PC power-up failure

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Earl Lemongrab
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PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:29 pm

We had a brief power outage today, and afterwards the PC (Lenovo Windows) did not power up. Everything else on the same surge-suppressor power strip comes on. I tried a power cord from the monitor that does come on, no luck.

What's the likely problem? Dead power supply? Any trouble-shooting ideas to try?
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by livesoft » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:31 pm

display popped a cap. Try connecting a different display. Even though the display comes on, maybe it is not able to interpret signals from PC.

Does it boot up in safe mode?

Does the fan come on?
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:29 pm

No, the PC doesn't come on at all. No fan, no front panel lights.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:31 pm

1. Cycle the switch on the power supply.

2. Any fans? Look at the power supply especially.

3. Any lights on the motherboard?

4. Any beeps?

If absolutely nothing happens- bad power supply is a possibility but would be quite a coincidence. '

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by neilpilot » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:42 pm

When you attempt a start, does the yellow light at the rear on the power supply blink? If it does, your power supply is likely bad.

If this is the case, you can often get the PC to start by pointing a hair dryer at the power supply fan until the light stops blinking, and then try a start. I know this sounds crazy, but I wouldn't lie to you. :!:

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Gill » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:04 pm

neilpilot wrote:When you attempt a start, does the yellow light at the rear on the power supply blink? If it does, your power supply is likely bad.

If this is the case, you can often get the PC to start by pointing a hair dryer at the power supply fan until the light stops blinking, and then try a start. I know this sounds crazy, but I wouldn't lie to you. :!:
I've had the identical problem for several days and have a computer guy coming Monday. Tried the hair dryer trick and didn't work. Worth a try...
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:07 pm

Here's a trick that works for me quite often in this situation. Pull the power cord so that there is no AC power going to the computer. Then, press *and hold* the Power On button for about thirty seconds. Plug the PC back up, and try it. Sometimes what happens is that a power surge puts the power supply in what I like to think of as a "frotzed" state, and doing this exercise drains all the residual charge from the power supply and lets it get its brains back.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by heartwood » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:12 pm

Laptop? If so you might try "Try this, remove AC power and the main battery, hold the power button down for 30 seconds, plug in AC only, boot into Windows and let it run for a few minutes, then shut down and insert battery, see if this cures the boot problem." (from google search "laptop won't start remove battery".

Worked for me on an old laptop that seemed dead.

edit:

AH, smartinwate posted a similar advice just before me. Easy to try, little to lose.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by danaht » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:41 pm

If it's a laptop - do what heartwood suggested with the battery. If it's a desktop - it might be an issue with the power supply. It's usually easy enough to buy a new power supply and reconnect the motherboard and components to it. Also, one time the spring came off of one of my PC's power buttons. (This would prevent you from turning on the PC) I just had to put the spring back in the button. This is easy to diagnose - check if your power button is going back up after you press it.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:45 am

I gathered up some of the questions/suggestions. It's a desktop.
1. Cycle the switch on the power supply.
Oddly, there is no rocker switch on the power supply. Surprised me.
2. Any fans? Look at the power supply especially.
Nothing.
3. Any lights on the motherboard?
None.
4. Any beeps?
No.
If absolutely nothing happens- bad power supply is a possibility but would be quite a coincidence.
What would you suspect instead? I'm sure it's related to the power event.
When you attempt a start, does the yellow light at the rear on the power supply blink? If it does, your power supply is likely bad.
No lights anywhere, inside or out.
Then, press *and hold* the Power On button for about thirty seconds.
Went through the entire procedure, no effect.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by SittingOnTheFence » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:00 am

Depends on how handy you are. I'd pull the power supply out (usually 4 screws), open it up, and look for a fuse in the general are of where the power cord plugs in. I don't think fuses are common on modern power supplies but doesn't hurt to look. More than likely you have a blown capacitor and probably more than you can tackle yourself.

Be aware that modern power supplies typically will not power up for a test when removed from computer without jumping 2 of the terminals on one of the motherboard plugs. There is plenty of info on the web about which ones to jump. If you jump the terminals and plug it in, the power supply fan should run. If not, you probably need a new power supply.

Google your computer lenovo xxx power supply where xxx is your model number. You may find they are not so expensive.

If you are not handy and want to replace it yourself, take plenty of photos and make notes of what plugs into what, paying attention to the colors of the wires.

Also consider this unfortunate incident a great opportunity to upgrade to a better, faster computer.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Kstatefan40 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:46 am

SittingOnTheFence wrote:Depends on how handy you are. I'd pull the power supply out (usually 4 screws), open it up, and look for a fuse in the general are of where the power cord plugs in. I don't think fuses are common on modern power supplies but doesn't hurt to look. More than likely you have a blown capacitor and probably more than you can tackle yourself.

Be aware that modern power supplies typically will not power up for a test when removed from computer without jumping 2 of the terminals on one of the motherboard plugs. There is plenty of info on the web about which ones to jump. If you jump the terminals and plug it in, the power supply fan should run. If not, you probably need a new power supply.

Google your computer lenovo xxx power supply where xxx is your model number. You may find they are not so expensive.

If you are not handy and want to replace it yourself, take plenty of photos and make notes of what plugs into what, paying attention to the colors of the wires.

Also consider this unfortunate incident a great opportunity to upgrade to a better, faster computer.
Heck of a time for a first post, but I have to jump in here. Please do not open up the power supply. It's a great way for you to find out how powerful a capacitor can be if you poke around on the wrong thing. There is very little you can do to "repair" a power supply yourself, and if it *is* the power supply, it would be better to replace it.

If the power went out, you are likely looking at the effects of a surge (regardless of having a surge protector) and it is hard to tell exactly what was fried as a result. It could be the power supply, it could also be a lot more than that (and, possibly, multiple components.)

If you do not hear any beeps, the system has been unable to proceed through the Power On Self-Test. That means power isn't getting to the right components (could be the power supply, motherboard, or processor, or any combination thereof) for the first thing the computer does when it turns on. If there is no activity at all (no fans), it's possible it's just the power supply, but again, it could be the power supply, motherboard, and processor. I've seen it happen more than a few times on an abrupt shutdown.

Your best bet if you are not comfortable with this sort of thing is to take the computer to a reputable repair shop in the area. While they are getting more rare, they do still exist. They'll be able to have the tools (such as a power supply tester, spare power supply, etc.) Just be careful of people trying to take advantage of you. Get a quote for diagnostics. Don't pay more than the computer is worth. Even if the computer is fried, it's likely the hard drive and your data is okay and should be able to be transferred to a new computer if you decide to go that route.

There are also places that have dedicated self-help forums for technology if you need help and want to do it yourself. PCMech.com is one place I recommend, as they won't trash you for being new to this sort of thing.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:24 am

Just because the rest of the items on the surge strip are fine doesn't mean the computer weathered the power outage successfully. The PSU and other components are far more sensitive to dirty power than your other electronics. If you are seeing absolutely no signs of power to anything, the PSU is likely shot. Something else may also have been damaged, but you won't know that until the PSU is replaced.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:03 am

Mudpuppy wrote:Just because the rest of the items on the surge strip are fine doesn't mean the computer weathered the power outage successfully. The PSU and other components are far more sensitive to dirty power than your other electronics. If you are seeing absolutely no signs of power to anything, the PSU is likely shot. Something else may also have been damaged, but you won't know that until the PSU is replaced.
+1. The power-on button on the computer doesn't actually connect to the power supply, it connects to the motherboard. So if something on the motherboard is fried, the power supply may simply not be getting the power-on command. That in fact happened to me once. As Mudpuppy said, you won't know until the power supply is replaced.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by lthenderson » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:30 am

I've lost two power supplies over the years to a power outage. I think the problem is when the "lights" come back on, they are preceded by a power surge which can blow the fuse in your power supply. I invested in a more expensive power surge protector and have never had a problem since. I replaced both of my power supplies myself. The hardest part is ordering the right part. Swapping them out is pretty easy.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by jimmyq » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:22 am

I can think of one last thing to try before replacing the power supply (if you haven't already). Try plugging the computer directly into the wall and bypassing the (supposedly) surge protecting power strip. Yes, it's unlikely to be the problem, but I have seen at least one case before where a single outlet on a power strip dies, while the rest are still working. Worth a try, anyway.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:04 pm

jimmyq wrote:Try plugging the computer directly into the wall and bypassing the (supposedly) surge protecting power strip.
I had unplugged the power cord from the monitor (which does power up) and connected that to the PC. So power to the unit should be good.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by adamthesmythe » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:08 pm

> What would you suspect instead? I'm sure it's related to the power event.

Coincidences happen. The failure could be caused by the power failure or it could be a random event.

Last thing to try- make sure the power supply cables are properly seated on the motherboard. THEN (if you are comfortable with it) try the jumper trick to see if you can get the power supply to turn on.

By the way- removing cables from the motherboard and reseating them properly is tricky, requiring a combination of delicacy and determination.

If that doesn't work- power supplies are dirt cheap. Buy and try.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:16 pm

This is a good time to remind everyone that they should:

1) Have a backup of the hard drive contents
2) Know how to restore the backup

I listed the above as two separate areas. Why? Because quite a lot of people who run a backup program have no idea how to restore their stuff.

Now would be a good time to delete an important file, then try to recover it from your backup.

Make a copy first, as you might find that your backup copy is too old to be useful. (That's a different problem.)
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:05 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Now would be a good time to delete an important file, then try to recover it from your backup.

Make a copy first, as you might find that your backup copy is too old to be useful. (That's a different problem.)
Or create a test file, back everything up, delete the test file, and try to restore it.

Another option is to access your backups from another computer and try to restore an important file off the backups. I've used that at work when I just needed to access a file from home, since I store the weekly rotation of my disk-based backups in a file cabinet at work.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Good Listener » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:38 pm

Do what I would do. Destroy the darned thing and get a new one. It will be better. I assume you routinely back up whatever needs to be backed up. Then get a final burst of pleasure by taking a sledgehammer and destroying it.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by jmndu99 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:55 pm

One question not asked is, how old is this power supply? I recently had a 10 year old power supply give up the ghost.

Replacing it gave me incentive to purchase new/more powerful mobo, cpu and memory to replace same components that were also 10 years old.

Best wishes

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by jimmyq » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:16 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote: I had unplugged the power cord from the monitor (which does power up) and connected that to the PC. So power to the unit should be good.
Looks like a new power supply is most likely in your future. Yes, it could be the motherboard, but that's less likely given the symptoms. If you or a friend is handy with a voltmeter, there is a test that can be done to see if the power supply is completely dead. If you aren't familiar with making this type of measurement safely, then don't do it.. just replace the power supply.

With the computer's power supply plugged in, and measuring the voltage between each pin and ground, you should find that one of the pins will register +5V because that is used for the power control circuit and is active even when the computer is turned off (It's referred to as +5VSB or 5V standby power). If no pins measure +5V, then the power supply is completely dead. If you are able and to do this measurement, I have a hunch that you won't measure any voltage on any of the pins and you will be looking for a new power supply.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by privateer79 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:49 pm

replacing the power supply is a good thing to try....

one other "dark horse" option... if this PC has been running for months/years without being rebooted, its possible the coin-cell battery has drained and needs to be replaced (usually a CR2032). (this battery holds "CMOS" memory which is used by BIOS to boot.... it could have given up the ghost in the intervening months/years and you only notice now that power was lost and you attempt to restart the system.)

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by mjf55 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:12 am

OP, not clear to me if you unplugged the system from the wall. Need to do that for several minutes. What can happen in the power supply on a short power outage / brown out is a latch-up. The only way to clear it is as I described ( unplugged for several minutes )

If you have already done that, then the next likely culprit is the power supply it self. Hopefully it is not the system board.

Never open a power supply unless you are well versed in high voltage ( well for a computer anyway) AC circuits. There's danger in them there power supplies.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:31 am

Regarding the age, I purchased the PC new in September of 2011. However, it's a very servicable unit. In general I'm not inclined to take excuses to spend money on new items unless it's something is not of use or if the cost to repair is too great relative to value.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by whodidntante » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:37 am

With the cover removed, push the power button. The CPU fan should spin up. If not, you likely have a dead PSU. You can also test the voltage output. The easiest way is to put a DC voltage meter across the one of the 4 pin peripheral power cables, being careful not to short it. Pin 1 to pin 2 should read 12 volts. This might be a cost effective fix depending on how much you value the computer. If the main board was damaged, it's not worth fixing.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:50 pm

I'm leaning towards getting a power supply and swapping it in. Microcenter allows returns. Am I right that any ATX form-factor of the correct power and up should work? The old PS had model number R33567, which I gather is 240W. I will also verify the number and type of connectors when I get home tonight.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by TerryDMillerMBA » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:14 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:I'm leaning towards getting a power supply and swapping it in. Microcenter allows returns. Am I right that any ATX form-factor of the correct power and up should work? The old PS had model number R33567, which I gather is 240W. I will also verify the number and type of connectors when I get home tonight.
Don't be afraid of going with 300W or 350W for your power supply. Some headroom is advisable.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:20 pm

Edit: Probably not, saw at least one terrible review.

Here's one at Microcenter:

http://www.microcenter.com/product/4693 ... wer_Supply

They have them in-stock at my local store, like $15. Any reason that wouldn't work?
Last edited by Earl Lemongrab on Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by neilpilot » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:22 pm

I recently installed a replacement (used off eBay) power supply for a different PC. In my case, the PS model number was followed by a version digit. I bought the correct version (V2) after reading that V1 of the SAME model PS had one connector that would be too short for my particular motherboard. The number of connectors and wattage would have be fine, but V1 would have required a supplemental extension connector to work for me.

So when you match PS model number, also be aware of different versions that may exist. The same is true for a generic ATX PS such as above. Electrical specs and connectors may match, but the individual connectors may be too short for your application.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:27 pm

I found a pretty bad review for the one I noted above. I will spend some time researching other options.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by oldcomputerguy » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:41 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:I found a pretty bad review for the one I noted above. I will spend some time researching other options.
Back in 2013 I built a new machine using a Corsair power supply. I've been completely satisfied with it, it's been trucking along now for three-and-a-half years with no problems. I splurged for the 1200-watt supply, but you can probably get by with less.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by jimmyq » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:26 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:I'm leaning towards getting a power supply and swapping it in. Microcenter allows returns. Am I right that any ATX form-factor of the correct power and up should work? The old PS had model number R33567, which I gather is 240W. I will also verify the number and type of connectors when I get home tonight.
If you replace with a standard (non-Lenovo) ATX supply, please check the number of pins on the largest connector of your current motherboard. Many Lenovo motherboards use a 14 pin connector instead of 24. If you have a 14 pin connector, you will also need to buy a small adapter cable like the one in the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M2BKWIK?psc=1

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by killjoy2012 » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:03 pm

You don't want to go cheap on a power supply, or you'll pay for it in other ways! Stick with a name brand that's known for quality. At Microcenter, you can pickup PC Power & Cooling, Corsair & eVGA. If you want to keep the price down, I'd look at this one: http://www.microcenter.com/product/4574 ... wer_Supply

Just make sure it has whatever connectors you need. Many of the new power supplies don't come with the white 4-pin molded "old school" power connectors anymore. Make sure you know what you need in terms of the ATX MB power and CPU connector, SATA, and old school molex.

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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Right, I have been looking into some of the EVGA and Corsair options at Microcenter. Those generally get okay reviews from the sites that actually get the PS and run it through a battery of tests. I will be looking at the connector requirements tonight.

If I can get it going for 30-40 bucks with a three-year warranty, I'd call that a win. If it chokes in a few years, well then it's time.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:31 am

jimmyq wrote:If you replace with a standard (non-Lenovo) ATX supply, please check the number of pins on the largest connector of your current motherboard. Many Lenovo motherboards use a 14 pin connector instead of 24.
I did a connector check last night. The main motherboard power connecter is 24-pin, then of course the 4-pin 12V connector. There are two peripherals, a SATA drive and a DVD drive, that both use the standard power connectors.
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Angelus359 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:26 am

Any good power supply will be minimum 35$

Anything less and they can't be made well

EVGA usually has good ones cheap
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Re: PC power-up failure

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:43 pm

Well, I picked up a power supply, but it did not help the situation. Still dead. On to Plan B I suppose.
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