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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting Power Sources and Power Protection Devices ]

The power supply appears to not be functioning

Explanation: The PC's internal power supply appears not to work at all. The system will not turn on and the power supply itself appears to be dead.

Diagnosis: There is a possibility that the internal power supply has failed; this does happen, especially on older or cheaper PCs. The power supply can be damaged due to electrical storms, overheating or other causes.

Recommendation:

  • If you have not done so already, you should first verify that it really is the internal power supply causing the PC not to have power, as opposed to an external electrical cause. Follow this part of the boot process troubleshooting walkthrough to verify the cause of the lack of power.
  • If you have an ATX system, double-check the connections from the case power switch to the motherboard. On an ATX system the power switch does not physically turn on the power supply, it just sends a signal to the motherboard to turn on the PC.
  • Check very carefully for something inside the PC that may have accidentally short-circuited the power supply. One way this can happen is by incorrectly attaching a power connector to a storage drive. Another possibility is incorrect motherboard installation, or something else loose inside the case. If the power supply has been short-circuited, it will detect this immediately and "play dead"; when you resolve the short, the supply should come back up.
  • Replace the power supply. On most machines this is not that difficult of a task, and the power supplies themselves are reasonably standardized. However, make sure you get the right form factor when ordering a replacement.
  • Take the PC in for repair.

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