When I try to power up my PC, the power comes on for a second then it goes out. Why is that?

Question

When I try to power up my PC, the power comes on for a second (the lights lite up etc.) then it goes out. This is an intermittant problem that is happening more often (sometimes we can't get the power on for days).

I have checked the on/off switch by disconnecting the wires and shorting them together I get the same results (so I don't think it's the switch). My next move is the power supply - would this be correct (I checked the PS for pots to see if it was a low voltage issue but I did not see any pots to tweak on the PS)?? My other question could the CMOS battery cause this type of symptom. What do you think?? HELP -

Answer

This question was answered on February 12, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Most of the time when your computer wont start up it's your power supply You really did not say if you hear any beeps That would of been helpful or even if you hear the fan.

If your power light is on and your cooling fan is running, but there is no computer activity (you hear no beeps at start-up):

Open your computer and make sure your power supply cables are attached to the motherboard

check your motherboard for metal pieces that might be touching other metal pieces (such as screws or the motherboard's seatings) These could be shorting out your motherboard

Check the seating on all the other expansion boards in your computer An expansion board that is not seated securely can cause a short

Make sure all other cables inside your computer are securely seated and in good condition Look for frayed or crimped edges

Check that your CPU is inserted properly in its socket, that it is cool, that the CPU heat-sink/fan works and that it is fitted correctly

If your CPU has a tension lever, make sure it is closed and locked

If you hear two or more beeps at start-up, but there is no video:

Open your computer and make sure your video board is seated properly it its expansion slot

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Author

Posted by Ileen of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on February 12, 2003