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New Dell computer

clifffaith

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Cliff brought his new computer home Monday. They had it a week to transfer files from his old computer. The bitching and complaining started immediately. Darn thing would not turn on. I finally googled “why doesn’t new Dell turn on”, and basically I have to unplug it, hold the start button for 20 seconds, release it, press it once, and then do the hokey pokey and turn myself around for it to turn on. He has some other issues, I suspect related to cognitive difficulties, but the turn on routine is ridiculous. We are holding Monday open for the two hour round trip to his favorite electronics store in our old town. Anyone have an idea about what’s going on?
 

1Kflyerguy

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I don't have Dell, so don't have specific recommendations, but do know that some computers require a longer press of the power button than others.
 

jp10558

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Of course YMMV, but I have regularly had or seen people have issues with Dell computers. If it's a consumer line, I'd run away, consumer computers are like Westgate timeshares. I'd suggest going business line, but that doesn't guarantee success.

All that said, to your issue - that "turn on" routine implies to me that it's not successfully turned off - which if potentially likely with Windows 11 (and Windows 10 before it) various sorts of levels of hibernate and "fast start", and something is crashing OR it's taking a while to read a RAM snapshot back in from a potentially slow disk (I have 0 actual details here so am guessing wildly). However, unplugging and a 20 second hold down is usually needed to "FORCE OFF" a computer that isn't shutting down successfully. The second quick button push to turn on is the standard "wake up" or "boot" depending on state - i.e. the way it's supposed to work.

Now, what I'd suggest is just not turning the thing off. Set up a screen lock, or power off the monitor separately, or configure the power settings so you can just close a laptop lid without suspend / hibernate, and then open it back up - this will be faster, allow updates to happen at night, and likely avoid all this hassle.
 

wackymother

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You mean you have to do that EVERY time? Sometimes new computers need several restarts to get everything updated and ready for action. But generally I agree with jp, don't turn it off. We have ours (a Dell business model) set up to sleep only after 12 hours of inaction.
 

DrQ

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I have a Dell XPS and I do a shutdown after I use it. There is a sensor (magnet) in the lid that senses when I open the laptop and it turns on.

Do you shut down the O/S when you close the laptop or do you just shut the lid. In Windows, under the power options, you can define the behavior of the computer based on closing the laptop as well as what the power button does (sleep/hibernate/power) and these can be dependent whether the computer is on battery power or attached to the charger.

With a Dell you can press F12 during power up to get to the diagnostic testing screen.
 

DeniseM

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Does Cliff still drive and manage his own finances?
 

VegasOrBust

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Cliff brought his new computer home Monday. They had it a week to transfer files from his old computer. The bitching and complaining started immediately. Darn thing would not turn on. I finally googled “why doesn’t new Dell turn on”, and basically I have to unplug it, hold the start button for 20 seconds, release it, press it once, and then do the hokey pokey and turn myself around for it to turn on. He has some other issues, I suspect related to cognitive difficulties, but the turn on routine is ridiculous. We are holding Monday open for the two hour round trip to his favorite electronics store in our old town. Anyone have an idea about what’s going on?
Cliff I have a suspicion what is causing this -

If your system does not properly shut down, it may LOOK like it is shut down but needs to be properly shut down in order to get a good restart.

How to properly shut down? Hold down the power button for 20 seconds. Take a deep breath. Press the power button and it should "fire up". Sounds to me like what you are describing.

So.... best solution is to have the system sleep and not shut down (as someone else brought up).

But if you are curious about the cause, I think your system becomes non-responsive...you think it is off but it is really not; you hold down the power button for 20 seconds and it succeeds in shutting it down. You press the power button again and - you're "back in business".

I hope this helps!
 

clifffaith

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Does Cliff still drive and manage his own finances?
Yes, still drives safely and has only moderate issues with finances, but accountant and financial advisor know to run stuff past me. But don’t try to make an appt with him because he does not know what day it is. Plays chess and bridge, but it has been painful today watching him try to set up a make up chess appt. I finally emailed his challenger telling her to work the schedule through me and I’d prod him out the door at the appropriate time.
 

clifffaith

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I don't have Dell, so don't have specific recommendations, but do know that some computers require a longer press of the power button than others.
A single long press of the button does nothing. The secondary quick push causes a small light to come on inside the caps lock key, and after a few more seconds the Dell logo slowly loads and the “enter your pin” screen comes up.
 

DrQ

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If your system does not properly shut down, it may LOOK like it is shut down but needs to be properly shut down in order to get a good restart.
This is kind of what I was alluding. I run Windows in a VM so I don't fully remember, but when I received my work PC with Windows 10, Hibernate was not available as a setting out of the box.

Sleep: Keeps the computer powered up in a low power state
Hibernate: Writes the current state to storage and powers down the computer.

You want to hibernate when you close the computer when it is not plugged in to the power adapter. It should then "wake up" properly.
 

clifffaith

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Of course YMMV, but I have regularly had or seen people have issues with Dell computers. If it's a consumer line, I'd run away, consumer computers are like Westgate timeshares. I'd suggest going business line, but that doesn't guarantee success.

All that said, to your issue - that "turn on" routine implies to me that it's not successfully turned off - which if potentially likely with Windows 11 (and Windows 10 before it) various sorts of levels of hibernate and "fast start", and something is crashing OR it's taking a while to read a RAM snapshot back in from a potentially slow disk (I have 0 actual details here so am guessing wildly). However, unplugging and a 20 second hold down is usually needed to "FORCE OFF" a computer that isn't shutting down successfully. The second quick button push to turn on is the standard "wake up" or "boot" depending on state - i.e. the way it's supposed to work.

Now, what I'd suggest is just not turning the thing off. Set up a screen lock, or power off the monitor separately, or configure the power settings so you can just close a laptop lid without suspend / hibernate, and then open it back up - this will be faster, allow updates to happen at night, and likely avoid all this hassle.
Interesting that I appear to be turning it off, because it didn’t apparently turn off when he was done, as I try to turn it on for him.
 

clifffaith

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You mean you have to do that EVERY time? Sometimes new computers need several restarts to get everything updated and ready for action. But generally I agree with jp, don't turn it off. We have ours (a Dell business model) set up to sleep only after 12 hours of inaction.
Every darn time. And he can’t remember the steps I’ve shown him numerous times. We have a RezTech (resident technical) team here with guys who try to help old folks home inhabitants with computer issues. I’ll see if someone can stick a head in now that I’m getting all these good ideas from Tuggers regarding “ON” issues likely actually being an “OFF” problem. And hopefully one of the tech volunteers knows where to find sleep and hibernate settings.
 

artringwald

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Plays chess and bridge, but it has been painful today watching him try to set up a make up chess appt.
He can still enjoy chess without playing a human. I like doing chess puzzles. With a free membership, you can do 5/day. The difficulty is adjusted to your rating, so you can solve about two thirds of the puzzles.

 

clifffaith

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I have a Dell XPS and I do a shutdown after I use it. There is a sensor (magnet) in the lid that senses when I open the laptop and it turns on.

Do you shut down the O/S when you close the laptop or do you just shut the lid. In Windows, under the power options, you can define the behavior of the computer based on closing the laptop as well as what the power button does (sleep/hibernate/power) and these can be dependent whether the computer is on battery power or attached to the charger.

With a Dell you can press F12 during power up to get to the diagnostic testing screen.
We just shut the lid. But it will sleep with the lid open and then it’s time for the hokey pokey again to wake it up.
 

dioxide45

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A single long press of the button does nothing. The secondary quick push causes a small light to come on inside the caps lock key, and after a few more seconds the Dell logo slowly loads and the “enter your pin” screen comes up.
It seems the long push is turning it off without you knowing it, since it is probably in a sleep or hibernation mode. The secondary push is what is turning it back on again. I would go into the settings and set it so it never hibernates or sleeps. You should be able to do this for different settings like after a certain number of minutes or if the screen is closed. Many of these actions will just put it into sleep or hibernation. It should wake up by pusing space or enter. That said, if you disable sleep and hibernation it will take a physical act of shutdown to turn it off and then just pushing the button should turn it back on again.
 

wackymother

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With all these fixes we're suggesting, something will probably work. BUT if this is a brand-spankin'-new Dell purchased from Dell, you should call them and tell them about the problems you are having. You want to go on the record as having issues with this brand-new computers. If these problems don't resolve on their own, I find it's easier to do a return if you've already established early on that the computer is a lemon.

We've had mostly Dells for quite a few years. Our current one, which we both use professionally, is an Optiplex (a business computer) that has been toiling away reliably for about five years. We'll probably need to replace it soon. But we've had good ones and bad ones. I had a laptop that just keeled over with disk drive issues at six months. I also had a laptop that I used for about six years and then my husband used it as his vacation computer for about eight more!
 
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I just purchased a Dell 2-in-one laptop several months ago, I have zero issues with it. I've had other Dell laptops in the past, and I even worked at the Orlando Dell call center back in the mid-1990s. Back then, the majority of Dell purchasers were businesses, so their IT would call, we would ask if they did this or that, they would say if they did, then we would send out the part. Maybe 5 minute call! Before that, I did call center for Gateway Computers, that was always 20-60 minutes per call.

TS
 

Passepartout

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I think that if Cliff pushes the 'Windows' key (bottom row of keys on the keyboard) then clicks 'Power' on the bottom row, near his name, it will show several choices- power off, sleep, hibernate, or restart. No need to push the physical power button on the case of the computer until he wants to restart it. Selecting 'Power Off' on screen will shut it down correctly.

Good luck to you both!

Jim
 

tombanjo

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Always shut down computer from Windows menu if you wish to shut it down. Holding power button to turn off is a very bad idea. If you want to put it to sleep, once again use start menu. If it has gone to sleep, try tapping keyboard, or the power button should have a light, tap lightly.

The hold down button for 20 seconds is to reset the BIOS (basically). If you are feeling brave, run the Dell utility (should already be on computer) to do Dell specific updates, including any possible BIOS updates.

I like Dell, but I use their Business / Server lines.

Hopefully, once updated and understanding power on/off, sleep mode, etc, it should be fine.
 

clifffaith

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I think that if Cliff pushes the 'Windows' key (bottom row of keys on the keyboard) then clicks 'Power' on the bottom row, near his name, it will show several choices- power off, sleep, hibernate, or restart. No need to push the physical power button on the case of the computer until he wants to restart it. Selecting 'Power Off' on screen will shut it down correctly.

Good luck to you both!

Jim
Did the hokey pokey again to get it to acknowledge me. I clicked the windows key and found an alert wanting me to finish installing/updating windows. It did that in about 5 minutes and then it went into “working on updates mode”. Then it said undoing changes made to your computer. Now it looks like it is up and working, at least until the next time it powers down. I am suspicious that the favored electronics store had a C student loading old stuff to new computer, and possibly steps were missed. I do not want to know how to use this, but guess it is being forced upon me. If what I did now while he was in the shower doesn’t make using it easier, I guess we’ll take the two hour round trip drive and I’ll go in with him instead of sitting in car.
 

clifffaith

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Always shut down computer from Windows menu if you wish to shut it down. Holding power button to turn off is a very bad idea. If you want to put it to sleep, once again use start menu. If it has gone to sleep, try tapping keyboard, or the power button should have a light, tap lightly.

The hold down button for 20 seconds is to reset the BIOS (basically). If you are feeling brave, run the Dell utility (should already be on computer) to do Dell specific updates, including any possible BIOS updates.

I like Dell, but I use their Business / Server lines.

Hopefully, once updated and understanding power on/off, sleep mode, etc, it should be fine.
His last laptop was at least ten years old, likely much older. I think there are things he doesn’t know he needs to do, and that the electronics store couldn’t fathom he needed training on. I now am finding all sorts of system settings and info I don’t want to know about, but I guess I’m forced to at least get a cursory understanding of. Have I mentioned after umpteen iPhone classes at the old folks home he still struggles to use his cell phone for anything beyond phone calls? Which at least allows him to make a call because he can’t figure out the darn landline!
 

SmithOp

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This is why I gave up computers 10 years ago, my wife uses an iPad and I have a ChromePad. They do everything I need.

I do have to use a laptop in my volunteer work but it's a Chromebook and it's a breeze compared to Windows.

It would probably be easier to teach Cliff how to use a touchpad of some type.
 

clifffaith

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So 90 minutes later, the computer is “dead”. I’d left it open and logged into eBay. Cliff has been at his desk working puzzles on paper. No wiggling the mouse, hitting escape or the space bar makes the computer come alive. We are about to go play Mexican Train so no sense doing the hokey pokey until he is ready to use it again.
 

tombanjo

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here is another tip, unplug from wall. Plug DIRECTLY into a good outlet, no surge suppressor or strip. If it is a notebook, with removalable battery, remove it.

Then press the power button for 20 seconds
 
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