Another One Bites the Dust

The trend of “moving parts on my computer breaking” continues. This time it’s the power button, of all things.

I don’t know if they still make them this way, but the Gateways made three-and-a-half years ago have a really annoying power button on the front. Internally, pressing down on the button on the front of the case operates a little lever attached to the button that presses on the real power button. Ever since I can remember with it, there’s always been a trick to pushing the button down so that it’d engage the real power button internally, which annoyed me to no end — it’d often require several attempts before hitting the sweet spot.

Well, today when I went to turn it on, one of the bits of plastic holding the button in place snapped off. Without it, pushing down the power button causes it to get stuck instead of springing back up. In this position, it’s continually pushing on the real power button, causing the computer to reboot once every two seconds or so. Obviously, this renders the computer difficult to use.

The solution, naturally, was to open up the case and remove the broken power button. Now there’s a hole where the button used to be. You need to poke inside there with a pencil to hit the real power button inside. Lovely.

Seeing as how my computer luck is at a low point lately, it’d probably be a good idea to do a good round of backups before heading home after finals….

2 Responses

  1. Hehe. Not too long ago, I was fixing either an old Compaq or IBM which had the same type of “power button” as the plastic case was ridgid and was actually an inch or two away from the square metal case the components are actually screwed into.

    Anyway, long story short. I broke the spring that the outer power button needed. I had to then go an cannibalize another spring from another case. That was such a pain in the you know where.

  2. Back in the day we used to have an old IBM XT clone. *Those* had power switches — a big red switch on the side of the case that directly controlled the power supply. None of this spring-loaded, lever-activated, implemented-in-software-only nonsense you see these days.

    The poke-around-with-a-pencil method suffices, though it takes more tries than I had expected to hit the button inside the case. The jury’s still out on whether this is more or less annoying than the behavior of the original button.

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