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Hey Guys,

I'm looking at a computer for a client, and the problem is that the computer will not physically turn on.

I think that it may be the power supply, as when it is plugged in, a light will come on, and an internal fan will spin for the space of half a second.

After this, the light will go off, and the computer will appear dead.

I have tried pressing the power button, and this has no success either.

Would you think this was the power supply, or maybe something else, ie; the motherboard?

Thanks in advance,


asked Jun 05 '11 at 09:50

Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

Tim Fontana

closed Jun 07 '11 at 12:04

The question has been closed for the following reason "The question is answered, right answer was accepted" by Tim Fontana Jun 07 '11 at 12:04

I would check the video card,Just Saying...

answered Jun 05 '11 at 11:53

Mikecse's gravatar image


Actually, you were right, it was that either the card or the motherboard were faulty.

The power supply was dead too, and this was replaced, but the computer still failed to boot.

I took the card out, and it boots fine. Thanks :D

(Jun 07 '11 at 12:04) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

I know that thus might sound sort of far fetched but about a year ago I was replacing the graphics card in my gaming rig. And when I installed the new one the computer powered up for a few seconds with all the fans spinning and then would just die, no beeps or nothing. It turned out to be a bad graphics card if the computer has a dedicated one maybe try removing the card and reboot the computer. Otherwise, my guess would be that it is the power supply.

answered Jun 05 '11 at 10:14

TheTechDude's gravatar image


Yep. Swapping components around is the best to be done.

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:17) linuxeomboy linuxeomboy's gravatar image

I'll try it. It could be that the power supply is too weak, it's only a 300w, so that could be it.

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:25) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

If the PSU powers on and off subsequently, I'd say... short-circuit? Somewhere around components...

answered Jun 05 '11 at 09:54

linuxeomboy's gravatar image


or actually a defective/burnt component that shorts the power...

Try with a different PSU and see if the same happens... (btw, is it a desktop machine?)

(Jun 05 '11 at 09:55) linuxeomboy linuxeomboy's gravatar image

The psu light will come on for about 5 seconds once in a while on first been plugged into the mains.

After this, it will then power back off, an not turn on again.

The short circuit may be a viable, and I'll have a look.

Thanks :D

(Jun 05 '11 at 09:59) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

I had this happen in many situations that scared the hell out of me. Stripped molex conectors laying around inside my case, being the most common cause... Trying to use a PowerMac PCI-AGP Adapter on a dell P4 was the most interesting one, though.

The PSU goes up, but shuts down soon after as the load peaks.

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:07) linuxeomboy linuxeomboy's gravatar image

I had a very similar issue a few months back. It was an old XP tower and it would only turn on for a second or so and then power off again. I replaced the power supply and then it worked perfectly.

answered Jun 05 '11 at 09:56

DazOwen's gravatar image


As I thought, I need to try this then, but I don't have any spares at the moment. Thanks :D

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:07) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

I had this problem with my PSU when I first bought it. I thought it was dead but did some searching and found out by sticking a paperclip in the PSU you can bring it back to life.

Google "run power supply without motherboard" and click the "dslreports" link.

I can't guarantee this will fix the problem but I've had NO problems since I did this.

Once my PSU short circuited again but it was when I didn't plug something in correctly. The PC then booted fine after it was back in.

Any questions, ask :)

answered Jun 05 '11 at 10:23

Taz155's gravatar image


I'll try that at some point, but I reckon the PSU hasn't enough power

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:33) Tim Fontana Tim%20Fontana's gravatar image

Yeah, that might have been a glitchy Short Circuit Protection, unwilling to release once the load was removed. Usually unplugging the power cable for a minute or two does it. Jumping 'Green + GND' doesn't seem necessary for this specific matter, though quite useful to power it up without mobo. Good point.

(Jun 05 '11 at 10:35) linuxeomboy linuxeomboy's gravatar image

i've had this same issue with RAM going bad, or the RAM slot going bad, alternate ram chips and slots to rule it out.

also to find out if it's a power supply issue, disconnect the drives, and power on without any drive or extras connected, just the motherboard and graphics card and see if it powers up. this can also rule out any bad drives by connecting them up 1 at a time and powering on.

answered Jun 05 '11 at 11:29

roguekiller23231's gravatar image


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Asked: Jun 05 '11 at 09:50

Seen: 1,524 times

Last updated: Jun 07 '11 at 12:04