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PC Does Absolutely Nothing When Power Button is Pressed

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April 8, 2009 1:25:17 PM

I was a little confused as to where to put this kind of topic, so I apologise if it is in the wrong section.

I have an old(ish) computer thats been stored in the back shed for years. It hasn't been exposed to any water or anything, just some dust which I cleaned away. I pulled it out of the shed a few days back thinking I could set it up as a work computer and just use basic programs on it like word, publisher etc.

After I cleaned it up and put it inside, connected it to everything etc etc, I turned the power on and the computer simply does nothing. I checked all the switches located on the PSU and such, but still no luck.

Here are the specs:
Pentium 3, 1GHz,
20GB HDD,
CD Drive/Burner (unsure of what model/make)
380MB of R.A.M (3 128MB Sticks)
FDD
Onboard graphics, sound, etc etc.

I don't have a clue as to what could be causing this. I'm fairly good when it comes to computers, but this truely has me stumped. I've checked all the connection the mobo and all the hardware, they seem to be in well enough.

Any thoughts? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

~ Bee
April 8, 2009 2:43:19 PM

It would be the power supply or the motherboard. Do you see any lights on the motherboard or front power button? If not your problem is the power supply.

Since this is such an outdated PC though, I wouldn't spend any money on it.

Cheers, Kirt.
April 8, 2009 3:12:57 PM

I wouldn't waste your time trying to get it fixed, it aint worth it. Its not even worth selling for parts as its way too old. Save up for a new PC or laptop.
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April 8, 2009 3:52:23 PM

I have a decent PC (using it now) just wanted it as a back-up system, you know?
Besides, I wouldn't spend any money on fixing it, but if its something I can do 'freely' then I wouldn't mind getting it up and running.

and fadekirj:
No sign of life at all. No lights, fan action, nothing. I'm assuming PSU now.
April 8, 2009 4:05:37 PM

ozfordfreak said:
, I turned the power on and the computer simply does nothing. I checked all the switches located on the PSU and such, but still no luck.


It could be anything, but the most likely problem is a flat CMOS battery.
This is usually a 3V lithium cell on the mainboard. If you have a voltmeter
check the voltage across this cell. If not, try one from another computer
or as a last resort, buy a new one. About $2 if you shop around.




April 8, 2009 4:07:21 PM

Although i would think PSU or MOBO it very well could be the switch itself. If you have another computer lying around try its power switch. Make sure also that the the voltage switch is set correctly on the back of the PSU, it should be 115 if your in the states.
April 8, 2009 4:13:55 PM

by power 'switch' I'll assume you mean PSU..
and I don't have another PSU for a PC that old. I have an AMD Sempron PC at the moment, different connections also I believe.

Thanks for the battery tip, I'll give it a try. It is a fairly old PC, and if I remember correctly I only payed $20 for it back in '01.

Also, the power voltage level isn't the problem. its set to 220 which is right here (in Australia).

Any other suggestions?
April 8, 2009 4:32:47 PM

make sure the power switch on the back of the computer is on if there is one.

Then check the power switch on the front, you can follow the wires back to the MB and short the two pins they connect to with a screwdriver.
April 8, 2009 6:04:37 PM

If the CMOS battery is dead it will boot and tell you the time and date are wrong. If you have a DVM why don't you paper clip it and check the voltages.
April 8, 2009 10:53:48 PM

Check the pins from the front of the case that connect to the MOBO. You might have put them back incorrectly after you took it apart. I have done this. Sometimes the colors of the pins dont match the colors on the board. try different combos til it works. These pins are usually the power, reset, and HDD activity light.
April 8, 2009 11:56:04 PM

The pins that come from the switch at the the front to the MOBO are labelled. I've tried switching them around - No luck. I might pull the side off this computer and connect its power-switch cable to the MOBO in the P3 one, then try boot it with this PC's power switch.

I tried switching the CMOS Battery, made no change.
I noticed also when it's plugged in and the power is on it makes a sort of high-pitch sound, barely hearable. Is this a problem?
April 9, 2009 12:02:58 AM

ozfordfreak said:

I noticed also when it's plugged in and the power is on it makes a sort of high-pitch sound, barely hearable. Is this a problem?


sounds like the psu is going bad
April 9, 2009 3:11:35 AM

That was my first guess. I guess I'll just have to look around for a new one, hopefully (if i can find one) they won't be to expensive to purchase.

The computer wasn't a complete loss anyway, I quite like the case. Might swap my current computer over and put it inside this case.

Thanks for all your help guys.

~ Bee
!