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‘My computer is dead’

March 22, 2009

Symptoms:

  • Computer won’t power up at all. No noises, no lights, no hums. Nothing.

Possible causes:

  • Power switch at the back of the computer has been turned off or the power lead from the back of the computer has become loose or been removed (it happens — especially if the back of the computer is exposed. I’ve heard of instances where cleaners have removed a cord to plug in a vacuum cleaner…)
  • Power overload has caused a trip at the electrical meter board for the house/office
  • Power outage
  • UPS that the computer is connected to is turned off or has no power coming in to it
  • Power supply in your computer has failed.

Checks to determine cause:

  • Is the power switch at the back of the computer turned on? (the I part should be down and the O part should be up)
  • Is the power lead from the back of the computer pushed in and seated snugly, and is the other end plugged in to the power outlet/UPS? It’s worthwhile removing the lead and putting it back in, just in case.
  • Do other appliances still work? If so, it’s not a power outage to the home/office.
  • Do other appliances work from the same power outlet that the computer uses? If so, it’s not the outlet. If not, check the trip switch on the meter board.
  • Do other appliances/peripherals on the UPS still work? If so, it’s likely not the UPS.
  • Can you get any response if you plug the computer directly into a power outlet you know works with other appliances? If you get no response, it’s likely the power supply has failed. Your local computer supply/service store should have replacements and be able to fit a new one. They’re relatively cheap (typically less than US$50) but without a working power supply, you effectively have no computer.

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