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Computer won't turn on - problem is new, frequent, and intermitte


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#1
sally4

sally4

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I have a Dell Inspiron 530 from 2008, running Windows XP. Several times in the last two weeks it would not turn on when I pushed the ON button - just dead - no light, no fan, nothing. Fiddled with plugs and changed it to a different surge protector, pressing the ON button after each change - and eventually it would turn on. I now suspect that it was the repeated pushing of the button rather than fiddling with plugs and surge protectors that finally turned it on.

I generally turn the computer on once a day. The problem happend most but not all mornings. This week it was fine for a few days, then yesterday and the day before it took several minutes to get it to turn on.

Yesterday I took it to the tech team at Stapes. They plugged it in with their power cord, turned it on, and it came on promptly. They checked various things including the motherboard, which they say is OK; the on-off switch, which they say is OK; and the power supply, which appeared to be working. I don't understand much about any of this, but from what they told me, the tests for the power supply are such that they can't be sure it is perfect.

Although mostly it turned on promptly for them, sometimes it wouldn't turn on for them either. So the problem is not my power cord, surge protector, electical outlet.

They also "restored the bios to its original setting" - this means nothing to me, except that when the unit turns on now I have to tell it to run XP. They didn't have any more problems after changing the bios, and the computer worked fine for me when I brought it home last night. But again this morning it would not turn on without several tries ( and a lot of fiddling, who can resist? tho it probably made no difference)

Questions:
a) Does a power supply fail slowly like this? Do I gamble that that is the problem and have it replaced?
b) Is it time for a new computer? I really do not have TIME to choose, set-up, and learn a new computer right now! Everything else is working just the way I want it, and there aren't any wonderful new advances that I'm looking forward to in a new system.
c) Does anybody have any other suggestions?

Thank you for any suggestions you can provide!
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello sally4

I suggest that we start with checking the PSU output;

Download Speedfan and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.

Posted Image
(this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

To capture and post a screenshot;

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... then after typing in any response you have... click on browse...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on the upload button...then on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

Depending on the results we may need to run further software for comparison http://www.cpuid.com.../hwmonitor.html

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.

Some information regarding PSUs;

The problem that you are having could be caused by the "power good signal" besides the voltages and currents that the computer needs to operate power supplies also provide a signal called the "Power-Good" signal, what it does is tell the computer all is well with the power supply and that the computer can continue to operate normally.

If the Power-Good signal is not present the computer will not turn on.

Basically the Power-Good signal prevents the computer from attempting to operate on improper voltages which would hose the computer completely.

As a PSU puts out various voltages +3.3V, +5V and +12V it may appear that the PSU is working correctly but it is not, any significant drop of any output can prevent the system from booting up, the other scenario is a significant increase in the output which can be worse as it can fry one or more major components such as the MB, CPU, Ram, add on video card etc.


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#3
sally4

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Hi Philpower2,
Thank you for helping me.

I've run speedfan and saved the image as a jpeg, but can't seem to get it to upload. In the reply area, I clicked on Browse, found the image, got a screen that asks "choose file to upload", highlighted the file, then selected "open". But nothing seems to have happened, and, as far as I can tell, the file is not in this reply.

Should I just attach the jpeg?

-sally4
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#4
phillpower2

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Hello Sally

Should I just attach the jpeg?

Yes please.

Please refer to the tutorial provided courtesy of admin if you have any problems http://www.geekstogo...topic-or-reply/

You are welcome BTW :thumbsup:
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#5
sally4

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Hi Philpower2,
Here is the speedfan result.
-Sally4

Attached Thumbnails

  • speedfan 6-1-13.jpg

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#6
phillpower2

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There are a couple of high readings (they could be false) so we need some further information about the computers hardware + comparison figures for the temps and voltages, please provide a Speccy url for us http://www.piriform....file-to-the-web
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#7
sally4

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Hi Philpowerw,
Here is the speccy url: http://speccy.pirifo...k8A4AyWGEEXf6vu
-Sally4
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#8
phillpower2

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Thanks for the url sally4 :thumbsup:

The Speccy readings look better and more realistic with the CPU voltage being 1.14V.

All that I can suggest now is that you have the PSU tested by a local tech store and not Staples as any type of conclusive testing will need to be done by a suitably trained Tech who has the required testing equipment and the relevant knowledge as to how to use it, many stores do this for free or a small fee in the hope that they make a sale.

Just so that you are aware, the best of brand PSUs typically have a 5 year warranty so your PSU has done ok lasting 5 years as Dell often use budget PSUs to keep their build costs down.

Can you confirm that your computer is the standard Inspiron 530 and not the 530S.
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#9
sally4

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Hi Philpower2,
Yes, the computer is model 530, not 530s.

The tech team at the local Staples was recommended to me by several people in our area, including people whose businesses depend on high-powered computer systems. The tech team did have testing equipment, but they did not explain what testing equipment they used, only said that the unit passed but that that didn't necessarily mean that it was working. I'll see if I can get more information about what tests they did and see if I can find a local tech store that might know more.

Is the PSU still the most likely cause of the problem?

Thank you for your help. I am very glad that I found geekstogo to count on when I can't figure things out on my own.
-Sally4
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#10
phillpower2

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Hello sally4

I do not wish to alarm you but the attached video is the one that I use as an example to show the sort of equipment that is required to conclusively test a PSU, I am not aware of any Staples outlet that has such equipment in store.

What the equipment does is simulate a computer under load and so the PSU behaves as it would when it is powering your PC, multi-meters and the basic testing devices that you can purchase from some merchants only test the basic voltage output from the PSU rails and so cannot be relied on as 100% conclusive.

As an asides I feel that the problem with your PSU is the internal power switch that activates the PSU when you press the power button on the case or the power button itself being worn through use, the 5 year old PSU is the most likely of the two based on the amount of use that it has had.


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