Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

I hope this is a good forum for this one!

Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?  

How do the users live without one?  I don't use mine often but when I
need it, I really need it.

The mobo layout provided in the Dell manual doesn't seem to show a
place where a reset switch could be connected, but perhaps there is

Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

mm wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

A logical place for a connection, would be on the PANEL header.
So where the front panel wires connect to the motherboard, would
be the best place to look for a RESET pin if one was available.
They may choose, in their documentation, to not label it. But
the reset logic still exists. It has to, as the board has to be
held in reset, until PWR_GOOD from the power supply says it is
time for the system to start. Computers are designed to wait
until all power is stable, before starting.

The existence of a RESET button, implies your design is flaky
enough to need one. It means the design crashes enough, to need
a RESET button as a crutch for system recovery. Removing the
button is then a "marketing feature", rather than having
any technical merit. The system may still crash, but it means
you'll be using the power button instead.

If my Apple computer doesn't have a reset button on it,
then the Dell computer can't have one, either :-)

You can try looking at a reference schematic, to see how they
wire up reset on a motherboard.

If you look at PDF page 7 here, there is a whole page devoted to
tracking where the reset signal goes. The "FP_RST" signal in
the lower left hand corner of the page, is what the front panel
button connects to. In this design, it interfaces with a pin
on the Intel Southbridge. I think a glue chip, distributes reset
to other buses and places. In terms of just "reaching into your
computer and connecting to reset", you'd have to find the equivalent
of that pin on the Southbridge.


Another thing of note, is computers are not guaranteed to honor
the RESET signal. As a digital designer, one of our "ten commandments"
of design, is a design must respond completely to the activation
of the reset signal. I've had computers before, where this requirement
is not met (Nforce2 based). So if you're thinking RESET guarantees
a smooth and orderly restoration of sanity, you'd be wrong. As another
example of that, the SATA drive is not guaranteed to be reset by pressing
the RESET button. An IDE drive, and its associated ribbon cable,
have a discrete reset signal. The IDE drive will always get reset.
I've had a SATA drive before, that did not respond to reset, and
I could not detect it in the BIOS until the computer was power cycled.

You can wire up your RESET button if you want, but there are still
going to be occasions where it doesn't work entirely. And the computer
industry should hang their heads in shame because of that...


Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

On 09/03/2010 02:41 PM, mm wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Google broken over there by you  :)


Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Its obviously broken over by you - you just posted a link on how to clear
passwords and CMOS settings. He wanted to know why Dell computers don't have
a reset button on the front, not how to clear his CMOS password!

Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Press and hold power for 5 seconds, press it again.

Unless you're developing kernel level code or running particularly
poorly written drivers, if you spend more time per year doing that than
it took you and I to write these posts, you're doing something wrong.

Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

On 9/3/2010 2:41 PM, mm wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Having worked in IT in the past, I found that I could usually train an
office weenie not to push the power reset button with out calling IT
first when they had a problem.  Give them a reset button and they would
almost always push it before calling for help.  Most seemed to think if
the computer had a reset button it was there to reset or speed up
problem programs, not crash or reset the entire computer...

Re: Why don't Dell computers have reset keys?

On Sat, 04 Sep 2010 06:23:36 -0500, GlowingBlueMist

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks to all of your for your answers.  

I was led to believe that soft resets were better for the computer
than hard resets, not much better but at least a little bit, that is,
not turning the power to the computer parts off, only resetting
logically.   That was never true?  That's no longer true?

Quoted text here. Click to load it
I can see how this would be the case.  Who knows what all Reset will
reset?  Sort of like people caliing Information to learn how to make
cookies.   (If you are young enough, you remember when they changed
the name of Information to Directory Assistence.)

I also like Paul's answer, that it doesn't look good. I'd say like a
car with a button labeled "If car won't start".   Even though it's not
the computer's fault if it freezes.

Google's not so likely to answr the question Why, but it might answer
how.  Also I'll look more on the board for it, near the Panel
connector or any of its unused pins, although I bet Dell will only
tell you what they tell you.

Now that I don't have to ask the potentially insulting question of
Why, just "where" and "if", I'll ask on the Dell ng.

It's certainly easier to just press a button for a second than to have
to hold the button in for 5 and then press it again. There was a time
when I had to reset a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised if that time

Site Timeline