Also, you must allow the system to boot into the OS (windows in my case) and then perform a proper shut down.
if you you just hold the power button down and kill the system or pull the power plug wol would not work
When I tried to read on the WOL option, it stated that WOL works only if the computer is hibernating or sleeping. I do want to be able to do a full shutdown and startup.
At System BIOS set up AC Power Recovery:On, Now box will be auto restart once power back. Some time this setting is well hidden. I sometime found it under security section of BIOS.
The Wol setting is at NIC BIOS.
AC Power Recovery:
That's great to know! But since this will only fix my problem when the power is cut off, I still prefer a power switch for the other scenarios I mentioned.
You don't need a relay to do this, it can be done with a transistor. But using a relay is a lot simpler and safer as you don't have to worry about voltages, polarity, and common grounds. The coil of the relay is controlled by the Arduino (and you will probably need a transistor to drive the relay coil.) Then the normally open contacts of the relay are wired in parallel with the contacts of the power switch. You are essentially doing the same thing as in the video, but you are using the contacts of the relay instead of the pushbutton switch.
This is great! it's exactly what I was looking for :-)
I'll learn more about this and try to implement this.
You could also take a USB cable with one end plugged into the computer, and the other end snipped of
Also a great idea! I originally thought of creating a startup script to tell me if the computer is on or off but this suggestion is much more straight forward and it makes sense the arduino will do both things (check if computer is on/off and do the actual turn on/turn off.
I think I'll go with ShapeShifter's suggestion since it answers all of my requirements :-)
But thanks everybody who chipped in.
I'll post my progress here in case anyone else will need something similar.