I have a strange issue where my computer will not shut down. Instead, it will blink for about 3-5 seconds (the slow sleep-state blink) and then it will start up/wake up on its own. This also happens when I try to put the computer to sleep.
I have tried a number of things to troubleshoot this issue:
- Resetting Windows 10 using the Troubleshoot option at boot
- Resetting the BIOS settings to the default and disabling wake on LAN
- Updating all drivers, including the BIOS (last official update was in December 2015 and I have been using the computer since early 2016)
- Disallowing wake events to wake the computer
- Disabling hibernate/hybrid sleep
- Checking all devices in Device Manager and disabling the option to allow them to wake the computer (only the LAN driver had this option)
- Removing all cables except for the mouse, keyboard, and monitor (there is no WiFi)
- Checking the physical power button
- Disabling the Windows Maintenance Activator and manually running the maintenance tasks
- Running the command
powercfg waketimerswhich returned nothing
- Running the command
powercfg -DEVICEQUERY wake_armedwhich returned “NONE”
- Checking if I could use System Restore, but it was disabled
- Removing the weak UPS and connecting the computer directly to a power strip
- Cleaning the graphics card because it was in a strange position. The rest of the inside of the computer was last cleaned in December
- Checking the condition of the motherboard battery (which appears to be fine – after draining the capacitors and cutting power to the PSU for a minute, the system time is still correct (50ms ahead)). I will replace it when I get back to the computer.
Despite these efforts, the issue persists. When I run
powercfg /lastwake, I get no useful information (no wake source). When I check the Event Viewer, the wake source is listed as “unknown”.
I am out of ideas and don’t know what could be causing this issue. Could it be a problem with the motherboard? The computer is over 10 years old (though the battery seems to be working fine) and has been running Windows 10 without issue since it was released. The BIOS was last updated in 2015.
I will not have physical access to the computer for the next month (it is at my parent’s house and I live abroad). However, I do have Teamviewer access, so if you have any suggestions for solutions that don’t require physical access, please let me know.
Log, there are no errors or warnings related to the shutdown or startup process.
Possible Causes of the Issue
There are several reasons why your computer may be restarting seconds after being turned off. Some of the common causes are:
1. Power Settings: The power settings on your computer may be configured to wake the computer from sleep or hibernation mode. This could be due to a misconfiguration or a bug in the operating system.
2. Hardware Issues: The issue could also be caused by a hardware problem, such as a faulty power supply, motherboard, or graphics card.
3. Software Issues: A software conflict or problem with a driver or application could also cause the computer to restart seconds after being turned off.
4. BIOS Settings: The BIOS settings may be configured to wake the computer from sleep or hibernation mode, which could cause the issue.
5. Virus or Malware: A virus or malware could also be the cause of the issue by modifying the system files or settings.
Troubleshooting Steps to Fix the Issue
Here are some troubleshooting steps you can follow to fix the issue:
1. Check Power Settings: Go to Power Options in the Control Panel and check if any of the settings are set to wake the computer from sleep or hibernation mode. Disable any settings that may be causing the issue.
2. Check Hardware: Check if all the hardware components are functioning properly. Test the power supply, motherboard, and graphics card to ensure they are working correctly.
3. Check Software: Check for any software conflicts or issues by running a virus scan and using the System Configuration tool to disable startup programs and services.
4. Check BIOS Settings: Check the BIOS settings and disable any settings that may be causing the issue.
5. Update Drivers: Update all the drivers on your computer, including the BIOS, to ensure they are up to date and compatible with your operating system.
6. Perform a System Restore: If the issue started after installing a new driver or application, perform a system restore to revert the changes.
7. Reinstall Operating System: If none of the above steps work, reinstall the operating system to fix any software or configuration errors.
Restarting seconds after being turned off is a frustrating issue that can be caused by several factors. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined above, you can identify and fix the issue. If the problem persists, seek the help of a professional technician to diagnose and fix the problem.
There are a few potential causes for this issue:
- An issue with the motherboard: As you mentioned, the computer is over 10 years old and the motherboard could potentially be failing.
- An issue with the power supply: The power supply unit (PSU) in your computer could be failing or not providing sufficient power to the system, causing it to turn off and then back on again.
- An issue with a hardware component: One of the hardware components in your computer (e.g. hard drive, RAM, etc.) could be causing the issue.
- A software issue: There could be a problem with the operating system or a specific software program that is causing the computer to turn off and then back on again.
Here are a few things you can try remotely:
- Check the Event Viewer for any errors or warning messages that may provide more information about the cause of the issue.
- Run a system diagnostic to check for any hardware issues. Most computers have a built-in diagnostic tool that can be accessed by pressing a specific key (e.g. F12) during boot up.
- Check for any software updates that may be available for the operating system or any software programs you are using.
- Try booting the computer in Safe Mode to see if the issue persists. If it doesn’t, it could be caused by a software issue.
- Try creating a bootable USB drive with a fresh copy of the operating system and booting the computer from the USB drive to see if the issue persists. This can help determine if the issue is caused by the operating system or a hardware component.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything else I can do to help.
I discovered the cause of the issue – it was the BIOS battery. When I initially tested it, it appeared to have a charge, but the voltage was probably too low. Replacing the battery fixed the strange behavior.