View Full Version : Power supply problems

07-01-2002, 03:07 PM

Recently my computer (PII) doesn't always start, but after a few tries and/or a wait it does. It seems to be getting harder to start. When it goes it goes fine. How do I know whether it is a power supply problem or motherboard (ATX) problem, or maybe something else. I have checked the switch at the front which doesn't seem faulty.

Any help will be appreciated.

Also it doesn't very often shut down properly, so I shut it down with the switch on the front - I assume this isn't related (but included it incase it is).

07-01-2002, 03:37 PM
Hi Nick

Your power supply is probably getting a bit tired but here's a simple check you can carry out:

Disconnect everything except your monitor, keyboard and mouse and then see if it will start reliably. If it does, it is probably time to buy a new one. If it doesn't start every time, it is definitely time to buy another!

Before anybody leaps into print to challenge the rationale behind this, I had a supply that wouldn't start unless I disconnected one of my parallel ports (I was running two printers, a scanner and an Imation LS120 disk drive off them) any one of three would do the trick). Once started I could replug the lead in and all would be well.

The problem was the inability of the power supply to startup into a heavy load, the most current being drawn at switch on. It would go into automatic 'overload shutdown'. Replacing the supply and increasing the wattage capacity overcame the problem.

As power supplies age, internal capacitors start to dry out and the PSU's ability to supply peak current reduces. That initial surge current can then be too much for them to handle.


Billy 8-{)

07-01-2002, 09:18 PM
Have you tried the obvious..

I have had to replace may an on/off switch on the front panel due to stuffed contacts
in the switch..

May be worth a look before shelling out for a new supply.