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Power supply There is a recycling place in town that dismantles pc's by the truckload. They break down and seperate into part groups. Until they strip the parts for the recyclables, they sell what ever someone wants for very cheap. they also let customers go through the pallets of stacked pc's to look for parts. I picked up an Antec PP-303x 300W for 5 bucks. Installed it and only the green motherboard power light came on. No other lights or power up noises .I was told that the memory stick might be bad, is this possible? thank you steve

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Possible but unlikely. You can try reseating the memory. I've seen that work before.

A few other suggestions:
-look around and see if there are any loose cables
-make sure the power cord is all the way in the outlet, no prongs showing
-look for the cable that connects the power button on the case to the motherboard and make sure it's connected.
-it's possible that the motherboard might be shorting out on something. Look for anything obvious and then, using an anti-static wrist strap to ground yourself first, loosen the screws that hold the motherboard in place. The last one I built, the board was screwed onto the stand-offs too tight and it was shorting out on the case.

Posted on May 08, 2008

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My PC shuts down and rebboots every half hour or so.

Board problem/OS problem
1.First time Reinstall OS
2.Board problem
condacts service tec

Oct 10, 2011 | E-Machines T5026 (RBT5026) PC Desktop

2 Answers

XPS 600: Fans try to start for about 2s after power plug is inserted, then stops; dead. Amber light on MD on until unplugged. Has been this way since left in "sleep" mode for two weeks. Booted...

Unplug the power cord from the power supply for a good 15 seconds or so then press and hold the power button for another few seconds (5 or so). Plug back in the power and see if it boots up.
Good luck!

Jun 07, 2011 | Dell XPS 600 PC Desktop

1 Answer

When i turn on my computer the screen stays black as if it's off however, the computer is working fine. Sometime it flashes on but the goes back to black.

I suggest that your computer isn't working fine, it just appears to be.

But to know for certain you need to first diagnose whether the problem is the computer, or the monitor, or monitor cable.
Do you have another monitor and monitor cable available to use for a test?

If you have a VGA monitor, (Also known as CRT. Looks like a small TV), most likely the monitor cable does not disconnect.
For this test you would need another VGA monitor with cable.

If you have a flat screen LCD monitor, most of the time the monitor cable is changeable.
You can first use a Known to be good monitor cable, then if this doesn't work, use a Known to be good LCD monitor along with the good cable.

Still no progress?

Then the problem is the computer.
Bad Power Supply. Weak voltage power rail.
One of the leading causes of computer failure.

Also from the symptom stated it matches.

With a Power Supply that has a weak voltage power rail, (Or more than one), you will have enough power to light LED lights, and perhaps spin fans, but Not enough power to turn the Processor on.

1) ALL of the LED lights on at once use less than 1 Watt of power.

2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts of power.

3) A typical Processor can use from 51 to 125 Watts of power.
Depends on what Processor it is.

This is why the computer may appear to be working fine, but in reality isn't.

Power Supply with a weak voltage power rail will run the Processor for a very short time, then not have the power to keep the Processor on.

Power Supply's used in todays desktop computers are SMPS.
Switched-Mode Power Supply.

There are Electrolytic Capacitors used as Filters in the Power Supply.
They filter the incoming AC electricity, and the outgoing DC electricity to the computer components.

[ Electrolytic Capacitors are in the Input Stage, and Output Stage of a typical SMPS.



You can click on the photo to enlarge.
B shows Electrolytic Capacitors in the Input Stage of this typical SMPS. { Blue and 2 of them}
E shows more Electrolytic Capacitors used in the Output Stage ]

Electrolytic Capacitors can break down. They can operate in a weak stage as they are breaking down, for a small time period. Eventually they break down all the way, and fail.

This is how a Power Supply can work sometimes, then eventually one day it does not.

To explain Electrolytic capacitor break down, and failure:

Typical construction of an Electrolytic Capacitor;

Three strips are rolled up tightly together, and inserted into a small aluminum 'can' case.
There is a rubber seal on the bottom of the case, and a seal on top of the case that can break open in the middle.

The three strips are;
1) A Conducting Strip
Thin metal foil usually made of aluminum. This is the Positive strip.

2) A Non-Conducting strip also made of thin metal foil, but has a non-conducting medium applied to it.

3) A paper-like strip that is soaked with Electrolytic Paste.

The Electrolytic paste soaked strip is put in the middle the Conducting strip, and the Non-Conducting strip, and all three strips are rolled up tightly.

At the bottom of the aluminum 'can' case is a synthetic rubber, flat disk shaped seal.
This is called the Bung.

There is a lead, ('Wire') going through the Bung to the Conducting strip. This is the Positive lead.
There is one more lead going through the Bing to the Non-Conducting strip. This is the Negative lead.

At the top of the 'can' case is a flat disk shaped, aluminum metal seal. This seal has an X, or Y shape etched part way into it.

As an Electrolytic Capacitor fails the Electrolytic Paste develops a gas.
Hydrogen gas.
The gas expands inside the aluminum 'can' case, and with enough pressure developed, the seal on top, and/or bottom are compromised.

The X or K shape that is etched partway into the metal disk on top, breaks open, and/or the synthetic rubber disk shape on bottom has one edge pushed out of the 'can' case.

This allows the gas to push Electrolytic Paste out of the 'can' case.
So much paste loss, and the capacitor operates in a weakened state.
Too much paste loss, and the capacitor fails.

Apologizes for the 'Windy' dissertation, but I thought it would be better to know what is going on, than receive a "Replace the Power Supply"

With No processor operating you essentially have No computer.
No computer operating = No Signal to the monitor.
(No video signal)

Need guidance in replacing the Power Supply, or suggestions for a Power Supply so you can compare, post in a Comment. (Believe upper right of your page)


Dec 01, 2010 | Computers & Internet

2 Answers

My Dell Optiplex GX260 just keeps rebooting what could be the problem

A bad power supply will do this but ,

Try this.

This link is to the motherboard to this computer
If you can find #20 thats is called the reset jumper. All you do is have to remove the little plastic peice thats on the 2 pins and power the computer on wait for 5 seconds . Turn the computer off and place the plastic piece back in and it will reset the motherboard. Power the computer on and see if it still reboots. If it doesn't great. If not check all the connections in the computer .Re-seat everything. If not take it to a computer tech and have them test your hardware. Hope that helps.

Oct 26, 2010 | Dell OptiPlex GX260 PC Desktop

2 Answers

Compaq presario sr2030nx won't boot. The fan

Bad Power Supply.
Weak Voltage power rail.

I'm going to explain what is wrong, and why.

Power Supply's are rated in Wattage.

The Power Supply used in a Compaq Presario SR2030NX desktop computer, is a 300 Watt unit.
(ATX style)

1) ALL the lights use Less than 1 Watt of power.
2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts.

3) A typical Processor uses 51 to 125 watts. Depends on what Processor it is.

The Compaq Presario SR2030NX uses an AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+, processor,

The AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ processor can use Up To 89 Watts, (Windsor Core)

(HP Support lists the Processor as an Athlon 64 (O) 3800+.
The (O) should be an X2)

This means your bad Power Supply has enough power to light lights, and spin fans, but not enough to turn the Processor on.
No Processor running, No computer.

Bad Voltage power rail.

Inside the Power Supply are Electrolytic Capacitors.
Electrolytic Capacitors can break down.
The capacitors are used as Filters.

They filter the incoming AC electricity (Input Stage), and the outgoing DC electricity made by the Power Supply. (Output Stage)

(Observe the photo to the upper right of the page. The photo can be enlarged by left-clicking on it. It can be enlarged twice)

Electrolytic Capacitor simplified construction:

The Electrolytic Capacitors used in the Power Supply, (And on the motherboard), of a Compaq Presario SR2030NX, are Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors, which are of the Radial design.

Observe the two photos of capacitors, shown at the upper right of the page.
The Electrolytic Capacitor example shown at the bottom, of the bottom photo, is the Radial design.
(Short blue capacitor)

The case of the capacitor is an Aluminum 'can'.
Inside the aluminum can are three strips.

1) One strip is an aluminum foil, and is the Conducting strip.

2) One strip is an aluminum foil, and has a non-conducting medium applied to it.
This is the Non-Conducting strip.

3) The last strip is a paper-like medium, and is soaked with Electrolytic paste.

The paper strip soaked with Electrolytic paste, is placed in-between the Conducting, and Non-Conducting strips, and all three strips are rolled up tightly.

(The Positive lead of the capacitor is attached to the Conducting strip. The Negative lead is attached to the Non-Conducting strip)

When a capacitor breaks down the paste inside develops a gas. (Hydrogen gas)
This gas expands inside the case of the capacitor (Can)

At the bottom of the 'Can' is a seal. It is a synthetic rubber like material, and is shaped like a flat disk.

The top of the 'Can' has a shape etched part way into it.
The shape is commonly an X, or K.

When the gas expands, and develops enough pressure, either the seal at the bottom is compromised, And/Or the etched shape breaks open, to relieve the pressure.

The Electrolytic paste is pushed out.
So much paste loss, and the capacitor operates at a weakened state.
To much paste loss, and the capacitor fails.

A Capacitor as a electronic component that slowly develops a charge, then releases it all at once.

You may compare it to a large swimming pool being filled up by a garden hose, then one wall of the swimming pool is taken down all at once.

This is why the Power Supply worked when you unplugged it for a while, then plugged it back in.

The weakened capacitors paste chemical composition, allowed the capacitor/s to revert back to a working stage once power was removed.
(Power Supply unplugged from power)

When you plugged the Power Supply back into power, the capacitor/s were working again.
Worked with so much paste loss.

Eventually enough paste was pushed out, and the capacitor/s have failed.

What causes Power Supply failure?

1) The inside of the computer is dirty, as well as the inside of the Power Supply.

The cooling components of Power Supply is it's fan, and Heatsink's located inside the Power Supply.
[Refer back to the photo of the open Power Supply, in the SMPS link]

(A Heatsink is a component, that draws heat away from another component.
Typically, a Heatsink is composed of a flat metal plate, that has tall, thin fins protruding from it.

Heat is absorbed into the flat metal plate, whereby it is absorbed into the tall, thin fins.
The fins radiate the heat away.

When a fan is used in conjunction with a Heatsink, the air produced by the fan goes in-between, and around the fins, and helps carry heat away)

When the fan's blades, center hub, and surrounding cage are dirty, and the Heatsink/s are dirty, the cooling capacity drops tremendously.

Again, Heat = Wasted Energy.
The Power Supply tries to keep up with the call for power, and eventually components inside the Power Supply fail.
Electrolytic Capacitors are the weakest link, and typically fail first.

2) The computer manufacturer used a cheap quality Power Supply.
Cheap quality components used inside the Power Supply.

If you wish I can guide you in testing the Power Supply.
You'll need an inexpensive multimeter, or an inexpensive power supply tester.

(One example of an inexpensive power supply tester, )

Or if you have a KNOWN to be good, compatible power supply, you can use it for a test unit.

Need help in finding a replacement Power Supply, or information in how to replace it, simply state so in a Comment.

Jun 02, 2010 | HP Compaq Presario SR2030NX PC Desktop

2 Answers

One of our network e machine computer keeps restarting by itself with a msg. that the windows has recovered from a serious error. I loaded the recovery disk and picked the recovery of fix the problem with...

I'd like you to check some components on the motherboard.
Specifically, Electrolytic Capacitors.

More specifically, the one's used in the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit.

This is a leading cause of a computer booting up, then shutting down, then restarting again.

eMachines are a budget computer. The low cost, is due to low quality hardware components inside the computer..
Electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard, being some of the above stated components.

1) Electrolytic Capacitors slowly build a charge up, then release the charge all at once.
Akin to a swimming pool slowly being filled up by a garden hose, then one wall of the pool is taken down all at once.

The Electrolytic capacitors used on the motherboard, are aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors, and are Radial in design.

Viewing the second photo down, at the top right of the page, the bottom Electrolytic Capacitor is of the radial design.
Both leads come out of the bottom.

Essentially, an aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor is a small aluminum 'can', with three strips of thin foil rolled up together, inside.

A) One strip is metal, and is the Conducting strip.

B) One strip is also metal, but has a non-conducting medium applied to it.

C) The last strip is composed of a paper-like material, and is soaked with Electrolytic Paste.

The paper strip is placed between the two metal strips, and all three strips are rolled up tightly, then inserted into the 'can'.

(Of the two leads that protrude from the bottom of the capacitor, one is a Positive lead, the other is a Negative lead.
The Positive lead is connected to the Conducting strip.
The Negative lead is connected to the Non-Conducting strip)

At the bottom of the 'can' case is a seal. This seal is composed of a synthetic rubber-like material, and is a flat disk shape.

At the top of the 'can' case is another seal. It is a thin, flat, disk of metal.
The center of this disk shape has an X, or K, etched partially into the disk.

Electrolytic Capacitors break down over time.
The design manufacturer of a product that uses this type of capacitor, is aware of this, and plans accordingly.

The capacitor used is 50 percent better than is required.
This way as the capacitor breaks down, it weakens to a state that is still usable.

Low quality Electrolytic Capacitors have inferior Electrolytic paste.
As the paste breaks down a gas is formed. (Hydrogen gas)

The gas expands inside the can's case, and slowly pushes the Electrolytic paste out.
(Oozes out)

When the capacitor is starting to break down, the outside can case bulges.

As the capacitor breaks down further, the paste is pushed out of the bottom seal, (Rubber like disk has one side pushed out of the bottom), and/or breaks the etched design on top open, and paste pushes out.

So much paste loss, and the capacitor can operate in a weakened state.
Too much paste loss, and the capacitor fails.
The paste can also dry up inside, and will show no outward visual signs of failure.

Computer unplugged from power, computer case open.
TOUCH (Not 'shouting') the metal frame of the open computer case, BEFORE you reach inside, to relieve your body of static electricity.

[Static WILL fry out (Short Circuit), the delicate hardware components inside a computer.
You may not even see it, or feel it.

Computer unplugged from power you are safe.
TOUCH the metal frame, and your computer is safe.
Work on a table.
Do Not work on a bed, or directly on a carpet floor. These are high areas of static.

Should you get up, and walk away in the middle of working on your computer, be Sure to touch the metal frame upon your return]

See if you can observe visual signs of capacitor failure.

A video showing the results of capacitor failure, in the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit,

(Starts at 0:04)

Part of what the motherboard Voltage Regulator Circuit does, is to regulate voltage for the Processor.

The Processor must have a steady, clean, supply of voltage, and the voltage must be within a certain range.
Too much, or too little voltage, and the Processor turns off.
(BIOS turns the Processor off)

Failing Electrolytic Capacitors in their weakened state will charge up, and release for a brief time period, but then will break down.

This is why the computer comes on, then shuts down.

Replacing the motherboard is the solution.

One more 'ailment' may apply.
It could be Electrolytic Capacitors in the Power Supply, that are breaking down.

Test the Power supply voltages, or replace the Power Supply with a KNOWN to be good, working unit that is compatible, for a test.

(Compatible being the Power Supply is the correct size, and shape, plus also has enough Wattage, and the correct amount of power cables, plus the correct power cables)

To test you will need a multimeter, or a power supply tester.

A computer (Personal computer) Power supply puts out three main voltages.

A) 3.3 Volts. (Wires with Orange insulation)
B) 5 Volts (Wires with Red insulation)
C) 12 Volts (Wires with Yellow insulation)

If the 12 Volt power rail is 11 to 13 Volts, the power supply is okay.
Below 11 Volts requires replacing the Power Supply.

You can post additional questions in a Comment.

May 26, 2010 | E-Machines T6520 PC Desktop

1 Answer

Gateway GT4022 has issues powering up and restarting

1.Yes the Power On switch is okay.
(PS. If you hold down the Power On button for 10 seconds on any computer, it will turn off)

2.The heatsink held down by springs on the Northbridge, and Southbridge chipsets, is an excellent idea. Works very well on Processors too.

My opinion.

1.This means even pressure is being distributed, and in a manner that a user can't cause harm to the chipsets.
Use screws, and you might have someone who puts too much force, while torquing them down.

2.Means to me that the user can remove the heatsink, clean the top of the chipset, and bottom of the heatsink, and apply new thermal paste.

Thermal paste does dry up over time.

[I'm sure you're aware, but please indulge me.
The top of a chipset, or processor case, and the bottom of a heatsink, is not perfectly smooth.

There are microscopic hills, and valleys, and pits.
These cannot be seen by the naked eye.

These voids cause an air pocket. Air is an insulator, not a conductor. You want a conductor to help transfer the heat from the chipset, to the heatsink.

Thermal paste fills these voids, and is an excellent conductor of heat. Helps transfer the heat.

If your Northbridge, and Southbridge chipset have thermal pads, I suggest taking them off, and flying them out the window!
(Look out below!!!!)

Thermal pads do not transfer heat very well]

As for your problem, it's the power supply.
Inside the power supply are Electrolytic Capacitors.

Some are used to filter the incoming AC electricity, Input Stage), and some are used to filter the outgoing DC electricity. (Output Stage)

Electrolytic Capacitors used in personal computers have a cylindrical aluminum case, with two terminals coming out of the bottom.

The aluminum case resembles an aluminum Coke can, with the bottom cut out.
There is a rubber round plug in the bottom.
The top of the 'can' is flat, and has an X or a lK, cut into it part way.

Inside the 'can' are three thin strips.
1) A Conducting strip of metal

2) A Non-conducting strip. Is made of metal with a non conducting oxide layer. (Insulating oxide layer)

3) A strip of paper soaked in Electrolytic Paste.

The Positive terminal is connected to the Conducting strip, and the Negative terminal is connected to the Insulating strip.
(Metal strip with insulating oxide layer)

Electrolytic Capacitors break down over time. The designer has taken this into effect, and puts in capacitors that are 50% better than required.

Problem is, that a large number of capacitors have a bad Electrolytic Paste formula. This formula was stolen from a large capacitor manufacturer.
Unknowingly the thief stole a bogus formula.

The Electrolytic Capacitor manufacturer caught wind of the approaching theft, and a known bogus formula was substituted for the real one.

The Electrolytic Paste of this bogus formula, develops gas after time. (Hydrogen gas)

This causes one of two things, or both.

A.The gas expands inside the capacitor, and breaches the seal of the capacitor.
(Pops the rubber plug loose at the bottom)

B. The X, or lK shape at the top of the capacitor breaks open. (The shape is etched into the flat top of the capacitor, about halfway)

Electrolytic Paste is slowly pushed out of the capacitor. Either through the break at the top, the rubber seal at the bottom, or both places.

Some paste loss will make the capacitor weak. (Loss of capacitance)
Too much paste loss will make the capacitor fail.

Electrolytic Paste also dries up.

When you have one, or more weak capacitors in a power supply, you have a weak voltage power rail.
When you have one, or more failed capacitors in a power supply, you lose a power voltage rail.

There are three main voltage power rails, in a personal computer power supply.
A) The 3.3 Volt rail
B) The 5 Volt rail
C) The 12 Volt rail

A capacitor builds a charge up slowly, then releases it all at once.
Compare this to a swimming pool that is filled up slowly with a garden hose, then knock a big hole in the side. The water rushes out all at once.

I believe you have a bad power supply. One, or more capacitors are failing. When you unplug, wait 15-20 seconds, then plug back in, you are causing the weak capacitors to get a surge of electricity.

I Do Not advise opening the power supply to take a look!
Electrolytic Capacitors hold a charge for weeks, sometimes months, after being disconnected from power!

(Sometimes up to a year for the big capacitors. Such as the one's used in the Input Stage, of the power supply)

If your fingers make a circuit by touching the two terminals of a capacitor, YOU will receive the charge!

If your fingers touch a circuit, in the circuit board of the power supply, where one, or more capacitors are in, and your fingers complete a circuit, YOU will receive the charge!

This can result in a bad to fatal shock.

An experienced tech, will use the proper method of discharging the capacitors, before working on the power supply. I will not detail it here.

(If someone tells you that you can use a metal screwdriver to do so, this = NO!
The tip of the screwdriver can melt, and turn into hot shrapnel, as the capacitor explodes!)

Seasoned tech's just use a spare power supply, for a test.

Approximately 70 or more percent of the computers that come to my shop have a failing, or failed power supply.

Most are due to the inside of the computer, and the power supply, is dirty.
The owner never took the time, or was afraid to clean the inside of their computer. (And power supply)

All they had to do was unplug the computer from power, open the computer case, touch the metal frame of the computer case to relieve their body of Static electricity, and use a can of compressed air for computers.
That's it!

The rest of the power supply failure, can be attributed to the computer manufacturer. They used cheap quality power supplies, that had cheap quality components inside. (Like Electrolytic Capacitors with the bogus formula, for one)

Saved the computer manufacturer money.

At the outset of this, you better check the Electrolytic Capacitors on your motherboard.

Gateway didn't use solid capacitors, when the FIC KTBC51G motherboards were made.
Gateway used Electrolytic Capacitors.

Visual signs of capacitor failure,

Dec 24, 2009 | Gateway GT4022 PC Desktop

1 Answer

My hp a450n wont turn on after we had a power outage. It was in a surge strip as was the router etc. Everything else was fine. There is a green light flashing under the power cord into the computer?

Power supply was probably nuked. You can get a replacement from ebay or usually a local computer repair shop. They go for around 20-35 for most "generic" power supplies. Unless you're a hardcore game or crazy you probably will just need an ATX power supply. Easiest thing to do is just take it down to a mom and pop computer place and have them sell you the right one.

ANYONE can replace it. It's just four screws to take it out, then just plug the cables back.

Some HP models use a proprietary power supply, if this is the case with your model then eBay is the place to get a replacement. Just match up the power supply model numbers and you're good to go.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Nov 22, 2009 | HP Pavilion a450n PC Desktop

1 Answer

Hp desktop won't turn on

It sounds like you may have lost your power supply due to a surge in the line when the power came back on.
Here's link to some power supplies, I would also invest in a surge protector power strip, to prevent this from happening in the future.

Make sure you get a power supply with the same or higher wattage then the one in your PC, they are fairly easy to replace four screws on the back of the PC and unplug the connections to the PC components inside.

I hope this helps,

Thanks for using FixYa,


Jan 20, 2009 | HP Hewlett Packard Pavilion A6200N PC...

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