on computer, everything should be working, isn't.
July 31, 2007 10:10 PM   Subscribe

Plugged everything in on my computer, and it's not working, when it worked at a friend's house an hour ago.

This picture shows everything plugged into the back of my computer, but power or information doesn't seem to be going to any of them. No monitor, but keyboard light flickers for just a moment when I flip the switch. The fan does turn on though, but the main power button (which worked at the friend's house) does nothing. This is pretty similar to the problem I had when I gave the computer to a mutually known thief (don't ask), who said it was irreparable but was really using it for himself. Sorry I can't give much in the way of specs, I really don't remember anymore, but it is an athlon running windows. Thanks.
posted by Citizen Premier to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would guess that the problem was that your outlet didn't have enough — it's been a while since I took physics, excuse me — juice, so it didn't power up properly as its power drain increased. You didn't try plugging it into another outlet yet, have you?
posted by Electrius at 10:12 PM on July 31, 2007

Goddamn, "you haven't tried plugging it into another outlet yet..."
posted by Electrius at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2007

Sounds like the computer isn't wanting to POST. I'd check to see that everything is seated well on the motherboard, replug in any cables, and possibly reset the CMOS and/or replace the CMOS battery.
posted by skwillz at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2007

Does the HDD spin up?

If so: Check the cables from the power supply to the motherboard, and from the main case switch to the motherboard.

If not: Try another power supply. It's particularly likely to be the power supply if the monitor is also drawing power from it.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:15 PM on July 31, 2007

I tried another outlet, to no avail. It may simply be the power cord itself that doesn't bring enough power...
Unfortunately I don't have a screwdriver small enough to open my computer to have a look at the motherboard.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:36 PM on July 31, 2007

And no, I don't think the hard drive spins. The power supply shouldn't be broken just after a peaceful car drive, though.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:37 PM on July 31, 2007

Maybe a silly thing to ask, but: I notice you have two USB cables, one going into a USB/PS2 adapter and then into the PS/2 port. Have you made sure that your keyboard and mouse are plugged into the right spots and not, for example, the keyboard jacked into the PS/2 mouse port while the mouse is in the USB? Because no keyboard input can cause a total failure to boot somewhat like you're describing. Another way that might happen is if the mobo connections to the input jacks have simply jiggled loose. This has happened to me on low-quality motherboards.
posted by agentofselection at 10:56 PM on July 31, 2007

So, basically what skwillz said.
posted by agentofselection at 10:57 PM on July 31, 2007

Reseat all of the cards and memor.

Check for loose power cables inside the case. Waggle them around and retry.

Turn off the PSU master switch for 5 mins, turn it back on then turn on the pc.
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2007

It's probably the power supply, or a loose connection somewhere.

And it shouldn't be broken, yeah, but that doesn't mean it can't be broken.
"It worked a few hours ago" doesn't really mean anything, you see, because it doesn't work now. If it worked now, you wouldn't be asking MeFi.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2007

You just moved the computer from your friend's house? Something came loose inside.

Get that screwdriver (or just MacGyver it), open that puppy up, and look for obviously loose connections. Make sure that the PCI cards are completely seated. If you've got some gigantic heat sink, make sure that the it is firmly on the CPU, and that the CPU is firmly in the socket.

Dollars to donuts that fixes it.
posted by IvyMike at 11:04 PM on July 31, 2007

Just stating the obvious from the picture you show. Your power supply is turned off. The little black switch on the back needs to be flipped the other way. Though, if you really did get lights on the keyboard it must already have been turned back on.
posted by chrisroberts at 11:13 PM on July 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Lights on the keyboard could be juice from onboard capacitors. That power switch is most certainly in the OFF position.
posted by disclaimer at 4:43 AM on August 1, 2007

Do a quick visual scan of the motherboard for burst capacitors.

There was a really bad run of caps. Check for leaking ones.

If you see those, it's kaput.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:15 AM on August 1, 2007

It looks like the power supply may be switched off. Try flipping the I/O switch above the gray power cable
posted by chndrcks at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2007

Re-seat memory modules!
posted by zackola at 7:35 AM on August 1, 2007

Also, what chndrcks said.
posted by zackola at 7:36 AM on August 1, 2007

Definately open up the case and try reseating every cable and card (hold on to the metal part of the case with your other hand to prevent static).

But before you do that, make sure the voltage selector (little switch near the power supply) is set for 115 V if you are in the US. I bumped it once on my computer in a move (don't know how) and it took me forever to figure it out.

If it was set wrong in the US you are fine. If it was set to 115V and you are in the UK, you may need a new power supply.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 7:43 AM on August 1, 2007

Had a similar problem with my own computer - would not boot after a memory / hdd upgrade, problem solved by using another power cord. Of all the damn things that I switched out, power cord was it.

It takes 30 seconds and is worth a try.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:04 AM on August 1, 2007

Don't open the case! It looks like the power switch on the back of the power supply is off. So turn it on!
posted by 6550 at 8:07 AM on August 1, 2007

Obviously I didn't read the rest of the question. If the power switch does nothing then it suggests the power supply was wired up incorrectly from the factory and you should pick up a new supply. But, just in case, try switching it to the on position (| in) and see if that makes the computer work.
posted by 6550 at 8:12 AM on August 1, 2007

Here's another vote for making certain the cards & ram are seated properly. These can definitely come loose while you're driving!
posted by starscream at 10:04 AM on August 1, 2007

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