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Computer Crashed and won't start

Last response: in Components
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November 23, 2011 7:32:43 PM

So I was just surfing the internet, when suddenly my monitor went black. I was so confused, since it was still on. Turns out, my tower just crashed and refused to start up again. Could it be that my power supply failed? Now when I try to turn it on, I get zero response (the light doesn't turn on). Is there anything to do other than just buying a new power supply? And also, could it be anything other than that? I really don't want to have to buy one just to find out that it wasn't even the problem.

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November 23, 2011 7:50:14 PM

I don't know a whole lot about power supplies, but in my experience when a power supply goes it results in a very unstable system, not complete death. I mean, the capacitors are the usual culprit for me, and that results in the power supply working a bit differently than it should, causing instability.

Regardless, you should give more specific and detailed information. Start by taking the side of the case off and looking at the lights of the motherboard (located top right usually) when you press the power button. Also, if you haven't done so in a while (or ever), get some canned air and blow out the dust (of everything, wiring, on the board, cpu heatsink, inside the powersupply etc...
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November 23, 2011 8:04:12 PM

There are no lights turning on at all inside the case when I press the power button. What does this mean? I just heard from my roommates that there was a mini power surge an hour ago. Could that sort of thing fry the power supply?
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November 23, 2011 8:08:03 PM

most motherboards have a green light that indicates it's getting good power. since you're not seeing any (not even red), and since you mention a power surge, it sure sounds like the power supply is gone.

get a surge protector with your new power supply!
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November 23, 2011 8:22:39 PM

Check the back of the power supply. If it has a light on it, does it light up when you have the switch in the on position (the switch on the psu)? If not, it could be the power supply. But assuming a surge hit it, and took out the power supply, I would suspect the motherboard got hit as well.

So, if it does have a light, but refuses to light up, or doesn't have a light at all, I would suggest you start by trying to get another power supply and seeing if it works (maybe borrow one out of another computer, or from a friend, for testing purposes, or you could always buy one, test it, and return it if it didn't solve anything). Assuming the power supply isn't the issue, I would say the motherboard is fried (usually is if no lights or fans come on or even blink).

Here's a list of suggestions to try:
1: Plug it into another power source, another wall socket in some other room. If it was plugged into a power rail (thing you plug in that gives you more sockets to plug into), try using the wall socket. The power rail could have faulted and broken.
2: check all the connections in the computer, make sure the power cables didn't come loose. Make sure the power cable is snugly in the power supply itself.
3: Test with a different power supply. (optional) buy a power supply tester, and test the power supply. You don't want to test the power supply on another computer, because if it's broken enough, it may very well fry the motherboard when you turn it on.
4: Still no luck? You probably need to replace your motherboard.

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November 23, 2011 8:45:40 PM

I think I'm going to try another power supply. I really hope the motherboard isn't fried...blah. Annoying this is that I HAVE a power surge protector too, but didn't bother using it because I never actually thought I'd need it. Oh well, you live and you learn I guess.
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November 23, 2011 8:50:47 PM

dm287 said:
Annoying this is that I HAVE a power surge protector too, but didn't bother using it because I never actually thought I'd need it. Oh well, you live and you learn I guess.


Ouch, yeah regardless if it's the power supply or the mobo being fried, use the surge protector. My system has survived countless electrical storms without one, but I got one anyways. Always goo to be safe.

On a side note, I wonder why power supply manufacturers haven't been building surge protection into the power supplies themselves? That would be a really really nice feature to have. Same for monitors.
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a c 274 ) Power supply
November 23, 2011 8:54:53 PM

Not a definitive test but good nonetheless and easy to do.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FWXgQSokF4
Yeah it's good practice to plug your pc and A/V gear into a surge protector.
If your psu has a little red voltage switch on the back,no worries, it was junk anyways.
Good time for a replacement.
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