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Here's the situation: I keep my laptop under my monitor and every time I want to power it up I have to move the monitor/arm, open the lid, power it up, close the lid, and move the monitor back. This is a pain for something I do 4-5 times a day.

My question is: Has anyone tried to make an external power switch for their laptops? Is there any other solution that I'm not considering?

I was thinking of finding a thin piece of plastic, gluing a "dimple" on it where it would hit the power button, and covering it with soft clothe to protect the laptop. I could just slide it in between the lid and position it so I could press down on the plastic. Hackish, I know.

This laptop has no dock, BTW. Also, I can't just move the laptop as my desk space is at a premium.

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If you're willing to get a new laptop, there are those with a remote that can power the computer on/off. For instance my HP Pavilion dv6824eo has one (unfortunately it wasn't listed when I bought it, so I wouldn't know if it is listed in new computer specs) – Default Aug 26 '10 at 16:29
I should mention that leaving the lid closed can quite literally kill your computer form overheating. – digitxp Aug 30 '10 at 13:24
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Something simple, but still maybe not as convenient as you'd like, you can set in the BIOS for the computer to boot when it detects power (available on many computers). This setting is for when a blackout shuts down your computer, and it's like a file server or something, so you want it to turn back on by itself as soon as it can.

My suggestion is that you enable this setting in the BIOS, plug your computer into a power strip, when you shut down, also turn off the power strip (I always do this anyway because it saves electricity, and my power strip hums slightly, which I can hear at night). Then, when you want to boot, just turn the power strip back on.

Note that hibernate mode does not require electricity like sleep mode does, so you'd have to use that instead of sleep mode if you are going to turn your power strip off.

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I think this would have been the solution, as I'd like to get in the habit of switching off the power strip regularly, anyway. Unfortunately my BIOS is supremely lacking in features, including this one. Maybe I can a similar way of doing this... – Ryan Aug 29 '10 at 16:09

If your computer usage tends to stay the same from day to day, you can time the computer to wake up instead. You essentially have to create a scheduled task that does nothing but makes the computer wake up to do.

You could also plug in an old mouse just for waking up the computer if you want (if your computer allows powering USB devices while asleep). Just follow these instructions but check the box instead of unchecking it at the end. Then to wake the computer, just click the mouse.

Both these solutions require that you put your computer to sleep, though.

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This is a good suggestion and is what I currently do when I'm away for short amounts of time (your second suggestion, anyway). When I'm away for over an hour or so, I usually like to shut down completely. – Ryan Aug 29 '10 at 15:59

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