Can't get PC to turn on (Power Supply Works)

By Onion3313
Jul 13, 2006
  1. Hey everyone, my friend called me up last night and told me that he couldnt get his computer to turn on at all. When I tried to turn it on, nothing happens. No fans spin (not even for a split second) as if the PC isn't plugged in at all. I tried re-seating his memory, his video card, etc and still nothing.

    His PSU has a green LED on the back of it that blinks when its plugged in to his PC. As a test, I installed it in another PC and it works perfectly and the green LED stays on (not blinking).

    After figuring out that the PSU does work, I'm assuming that his mobo is dead but I dont want him spending money if thats not the problem. Any ideas on what I should do?

  2. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 144

    Has it worked before? Is this a new built computer?
  3. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,122

    Is the computer connected to a surge suppressor? If not with all the storms lately the motherboard could be toast. If absolutely nothing works except the power supply then most likley the motherboard. Try removing all the drives and PCI, AGP and one memory module and turn it on and see if the cpu fan spins. If not ...toast
  4. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 144

    Wouldn't the power supply be jerked to? ALso if the board was gone, wouldn't the fans still be going. I have never see a motherboard go out and the fans not still turn on. I maybe wrong.
  5. Onion3313

    Onion3313 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This pc has worked before and its about a year or two old. He bought it from Compaq.

    Yea, its connected to a surge suppressor. I mean his power supply ran perfectly on my pc's at home so I know thats not the problem. I tried removing the drives and 1 memory module and nothing. The only thing taking up a PCI slot is an ethernet card and I removed that as well. After doing all of that, it still doesn't do anything.

    He just told me that he had a virus that was screwing up his pc and giving him lots of errors. I'm not sure when he got the virus and if that has anything to do with this but it's worth to mention it.
  6. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

  7. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I agree with fastco. The fact that you know the psu works fine, means the mobo is dead.

    I had a similar problem with my own computer several month ago. Absolutely nothing happened when I tried to turn it on. No fans no nothing. It turned out to be a dead mobo.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  8. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 144

    Try all the other parts in your computer and make sure they all work(ethernet card, memory). Have you tried another power supply in his computer to make sure its not just that PSU with that computer. From there you might have to buy a new motherboard that supports that processor. And slap everthing back it and go from there.
  9. Onion3313

    Onion3313 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the info, I was almost certain that his mobo was dead but wanted to make sure before spending the money. =)

    I tried the memory and ethernet card and they work just fine. I didnt even think about putting another PSU with his computer. I'll try it tomorrow when I head back there as a last resort/test.

    Thanks for all the feedback!
  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    More than likely the mobo is dead. BUT....before you bury it there is one thing you could try. alot of prebuilt systems like Dell, Compaq, etc can randomly suffer a "lockup" and appear to be completely dead. the only cure if this is the case is to strip off all the components except the CPU, make sure the system is unplugged and hold down the power button for several seconds first, then power up with just the CPU, shut down and repeat the above process, add ram, power up, continue the process until you get post or you have added all the components back and nothing at all has happened. ( in which case it wasnt a lockup, the mobo is dead)
  11. TypeX45

    TypeX45 TS Rookie Posts: 144

    Would this work with resetting the bios to?
  12. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    The bios should definitely be reset and what iss said, as far as re-setting the power supply should also be done as it could very well be a lockup.

    also, and i have seen this before, screws, dust, etc can cause a "short" between the case and the mobo. Before declaring it dead i would have the mobo out of the case and see if it will boot.
    I would do all the things already mentioned over at least a few times as i have seen too many people declare their mobo dead when it wasnt. Usually its a matter of not following proper procedure. Sometimes its a dead mobo, but thats fairly rare. Unless there have been lots of power issues, like storms in your area lately. But if that were the case then more than the mobo would be dead, usually the power supply would be dead as well.
  13. fastco

    fastco TS Booster Posts: 1,122

    No not necessarily. Takes a lot less static electricity to blow out a motherboard then it does a power supply.
  14. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    You might want to remove ALL add-in cards, if you haven't already. If a PCI card malfunctions, it can completely stop a board from powering up.

    Other stupid (and unlikely) things that have the same issue include putting on your USB headers (front panel ports, for example) wrong... and let's not forget the old 220v-240v switch in the back of the PSU. :) Of course, I would never suspect these things from a previously working system, but I've learned to expect the unexpected...
  15. Onion3313

    Onion3313 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for all the information!

    I haven't had the chance to try anything yet since my friend had to go away for a few days. As soon as he gets back I'll start running some tests on it and see if I can figure out what's going on.

    I'll let you all know how it goes when he returns.
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  17. robin_bga

    robin_bga TS Rookie Posts: 171

    u dont need 2do any other removal of card or reset of bios,it stil wont work,once de PSU shows a blinking Led,that means one of de mobo power Supply components is gone,usual power transistors.unles if u have experience in mobo repair,then u can figure out de problem.i have experienced such problems in Dell more offen.just take it 2 workshop if u hav any.other buy a new one.Robin
  18. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    robin_bga, sorry, but poor advice as well as poor english.
  19. robin_bga

    robin_bga TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Am sorry *Nork* it just the i use my Cell phone so i always try to squiz words so that i can fit in alot.that is y i hav words missing.About the advice issue.I am a computer Technician with 6yrs of experience in PCs/Motherboard Repair.I do it with Love, and its now a profession.I have seen such cases before.However being a human i can say that am perfect, i gree with u, however would kindly ask to correct me where am wrong.Thanx again *nork* R
  20. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    robin_bga, sorry for jumping on you.
    Thing is, its indeed likely that the mobo is damaged. However, i would never simply figure something like a mobo is dead when I can do some testing, and re-setting the bios is one of the easiest and quickest tests, to make absolutely sure before going out and spending a lot of money on a new pc or new mobo. Especially these days when buying a new mobo often means buying new ram and possibly a new video card.
    And, of course, there are other tests. We were waiting for the poster to get back to us after trying our suggestions.
    Then you come along and really offer not much help and poor texting. In addition, offering your email addy is not a good idea when this forum is built on the info\help\results being posted for all to see.
    So you can see why i jumped on your post as you really didnt offer anything of value to the poster.
    On the other hand, no wish to offend you.
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