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No Observable Start-Up

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  • Homebuilt
  • Power
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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December 21, 2009 12:20:24 AM

Hi, After a storm my computer no longer works, there is clearly something damaged, however I am unsure how to eliminate which parts are damgaged or not. The Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard are both on, this is the only light or activity in the system. When I press the power button there is no reaction, no fans, lights, noises etc.
This happened around two days ago, the previous night the PC worked fine.

Specs;

i7 920
P6T Deluxe
G-Skill 3x2GB 1333mhz DDR3 RAM
TRue CPU H/S fan
Palit GTX 295
1000w Antec True Power Quattro
3 Sata HDD's
Vista 64bit
HAF 932

I live in the country Western Australia, where i doubt the local IT people have even heard of i7 etc. so
any advice on what to do or how to diagnose which parts are broken is greatly appreciated.

More about : observable start

December 21, 2009 12:35:11 AM

Is the computer turned on during the storm? Is the power supply running fine? Try to check every piece of hardware installed for defects. If you can manage to test them in a different system, please do.

You would love to have a good surge protection unit in this times.
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December 21, 2009 1:19:12 AM

No the computer was off all night and the storm hit in the late afternoon, the power supply also shows no sign of activity, that is no fan. However the lights on the motherboard are on so power is coming from the PSU, possibly not enough?
I will try to take it to the IT people today, test my PSU and GFX card, however the mobo and CPU probably wont be able to be tested there...
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December 21, 2009 1:24:43 AM

PC turned off but still plugged into the socket, i guess.

Clue = no PSU activity
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December 21, 2009 2:29:44 AM

Are you saying the lights for the power and reset button are always on, or just that they cycle on and off as you push the buttons?

In the unlikely event they aways stay on, try unplugging the power supply from the wall and see if lights are still on.

Did you recheck all power cable connections? Power button connections? I suggest unplugging and re-plugging each just to be sure, if you have aleady not done so. Don't forget where the main power cable plugs into the wall socket and pc and the modular power cable connections on the PSU.

Most PSUs have a fusible link to protect the unit from high voltages - the link melts and breaks the connection, protecting the rest of the power unit as well as the PC. It is inside the PSU so not something most people check and I don't know how you replace it. This would be the most likely damage from lightening, and I don't know if the fusible link fully protects from that large a hit.

You can inspect the mobo and other components for burn marks - black spots - around the power supply connections. This is less likely and will not tell you definitively if something is damaged but might point you in the right direction. You can also look inside the connectors for burn marks or other evidence of damage, such as some melting or other defects.
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December 21, 2009 2:51:30 AM

@ rockyjohn. The Lights I am talking about are on the motherboard they are for if you stuff up your overclocking, its an easy way to reset to stock. So they are always on. They are the only active part of the system. I have checked the cables, and tried a different wall socket. I will look into the fuse link inside the PSU however if that was borken there probably wouldnt be the lights on the motherboard, also it wasnt a direct lightening hit, it was stormy in the area and there were power spikes i think.
Thanks for your help
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December 21, 2009 4:32:30 AM

You are saing the lights "always on" if you unplug the power supply?

I don't know if the lights are powered by the PSU or the onboard battery. If they are always on even after unplugging the power supply, then it must be the battery and they do not provide any indicator of PSU life. If they go off when the PSU is unplugged, then the PSU at least has some life. So I am confused when you say the lights are always on but yet they indicate no fuse link was broken in the PSU.
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December 21, 2009 4:52:25 AM

Sorry for the confusion the ligts do go out when the PSU is disconnected. I have removed the PSU inorder to check the fusable link however im unsure what this is or how to check it.Do you know how?
Thanks
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December 21, 2009 5:58:22 AM

I saw a pictue of it in a PSU review a while back but don't remember too much. As I best recall, it is something like two contacts a very short distance apart tha are connected by solder. If the circuit overloads, the solder melts and breaks the circuit. You might be able to spot the open contacts.

However, unless you have the background for it, it might not be a good idea to be poking around inside the PSU. Even if you find it, how would you solder it to melt at the right temperature? Also, I saw this on one model and don't know if they all have it.

You might call Antec customer service and discuss it.
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December 21, 2009 7:56:46 AM

Thanks really appreciate the advice
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 21, 2009 8:17:49 AM

I feel that someone should clarify that those lights separate from the computer being on are most likely powered by your computer battery..
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 21, 2009 10:15:55 AM

deadlockedworld said:
I feel that someone should clarify that those lights separate from the computer being on are most likely powered by your computer battery..

No. Those LED's that are on with the PSU plugged in and the case power switch off are powered by the small, always on standby power supply inside the PSU. That's the "5VSB" output mentioned on the PSU label.

Our standard checklist and troubleshooting thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

Try to verify (as well as you can) that the PSU works. If you have a multimeter, you can do a rough checkout of a PSU using the "paper clip trick". You plug the bare PSU into the wall. Insert a paper clip into the green wire pin and one of the black wire pins beside it. That's how the case power switch works. It applies a ground to the green wire. Turn on the PSU and the fan should spin up. If it doesn't, the PSU is dead. The tolerances should be +/- 5%. If not, the PSU is bad.

If you have a multimeter, you can check all the outputs. Yellow wires should be 12 volts, red 5 volts, orange 3.3 volts, blue wire -12 volts, purple wire is the 5 volt standby.

The gray wire is really important. It sends a control signal called something like "PowerOK" from the PSU to the motherboard. It should go from 0 volts to about 5 volts within a half second of pressing the case power switch. If you do not have this signal, your computer will not boot.

Unfortunately (yes, there's a "gotcha"), passing all the above does not mean that the PSU is good. It's not being tested under any kind of load. But if the fan doesn't turn on, the PSU is dead.
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December 21, 2009 7:14:02 PM

falconerh92 said:
Hi, After a storm my computer no longer works, there is clearly something damaged, however I am unsure how to eliminate which parts are damgaged or not. The Power and Reset buttons on the motherboard are both on, this is the only light or activity in the system. When I press the power button there is no reaction, no fans, lights, noises etc.
This happened around two days ago, the previous night the PC worked fine.

Specs;

i7 920
P6T Deluxe
G-Skill 3x2GB 1333mhz DDR3 RAM
TRue CPU H/S fan
Palit GTX 295
1000w Antec True Power Quattro
3 Sata HDD's
Vista 64bit
HAF 932

I live in the country Western Australia, where i doubt the local IT people have even heard of i7 etc. so
any advice on what to do or how to diagnose which parts are broken is greatly appreciated.


If I were you I'd pick up a good UPS for the PC, monitor, etc. Tripplite and APC are two good brands available here in AUS. Somejoe7777 wrote a pretty good sticky on UPS's in general...

Here in Sydney, we get a lot of power fluctuation, brownouts, blackouts and surges after the blackout. I use an APC smartups 1000, it has probably saved my PC's many times over.

Good luck with that cyclone, BTW.
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