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View Full Version : Power Outage, Now Blinking Green Light on Back of Desktop (Won't Start)


Broadsword2004
05-10-2010, 13:22
The power blew out a few days ago (high winds outside and a tree fell on one of the lines). Anyhow, now with the power back, on the back of my computer is a blinking green light. I know this is the power supply and it is acting quirky because of this. I have done some Googling to try and figure out how to fix it, but the things I have tried haven't worked. Some say it (the power supply) may just need replacing.

Here is what I have tried thus far:

1) Unplug the power cord and everything else and hold the power button for 30 seconds, then let go, then plug the system back in.

2) Holding the power button for 30 seconds with the power cord plugged in.

3) Unplugging the power cord and switching the red switch in the back on the power supply, then switching it back to its original position.

I have read of some other things involving removing the power supply and trying this and that, but for the moment my computer hardware skills are very lackluster and I don't want to try anything and break something that truly isn't broken, anyone have any suggestions on anything else to try?

(I am on a laptop right now)

BrainStorm
05-10-2010, 14:02
Make and model of computer?

You know it's the power supply how?

Acting quirky how?

__________________________________________

In spite of the fact that I've used computers all my career, I still find myself confused about some control, symbol or light on my PC and portable. I keep the manuals on the disk, but if you can't get it started, it's hard to get to the disk. With the make and model, you can usually find a manual on-line and locate the light, symbol or whatever and get some hints about what they mean, what the error modes are and what to do about it.

Broadsword2004
05-10-2010, 15:53
Make and model of computer?

You know it's the power supply how?

Acting quirky how?

Googling, also it is where the power cord plugs in, pretty sure that's the power supply. Other people at other forums I checked reported having the same problem often after a power failure, where the power supply was screwy-acting (blinking green light). Unless maybe the motherboard is screwy and somehow affecting the power supply? :confused: By quirky, I mean blinking and not letting me start it up. The make and model is an HP Pavilion a230n.

Irishsquid
05-10-2010, 15:58
The machine plugged into a UPC or surge protector? If not, it sounds like you're probably looking at a replacement power supply. I wouldn't take the old one out until you have the new one right in front of you, and make some kind of diagram to see where all those little wires plug in ;-)

Broadsword2004
05-10-2010, 16:00
Nope didn't have it in a surge protector, but from what I have read, a surge protector won't really protect a PC from that kind of surge...? Are power supplies something any person of reasonable intelligence can replace, provided they follow the instructions, or is that something you shouldn't mess with unless very familiar with PCs?

Chris Cram
05-10-2010, 16:26
Sir

Power supplies don’t usually have lights on them.
The blinking green light on the back of a desktop is usually a communication device… either a modem or network card. The power supplies usually have the power-cord connector and a toggle 0 | 1 power switch.

Power supplies have an octopus like power harness that connects to 5 – 10 devices within your box. If you are comfortable hooking up electronic component and can read the simple wire diagram, this can be done. A shop can do it in 20 minutes.

I would suggest that you look to your network card for first point of failure.

Power supplies fail totally, or by not being able to put out full power.

Chris Cram
05-10-2010, 17:27
Sir

Power supplies don’t usually have lights on them.
The blinking green light on the back of a desktop is usually a communication device… either a modem or network card. The power supplies usually have the power-cord connector and a toggle 0 | 1 power switch.

Power supplies have an octopus like power harness that connects to 5 – 10 devices within your box. If you are comfortable hooking up electronic component and can read the simple wire diagram, this can be done. A shop can do it in 20 minutes.

I would suggest that you look to your network card for first point of failure.

Power supplies fail totally, or by not being able to put out full power.

I didn't catch the (Won't Start) statement.
If your box was slammed when the power came back on, it is more likely that your motherboard was zapped.… It is good to disconnect the computer from the grid during a power failure, and switching the 0|1 switch to 0 (OFF) so that when you bring the box back up, there will not be a sudden hit on the mother board.

Surge protectors are good for protecting your box from spikes.
For a few bucks more, you can get a UPS. This will protect your box from spikes, brownouts and power failures. For $100 it’s cheep insurance.
I have been running with UPS's since the 90's.

My data and applications are of greater value than the box.
System failure do to power anomalies is avoidable.

Note: Your hard drives will probably be fine, and their content recoverable.

Broadsword2004
05-10-2010, 18:00
Yes that was incredibly stupid of me, I should have unplugged the damn computer:rolleyes::mad:

I have a copy of the book Upgrading and Repairing PCs on me, I am looking at a picture of a power supply in the power supply chapter, it is as you describe, having the power cord connector and the toggle switch. However, from what I can tell, some power supplies do not have the toggle switch, they instead just have the power cord connector and a green light which usually lights steady, but which blinks when something is wrong.

Anyways, everyone, thankyou for the advice and tips thus far. I will wait and see if this "fixes itself" (I saw that happen once with a friend's computer), if not, I will have to replace it I suppose (that will be interesting, luckily I have this book).

Sacamuelas
05-10-2010, 18:37
FWIW, some power supplies do have a green power indicator on them just like some network adapters. I have redundant power supplies on my server at work. It is also on a UPS. It logs events, and you would be surprised at how many occur without you knowing about it.

What does bootup indicate during startup? does it give you an error message? does it freexze up at a certain point? Does light on front of tower come on? Does the monitor detect that the computer is turned on?

Broadsword2004
05-10-2010, 19:16
Well that's the problem, with the green light blinking, the computer is dead as a doornail. Pressing the power button does nothing, the whole thing is just completely dead right now.

jbour13
05-10-2010, 21:15
Let us know the listing of components you have. Is it for simple internet and word processing or a Media type computer?

Even if you don't need a hefty power supply, buy from trusted brands.

Corsair and CoolerMaster are great. Prices vary by wattage. Depending on what components you have it may only need a 300W-350W.

I run an 800W on my gaming rig. Yes I'm a nerd of sorts, but I know some stuff that is helpful.

If you need one, I have a spare that may meet your needs. PM me an address. If it's not the PS, it is likely the motherboard. Open the case, use a flashlight and inspect each place that metal (soldering included) is embedded into plastic (on both sides of the board if you can manage) and see if there are any burn marks, discoloration or smells of burned plastic (yes, really).

If it is your board, I can assist you on a replacement or simply recommend you take it to a pro in your area.

Newegg and TigerDirect have decent prices.

SFC B

Slantwire
05-10-2010, 22:05
Well that's the problem, with the green light blinking, the computer is dead as a doornail. Pressing the power button does nothing, the whole thing is just completely dead right now.

If you don't even get front panel lights to flash, or any internal fans or drives spinning, then your power supply is almost certainly toast. Your motherboard may or may not be fried as well. Can't tell until it gets power. (Kinda like, when your ignition system is shot, it's hard to tell if your transmission is okay.)

If you can plug in wires and use a screwdriver, you can replace a power supply. Just keep track of what the old one was plugged into. (Write it down / sketch it.) And don't put your fingerprints all over the circuit boards. Being "grounded" is even more useful here than when you read the news or forwarded emails.

Irishsquid
05-10-2010, 23:34
Yes, many power supplies will have a green indicator light on them. Basically, the power supply is getting power in if the light is on...but it's fried, and thus can't output power properly. As for a surge protector, 90% of the time, they are not effective, but the other 10% of the time...well, it is better than nothing. You can usually get a decent small UPS relatively cheap, and that WILL help.

As for replacing a power supply, it's pretty simple...just remove a few screws, unplug all the little wires (while keeping the aforementioned diagram) and put the new one in its place.

As to the rest, I agree there's a good chance if your power supply was hit, your motherboard probably was as well. That's no fun.

As for waiting to see if it fixes itself...that's what we call PFM (Pure F'ing Magic) and yeah...it does sometimes happen that way, but I never count on it.

Broadsword2004
05-11-2010, 01:18
Everyone, thankyou for the advice. jbour13, will see about opening it up after another day or so, want to see if it "repairs" itself. It is mostly for Internet and word processing though, albeit a bit older (a 2003 model).

Irishsquid, I saw some of that PFM with a friend's computer, where the power supply he thought was fried (blinking green light, dead computer) than after a day or so, voila! it was a solid green light again and started up fine. Don't how that happened, but waiting a bit to see if it will happen here.

Broadsword2004
05-18-2010, 17:12
UPDATE: Okay well I ordered a new power supply in the mail, it just came, so I installed it and the PC is up and running again:lifter