Computer won't wake up normally

My computer refuses to wake up after sleeping. Instead, it goes to the log-in screen and then powers itself off. Anytime I power it on, it powers itself off the first 5 or 6 times, and then starts normally.
I can get it to start reliably by powering on and pressing F2 to go into the BIOS setup utility. I just leave it there for at least 3 or 4 minutes, and then Esc exit and it always starts up normally.
But it would be nice if I could use Windows' sleep option. Any ideas?

I bought this machine 3 years ago, but never got around to using it until last December. This problem started in May.

eMachines model T5254
Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 2
2.1 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 BE-2350
EliteGroup MCP61SM-GM 1.0 mainboard, 1000 mhz bus
NVIDIA GeForce 6100 chipset with integral audio
NVIDIA GeForce 6100 nForce 405 display adapter, 128 mb video memory
2 Gb DDR2 SDRAM, 667.0 MHz
320.0 gb 7200 rpm Serial ATA HDD
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  1. "Anytime I power it on, it powers itself off the first 5 or 6 times, and then starts normally. " possible power supply failing.

    Any overclocking? Some MB step out of OC'ing allowing boot after a bios fail/hang.

    "it goes to the log-in screen" this is normal. There is a setting to make you enter your PW coming out of sleep. I don't have a PW and get this screen too on one of my PCs. "and then powers itself off. " this is not normal.

    Try this ref, see if you see anything. Maybe something will work based on the multiple pwoer ons to get the system started.

    Aside: other than grabbing a few parts out, there is nothing in this system that would make you want to throw money at it. e.g. if MB went bad get a different MB/CPU combo, not a replace for this MB.
  2. Thanks, tsnor. No, there's no overclocking. This is a storebought machine, and I've never even opened the case.

    Nothing on that "Perform These Steps" page looks like it would apply. My computer starts and runs normally except that it needs to warm up a little before it can launch Windows.
  3. Take a look a the wires from the power supply to see how complex it would be for you to replace. This is a highly rated $40 power supply. (ex review here:

    Consider swapping the power supply and see if that fixes the problem. IF it is the PSU going then at some point the system won't boot.
  4. Today it got worse. The machine powered itself off suddenly while I was working. Twice.

    So I took the PSU out and took it to a local repair shop to buy a replacement. They tested my old PSU with a handheld electronic device that had a small display screen, and they said it tested good.

    They also opened the PSU and looked inside to see if any capacitors had bubbled up, but none had. And they said I should look at the capacitors on the motherboard for the same problem. So I did, but they all looked shiny and new.

  5. No boot, pull all the parts. End up with just PSU, MB and CPU. Nothing else. IF it won't post then replace the PSU (even though the test said it was good -- double they measure ripple, probably just got no-load voltages). If new PSU is not a fix then it's the MB. It's almost never the CPU.

    If the PSU swap doesn't fix Problem, I'd grab an intel i3-2120 and MB for $200. You'll see a nice performance improvement from the AMD Athlon 64 X2 BE-2350

    good luck.
  6. Actually, there's never been a problem with the Power-On Self-Test. It always POST's. It shuts off when trying to launch Windows, unless I warm it up first by running the BIOS setup utility for a few minutes. Or, more recently, it shuts off while in Windows, whether it's doing anything or not.

    I decided to try a different PSU, an old one from my last computer, one that I didn't feel confident about, but just to see what would happen. The result was that it never launched Windows, not even after running BIOS setup for 10 minutes. I put the original PSU back in, and it went back to what it was doing before. And I tried disconnecting everything except the mobo (with no cards), CPU, HDD, keyboard, and mouse, and that didn't change anything. So I ordered a new PSU.
  7. Well, I tried the new PSU. A nice heavy one with dual +12v and rated a lot stronger than the old one. I was sure that would fix it, but it didn't. The machine still needs to warm up for a few minutes before it can launch Windows, and it still shuts itself off suddenly, sometimes soon after starting and sometimes after a lot of use, like a power failure that happens at random times. But how would a power failure explain the part about needing to warm up before it can launch Windows?

    I realize now that this is exactly the same thing that happened to my last computer, and the one before that, and maybe the one before that. They started being unreliable, sometimes running well but sometimes hard to start and sometimes powering off suddenly. And in each case the problem got worse and worse, and I wasted a lot of time and money re-installing Windows and other software, and buying them new PSU's and HDD's and anything else I thought they might like. And then I finally gave up on them.

    But all those machines worked trouble-free many hours every day for 4 or 5 years before they started doing that. This latest one was first plugged in about 4 years ago, but it was almost never used until six months ago.

    I guess it's time to give up on it anyway.
  8. Can you check your temps. Download HWMONITOR from CPUID or whatever you choose. Let's see if it is thermally shutting down.

    Can you post details on the windows shutdowns? Any common software.

    Would you download a diagnostic disk and run that and see if it will shutdown running diagnostics (google ultimate boot CD). If it only shutsdown in windows could be software.
  9. I don't think it's heat. The original problem was failure to launch Windows while cold. I have to warm up the CPU with BIOS Setup before there's even a chance of launching Windows.

    I ran some tests from Ultimate Boot CD: MemTest86 for an hour and a half (1 pass), DLG Diagnostic for the Western Digital, and all 3 CPU tests for about 10 minutes each (CPU Burn-in, Stress CPU, Mersenne Prime Test), all with no errors.

    Same problem with Linux (Ubuntu & Fedora) on CD. Sometimes it'll launch, but usually not, and then the machine powers off suddenly before long. But it'll run DOS from the UBCD all day with no problems.

    I've tried many times to let Windows run Startup Repair, but it always shuts off while doing that. And it shuts off while trying to launch Windows even in safe mode.

    But now it's worse. After UBCD, I tried to install HWmonitor, but it powered off while doing that. Since then I haven't been able to get Windows to do anything. I can still get it to launch once in a while, but now it always hangs up when I try to do anything, even open a folder.
  10. If the system runs all day with diagnostics and fails right away with windows could be a software problem (or a bios problem with APIs only used by windows, or a graphics card problem, etc.)

    Maybe try this:

    " press and hold the F8 key as your computer restarts. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo appears. If the Windows logo appears, you will need to try again by waiting until the Windows logon prompt appears, and then shutting down and restarting your computer.

    On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Repair your computer, and then press ENTER. (If Repair your computer is not listed as an option, then your computer does not include Startup Repair as a preinstalled recovery option.)

    Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

    Select a user name and enter the password, and then click OK.

    On the System Recovery Options menu, click Startup Repair. Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem and, if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs.
  11. That link took me to a FAQ on Startup Repair. But, as I said, I've tried to run SR many times. It always powers off.

    If it's a software problem, it's one that affects Linux booted from a CD too, since, as I said, I get the same power-off with that. I guess I could remove the HDD and then try to boot Linux again, to see if it's some software on the HDD that's doing it, like a virus that somehow autoruns and shuts off the power.

    I might buy a new motherboard, since everything else tests o.k. There aren't any tests for motherboards on my Ultimate Boot CD. I found out I can still get a board with an A2 socket. But will my Vista work with a new motherboard? I've heard it checks the major hardware and refuses to run if it finds anything different.
  12. "it's one that affects Linux booted from a CD too"

    But doesn't hit

    "I ran some tests from Ultimate Boot CD: MemTest86 for an hour and a half (1 pass), DLG Diagnostic for the Western Digital, and all 3 CPU tests for about 10 minutes each (CPU Burn-in, Stress CPU, Mersenne Prime Test), all with no errors."

    Any idea why ? There are some BIOS and video card functions that are used by windows that would not be used by the simple OS on ultimate boot disk. Maybe make sure you have lastest MB bios? There are also video card functions that are not exercized by simple 2D that are hit by windows desktop. Do you have different video card to swap in?

    The diag boot disk working says software. The Linux and win both failing says software.
  13. I disconnected the HDD and everything else except the CPU, fan, RAM, optical drive, keyboard and mouse. And I've tried 2 different mice, 2 different keyboards, and 2 different optical drives, including a new Asus. Video is on-board. And I reset the BIOS ("Load fail-safe defaults") and then booted Linux from the CD. I tried both Ubuntu and Fedora. Same as before. It powers off, either while trying to start Linux, or after running it for a while. Same as it did with Vista booted from the HDD.

    So I think that unless the CPU and memory tests on UBCD are unreliable, it has to be a problem with the motherboard. After putting all this time in, I might as well get a new motherboard and try that.
  14. The new motherboard solved it. It always boots up and launches Windows, and it never powers itself off no matter how long I leave it on.

    But now there's a new problem: the CPU fan runs really fast with this new motherboard. CPU Smart Fan Control is enabled, and the CPU never gets above 40 degrees, but the fan always runs at 4200 rpm.

    On the old motherboard, the same fan always ran very slowly and quietly, and the CPU was never over 40 degrees then either. I didn't know that fan could run so fast until I started up the new motherboard. The noise is driving me crazy. The Athlon X2 doesn't need much air. It generates max 45 watts.
  15. very glad MB solved it. The CPU needs to be plugged into the header for the CPU fan (not a different one) and the MB chipset driver needs to be installed. The chipset driver should have come with the MB.
  16. The new motherboard just doesn't support SmartFan, even though it has a 4-pin header for the CPU fan, and even though the BIOS has a setting to enable SmartFan and it came from the factory with that enabled.

    The BIOS had the same SmartFan enabled setting for System Fan 1, but both System Fan headers are 3-pin!!

    I took the 4200 rpm fan off the heat sink and replaced it with a 2100 rpm 3-pin Adda fan. That's as fast as the original fan ever ran on the old motherboard with SmartFan, so it should be ok. Everest and CoreTemp have been telling me the CPU is never over 36 degrees, and the BIOS PC Health Status section always shows it as 30 to 40. I enabled shutdown at 65 degrees (it was disabled from the factory), so maybe that will take care of any emergency. And the max power spec on the CPU is only 45 watts anyway.

    I'm going to order an MSI motherboard with a newer chipset. I should have done that in the first place, but the place selling it is on the other coast, and I didn't want to wait or pay for overnight shipping, and I thought keeping the same chipset as the old board would simplify the changeover. This Foxconn is probably some sort of reject or factory second, and probably won't last any longer than the original Elitegroup did. It came in a pizza box with some foam padding and nothing else, not even a CD. Luckily the Foxconn site still had the drivers and manual for download.
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