFE Picture Collection Brings Iconic Moments in History to The Frame
Posted 4-Aug-2022 17:04

Norton Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report: Phishing for New Bait on Social Media
Posted 4-Aug-2022 16:50

Microsoft Announces New Solutions for Threat Intelligence and Attack Surface Management
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:54

Seagate Addresses Hyperscale Workloads with Enterprise-Class Nytro SSDs
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:50

Visa Launching Eco-friendly Payment Solutions in New Zealand
Posted 3-Aug-2022 21:48

NCR Delivers Services to Run Bank of New Zealand ATM Network
Posted 30-Jul-2022 11:06

New HP Portfolio Supports New Era of Hybrid Work
Posted 28-Jul-2022 17:14

Harman Kardon Launches Citation MultiBeam 1100 Soundbar
Posted 28-Jul-2022 17:10

Nanogirl Labs Launches Creator Project
Posted 28-Jul-2022 17:05

Marvel Snap Launches as an Action Collectible Card Game
Posted 26-Jul-2022 17:46

Jabra Talk 65 Review
Posted 26-Jul-2022 17:31

Huawei Watch D Review
Posted 26-Jul-2022 17:26

Huawei Introduces Watch Fit 2
Posted 14-Jul-2022 17:06

Huawei Launches Watch D in New Zealand
Posted 14-Jul-2022 17:05

Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.