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Computer power button flashes but computer won't turn on

Jan 20, 2010 3:40AM PST

I'm having problems with my computer. One day, it worked fine, the next, it stopped working. The only other thing happening with the computer during this time is that the wireless keyboard also stopped working. This happened before the computer stopped working. The wireless mouse continued to work so the computer was usable. The keyboard was removed to be replaced. Another day, I tried to power on the computer to check something, and then it wouldn't power on. We now have a new keyboard, but the computer won't turn on.

When the button is pushed, an orange light flashes. It stops flashing when the power button is no longer being pushed. No sound/fan comes from the computer while this happens. The computer seems to make no effort to turn on.
Please help!!

I have a Dell Optiplex GX620.

Thank you!

Discussion is locked

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Sounds like the power supply went bad
Jan 20, 2010 5:04AM PST

You can put an extra power supply near your computer, and remove just the plugs from the built in power supply, then place the plugs for the outside computer in those locations, and see if that helps.

You don't leave it like this. This is only a troubleshooting method to see if another power supply resolves the issue.

If you don't know what to do, or are afraid, then don't do this. Find a competent person who knows what s/he is doing.

You need to find a power supply that has AT LEAST the power rating of the inside one, which may be bad.

You need to find a power supply that has all the needed plugs that are needed. Power supplies have evolved, as some new connections are needed in today's computers, those new connectors have been added. If you find a that your replacement power supply has more plugs than you need, that should be OK, even if unused.

And re-read that Caution shown above.

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A little confused
Jan 20, 2010 5:31AM PST

Hi Chuck,
Thanks for your post! I'm not afraid but am confused Happy

When you say power supply, do you mean the power strip that I'm using to plug everything into? If so, I'm confused about what the "built in" power supply is. Also, there are other things plugged into the power strip, like the monitor and a clock that are still working.

If that's not what the power supply is, can you please explain?

I will wait to ask my other questions, to make sure I'm understanding the first post of your post.

Thank you!

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No, he indicated the computer's PSU ...
Jan 20, 2010 5:40AM PST

which is a rectangular box-like component inside the computer's case that the outside power connects to and that has a lot of red, yellow, and black wires terminating into molex connectors that attach to the hard drive, CD-ROM, motherboard and other peripherals requiring power.

Here is a link to pictures and you can even order from it if desired (although you should most likely be able to locate some locally at a friendly computer repair shop) -

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Jan 20, 2010 6:08AM PST

Ok, makes more sense now! In order to find out if it's the power supply, I have to buy another? Is there another way to know that that's the problem?
I'm open to buying one but would just want to know that's what's wrong before spending the money, if possible.

Thank you for the explanation!

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and I reiterate "If you don't know what to do ..."
Jan 20, 2010 6:11AM PST

If you don't know what to do, or are afraid, then don't do this. Find a competent person who knows what s/he is doing.

Because of the questions you have just asked I would say you are NOT the person to go into the insides of your computer. Don't do it. DON'T do it. DON'T DO IT!

Find another person who is comfortable with opening the computer, with re-connecting the power supply cables, and such.

I have warned you. I now disavowal any responsibility of your destroying your computer, your home, the city and state you live in.

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Good advice!
Jan 20, 2010 6:34AM PST

It's true, I don't know what to do but am open to learning. I did change the video card awhile ago, however, I am fairly uninformed; I admit it!
I probably will have someone come take a look. Just nice to do it yourself when possible.

Thanks for the advice.

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I like learning
Jan 20, 2010 7:24AM PST

I too like learning, especially around electronic equipment, and I am willing to try thing,s even though I may have never see it before. However, I am not willing to persuade others to try things out, when I am not there to monitor their progress.

I like hear that you would like to learn. If I were you I would chance it and try the substitution, to see if I could get the PC going with a temporary power supply. But I am not going to tell you to try it.

It would be quite a learning experience, though.

But, to elaborate a bit more, I have been involved with computers since the early 70's, and before that I was an Electronics Technician in the Navy, and before that I was training in an ET school for a couple years. I am quite comfortable with getting myself into issues beyond my own scope of experience and quickly learn through what works and doesn't work.

I am not comfortable in telling you, or anyone else to "just try it!"
But I do support your willingness to do so.

Good luck in any direction you want to go.

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(NT) I apologize for the English. I should have preread that 1st
Jan 20, 2010 7:28AM PST
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(NT) Difficult when I'm doing this from my phone
Jan 20, 2010 11:30AM PST
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It's a bad PSU
Jan 20, 2010 6:58AM PST

It's a bad PSU. As a Dell certified tech, I replace a lot of PSUs, particularly on 620s since they're 3-5 years old at this point and have taken a fair amount of abuse over their life.

The giant mid-tower cases use a pretty standard ATX power supply, but the others are generally custom models. Especially the small form factor and ultra small form factor is even worse. So, if it's not under warranty, I'll point you to which is a place I use for out of warranty repair parts. Safer than ebay, and not much more expensive.

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How to find the appropriate PSU?
Jan 20, 2010 7:20AM PST

Hi Jimmy,
Thanks for your response!
I'm pretty sure my computer is not under warranty anymore. Is it better to purchase a new PSU vs a new computer? Do you know how I find out exactly which PSU I need? Is this something I can replace or something I should contact a computer technician to change?

Thank you!

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Replacing a PSU vs the computer
Jan 20, 2010 7:42AM PST

The cost of replacing the PSU (Power Supply Unit) would be in the $25 to $100 range, and lots cheaper than replacing the whole computer. But replacing the computer, any computer more than a few years old, is going to be quite a step-up from what you already have. The components of your old computer are already those few years old too (easily a computer generation behind),

Getting a new computer is almost always going to get you a better performing machine. But once replacing the computer, you may then need to get some files off the old computer and onto your new computer. You may need that PSU anyway.

There are ways to get the wanted files off the old PC without having the whole computer running, you could remove the hard drive and temporarily install it with some method of connecting to your new computer (or even a friend's) and get those files onto your new computer.

But, and again the typical pre-warning here, if you don't know what to do, get someone to help you. And good luck.

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A lot of work!
Jan 20, 2010 9:03AM PST

Thanks for your responses!
It's not so much that I want to learn but I want to save some money Happy I'd be happy for someone else to do it!

I didn't realize that I couldn't get the files/programs from the computer if I replaced the PSU. Sounds like quite a bit of work.

I guess I will price the newer computers and compare the cost.

Thank you all again for your help!

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not THAT hard
Jan 20, 2010 11:23AM PST

Getting a new power supply is going to be a lot cheaper than a new computer, if you are wanting to save money. But you don't know if it really is the power supply yet.

You can get the files off the old drive without that power supply, it requires you to install the drive in a functioning computer.

if you want to shop good deals on computers, check out gotapexDOTcom.

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power supply
Jan 20, 2010 11:28PM PST

Is there a way to find out if it's the power supply before buying a new one?
I do want to save money so will check out the power supply first. How do I know which one to get?

I think what I will probably do is buy the power supply and then have someone install it for me. And hopefully they can also get the files from the computer at the same time.

Thank you!

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Power supply tests
Jan 21, 2010 1:57AM PST

Sure there are testers to check the outputs. I have one. Most of the cheaper ones don't really check the PS under load, though. So it may give a false good result. Any competent person with a voltmeter can also check the outputs while the PS is plugged in and under load. There are some signal complications with that way as well.

The simplest and fastest test is to just temporalily plug in another PS. Any computer testing person may have a spare test unit laying around. Sometimes a computer repair shop will run though a quick check of the PS for free. They are not going to get your files off for free, though. But at least you may see what a repair cost might be at that time.