Power Outage - computer won't boot

May 18, 2006 at 03:38:00
Specs: Windows XP, AMD 3500+
While I was at work, my apartment aparently had a power outage. When I turn on my computer, everything gets power (dvd drive lights up, hard drive spins, video card fan goes, all fans go), but my monitor displays a 'no input received' message. Every once in a while it seems as if my dvd drive acts as if the computer is restarting...

Can I safely assume that my power supply is shot or are there any other tests I should conduct? Bad thing is that I have no back up parts....

Thanks for your input!

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May 18, 2006 at 07:02:35
do you have another video out on the back of the computer other then the one from the graphic card? If so connect your monitor there and restart and see if it works,

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May 18, 2006 at 07:10:01
If your apartment computer is not connected to the AC power via a decent power surge/spike protection device, or if that protection is inadequate, you can be pretty sure the power supply is fried. If you do have a power surge/spike protection device and it has an led to indicate whether the protection is active, if that is not lit, the computer was definately exposed to a power sirge/spike, and the protection capacity was exceeded.

You could try unplugging the computer and re-seating all your connectors, ram, and cards, but I doubt it will help.

A power surge/spike can damage other components as well - e.g. ram, cpu, cards, mboard - but it's usually only the power supply that is damaged, unless it was nearby lightning that caused the power outage, in which case more components are likely to be damaged.
You could borrow someone's PS of sufficient capacity and try it if you are leery of buying a PS when you aren't sure what is wrong. Just make sure the wiring colors and number of wires at the main connector are the same.

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May 18, 2006 at 09:39:22
Ok - yes I have a good power surge protector, and the light is still green... so I do not think that is the problem. When the computer boots, you usually hear a beep from the system speaker... so the computer is not booting because there is no beep.

The monitor cable does not detatch from the monitor, and the cable is connected to the video card properly... there is an svideo output on the back of my graphics card, I do have a wire around somewhere, but the monitor does not support it.

What could be the problem?? I suppose it could be the video card, but if it could not detect a video card, the system would beep ... that is what made me think it was a power supply problem.

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Related Solutions

May 18, 2006 at 13:53:06
Power supply, motherboard are the most likely suspects, but it 'could' also be anything else connected to the motherboard.

Take the power supply in for a check first.

Do yourself a favor BACKUP!
Sorry, I do not check for private messages

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May 18, 2006 at 14:15:44
"yes I have a good power surge protector, and the light is still green..."

Some anti-surge devices have two or three led's - are you sure you are looking at the one that indicates protection is still there? Is everything protected - your router if it has a wired network connection to your computer, your telephone line if it is connected to the computer, your printer, etc.?

It is much more common for a bad PS to be the cause of no boot than anything else.
It is quite common for a damaged power supply to partially work, yet not be capable of fully booting the computer - and some outputs on ATX power supplies are on all the time the computer is plugged in and powered. If you can try another used power supply of sufficient capacity, try that - just make sure the wiring colors and number of wires are the same for the main connector.
That is the easiest thing to try. Any other cause would require swapping known good components into your mboard, or trying your components in another compatible mboard.

The svideo jack on most video cards is for TV out - you would normally connect it to a TV, not a monitor, and that feature would probably also have to be turned on in the Display properties in Windows - but that's of no help if the computer won't boot.

"I suppose it could be the video card, but if it could not detect a video card, the system would beep .."

Normally the mboard will beep if there is no video card, or, sometimes, if it is not inserted in it's slot correctly, but I've seen cases where a damaged video card did not cause the mboard to beep (the video cards were damaged by a defective power supply that put out too much voltage, or that had shorted out).

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