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Computer won't power on


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#1
adams0423

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I have a 4 year old Dell Dimension computer at home (I'm at work now or I would supply the model number). It will not power on. I opened it up and saw that a light does turn on on the Motherboard when I plug it in, but I get absolutely nothing when I press the power button.

I enjoy tinkering, and am comfortable with the inside of the computer, but don't know where to start.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Brady
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#2
Facedown98

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This seems to be a common issue. I personally think that your power supply has gone dead. Look inside (UNPLUG THE COMPUTER FIRST) and see if you can find out how many watts the power supply is, and take that information to your local computer store. They will help you find a supply with the same wattage, and also help you find out which supply manufacturer is best for you. Good luck to you. :whistling:
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#3
bshaw

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This seems to be a common issue. I personally think that your power supply has gone dead.

x2.
I've had the same problems in the past, although it took me forever to figure out what was going on.
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#4
Facedown98

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Exactly the issue. Many people really don't understand what a power supply is, or that computers even have one. People tend to think it's the wall cord going to ____ . It doesn't matter. People don't think about it. Once explained however, they have a much better understanding of how things work.
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#5
adams0423

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Unfortunately the power supply did not resolve the issue. There is still a light on the motherboard that comes on when I plug in the powercord, but when I press the power button on the computer I do not get ANYTHING (noises, movements, etc).

Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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#6
digikiwi

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Unfortunately the power supply did not resolve the issue. There is still a light on the motherboard that comes on when I plug in the powercord, but when I press the power button on the computer I do not get ANYTHING (noises, movements, etc).

Does that mean you tried another power supply? PSU's supply power at different voltages on different rails and just because one LED lights up does not mean everything is OK with the PSU. It might be working on one rail and not on another, or not supplying enough power even though it appears to be working.
To efficiently find the source of your problem you need to eliminate possible causes, and the PSU is not eliminated yet.

Digikiwi
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#7
adams0423

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Sorry, I should have been more clear:
I purchased a new Power Supply and installed it. Once installed, I get the same results. One LED on the Motherboard lights up when power is applied (the plug in plugged into the back), but nothing happens when the switch is turned on.

Thanks,
Brady
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#8
adams0423

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Is it most likely a motherboard issue at this point? Is there any way to troubleshoot a motherboard (multimeter, etc) without replacing it?

Thanks,
Brady
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#9
digikiwi

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Is it most likely a motherboard issue at this point? Is there any way to troubleshoot a motherboard (multimeter, etc) without replacing it?

Thanks,
Brady


Before we start reprogramming the motherboard with a battleaxe let's eliminate a couple of other possibilities.

This requires you to strip down your computer - If you are not confident or familiar with which bits go where I suggest you take pictures at each step and or notes with what goes where. Also make sure you disconnect the power first :whistling: . (if I'm stating the obvious think about other less expereinced readers who might try this)

Before you start make sure you remove any static charge you might be carrying by earthing yourself - touch something metallic (a biggish object).

1) Unplug your hard drive(s) and CD/DVD drives. You don't have to remove them.

2) Next remove your graphics card (if you have a PCI or AGP slot one) - If you don't know what I mean you are probably using your motherboard's built in graphics interface.

3) Remove any other PCI slot devices (eg sound card, usb or firewaire card etc). Make sure you put the cards someplace they won't get damaged.

4) Remove your RAM card(s). Treat these real carefully.


You now have a barebones motherboard - let's check if your RAM is good.

a)Add a RAM stick and then try to power up. Note what happens.

b)If you have another RAM stick exchange it and try again. What happens?

c)Try both Ram Sticks if applicable. What happens?

If there is still no sign of life then try replacing the RAM with one known to work. Be careful to ensure you use the correct type of RAM. You will likely find the specs on a sticker on the RAM, or else in your motherboard manual. If you have to buy another to try check out their returns policy in case it is not a RAM problem and you want to return it.

Other RAM and still no joy? At this point it looks bad for your motherboard.


If you are getting any changes in behaviour keep adding bits (powering off each time) and note at what point things grind to a halt. Start with the video card, then sound card then hard dirve(s) and then optical drives.

Report back. Please use the

quote

facility (copy the text into the reply box, highlight it and hit the speechbubble symbol to the left of the # . This way you can explain what happened at each step of the rebuild.

Good luck

Digikiwi

Edited by digikiwi, 30 June 2006 - 05:18 PM.

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#10
adams0423

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Thanks Digikiwi for the tips. It must be the motherboard at this point. Unplugging and removing all devices, inserting known good memory, and using a brand new power supply, all yielded the same results. Not a bit of sound, noise, or other.

No joy.

PC isn't valuable enough to replace the motherboard at this point. I will suggest that my friend gets a new PC, and I can salvage anything on the harddrive for him if he needs it.

Thanks for your tips!!
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#11
speleocaver

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:whistling:

Woah!

Wait!

Try stripping down the computer again this time take out the backup battery as well. Leave it for a day or so then power up the computer without the cmos battery and see what happens.

It could be a bios issue.

:blink:
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#12
adams0423

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Even though the computer is not powering on AT ALL? No sound, just the click of the power button? I am happy to try this, but I thought the computer would have to be able to read the BIOS before it could affect the power-on.....





:whistling:

Woah!

Wait!

Try stripping down the computer again this time take out the backup battery as well. Leave it for a day or so then power up the computer without the cmos battery and see what happens.

It could be a bios issue.

:blink:


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#13
computerwiz12890

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You are correct adams0423. BIOS settings should not interfeer with the computer powering on, but sometimes strange things happen. I've had one refuse to turn on when I inserted new RAM in the place of the old one, and with the old stick behind the new stick. :whistling:

It can't hurt to try removing the battery. Though I believe it will not help. I have a feeling it is either a dead powersupply or a dead motherboard. And...just in case...plug something else into the outlet that you have your computer plugged into. Let's make sure the outlet is working. :blink:
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#14
Anton1382

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If the light does not go on at all on the motherboard, it is the power supply.
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