No Power After Blackout- What's Wrong/How To Fix?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by James Edward, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    After power was restored, my mother's PC will no longer turn on. I have eliminated the surge protector, wall outlet, and power cord as issues. When you press the power button on the CPU, it simply fails to light and power up.

    It is a Dell PC- what is the most likely problem, and where can I get the parts to try and fix it? If you feel I need to further troubleshoot, let me know...

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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  3. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Is there a power switch on the back? Make sure it's orientated correctly. If you open up the case there will usually be a blinking light or two, or if you have a network card it will also be blinking if your system is plugged in and getting power through the ps. If you can never get any power, it is probably the power supply. If it seems to power up for a second (the fans spin) it is probably a short somewhere in the system.

    Have you checked to make sure the outlet works at all still?
     
  4. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    No diagnostic lights on the PC- it is about 3 1/2 yrs old.

    I have made sure that the outlet works- a lamp will light when plugged into it. I also swapped in a working power cord to be sure it wasn't that.

    I looked further into the link Gabriel provided- it seems to indicate a bad power supply. Is it simply a matter of taking out the old one and installing a new one? Can these be purchased at most CompUSA outlets or Radio Shack? I profess total ignorance on the subject- or do I need to go to Dell directly?

    Thanks for the help...
     
  5. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    James,

    You would need to confirm this with Dell, but I am 99% sure that all Dell power supplies are proprietary and you will more than likely have to order one through them.

    However, the problem with doing that is, that in the process of frying your power supply, the surge may have also fried various other components inside the computer. This happened to me a few years ago after the power company had done some work. I unplugged my computer while they were working and after the power was back on I plugged it back in... poof! I smelled ozone and the computer no longer worked. After replacing the power supply, it still didn't work... come to find out my hard drive, cd-rom and power supply had all been fried.

    It may be time for your mom to bite the proverbial bullet and just upgrade... Computers are so cheap now, just check the gotapex.com deals page.
     
  6. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    She is willing to do that, but I at least want to try just replacing the power supply and see if it works. I guess I'll check with Dell and see if they are the only source for the PS.

    Thanks
     
  7. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Found this page with the following info:
     
  8. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Sorry, yet another post from this page where you can now buy a Dell-to-ATX converter for $13.95... so with this, you can apparently use a standard power supply.

    Again though, consider that once you spend whatever money on the power supply, you may still find out that more than just the power supply was fried.

    Good luck to you!
     
  9. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter

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    James, you might want to follow these steps that I was given by Dell I while ago when something similar happened to a machine at work. This worked for me at the time.

    1) unplug cord
    2) press and hold power button for 5 seconds
    3) switch voltage to 230 then back to 115
    (voltage selection switch should be near where the power cord connects to the machine)
    4) plug in power cord
    5) try restarting machine

    Good luck.

    -Keith
     
  10. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Sorry that I am running slow today. (Need more coffee)! Anyway, this is for the future, as plenty of others seem to be doing just great with what to do.

    I'm taking issue with their surge protector. I read a while back that the majority of them protect the PC once. After that, a part inside fries, and if another surge comes through, it will keep on going, right into your computer.
    These are the ones that typically sell for $20. or so.

    It might pay to get a better one for next time...
    Just my thoughts.

    Glenn
     
  11. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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  12. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    I hope you guys are still looking at this thread...

    I replaced the power supply this morning, and still nothing- not even the power supply fan spins. Could the actual power switch be the problem?

    All thoughts appreciated. Thank you.
     
  13. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    Any thoughts on the power switch itself? Is there a way I can check it?

    Thanks...
     
  14. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Disclaimer - Don't have a Dell - never seen one (inside).

    I take it that the front panel power switch wiring goes to the motherboard. If the power switch has a black spot or any insulation that looks like it might have gotten a little bit too warm and distorted, then maybe.

    If you can get a meter and check for continuity you might be able to track it down. Understand here that the PC didn't go bad when the power went off, but when it went back on. The sudden surge was a bit too much. The power supply could have fried everything in it's path.

    This may or may not work, but unplug everything else (except the motherboard), and try it, and then reverse it. It depends on how Dell configured it.

    If you can, get a piece of wire and 'short' the switch out, forcing it on, but you're overriding safety measures, so be careful.

    Glenn
     
  15. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    James,

    You might want to take the whole thing in to a local computer store (preferably a mom & pop place) and see if they will do a free diagnostic for you. A lot of times they will since they hope to a) do the repairs for you later; or b) sell you a replacement computer.

    I'm assuming that you did use some sort of Dell-specific power supply or a converter right? Because as I showed you in those earlier links, regular ATX power supplies WILL plug into a Dell motherboard, but the wiring is completely different and can fry your motherboard or powersupply, or both.
     
  16. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    Sounds like it got zapped. It's not going to be just the switch unless you unhooked the lead from the motherboard to the switch. You'll probably have to replace the significant parts.
     
  17. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    It does kind of sound like the motherboard got zapped. No way to know for sure without replacing more parts, but you really should evaluate the value of that system before proceeding.
     
  18. DerrickS

    DerrickS Auditioning

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    My brother just had the same problem. He took his computer in to a computer repair shop and they told him the power supply got fried... I would figure out how to get a new power supply or take it somewhere. Luckily the power supply is a cheap and easy part to replace.

    Derrick
     
  19. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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  20. James Edward

    James Edward Supporting Actor

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    OK- My mother is willing to pick up a new PC. She's had this one for 4 years, and until now, it has given her no problem.

    Now for the question of how to buy just the CPU portion of things... She does not need a monitor, speakers, printer or scanner. I usually see them sold with monitor, etc. Where is a good place to look? Does the Gotapex site sell just the tower?

    Thanks for all the help so far, as I am rather deficient in this area. I appreciate the assistance.
     

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