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Computer Newbies forum


Computer won't turn on after power outage

by madgrrl / December 19, 2013 6:19 AM PST

The power went out all along our street for several hours last night. When the power came back on, I went to turn on my desktop computer.
Nothing happens. No sound, no lights, nothing. I've looked a little bit around the internet, and so have already tried: unplugging the computer, unplugging the surge protector, and plugging the computer into the wall instead of the surge protector. Everything else that is plugged into that surge protector (modem, monitor) works just fine.
For what it's worth, my computer is a Dell Precision 370--I don't know how old it is. I'm kind of at a loss, here.

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All Answers

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Re: computer won't turn on
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 19, 2013 6:29 AM PST

It could be something as small and simple as a fuse in the PSU. Any repair shop having a Volt-meter should be able to fix it.


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Probable bad PSU
by Willy / December 19, 2013 9:00 AM PST

Since this is a Dell, are there any LEDs in the rear of PSU? If yes, what are the LEDs displaying? If none, is there any showing of some activity by the PC? You need to open the PC case and find a small LED, is it lit? If none or no display maybe you apply power does the CPU fan spin or twitch then still? What all this points to is very likely a blown PSU. While you could replace the fuse, you still need to remove the PSU to access the insides provided its a simple snap-in fuse type. If not a repair should be able to do this and if not and its bad PSU entirely, then replace the PSU while there. You can do this too is capable depending on your skill set. There will be lablel on the PSU to ask or show the PSU itself to some salesperson. -OR- order online, it should be generic type PSU, just be sure it has the connectors you need. If you do this yourself, then ID what goes where for ease of replacement of new PSU. However, it isn't that hard, just unplug and replug when replaced.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Tested the PSU: seems okay
by madgrrl / December 19, 2013 3:18 PM PST
In reply to: Probable bad PSU

LEDs: I have seen no lights of any kind since trying to turn on the computer this morning. I don't know if there are normally lights on the PSU, but if so, they haven't been lit at all today.
Activity: as I said, there's no activity of any kind: no fans, no lights, no sounds, nothing.

Following this guide, I tested the power supply (and all the other steps leading up to that). Every single pin that I tested was in normal range, and I'm pretty sure I tested everything that was connected to the PSU. I believe that means the PSU is fine. I want to test the power button next, as that's the second-to-last step in the above troubleshooting guide (the last step being 'replace the motherboard').
I don't quite understand the instructions given in the guide, though, for how to do it (also, it's late), so I'll try to figure it out in the morning. OR: does anyone here have access to better instructions/know how to do it and can explain it?

Also, thanks. I appreciate your help.

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Check manuals
by Willy / December 20, 2013 3:43 AM PST

The above is the manual for this Del model#. It should help decide what if you can do any repair or determine the cause of your problem. As I mentioned LEDs, those located on the rear, if you can look at the display rather they be ON/OFF helps determine the cause. if no display or any lit LED then power is still an issue. You say you tested the PSU, but overall this is a minor test, it should do more than what it is doing if you got some voltage. It seems more and more that the mtrbd. maybe hanging it up if it it can't proceed once power is applied. This being an older model you may find it better to buy a whole replacement PC of the model#. This can then allow you to swap over the HDs and continue to work as you did before. -OR- get another totally new PC and swap data as required to the new setup having all the do-dads a new PC will have. This is all depends on you, if a mtrbd. replacement alone may make this more platable to get new PC or decide of replacement Dell 370.

tada -----Willy Happy
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At this point I would bet on a bad power switch
by mijcar / December 20, 2013 7:31 AM PST

No LED's, no anything and that sounds like a bad switch. The switch is almost certainly an electronic one rather than a mechanical, and they actually provide a sort of last line of defense against power surges (is this on purpose? I don't know).

You seem to be comfortable going into the box and if you can find the contact points to the power supply you can test across those points with a meter. If you don't have one, and don't wish to invest in one, I would recommend find a cheap local computer fix-it shop and finding out what would be charged to test and repair/replace.

When it comes to repairs, I sort of look at my own billable time value versus the investment versus the pleasure of doing it myself. Power switches haven't won yet with me on that basis.

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Actually, if the computer were 5 or more years old, ...
by mijcar / December 20, 2013 7:41 AM PST

I'd look toward a replacement machine, even it were a used one.

The thing for me would be that even if the power switch provided a sort of insulation against shock, there still might have been a jolt to the system. There might have been degradation at any point, including the fixed disk.

It's probably a small risk, but at the very least, I would want to make certain that everything that is important to me has been backed up as soon as possible.

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Simple test
by Willy / December 20, 2013 10:04 AM PST

You can test the frt. panel sw. with a small screwdriver. Locate the frt. panel wire harness, then the sw. set. run along till you find the connection area. Then for a *momentarily* touch the 2-pins, it should start. This bypasses the actual sw. you have become the sw. in effect. If it starts or comes alive, then replace the sw. with a radio shank momentarily(toggle) sw. unit. If it still doesn't work and you know you touched the proper pins, then the possible repairs I gave prior still hold. *NOTE* it should be labeled "power" or something similar.

tada -----Willy Happy

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It is almost always a power supply
by waytron / December 22, 2013 1:52 AM PST

I run into this all the time and over 90% of the time it is the Power Supply. Even if you think you are testing it correctly, I would go out and purchase a new one and try it. You can always return it if it does not fix the problem.

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Agree with PSU
by rje49 / December 25, 2013 8:21 AM PST

I'm not a true repair shop, but I keep a couple of spare used power supply units that I've used for testing in situations like this. An area power problem is a lot more apt to affect a computer's PSU than a power switch, isn't it?

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Pretty Sure It's The Motherboard
by madgrrl / January 2, 2014 7:23 AM PST

... AND the PSU.
Got a new PSU: it "turns on" (via the power button), and the fan starts going and whatnot, but the monitor just sits there saying, "No cable", and it doesn't do the start-up beep.
So, I'm pretty sure the motherboard is busted and needs to be replaced.

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PC won't turn on
by pauly1651 / January 3, 2014 10:19 AM PST

Sounds to me like the PC has been damaged by the power outage somehow. If putting in a new power supply does not solve the issue, then I would get a new PC, and make darn sure you have it connected to a surge protector, one that isn't a cheap one.

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Happened to me twice. SOLUTION!!!
by Davidhig1 / June 8, 2016 12:42 PM PDT

So literally this happened to me TWICE. The first time I had no clue and took it to my local Best Buy at Geek Squad and they fiddled around with wires inside (without majorly disconnecting anything, literally just moved them around as if a baby were playing with them) and they plugged it in and it turned on. I took it home and everything was just how it was when I left it. Now today, there was a severe thunderstorm during school and we lost power there, I got home and my power was on, but I went upstairs and my computer was off. Knowing the same thing has happened before, I did what Geek Squad did and "fiddled" with the wires. Literally just moving them around inside and putting them back where they were. Now this might not have been the thing that turned it on, because after I did that I spun my Intel i8 fan and hit the power button at the same time and it turned on. Hope this helps.

Key: Fiddle with the wires inside.

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