Power supply or front push button switch?

By kisrum ยท 5 replies
Aug 23, 2008
  1. Have a 5 y.o. local built white box tower that I'm happy with. Recently unplugged for ten days while on vacation. Came back and first had a hard time getting the back switch to power up, then had to use front switch reset button several times to get the entire unit to power up.

    Since then when I power down or unplug, it's very unreliable about powering back up on either switch. I can tell that sometimes the power is getting through due to the light on my router and other times it's not. Even if it is getting through then the front switch may have to be reset several times to actually boot.

    Also, after powering down at night via "shut down" on screen or using the front switch (Windows XP Home), then sometimes I can see the DVDRW trying to power up, or see the HD trying to power up - over and over and over.

    the receipt describes the case only as ATX4252PCT and the PSU as 340W PS for P4 w/UL.

    I've installed one PSU (PC power and cooling dell silencer 470) on a Dell and confident I can do this one. I've never replaced a front switch and don't know anything about this one other than it appears to be integrated with the case.

    Need to blow the dust out of the unit but otherwise don't know what else to do. 'fraid to shut down too many more times.

    So, do you think it's the PSU or the front switch or both that have a problem? Could I have killed some 5 y.o. backup battery by unplugging for 10 days? Is it a big deal finding a new front switch for an old case and getting it to work? A lightning strike took out my old router and ethernet card about six months ago (successfully replaced), is my PSU finally showing symptoms of damage?

    Long post I know, thanks.
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Replace the power supply with one 350 Watts or greater... of quality, as well as the CMOS battery.
    The replacement CMOS battery is only $3.50 at Wal-Mart, and it has been enough time for that to be bad.
    Switches rarely to very rarely go bad.
    On a computer with that many hours, it could also be the hard drive, but the symptoms are more likely the power supply.
  3. kisrum

    kisrum TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18


    I'll get another pc power and cooling I guess. have it in the back of my mind to eventually strip this system and build a new one so may buy bigger PSu than I really need at this point to use later. I'm sure I can find the CMOS battery.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,983   +2,527


    Sometimes some of the capacitors in a PSU may fail, causing difficulty in restarting a computer. I had these problems with an Antec supply, which wouldn't restart after shutting down the surge supressor. Had to hold the button down for quite a while.

    As raybay suggested, you CMOS battery has to be getting long in the tooth. So, If that doesn't do it, go for the PSU next.

    Most decent switches have a good number of cycles in them, and a computer's power switch certainly doesn't handle enough power to prematurely burn out the contacts. Again, as raybay has stated.
  5. radnam

    radnam TS Rookie Posts: 29


    you really need to change the CMOS battery.

    I thinks that the only reason it happened.
  6. kisrum

    kisrum TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    In the spirit of posting solutions....

    finally replaced the CMOS and it didn't help, but glad I did anyway. Replaced the power supply with a PC Power and Cooling power supply 500W. Works good - front switch works again. Now the video card fan is very noisy. Will start a new thread for that.
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