15

I have a PC with an Antec 902 computer case and the power button is on top, and is pressed accidentally when in slight contact with hands or legs. I know you can configure the action of the power button via software, but then it depends on the OS installed (if there is any) and it won't help for accidental powering on (especially problematic when there is no monitor connected).

How would you physically protect the power button to avoid accidental power-on/power-off surprises? And at the same time to be usable when really needed as I don't want to disconnect it permanently?

  • 2
    Some BIOS' allow the power switch to be disabled after booting (it can be used to turn the computer on, but not off). Since you have an Antec case, I'm going to assume it's a custom build, and that either you, or the person who made it for you knows enough to determine if your motherboard supports this. – bcrist Jan 30 '15 at 4:21
19

Anyone with a toddler knows of the unexpected mass destruction that can rain down when your two-year-old somehow figures out how to infiltrate your massive security barriers and somehow hit that little black button only moments before you save a weekend's worth of online shopping selections.

Never fear; there are some precautions you can take short of moving that tower out of the way of accidental engagements.

Cover the Button

In the truest sense of a "hack", this idea from IKEA hackers talks about using a refrigerator lock to protect your power button from such risk:

cover the button

Move the Button

Believe it or not, it's actually quite easy to move your power button to a new location. Devices like these allow you to simply unplug your existing power switch from your motherboard and move it off to a more-secure location. If you're a bit more industrious, you can take your existing switch and move it yourself.

Golden field

Get a More Secure Case

This may be a bit more heavy-handed than you are looking for, but there are cases that have front covers which are designed to hide the external workings underneath.

secure case

Enjoy!

  • 1
    I am really failing to see how any of these are LHs. More troublesome is that these suggestions are from a LH mod. These are just things you would buy specifically for this issue, not LHs. This would be the equivalent to someone asking how to repair car paint damage and you say take their car to auto body shop. – blankip Jan 30 '15 at 15:05
  • Do you happen to have a source/further info for that Power Switch? – Jon Story Jan 30 '15 at 15:19
  • @JonStory I didn't want to cross that line into making unqualified product recommendations for items I haven't used myself. I suggest searching for "computer external power switch" to do the appropriate research. – Robert Cartaino Jan 30 '15 at 15:33
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    @JonStory Here's a neat tip: The best to do a fast, generalized product search (i.e. "I'll know what I want when I see it") is to use Google's Image search. See google.com/… – Robert Cartaino Jan 30 '15 at 15:46
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    @blankip It's worth noting that Robert is not a LH mod, but an SE mod. That said, if you read the post itself, the life hacks are simply thinking outside the box. (Haha, get it? outside the box? We're talking abo... oh, bother.) But it just happens in this case (oh i did it again...) some folks have taken these 'hacks' to market. Just because someone took what was once a lifehack and marketed it with pretty images doesn't make the concept behind it any less of a hack, does it? – corsiKa Jan 30 '15 at 18:39
16

I have just covered the button with a piece of cardboard (~3" square) and used masking tape to secure the cardboard onto the case. This may leave some residue, but is essentially free.

  • 1
    Exactly my thoughts. Cheap, easy, quick. – Doug Watkins Jan 29 '15 at 22:03
  • If your power button sticks out (HPs have an outie button on the top, for example), unintentional weight/pressure on the cardboard can still "press" it. That seems more an argument against outie power buttons, though. – cHao Jan 30 '15 at 17:51
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    For an outie button, use two (or more) pieces of cardboard, with a circle cut out of the bottom piece(s) such that the top piece can't trigger the button. Or use a convex shield like a little jar or bottle lid or something. – Timbo Jan 30 '15 at 20:49
12

Rewire the power button to require both the reset and the power button to be pressed at the same time. This assumes you don't need or care for your reset button.

I believe I did this in series.

       +---[Power Button]----[Reset Button]---+
       |                                      |
       |                                      |
      PWR+                                   PWR-

I did this for my kids, and it worked great...until they saw I was pressing both. Now I need a new solution.

  • Are you just trying to keep your kids from using the computer unsupervised? Why not just use a password? Or do they turn it off while you are using it to annoy you? If that's the case you need to teach them to respect their parents... – bcrist Jan 30 '15 at 4:30
  • 3
    Replace the power button with a key switch. – Aron Jan 30 '15 at 8:00
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    Really nice! :) – Ciacciu Jan 30 '15 at 16:17
  • @bcrist, My son was a toddler and would just press buttons at his eye level (TV, DVD, etc.), and this was an easy solution, at the time. – Byran Zaugg Jan 30 '15 at 20:35
  • This is actually pretty good! – Sidney Mar 23 '17 at 20:15
4

Buy some sugru (either online, Michaels, and now supposedly Lowes) and mold a ridge around the power button so that you have to use a pen or other small instrument to poke down inside the ridge to depress the power button. I did the same thing for my Toyota key remote, because the 'honk the horn' button kept being pressed in my pocket by coins, other keys, etc. It adheres to plastic and metal quite well. Use the rest of the pack for a dozen other purposes.

3

If the plastic of the button is thick enough, one could make a recessed power button. This could be done by taking apart the button and, using either a sander or something like a dremel tool, cutting/sanding down the top off the button's (moving) plastic part

When reassembled, the result would be a recessed power button, which would be more difficult to press accidentally, but would still be fully functional.

2

If you don't have a RESET button you can configure the POWER button to "Do Nothing" within Windows. It is under the "Power Options" in the "Control Panel" area.

  • How does this prevent the computer from being turned on accidentally? – Jacob Jones Mar 19 '17 at 4:24
1

I have seen many answers above; some of them really interesting but seems expensive for being a hack.

I will recommend you 3 solutions and I hope it will help you.

1- Buy a power switch lock which will avoid any unwanted guests to switch on your computer without the key. Switch Locker

2- If your BIOS supports there should be Switch on Password which will help you to power on your computer via keyboard by pressing correct combination of keys and disable power button by removing cable from mainboard.

3- Did you ever think of buying any Group Socket with Switch which will help you to cut electric from where it comes :D

Group Socket with Switch

Be well!

0

For a permanent solution, cut off the power button wires or just use some additives that fastens the plastics for e.g, Fevikwik in between power button and body/cover.

0

A bit off the topic, but my tower-case computer had a reset button that was SO small and recessed it was hard to get at. I wanted to be able to push the reset easy, so I filed out the hole into a square shape and stuck a piece of plastic in there, on a springy strip of another plastic, over the electrical switch itself. No electrical parts were changed; just the part you touch.

A bonus was the visible button was a blue square of plastic the exact same color as the reset button on IBM 360/370/390 mainframe computers. Some day I'm going to get the word LOAD engraved on it!

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