My PC is a teenager – it won’t wake up in the morning

Written by Clive Webster

March 22, 2010 | 10:14

Tags: #5v #issues #problems #repair #sleep #standby

I usually set my PC to Sleep overnight so that I can start work exactly where I left off (and within a few seconds too). Since a few days ago, my PC has refused to wake up though. Every morning I have to do the tech-equivalent of pulling off the covers and opening the curtains, which usually means crawling around under my desk. This is a less than perfect start to my day.
The trouble started a few months ago, when I upgraded the graphics card to a HD 5650 in order to get a HDMI output so that I could test a screen. My previous graphics card didn’t require a PCI-E connector, but apparently the immense thirst of the paltry HD 5650 was enough to pop my crappy PSU (this is my work PC, so I take no responsibility for the poor choice of power supply).

Swapping in a slightly less crappy PSU, I still couldn’t get the PC to turn on until I had I unplugged the USB and network cables. It seems the PSU blew the 5V standby rail of the motherboard.

One motherboard swap later, and everything was working fine again. Yay me. Except the same problem just happened a few days ago – the PC refused to wake up until I explained to it that it would be late for the school bus, and that it would have to walk there if it missed it, because I’m not going to drive it all that way. Or something like that, anyway. It seems the same problem has happened – remove the USB cables and the PC will wake up, and then all I need to do is re-initialise the network controller (which seems to flake out overnight) and I can start working.

That’s kind of fine for now – it takes a couple minutes longer to turn my PC on in the morning, but I can sync that with tea-making time, so I’m not wasting that much time. However, I’m now in that horrible predicament where I know that my PC might fail catastrophically any minute, but I don’t really have time to change out the broken components.

Bloody teenagers…
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