Recently, I keep finding my PC is turned on when I come downstairs in the morning. I thought it was failing to power down when I press the power button and walk off for some reason, but I've proved it is actually shutting down, then spontaneously turning back on. It did it just now in fact, I was in the room and suddenly my PC turned itself on!

I turn it off using the power button on the chassis, which hibernates the PC - i.e. a totally powered down state, the fan stops, all lights go off, I hear the 'clonk' as everything stops. It is not asleep or in standby.

I know boot-over-ethernet is a thing, but I have not tinkered with the bios and it has only recently started doing this. Could it be that some malicious user is booting my PC remotely? If not, what other possibilities are there because this is not just annoying but a little concerning.

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    Not boot-over-ethernet, WOL or wake on lan. Since you hibernated your computer instead of turning it off, many more things can wake it up. Keyboard or mouse movements. – cybernard Mar 23 '16 at 0:42
  • One example that frustrated me to no end years ago turned out to be a bad UPS. The battery in it wouldn't hold a charge. A short power glitch would make it try to switch to battery, but it basically interrupt power for a couple of seconds. meanwhile the glitches that were triggering it were so short that everything else in the house that wasn't on UPS never reset. If a PC was set to boot after power failure, a good UPS might keep it turned off, but a bad UPD might extend the power fail duration and activate it. You don't have a wireless keyboard of some sort that might wake it up? – infixed Mar 23 '16 at 1:17
  • Meow and enabled keyboard turnon. – Fiasco Labs Mar 23 '16 at 1:45
  • I'm pretty sure hibernate saves the memory state to disk and then powers off - this is rather the point that it is fully turned off but retains its previous state on disk – Mr. Boy Mar 23 '16 at 10:11

Some PC's, with the intent that they can be used as unattended servers, can be set to power up after a power failure. If you did a shutdown/poweroff, and the AC glitched, and the PC was setup to do that, then it might power up after the glitch.

Sometimes its a BIOS setting.


In your question you said you push the power button which dependent on the settings could either sleep, hibernate, or shut off the system. You should check which of these you are actually doing. All of them will seem to be "off", but are different things.

Things that can wake a system - On on power restore after loss. Wake-on-LAN or "magic packet". Many systems also have Power on at: a timer setting which will power your system on at a certain time. If you have it sleeping or hibernating, a mouse or keyboard movement or some sort of glitch in power to USB mice and keyboards can simulate a movement.

  • It definitely is set to hibernate on the physical button (when it is asleep an LED stays lit to indicate that) and mouse/keyboard do not reawake it (I've tested). WoL or a power glitch seem most likely, I'll dig further. – Mr. Boy Mar 23 '16 at 10:13

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