TechSpot

monitor going to sleep

By mandpaul
May 22, 2007
  1. Hello,
    I have been helping an older (94 year old) woman with her computer. The computer is an HP, and is 1-2 years old, I think. The computer boots up XP fine, then after about 10 minutes, the monitor goes blank and says it is going to sleep. So, it does! The processor continues to run. So, I turned off the computer. I waited a bit, then tried to turn it on again. Wouldn't come on for about 5 minutes. This was after I unplugged and replugged in wall that it would come on again. The computer booted up just fine. Then, after about 10 minutes, it went to sleep again!
    I check the properties of the monitor, and it is set to never go to sleep. The woman had always turned the computer "off and on" every time she was using it until I told her about 2 months ago to leave it on unless she was going to be gone over night, or if a storm was coming. (We live in Indiana, and have bad storms.)
    While this sleeping and rebooting was going on, I noticed a "smell" coming from the tower. And, when I felt of the top of the case (it is a thin upright case), it was so hot close to the back that I couldn't put my hand on it! However, the monitor itself is not hot.
    After the monitor went to sleep for the 3rd time, I unplugged the computer from the wall. After about 15 minutes, I could put my hand on the top of the case at the back. It was not cool, just not real hot anymore. And, the smell was just about gone.
    I am thinking that possibly the monitor is going out. Could it be the connection on the back of the tower that is the problem, since it is so hot back there?
    What do you think could be the problem? I appreciate all responses!
    By the way, I told her to leave the computer unplugged! I will be going back over on Thursday to check on it again!
    Thank you so much! Maggie
     
  2. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    99.9% of the time, if there is a waiting period before resetting or rebooting the hardware, then it is directly related to some kind of heat problem. The 10 minute wait was just to let it cool down. Try taking off the side of the case, and put a fan right next to it blowing air directly inside the case to see how it affects the operation. The fact that you smelled something isn't good. If it (the heat you felt) was on the top rear of the case, then it sounds like the powersupply is getting ready to take a dump.
     
  3. mandpaul

    mandpaul TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    The heat was on the top, at the back. So, it is probably the power supply like you said. Would that cause a smell? Could it be that the monitor going off is precautionary - it will go off instead of a fire happening, perhaps? Could the power supply going cause the heat problem?
    I told the woman that she needs to find the papers for the computer so that we will know if it is under warranty, or was purchased with a service agreement. She did say the computer was purchased at Best Buy, but that is all she can remember. When I have the papers, and if it is still under warranty, I am going to take it down to Best Buy for her, and hopefully get a replacement. If it isn't under warranty anymore, would you replace the power supply, or replace the tower? I am wondering if other parts of the computer have already been affected because of the heat so that replacing the power supply would not really fix all of the problem.
    Thank you for everything you have done for me so far!
    Maggie
     
  4. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Yes the power supply can smell pretty nasty when it goes. Call Best Buy and see if they can pull up the warranty info on that unit. I can relate to your situation. My friend died recently. His mom is 90 something. All she has for a social life is sitting there mailing and reciving all those cutsy pass it on type e-mails from/to her friends and family, so I try and keep it running for her as well, without having to resort to buying anything. Have you tried to see if the cooling fan in the power supply is running?
     
  5. mandpaul

    mandpaul TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    I have not taken the unit apart yet to check on the fan. I plan to do that tomorrow morning. The woman called me last night, and her son called Best Buy. No warranty. So, we will see. I went to HP's web site, and they have a page for testing the power supply. And, I found that the thin towers are know for this problem - the fans are not big in those towers because not enough room. I plan to do all this tomorrow morning. Checked at Best Buy too, and they don't carry the HP power supply, just no-names. Will probably get one of them because no need to spend a lot.
    Thank you so much for all of your help!
    Maggie
     
  6. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    Make sure before you buy a new power supply that the one in the Dell is not proprietary.
     
  7. mandpaul

    mandpaul TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Hello,
    The computer is an HP. I don't know which model yet. I will be finding all of this out tomorrow. Then, I will see what kind of power supply will work. Should I just look at HP, or will others work? In looking at some web pages, usually there are ways to get around the differences.
    I will be taking the computer apart in the morning, and looking at the power supply.
    I have never replaced a power supply, and I appreciate everyone who has been replying! Suggestions are greatly appreciated!!
    By the way, I have an old computer that I have been using for parts. I am wondering if the power supply in it will work. The problem with the computer was that the hard drive was fried in a storm, and the owner used that as an excuse for needing a newer computer!
    Well, I will know more tomorrow. Thank you for all of the help!! Maggie
     
  8. luvhuffer

    luvhuffer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 638

    I'm not sure how it's gonna work. Some of them have to have a Dell power supply. They have them manufactured to their specs, and not to the standard ATX specs. It's like my compaq. The voltage values are exactly the same as a regular ATX, but only Compaq powersupplies will work. I never could figure out why. I guess there's some kind of built insignal on one of the lines to tell the mobo that it's a compaq so it's OK. Companies like Dell and Compaq make a lot of extra money selling their overpriced branded replacement parts.
     
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