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View Full Version : I can't restart my computer after a power outage


jessela
03-18-2006, 09:06 AM
........I have a compaq presario computer with 640 megs of ram, an 80 gig hard drive with ample room, 2.6 gig celeron processor, windows xp-home edition. mozilla and i.e. 6....

All was working fine for over a year until I had a power outage.

When the power came back on, here is what I saw......

The front of my tower has a big light blue button on it, with 2 lights on either side of it........ The light on the left, was blinking, it appears to look like a light bulb glowing.

I tried to hold the big light blue power button in, to shut the power down and reboot. But the light kept on blinking.

I then removed the power chord from the back of the tower, thinking this would definitely break the power, but guess what..the green light kept on blinking, even with the power chord out of the back of the tower.

So now I'm stuck, I can't reboot, even after holding the power button in for a very long 30 seconds and removing the power chord from the back of the tower.

I need help as to what to do next.....and would appreciate a response from people with knowledge in this situation....

thank you.......jessica

MrBill
03-18-2006, 09:26 AM
WHat color is the light? Green or Red?

Dr. Tom
03-18-2006, 10:00 AM
Was your computer turned on when the power came back on?

Do you have your computer plugged into a surge suppressor?

If the answer is yes to the first and no to the second, then I see a new computer in your future.

After you remove the power, there is still residual power in the system to keep LEDs on for a few seconds. That is normal.

Do you hear any beeps when you turn on the computer? If no, ouch!

It could be a burnt out motherboard, power supply, CPU, or a combination of these. If you can diagnose and replace yourself, not too expensive. If you take it to a shop, it may be cheaper to get a new computer. Get an estimate first.

The best way to check is to switch parts with another computer until you get it to boot. But it can be difficult finding matching parts.

Some quick checks. Do the fans come on when you turn the power on? If yes, that is a sign the power supply is working. Get a voltmeter and with the power on, check the voltage on a spare power plug. Red and black should be 5 v DC. Yellow and black should be 12 v DC.

It could also be other parts. I had a friend who had a lightening strike hit the phone line. It took out her modem. But her computer with not boot. New phone modem and everything was OK.

Tom

jessela
03-18-2006, 10:33 AM
in answer to doctor tom, the computer was turned on at the time and connected to a power surge strip...........

I'm normally very careful, with such things, and know of lightning strikes to my friends computers......there is no lightning going on at the time and it was a clear day, and I heard no explosion, such as a transformer being blown by an errant squirrel.

In fact my whole town of 7000 people went down, and it was not associated with any event particularly near my home.

Any other suggestion you would have would be appreciated......best regards....jessica

jessela
03-18-2006, 10:38 AM
i simply cannot turn the computer on whatsoever.......all i get is the blinking green light to the left of my presario start button, so i cannot test if the fan is working or not.......i'm familiar with posting beeps as well, but if the computer doesn't start, then i cant judge the power unit, or hear if there is a beep or not.

I hope this helps......jessica

doldgeek
03-18-2006, 11:39 AM
i simply cannot turn the computer on whatsoever.......all i get is the blinking green light to the left of my presario start button, so i cannot test if the fan is working or not.......i'm familiar with posting beeps as well, but if the computer doesn't start, then i cant judge the power unit, or hear if there is a beep or not.

I hope this helps......jessica
Most power strips are only good for "one shot" in other words if it took a surge once it is done. So yours may have been no good at the time.
Check out the power supply. more info attached.

Dr. Tom
03-18-2006, 01:14 PM
i simply cannot turn the computer on whatsoever.......all i get is the blinking green light to the left of my presario start button, so i cannot test if the fan is working or not.......i'm familiar with posting beeps as well, but if the computer doesn't start, then i cant judge the power unit, or hear if there is a beep or not.

I hope this helps......jessica

Hi Jessica:

I apologize it it sounded like I was accusing of being careless during a lightning storm. I did not mean that. I was trying to show an example of where a power surge came in over the telephone line not the power line. It destroyed the modem and gave similar symptoms as you have.

Base on your comments. Sniff the openings of the power supply for a burnt wire smell. If the smell is there, it is likely the power supply took the hit. If the smell is not there, it does not mean anything. The power supply has to put out 3V, 5V and 12V power so if any one is dead, that could be your problem.

Borrow a similar or higher wattage power supply. Put that in your computer and see if it boots. If it does, that is the answer.

If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, then get someone experienced to help. I know that if you go to a shop, they will charge you well over $50 to diagnose the problem. Reputable shops will refund this if you have them do the repairs. Compaq's prices for repairs will be higher than a local shop.

Let us know how you make out with the power supply. Then we can suggest additional checks to isolate the problem.

Tom

Dr. Tom
03-18-2006, 01:19 PM
I forgot. Surge suppressor have different ratings. If you check the package, you will find each one is rated in "joules." The higher the rating the better the protection.

Belkin offers to pay for repairs if their surge suppressors fail. I do not know all the details. But check your model. It may be possible that if the surge suppressor failed, you may be reimbursed for repairs by the manufacturer.

Tom

QuinnK
03-18-2006, 06:09 PM
i simply cannot turn the computer on whatsoever.......all i get is the blinking green light to the left of my presario start button, so i cannot test if the fan is working or not.......i'm familiar with posting beeps as well, but if the computer doesn't start, then i cant judge the power unit, or hear if there is a beep or not.

I hope this helps......jessica

I would suggest taking the PC to a reputable repair shop or person. It shouldn't cost too much to determine the problem, you can then decide how you feel about the cost to repair it. Without something to work with, such as some replacement parts at least, it could be difficult for you to assess the damage.

Take care... Quinn

Sidekickcat
03-18-2006, 10:38 PM
Depending on the quality of the surge control, or how hard it was hit by the surge/brownout/blackout...it could be the surge control is shot. So unplug from that, then look at the cord ends to see if any damage or discoloration, then if it looks/smells ok (and if the computer innards smell/look ok too), then try plugging it directly into the outlet. By the way does the outlet still work? Test it out too. If you are real lucky it will only be a dead surge control. Also you could haul the computer/monitor into another room to try it on another outlet that isn't on same circuit as original outlet. And I am assuming you have checked that the circuit breakers are on and ok at your main electrical box?

Pat

God bless everyone.

doldgeek
03-18-2006, 10:40 PM
i simply cannot turn the computer on whatsoever.......all i get is the blinking green light to the left of my presario start button, so i cannot test if the fan is working or not.......i'm familiar with posting beeps as well, but if the computer doesn't start, then i cant judge the power unit, or hear if there is a beep or not.

I hope this helps......jessica
Jessica The more I thinl about this the more it looks to me as if the PC is stuck in the middle of a restart as a) the button to the left of the start button is usualy the restart button and b) if it was stuck in the midddle the power would be off and need the second half to turn it on. So it is probably the switch. The good news is that switches are cheap the bad news is they are a pain in the @ss to change.
To check unplug the PC from the wall. Open the case and look where the little wires from the switch conect to the mother board. One of them MIGHT be labiled restart or quick start if so unplug it and try to start the PC. If not or it won't start find the one labled 'Power' unplug it and with the PC pluged in the wall touch the 2 little prongs that it pluged into on the motherboard. If it starts replace the switch. There is more info in the link I put in my first post [probably in one of te links] find it and read it.
Oh yes please post back and let me know if I was right.

QuinnK
03-19-2006, 07:16 PM
Jessica The more I thinl about this the more it looks to me as if the PC is stuck in the middle of a restart as a) the button to the left of the start button is usualy the restart button and b) if it was stuck in the midddle the power would be off and need the second half to turn it on. So it is probably the switch. The good news is that switches are cheap the bad news is they are a pain in the @ss to change.
To check unplug the PC from the wall. Open the case and look where the little wires from the switch conect to the mother board. One of them MIGHT be labiled restart or quick start if so unplug it and try to start the PC. If not or it won't start find the one labled 'Power' unplug it and with the PC pluged in the wall touch the 2 little prongs that it pluged into on the motherboard. If it starts replace the switch. There is more info in the link I put in my first post [probably in one of te links] find it and read it.
Oh yes please post back and let me know if I was right.

The switches on her PC will be 'momentary' switches, when pushed they just momentarily complete a circuit in the motherboard... they can't get stuck in the middle. Those type switches either work or don't work. The way to tell if the switch is working is disconnect it's two wires from the motherboard and momentarily short the two motherboard contacts together with something like a small screwdriver... which bypasses the switch and directly completes the motherboard circuit.

Quinn

doldgeek
03-19-2006, 10:20 PM
The switches on her PC will be 'momentary' switches, when pushed they just momentarily complete a circuit in the motherboard... they can't get stuck in the middle. Those type switches either work or don't work. The way to tell if the switch is working is disconnect it's two wires from the motherboard and momentarily short the two motherboard contacts together with something like a small screwdriver... which bypasses the switch and directly completes the motherboard circuit.

Quinn
If the reset switch is shorting out it won't release like it would if you pressed it and let go and is therefore 'stuck'.
Try holding yours in and not letting go it will probably just keepi tryng to restart. The samething happens with the start button

QuinnK
03-19-2006, 10:34 PM
If the reset switch is shorting out it won't release like it would if you pressed it and let go and is therefore 'stuck'

if it was stuck in the midddle the power would be off and need the second half to turn it on. So it is probably the switch.

Didn't say one couldn't be stuck and cause a problem, that's not real unusual... just said it won't stick in the middle and act like that statement, would either be stuck open or closed. At any rate, it could be the switch... if it is , shorting the contacts on the MB with the power and reset wires disconnected should start it.

Quinn