I am running Windows XP.
When I power on, after the post, my desktop comes up.
then after about 15 to 20 seconds, my PC shuts down, then repeats the cycle again..
The ony way I found to keep the PC shut down was to press and hold down the Power on switch. . .help.. .
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I don't know if you've tried this yet,but here it is just in case.
Click Start, and then click Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance>Power Options>In the Power Options Properties dialog box, on the Power Schemes tab, click the Power schemes drop-down list and select the power scheme that most closely matches how you use your computer.
adjust the System standby and System hibernates settings if you are not happy with the default selection. On the Advanced tab, you can adjust the default behavior of the power buttons on your computer. Click Apply>OK
Sounds like the computer is coming from sleep, standby or hibernation mode. Go to the power settings in the control panel, and disable all of these options. Disable your screen saver as well. Leave the machine on for a day and see if it happens again after this. Post your findings, please...
What version of windows are you running? Also, when did this problem start and how old is your PC?
On 2000/XP: On your start menu click on Run and type the following command: SHUTDOWN -s -t 01 This will shut down windows, and then you can safely turn off your computer. You may have to hold the power button for 10 seconds before it turns off.
NOTE: This is not a fix, just a temporary solution.
Which version of Windows are you running? I would suggest running System Restore to a point maybe a week ago and then trying it again. You can find System Restore from your Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools menu. System Restore for Windows is non-destructive and won't delete any data files (music, pictures, documents) that you've put on the computer. It's also reversible.
You can also access System Restore directly from booting into Safe Mode (after the system POST startup messages run when the computer is booted up, press F8 until the Windows Boot Menu comes up and select Safe Mode).
If you can't power your computer down, hold your breath and then hold the main power button for five seconds and it will shut down.
Firstly please install Service pack 2, there are too any security problems with service pack one and power settings problems, this can be ordered free of charge from Microsoft or downloaded.
When you say it boots up when you plug it in do you mean it comes out of Hibernation and returns to the desktop saying programmes are running or does it do a full boot up.
Sounds as if you need to go into the bios to enable ACPI, see this post on how it's done.
Go into control panel>power options and click advanced tab to make sure the power button at bottom reads 'when i press the power button on my computer' 'SHUTDOWN'
Then on the hibernation untick enable to see if it cures it.