Computer goes into 'Standby' on start up

By snowchick7669 ยท 31 replies
Jul 16, 2009
  1. Okay, here's an interesting little problem for my Friday.

    I have a machine here that when first turned on it will load the BIOS screen but then proceeds to go into Stand By afterwards. If you turn the computer off and turn it back on, then it boots perfectly fine with no issues. This happens every time from a cold boot

    This computer had a few viruses, that were blocking me installing any programs. I managed to catch the Autorun virus and a couple of others. I can't list the rest as I forgot to write them down :blush: However this problem was occurring beforehand as well

    Job was initially for malware, which got cleaned out. So no actual physical hardware was tested to my knowledge.

    Just wondering if anyone has come across this before and may be able to point me in the right direction on where to start (don't expect you to solve it, just am open minded to thoughts). Btw I don't have the machine here with me, I have just been asked by my other tech to help diagnose

    Note: The machine is an HP Pavilion a1000
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,020

    I've heard of a case like this before, and everything pointed to the video card. When the computer starts, it's using standard VGA graphics, once Windows starts up, the graphics come from your video card (I hope it makes sense, I might be explaining it wrong). What puzzles me, is when you turn it off and back on - it's normal:suspiciou.. You mention you checked/cleaned malware, have you done a complete scan for viruses ad-aware, etc.?
  3. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    It sat for 2 days on the bench running all our virus scans, we even put on NOD32 as AVG was compromised. Ran some deep scans as well (had to use combofix to grab the autorun virus).

    I initially suspected the video card, but it doesn't have a PCI graphics adapter. Just the onboard VGA, no second graphics
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    ACPI is the only thing that controls the way a machine can be made to sleep. You might check the BIOS to see how it's set with regard to standby mode. I had an Intel board that didn't even present standby as an option in Windows, and I believe that was due to a chipset identification driver that I didn't install. ACPI is actually co-dependent on the PSU being ACPI (ATX) enabled.

    So, if the PSU is still good, it might be time to reinstall Windows completely. (Just a thought-slash-suggestion).

    I guess I give up too easy, but I am superstitious about collateral file corruption after an infection, so I wimp out and start over.
  5. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Oo good point Captain, I'll ask for the machine to be brought over to my branch early next week so I get a hands on approach. I'll look at the PSU/BIOs settings first and see how I go. Thanks

    Will post when I fix it, or start hating it :)
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    So it loads up Windows then immediately goes into Standby? Or is this even before Windows loads?

    I've seen or at least been aware of things working on the 2nd boot, but that usually involves a freeze or failure to POST on the first attempt then working on the second, but if this is a standby issue I don't think any of that applies here.
  7. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    It does this before windows loads. If its failing to POST on the first boot like you say, what would you think would cause it to be fine after a second go?

    This works every time btw, don't need a 3rd or 4th time. It just works on the second go.

    Just spoke to the tech and they aren't 100% it even loads the BIOS screen. Could be your no POSTing ideas may be useful?
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    When you get it in person try reseating everything (except the cpu/heatsink). If that doesn't fix it I'd blame the PSU, so if you have a spare one lying around I'd give that a shot. If it still does it with a known good PSU then I suppose you could try and reseat the CPU/heatsink but at that point I'd question the motherboard. Also of course it never hurts to try it with less RAM, swapping them out.

    The reason for the reseating suggestion is maybe something warms up just enough to make a better contact.

    The standby thing is what is throwing me off...
  9. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    I am getting the machine on Monday (Sunday for those in America), so I will let you all know how I get on.

    Thanks for the input! :)
  10. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Okay, so I got the machine this morning. Had a play with the power settings in BIOS and only after I enabled the 'Wake On Lan' option did it power on flawlessly even on cold boots. I can't seem to fault it, only if I disable this option. Not 100% sure why the machine would need this option to boot first time.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Now that's REALLY odd!

    A few thoughts
    1) Double check you have the latest NIC drivers installed
    2) If you disable Wake-On-LAN can you re-create the original problem? (or leave well-enough-alone if you don't want to try changing it back!)
    3) And just curious if the machine is running XP? Vista?
  12. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    3) Machine is running Media Center Edition =/
    2) If I disable it then yes it re-creates the original problem of not posting (weird!)
    1) Updating the drivers now, will see if this solves the issue
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I think it is highly unlikely drivers will cause this since it happens before Windows begins loading (is that still true now that you can see it in person?) If Windows begins to load and it dies then yes, drivers could be involved.

    Also, is there any harm in leaving WOL enabled? If not then just leave it enabled and call it fixed.
  14. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Have done, needed the bench space so I left it enabled and have thrown it towards the admin department :)

    Yes it would actually not POST, no windows loading or anything
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    It seems a bit late now but what method of standby was selected? Was "Hibernation" enabled?

    My own choice would be "S-3" standby. (suspend to RAM), with NO hibernate.
    Also, I even leave wake by mouse and keyboard >disabled<, so that no nearby EMI or wireless device can wake the machine. So, the only way of reviving the computer(s) is a short press of the power button.

    I never experience the problems you have. I'm not claiming responsibility though, just making conversation.

    As a theory, it seems that some combination of boot and sleep settings in the BIOS, with a little bit of quirky PSU, are conspiring to create a sort of perfect storm.
  16. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Hibernation wasn't enabled. The standby method was the norm (didn't catch my eye). The wake with mouse and keyboard I changed to disabled while I changed the WOL to enabled. But then to get the problem back I would just disable WOL.

    It is a bit interesting, I'll see if the customer rings back.

    Next step would be a temperamental PSU.

    Thanks for everyone's input :)
  17. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Normally, with power related issues i check (just as a matter of habit)
    1. Installed BIOS version (vs checking the release notes of all later versions of BIOS available to see if any FIXES are listed that seem to apply)
    2. Installed driver

    Tho (for your case) i only mentioned the driver (which as SNGX1275 mentions is not likely the case for the conditions you state) yet forgot to mention checking BIOS version! :blush:

    That said, certainly good to leave-well-enough-alone if it's now working but if it again fails the other things i think worth considering checking
    1) BIOS and driver version
    2) Check Advanced Settings of NIC (if anything might sound relevant/apply)
    3) I'd also check if any firmware upgrades available/might apply to the NIC
    4) Or simply try replacing the NIC! :)

    /* EDIT */
    Oh. And, of course, Windows update to assure all critical and hardware optional stuff installed (am sure you already did the Windows Update but mentioning for any reader who might come by the thread in the future)
  18. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Okay, so the machine is now back with me and the customer is complaining of the problem again. Sometimes it takes him up to 25 tries to get it to power on. So I changed the PSU, no change. Changed the graphics card, no change there. Replaced the CMOS in case that was starting to go out, still no change. Eventually I persevered and after 4 times it decided to show something on the screen. I checked the BIOS and the WOL was disabled again (customer must have been playing or set the BIOS defaults), so I renabled it and continued. I am currently going to run a couple of virus scans because this customer has a lot of subject material on his machine and the likes of 'Limewire' etc.

    The NIC is integrated, could look at updating the BIOS will check out what fixes are available.

    Will see how it goes with WOL renabled again.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,967   +2,524

    I'm still curious if there is any interdependency between, "wake from LAN" and "boot from LAN" BIOS settings.

    Don't programs like "Lime Wire" require drive sharing enabled? (or force enable drive sharing)? Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but I just won't touch such programs with your 10 foot pole.
  20. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    I'm not sure about the drive sharing thing with Limewire. I just reset the BIOS back to default and sure enough it doesn't POST till at least 4-5 times of turn it off and on. Almost like it needs to warm up, but then when I changed WOL to enable, its perfectly fine.

    The only BIOS updates are for powering it with a printer, but I'm unsure about flashing this one as its a tad unstable.

    I might play around with the boot LAN settings. Definitely a puzzling one, can't seem to find any info on it.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Disconnect everything and put it in the oven. (maybe order an identical motherboard before just incase something goes horribly wrong :))
  22. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    You might try clearing CMOS settings (see here but please first double check that P4GV-LA is indeed the motherboard)
  23. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    I updated the network drivers and even with WOL enabled now it still struggles. It's almost like it needs to warm up? If I leave it off and unplugged for 5 mins then it only takes 1 - 2 goes to get it to boot. However if I leave it for 30 mins then it takes a good 4-6 goes to turn it on. I just replaced all the thermal grease on the CPU, but nothing has changed.

    Do you think it may be motherboard problems?

    Considering the BIOS but am not sure it will solve the issue, may just cause more problems
  24. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 660

    Oops you guys posted before I refreshed. Have cleared the CMOS, no changes.

    Oven? I think it may go horribly wrong anyway:p
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    If you have microfractures in the solder joints it could expand with heat enough to make contact. Oven trick gets it hot enough to permanently fuse the microfractures back together.

    Yes I think it is the motherboard.
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