today i somehow shorted out my usb ports... i have a usb extension cable and the outside where the two connect are metal. that metal touched the base of my lamp and sparked and shut off my computer... now it won't start.
my question is did i fry the motherboard or the power supply?
i know i need to buy a new one, just don't want to buy both..
By analyzing your situation, the PSU supplies power to your motherboard which in turn powers up your components connected to your motherboard. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood that the motherboard would get damaged before the PSU gets damaged.
In any case, it is worthwhile to check the PSU first because the test is simple to perform. After this checks out ok, look into reset switches installed primarily for protecting the system in instances similar to this.