Desktop will not power on

A friend's desktop will not turn on.

After plugging it in, an LED lights up on the power supply.

I then turn on the computer.

The light turns off, the fan on the power supply rotates breifly and the cooling fan on the CPU turns on momentarily as well.  After, all turn off and the light on the power supply remains off.

I try this process again and nothing happens.

However, when I unplug the workstation and replug it, the light turns back on and I'm able to go through the same proccess.

My guess it is the power supply.

I don't have a replacement PS or a multimeter.

I'm thinking about going to Best Buy and picking one up.  If it's not the PS, they let you return it.

Anyone have any ideas?
Who is Participating?

Improve company productivity with a Business Account.Sign Up

CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am in agreement - it sounds like the power supply.  The other possibility is that you have bad capacitors on the motherboard - see for examples of what they look like.  If you have bad caps, you will have to replace the motherboard, unless you're very good at fine soldering.
Second Callandor.  Most likely the power supply.
Justin CollinsIT Support TechnicianCommented:
Is this a gateway, or emachines?  :)
Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

hi there

its certainly a powersupply issue so try to check with a working powersupply unit or try to buy a new cabinet as that would not cost u much as the major costing factor in a cabinet is the ps unit.


Justin CollinsIT Support TechnicianCommented:
I am going to say Motherboard, just cuz Gateway's have the power supply that turns on momentarily and shuts off.  They don't turn on for the few seconds if they are bad.  Not saying that this is only for gateway's, I know other PS do this.  I am going with Moboard.
warriorfan808Author Commented:
It's a Compcrap ...I mean Compaq.  

Like bhanu mentioned, buying an entirely new computer case might be a good idea.  Well, for me :D.  I've been wanting to change my case and if I can get it for about the same price, then why not.
you can also test further by disconnecting all devices and cards, if the problem remains, the domponents in use are to blame. But in most cases, it comes down to PSU or mobo, as said
you can also try running with 1 Ram stick
warriorfan808Author Commented:
Hey guys,

Sorry it took so long to do this, I was kind of busy all week.  I went down to Circuit City and purchased a 300 Watt ATX Power Supply.  I disconnected everything from the old workstation and then put in the new power supply.  I then powered it up, but nothing happened.  Not even a jolt of a CPU fan or case fan.  Then I started thinking that I may have damaged something, so I put back in the old one and got the same symptoms, the jolt of the fans for a split second.

I don't change power supplies often.  In fact, this is my first time doing this in years.  If I'm taking out an ATX Form factor power supply and putting in a new one, there shouldnt' be anything else to look at, right?
warriorfan808Author Commented:
BTW, I'm replacing a HP-D2537F3R

with a ISO 300

Anyone familiar with any of these?
try booting with the minimum, as i suggested; disconnect everything else .
only mobo + cpu + 1 ram stick, 1 disk, video card, keyb + mouse. if still nothing, try without disk, or another ram stick, or another video card (even a cheap pci card will do for testing)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.