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Computer will not power on unless tilted sideways

Last response: in Systems
January 10, 2013 1:29:33 AM

Hey guys,

First off sorry if I posted this question in the wrong thread wasn't sure what section to post it in and also sorry in advance if this has already been posted but I didn't seem to find anything pertaining to my problem. This is a very unusual problem in that this is not my first build and I know computers inside and out. I reseated all components many times over, made sure my psu is in working condition, all front panel connectors are fine. I opened the computer so many times in the last few days I lost count. After many attempts at fixing the problem I found that just by turning it on its side and then putting it right side up and then pressing the power button did I notice it would turn on.

Important to note, the computer works 100% after being turned on. Also once I get it turned on I can then subsequently turn it on many times without any problems and when I wake up the next day and try its then that nothing happens.

Could it be that my HDD is the problem, I took from an older build and am wondering if something went wrong, although if something were - can it somehow affect the rest of the comp in terms of powering on? I am assuming that something must be damaged or corroded, if so where should I look and why is it that it can work perfectly after I turn it on its side?

thanks to whomever can help me with this unusual problem.

Specs: HTPC

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHZ
4 GBs of Ram
Nvidia Geforce 8800 GTS 600 MB
Western Digital 120 GB Hard Drive - Oldest Component and May be the problem
Antec PSU and case

January 12, 2013 2:21:51 AM

Although a bad HDD would not normally keep your PC from at least turning on when you press the start button, it sure sounds like that is the issue. Was the drive in a different orientation in the old PC? Vertical mount instead of horz mount, or visa versa?
January 15, 2013 5:20:18 PM

Yes it was, I moved it from vertical mount to a horizontal mount. Does it just need time to settle or does it need to be returned to the old case from whence it came, lol? By the way thanks for all the help.
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January 15, 2013 6:27:51 PM

keltik_89 said:
Yes it was, I moved it from vertical mount to a horizontal mount. Does it just need time to settle or does it need to be returned to the old case from whence it came, lol? By the way thanks for all the help.

I've never experienced this myself, but I have read that (especially in older drives) when a drive has been used in one position for a long time, changing to a different orientation can change it ability to read write correctly. But that discussion was pertaining to simply re-orienting the drive in the same case with same O/S. If you re-formatted and re-installed the O/S on the HDD, I would think that would be a moot point.

The other posibility is that the motor looses magnetic center now that it is in a new position. It presents a locked rotor condition to the chipset and the system shuts down as soon as the button is pressed.

However, if you could replace the drive, you'd find out. Or perhaps temporarily re-mount it in the original position for a test for a few days.
January 22, 2013 2:46:21 PM

Well using your advice I switched the hdd to one that has always been running in a horizontal mount. The computer seemed to be working fine when I installed the OS and everything was 100% okay. The next morning it didn't turn on, so it would seem unrelated to the HDD. So I did some further investigation and it was maybe a standoff that I had forgot the remove it a certain location that was short circuiting the mobo. It wasn't that, I'm starting to think that its the front panel 2 pin power switch connector that is not working for some reason cause once its on it works great. I am currently looking for a remote starter cause I am not comfortable putting on a new end to the small cable. I haven't ruled out it being my PSU but if it were why would it work perfect once turned on? Once again thanks for all the help.