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Hp computer. hard drive light is solid yellow pc non working

Hp computer. hard drive light is solid yellow then turns out. Monitor stays in standby. fans are working on mobo and psu. I can hear the hdd spin. Whats up?



any help would be great. thanks

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  • 2xcapers Apr 12, 2009

    so can i use a voltage tester on the out leads of the power supply to check? Just curious , I got the computer from a friend and if UI can fix it for just a PSU ...then great

  • 2xcapers Apr 13, 2009

    well only checked the yellows and they show 12 volt

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  • Sony Master
  • 5,660 Answers

What has transpired is the power supply is bad. Electrolytic Capacitors inside have failed. These capacitors relate directly to the voltage power rails of the power supply. They are filters.

Little more detailed.
Your computer power supply converts AC electricity into DC electricity. (A flashlight battery is an example of stored DC electricity)
AC comes into input Electrolytic capacitors. Goes to a rectifier bridge, and on through various other components. Along the way, this DC voltage is considered 'Raw'. It needs to be a steady, 'clean', supply of DC voltage. There are Electrolytic capacitors used in the final stage, to convert the 'raw' DC to 'true' DC.

In a computer power supply the Electrolytic capacitors are the weakest link. They are usually the first component to go out.

You computer power supply converts AC voltage into three DC voltages. 3.3 volts, 5 volts, and 12 volts. These are the power rails.

When one, or more Electrolytic capacitors are weak, they make a weak voltage rail.
To simplify explaining the construction of an Electrolytic capacitor, let's just state they are small aluminum 'cans', and have a seal at one end, or both ends. Inside there is an Electrolytic paste.
This paste can break down, and when it does it forms a gas. (Hydrogen gas) This gas expands inside the 'can', pushes up on the seal/s, and makes Electrolytic paste ooze out.

So much paste loss, and the capacitor can operate in a weakened state. Too much paste loss, and the capacitor fails.

ALL the lights in your computer use less than 1 Watt. EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts. A harddrive just sitting there spinning, may use up to 5 Watts.

A processor uses 55 to 125 Watts! Depends on the make and model.
Since the power supply is to weak to provide enough power to turn the processor on, the harddrive isn't activated. It just sits there and spins. No Boot record on the harddrive is found, so no Operating System is going to be running. (WinXP is an example of an O/S)

This essentially means No computer! Harddrive activity light indicates yellow, then goes out. There is no harddrive activity.

No signal from the computer, because the computer isn't working.
Monitor stays in Standby, because there is no signal from the computer.
Power supply failure is 70% of computer issues.

Why?
Owner neglects to keep the inside of the computer, and the power supply clean. Doesn't use a can of compressed air for computers regularly.
Also there is another issue that the owner has nothing to do with.
Capacitor Plague.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

Solution? Replace the power supply.

I know the above info may seem like a 'Hard pill to swallow', but as stated. A weak power supply will still spin fans, and light lights.
Harddrive may spin, or spin up, then stop.

The processor isn't getting enough power.

Posted on Apr 12, 2009

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Apr 13, 2009

    Yes, you can check the voltages coming out. I would like you to know however, that this is not a true test for a power supply. You need to test those voltage rails under a load, for a true test. This takes a load analyzer, and they AREN'T cheap!

    Most tech's have a spare power supply for this type of test. We just plug in the spare power supply, and away we go! lol!
    Power supply's are a relatively inexpensive item, so they aren't repaired, just replaced.

    You are going to be testing a live power supply. I advise you to use all safety cautions, and don't get in a hurry.
    I would also like to advise, that you use rubber dishwashing gloves on your hands. Seems a little 'Over the top', I know, but I want you to be safe, above all else!

    WORK ON A TABLE!
    Power supply plugged into the surge protector, Power On button pushed in.
    Set the Multimeter to DC voltage. Set it to the scale that goes up to 50 volts.
    Use the Positive (Red) lead to the voltage wires. The Negative lead goes to ANY Black wire. (Ground)

    You stick the test lead down in the socket hole, and touch the metal terminal down in there. Each wire has a metal female terminal on the end of it.

    I'm willing to bet you find the 12 volt is bad. (Yellow)



  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Apr 13, 2009

    You might check the other voltages also. As stated though, a voltmeter doesn't give an accurate test. The power supply needs a load on it, and an Analyzer is used to check the Psu. Too bad, you don't have a computer around, that you can borrow a power supply out of for a test.

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BearWeb
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SOURCE: hp computer. hard drive light is solid yellow ..non working

Hi 2xcapers

This could be a problem with your IDE or SATA cables that connect your Hard Disk to your Motherboard. Try replacing these before you try the next solution.

The constant yellow light usually indicates a crashed or non-functioning Hard Disk. You can take this to get repaired and only the data where the "Spindal Pin" crashed will be lost, otherwise the Hard Disk should still be fine. The screen does not come on during the event of a crashed or corrupted Hard Disk, so this is another indication that there is a problem with the Hard Disk.

Please remember to give this solution a FixYa! rating.

Happy Easter
BearWeb

Posted on Apr 12, 2009

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