Diagnose A Computer That Won’T Turn On

If your computer does absolutely nothing when it is plugged in and you press the on button, the problem may be your power supply. Is there a blinking light in the back of your tower? Does it still blink even when you unplug the computer? Look inside the computer – is there another blinking light anyway, perhaps on the green circuit board? If yes, then it sounds like you may have a power supply problem.


1. Your power supply looks similar to this picture. Find where your power cord goes into your computer, and there is the power supply box. Sometimes a power supply gets damaged due to inadequate electricity. Did your power supply go bad when you turned the power strip to your computer off after a long time, then turned it back on? Dust and dirt also can damage the power supply. Be sure to keep your computer clean! Use an air spray can regularly! It is amazing how much dust accumulates in there!

2. Try shutting your computer off, removing the plugs, and letting it sit. Then fire it back up. Still no power? Try unplugging it again. Take out some components like the RAM memory cards, and wipe the gold edges down with a pencil eraser, then put them back in. Now fire up the computer again. Still nothing? You’ve probably got a fried power supply.

3. If you simply want to make sure your problem is, in fact, your power supply, take it to a computer repair shop and they can easily and quickly test it for you. Call ahead so you don’t waste your time if they are busy.

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4. Find out whether your computer requires a proprietary power supply or whether you can just use a generic one (with the exact specifications your computer requires). Some computers, such as Sony Vaio models, only work with specific Sony power supplies made exactly for those computers.

5. If your computer requires a proprietary power supply, search the internet for that part. Often it will be $100 to $300 and up. They can get very expensive! Usually the best thing to do is get a new computer if you are going to spend that amount of money on a new power supply.

6. Hopefully you had all your files backed up on a removable hard drive box. If not, get one when you buy your next computer. They are invaluable! Save all your stuff to your hard drive, not the c drive of your new computer. If your new computer crashes (and it will someday), you’ll breathe a sigh of relief knowing that everything you have is saved to your external hard drive.