Computer won't start up after USB power surge

September 15, 2009 at 03:00:58
Specs: Windows XP
Today my sound went off while I was watching You Tube, this usually happens when I knock the headphones USB cord so typically I just replug the headphones in to get to work again however when I did it I was greeted to some kind of 'This USB device has surged' message.

After this I noticed that my keyboard stopped working and my headphones still wouldn't work so I l turned off the computer and unplugged everything for an hour.. When I attempted to boot up the computer it literary did nothing - it looked like it didn't have any power.

Any suggestions on why this happened/how to fix?

See More: Computer wont start up after USB power surge

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September 15, 2009 at 04:10:30
you mean, no power at all ?
no lights ?
check the power connectors and the power supply as well as the switch

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September 15, 2009 at 04:31:19
Don't see any lights turn on, sorry for the total newbie questions but how would I test the power supply? I have attempted using both options of the switch at the back of my computer which didn't change anything.

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September 15, 2009 at 04:40:36
open the computer and check all power connectors
maybe the power supply is bad
not sure

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Related Solutions

September 15, 2009 at 05:37:36
changing the 115/230 sselector is a bad thing because the wrong voltages were applied. USB power is suppose to fail gracefully. The surge may have blown a fuse or more.

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September 15, 2009 at 06:31:44

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September 15, 2009 at 09:54:21
jam's reference is useful if it's only the USB stuff that is not working, but it sounds like you have a power supply problem.

So far we're assuming you have a desktop (or tower) computer. Most of the following only applies to a desktop system.

State the make and model of your brand name system, or if it is a generic system, the make and model of the desktop mboard.
The specific brand name system model is usually on a label on the outside of thecase somewhere, or it can be determined by going to the brand name's web site.
The model of the mboard is usually printed in obvious larger characters on the surface of the mboard, often between the card slots.
If you have an emachines computer, or a BESTEC brand power supply, I/we have additional info you need to be made aware of.

wizard-fred's info in response 4 is about the voltage selector switch that most desktop power supplies have that you can see on the back of the case where the power supply fan or power supply fan air outlet is. That switch is recessed, it has to be all the way to one side or the other and showing the ACvoltage in your area, but it's extremely unlikely to be accidently moved, and it's quite rare for it to be set wrong unless someone has taken their computer from one country to another and the two countries use different standard household AC voltages.

If the PS has not failed completely yet, the power led and hd activity led may light up, fans and hard drives may spin, yet the computer won't boot normally and you may get no video from the computer - the led on the monitor will be it's standby color - e.g. yellow or orange rather than green or red.

If you see no leds light up, hear no fans or hard drive spinning, assuming the computer is receiving AC power and the switch on the PS is in the ON position if it has a switch, the PS is completely dead.

In my experience, usually when a power supply fails completely, it has not blown the fuse inside of it, and if it has, a replacement fuse almost always instanly blows when the live AC power is supplied to the PS or when you attempt to boot the computer the first time after that.

If the PS was in the process of failing when you got "some kind of 'This USB device has surged' message", the message may have been generated by the mboard's bios because of the PSs +5v output having gone too high, which sometimes happens while a PS is failing.

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives may spin, leds may come on, yet you may get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
See response 4 in this:

If it is failing, you can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS with the same capacity or greater.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

In some cases, you may need a power supply with more capacity, especially if you install or have already installed a video card the computer didn't have on it previously that requires your PS has more capacity.

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements.
Some power supplies have more than one +12v amperage rating - in that case you add the rated max amperages to determine the total +12v amperage rating.

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