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Computer Won't Fully Power Up

Posted on 2006-07-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hello,

My PC has recently stopped powering itself up. When I turn it on, it begins to load up, then after 2 seconds or so, it powers down. If I keep pressing the power button while it's powering up, it'll power up, then power down as stated and the cycle will continue but sometimes the power up will go on for longer (maybe 5 or 10 seconds), sometimes I can hear the hard disks being powered up and/or the floppy drive 'sound' but it doesn't ever power up to the XP screen.

We've recently had thunderstorms, so I thought it might be the socket. I tried a different socket, and it loaded up fine, but now it doesn't again. It only worked once! I'm not sure what the problem is. I've tried two or three sockets, and the problem still exists, so I guess it must be the computer?

I do have an extension cord which goes from the sockets which has 6 sockets, which I have attached the PC, monitor, a lamp and speakers (only 4 of the sockets are used) - could this be a problem? It wasn't before...

Is it anything to do with the PSU? I have no idea what the problem is!

Thanks,

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Question by:Cookie295
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7 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

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phototropic earned 400 total points
ID: 17163585
The first thing to look at is changing the PSU for a known good unit.
If your pc is a standard ATX model, a 350 -450 watt power supply shouldn't cost more the £15:00 - £20:00 and is easy to install.
Were you running the pc during a thunderstorm? Open the case and check for charring/scorching marks anywhere on the m/board
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Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 17163642
Okay. I don't have a good unit, but my friend does so I'll borrow his tonight.

It's a standard ATX-350W. I'll test it, and if it's okay, I'l buy one. I'm looking to get an entirely new PC (own-build) so this poses yet just another reason to do it! My one is clearly old and haggered!!

I wasn't running it during the thunderstorm, no. But the power to it was on. The 6-socket multiplier runs from the mains and the red light on that was on (so that works!) so technically, power was still going to the PC. I don't swtich off the power at the wall.

I took the side panel off - with the PC connected, the mobo works (the green light on it is lit up) and when I press the power button, the fans and HSF start up instantly. When I try to turn the PC on now, it powers down almost instantly.. maybe 0.5 seconds.

The PSU does look a little burnt. There are some small black scorch 'dots' on the side of the PSU, but they could have been caused over years of use? It does smell a little... charred too.

The rest of it seems fine - but I do think it may be the PSU. I'll test my friend's one tonight. If it powers up, then it's okay. I just thought it may have been a problem with the mains sockets as we've had problems with them for the kettle and stuff.

I'll let you know.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 17163694
If the wall socket is bad, then it is probabley dangerous and you should get an electrician to check it out.
If your PSU looks and smells charred, I'd say it is a safe bet that you will need to replace it!!!
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Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 17164266
Well I've replaced it with my friends 400W ATX PSU and it's started up fine.

So I spose it was the PSU. Now that it's back up and running though, some of the colours have gone a bit weird. Only very few though, like some of the icons (the non-standard XP ones) and a few other things.

I'll give the PC a fresh restart - I'm sure it'll be cool after that.
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Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 17164318
Okay... a shut down cleared the graphical problems.

It did give me an invalid handle error on restart.. but it started okay. Shutdown again and the error didn't appear so I think I'm in the clear.

Opened up the old PSU and there's no charring or burnt components or anything and everything's still soldered together okay. Although there is a lot of dust in there... I didn't think there should be a lot in there. Most of it's settled on important looking components which can't be good?

Anyway, I'll buy another PSU when I get the chance and use my friend's in the interim.

Cheers phototropic.

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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:phototropic
ID: 17164462
I'm glad you got things sorted.
You should be careful opening up a PSU - even when unplugged there can still be a hefty charge sitting in some of the capacitors!
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Author Comment

by:Cookie295
ID: 17164522
Thanks for the info - I'll bare that in mind!
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