Thursday, March 31, 2011

Turn off the power!

Sometimes I get called about a computer that seems 'dead'. There are often lights are on but the screen is blank or it was on but now nothing's happening. This is particularly common with laptops.
A very common cause of this is that it's gone into standby mode and won't come out. This is where the computer saves what it's doing to memory and closes itself mostly down... basically 'going to sleep'.  What is SUPPOSED to happen is that pressing the power button should wake it up and it should spring back to life.
This doesn't always happen as it should and the computer stubbornly refuses to come back on!
The solution is just to turn it off.  It does mean that you'll lose anything you hadn't saved (but you wouldn't have left your computer in that state, would you?)
And before you say, "but I can't turn it off!", YES YOU CAN!
Hold down the power button for at least 15 seconds and the computer will almost certainly turn off.
In the unlikely event that this doesn't work, remove the mains and, for laptops, remove the battery. That'll stop it!  I've not met a PC which can operate without power!