PSU or MOBO or what?

By FredFlyer
Jan 3, 2008
  1. Hey ya’ll,
    My sister-in-law calls me and says she moved Grandma’s computer and now it won’t power on. So she sends it to me to see if I can fix it. It’s a Compaq Presario S3010CL 2.4 Ghz Celeron, 256 memory, 60 Gb HD. There is a green LED on the power supply when it is plugged in. Push the power switch on the front and absolutely nothing happens. Open the case, clean all the dust out, unplug the PS connections to everything. With everything unplugged, when I plug in the power supply the green LED is on and much brighter. When I connect the power supply to the mother board and plug in the power the LED in on, but much dimmer. Compaq website says if the PSU LED is on, the problem is not with the power supply but with some component (MOBO, memory, some card, etc.) I don’t want to buy and replace the PSU if the MOBO is dead. :rolleyes: Do ya’ll think the PSU is still OK? Do I just tell Grandma to buy a new computer? Is there some way to test the PSU or other components to find out what id broke?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Start with the user manual

    Then, if comfortable, disconnect/reconnect all internal connections
    (maybe the ram or a data cable has come loose)

    Still the same issue I'd say mobo or cpu
  3. Eddie_42

    Eddie_42 TS Rookie Posts: 173

    Easiest way to check the PSU is functional is to put it in another computer. You dont need to do a major rebuild though, just set the PSU outside the new case and run the main line to the MB, Press the button.

    Similarly, if youve got an extra psu around (or can snag one from a working computer) try putting in Grandma's.

    Best solution to isolating problems is to check one component at a time in a known functional system.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You can also buy a power supply tester for $10 at the closing CompUSA, or between $14 and $29 depending on the tech store. It will be a good investment over the years.
    Power supplies can look good. They can run all the lights, and turn the fan blades, and still be bad.
    Setting a power supply outside your system and observing operation tells you little about whether it is any good or not.
    That Compaq Presario S3010CL 2.4 Ghz Celeron, 256 memory could be dead because of a bad memory module, power supply, or video graphics socket. The memory is the most likely fault, followed by the power supply. The power supply installed is so bad, that you would be ahead of the game by installing a 300 watt power supply. When you go shopping, take the old drive with you to assure you get the correct size in height, width, and depth. You can get a higher wattage without problems, but many new power supplies have a 24 pin plug instead of the 20 pin plug you need.
  5. Eddie_42

    Eddie_42 TS Rookie Posts: 173

    true the 24 pin are more frequent however the extra 4 pins are usually detachable. You can tell the difference when the box says '20/24 pin'.
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