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What is a common problem associated with desktop computers?

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Number 1.

Power Supply failure.

TOP problem.

Also a Power Supply failing, can emulate issues that seem software related.
Doubt that your computer professor will know this, however.

(Can also be a bad Power On switch. The diagnosis should include testing both the Power On switch, and the Power Supply, by bypassing the Power On switch.

This is done with a jumper wire on the Soft Power On wire, {PS_ON. Green in color}, to ANY Ground wire, (Black in color), in the ATX {20 or 24-pin} main power cable connector.

Example of 24-pin ATX main power cable, and it's respective connector,

http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/connectors.html#atxmain24

Bypassing the Power On switch turns the Power Supply on?
Problem is a bad Power On switch.
Bypassing the Power On switch does Not turn the Power Supply on?
Problem is a bad Power Supply)

Number 2 most rated problem, is the computer is dirty inside, as well as the inside of the Power Supply.

Most users are seemingly not aware, that the inside of a computer should be cleaned on a regular basis as needed.

Many may be timid in cleaning the inside of their computer.

Computer unplugged from power, Anti-Static Precautions observed, a can or two of compressed air for computers, could easily eliminate this problem.

Heatsink for the Processor is coated with 'Gunk'?
The Processor overheats, and BIOS turns the Processor off.

Same thing with the fan used to cool the Processor.
Whether it is a fan mounted directly on top of the Heatsink, or a computer case fan pushing air through a plastic shroud to the Heatsink.

Power Supply, (SMPS), cooling components.
This is the internal fan mounted at the back of the Power Supply's case, and the Heatsink's used inside the Power Supply.

[Basic construction of a Heatsink, is a plate of metal with tall, thin fins protruding from it.

The plate of metal absorbs heat from whatever object it is placed against, (Via a thin layer of thermal paste), and the fins absorb the heat from the plate.

The fins then radiate the heat away.
If a fan is used in conjunction with a Heatsink, the flow of air from the fan helps to dissipate heat away from the fins.
(Such examples would be a Processor's heatsink, and the heatsink's used in a Power Supply)

Posted on Sep 13, 2010

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