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I think my motherboard is bad. My computer won't turn on. Have tested the power supply and I believe it is good. When power cord is plugged in the green light is on but very dim. When I disconnected the power supply to the motherboard the light gets bright. Do you think it is a motherboard?

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  • Expert
  • 62 Answers

Hi,
Despite that the green light is on, your PSU can be defective. You can follow the instructions found here to test your PSU. You can also use a use paper clip instead of wire. If your PSU starts when it's not connected to your mainboard you can make a second test, if you don't have a voltage meter, to see if voltages are OK. You could connect your optical drive to the PSU and see if your drive unit door is opening and it reads discs (without data cable connected). If your PSU will start (cooler rotation is OK, optical unit will work), then your PSU is probably OK. Next step would be to reset your CMOS settings, if PC will still not start then I would say your mainboard is defective. And, of course, proceed at your own risk.

If this is the solution for your problem, please rate my post, otherwise give us more details.

Regards,
Andras

Posted on Sep 07, 2010

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  • HP Master
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Replace your PSU then test all leads that are attached to your hard drive sounds like a faulty lead of some sorts then
try replacing all the leads that attach to your hard drive including electrical extensions + IDE,SATA and the ones that attach from your motherboard to hard drive
make sure all leads that are attached to your drives dvd\cd 3 1/2 inch floppy have secure connections and are not faulty or just replace them they are probably old and faulty because a computer has to have an end to the circuit any fulty leads will lead to no boot up
good luck

Posted on Sep 07, 2010

  • Brian Sullivan
    Brian Sullivan Sep 07, 2010

    make sure all leads that are attached to your drives dvd\cd 3 1/2 inch floppy have secure connections and are not faulty even the electic extensions or just replace them they are probably old and faulty a computer needs its connections to have an end so any faulty leads will end up with a computer error

    good luck

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Perform the following steps, in order, until power is restored or it is determined that there is a hardware failure:

1.Disconnect everything from the computer, including the power cord.
2.With the power cord disconnected , press the power button on the front of the computer for five seconds. Plug in the power cord and test to see if the computer can turn on. If not, continue using these steps.
NOTE: If the power supply fan makes an inconsistent grinding sound or stops and starts erratically, replace the power supply

3. With the power cord removed, flip the red voltage selector switch to the opposite position. Wait about five seconds, and then switch the red voltage selector switch back to its original location. Ensure that the voltage selector switch is on the correct setting, 115V for North America.
Performing this step ensures that the voltage switch is engaged and set correctly for your country/region.

4. Plug in the power cord and test to see if the computer can turn on. If not, continue using these steps.
5. Plug a lamp into the same outlet to see if the wall outlet has power. Try the computer in a different outlet in order to eliminate the outlet as a possible source of the issue. Test both to see if the wall outlets have power.
6. Remove all extension cords, power strips, surge protectors and any converters that remove ground. Plug the power cable directly to the wall outlet. Test for power. If this fixes the issue, find the device that is causing the issue and do not use it.
NOTE: If you find the device that was causing the problem was a surge protector, resetting a breaker or fuse on the surge protector may fix the issue.
8. Remove all attached devices except for keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
9. Remove any internal component that was recently added, such as video card, memory, CD, DVD, and hard drives. An added device may take more power than the power supply is rated for. If the problem goes away when the component is removed, the only option is to upgrade the power supply to power supply with a higher wattage rating.
10. Check the power switch:
a. With the power cord disconnected, press the power button on the front of the PC. The button should release easily and not stick in the socket.
  • If the button sticks, it should be replaced or serviced.
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11. With the power cord disconnected, remove the case or side panel.
  • Follow the wires from the power button on the front of the computer to their connection on the motherboard.
  • Look at the power switch cables connected to the motherboard. If the cable has become disconnected, connect the power switch cable connector to the connector on the motherboard.
  • Replace the side panel, plug in the power cord and test to see if the computer can turn on. If not, continue using these steps.
12. Find the defective part:
  • With the power cord disconnected, remove the case or side panel.
  • Disconnect all power cable connectors from their connectors on the motherboard and from the back of internal devices (the back of drives). Make sure to label or remember where each cable connects for future reference.
  • Replace the side panel, plug in the power cord, and examine the light on the back of the power supply:

13. If the LED is on solid and is not flashing, the power supply is probably good and the problem is most likely caused by a defective component (processor, memory, PCI card) or a defective motherboard. Have the computer serviced, or remove the components and replace them, one at a time, to find and replace the defective component.

14. If the LED is still flashing (it should not flash with all connectors removed), plug the power cable into a different power outlet that is known to be good. If the LED still flashes, the power supply should be replaced.

15. If the LED light is now off, plug the power cable into a different power outlet that is known to be good. If the LED stays off, the power supply should be replaced.

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How old is your computer? Did you recently have a power outage or anything? Most the time if a computer won't turn on, something in it went bad OR an outlet is bad. Try this:

1. Make sure that the power switch is on, the switch in the back (on the power supply itself) is turned on, and everything along those lines is functioning.
2. If that doesn't work, and it will not power on AT ALL, make sure the cords are plugged firmly in place, including the surge protector and/or the power cord itself.
3. Try resetting the surge suppressor and/or plug the computer into a different outlet in the surge suppressor. Try other items in that surge suppressor (or even in the wall outlet, if that's what you're plugged into) to make sure that the outlet itself is working.
4. If your computer is plugged directly into a working wall or surge suppressor outlet, try a different power cord.
5. If your surge suppressor works, your wall outlet has power to it, and you are using a known-good power cord in the computer, you will have to go into more in-depth investigation as something inside the computer likely went bad. It could be the video card, motherboard, CPU fan, power button, or the power supply itself. Start by testing the video card and the power supply by (one at a time) swapping out a known-good component for the one you suspect may be bad. If it won't turn on after that, try swapping out the next and try it again. If it still will not work, it could be something more serious such as the motherboard or power button.

Good luck!

it could be a bad power supply or a bad motherboard. Other problems might cause issues, such as a bad video card.

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