Computer not powering on. How to start with screwdriver?

Astralv

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May 6, 2013
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My mother's computer is not powering on. It is 2008 Dell Vostro 220 with Vista OS. While it is old model, it was hardly used. She would keep it off for months at a time. I was turning it on at regular intervals to run updates and update antivirus. It might of been left on, sleeping, for some time. Last time we saw it working was couple of months ago.

So today, I pressing the power button ON and nothing happens. There is a led light on the back on the power supply, but power supply fan is not spinning. What can it be?

I am thinking it is either a power supply or computer case switch. The fan on the power supply would not start spinning unless power button on the case is used, so there is no way to tell it is PSU issue. It may be just a switch. I wanted to use a screw driver to power on the computer, but it does not look like modern pins. It looks like internal USB port. So when you unplug the black plastic with wires, there are pins, but nothing marked. So I don't know what pins to short to make it turn on. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
 

ingtar33

Illustrious
to jump the pc, find where the pwr sw plugs into your motherboard. Remove the plug for the power switch and bridge those two "pins" with a small screw driver. How do you find this? You can
a) trace the wires from the switch
b) check out the printed information on the plug (all the plugs should be labeled, the power switch plug should be labeled with a pwrsw or pw sw or something like that
c) check out the motherboard, all the places the switches should plug into are LABELED, granted, labeled rather small, so depending on your eyes, you might want to use a magnifying glass, but someone with 20/20 vision should be able to read them without aid.

you can also test your power supply by unplugging it from EVERYTHING, then taking a paperclip, bend it until it's in a U, and connect the GREEN wire to one of the black wires on the large 24 pin plug. If the PSU fan turns on then the psu is probably (?) ok.

 
Have a look on the tower based system.
On the back of it to see if there is what we call a rocker switch.

It may of been turned or switched over to it`s off state.
If the rocker switch in present, then switch it over to it`s second state.

And then try powering the tower based system on by the main power button on the front of the tower.

Astralv.

The rocker switch is often forgotten about, and when set to an off state if there is a Led light on the power supply box is why it lights up red to indicate you need to change the switch state in order to get normal power to the system case ok.

If no rocker switch is found on the power supply unit, but the red Led light is lit a solid red color it means the PSU has failed and you need a new one.

 

ingtar33

Illustrious


My bad, I should have read this.

the back of a dell power supply typically has a diagnostic button on it. it should be a small black or red button on the back of the PSU near the light. Though a RED power LED typically means the PSU is dead. if you hit the PSU test button and the LED does not turn green, then it is dead.
 

Astralv

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The led light is green. There is no rocker switch. There is some red thing that shows power to be at 115, switchable between 115 and 230. I don't see any test switch.

I am tracking the wires from the front power switch on the case and they go to right lower corner on motherboard and connect just like internal USB port (4 pins on top, 5 pins on the button). If it was not connected to the front panel of the case where the power switch is located, I would think, it was internal USB2 port). Nothing is marked. So I don't know which pins to shorten- the top 4, the button 5- which 2 pins out of 9? I can not do the paper clip test to test the PSU- I am to scared to be electrocuted. Not sure what wire you talking about. I would go as far as short the pins on motherboard IF I knew which 2 pins out of 9 they are.

This is the picture of the motherboard. http://assets.suredone.com/2306/media-photos/a6-1127-dell-vostro-220-220s-motherboard-g45m03-intel-core-2-duo-e2220-240ghz-1gb-p301d.jpeg
 

ingtar33

Illustrious
1) the paperclip test is simple. I'll link you to a video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixcWCrYpw3Y
this kid is overly cautious. I've done this test dozens of times with the PSU plugged in. The power switch does not carry a significant enough charge to cause any sort of electrical damage. Though if you're uncertain you're doing it right, go right ahead and use his method.
-if your PSU has BLACK wires only, the "green" wire is the 4th from the right CLIP up on the top row. the wires on both the immediate right and left side of the green wire is ALWAYS ground (black).

2) most dell psus have a power supply test button, but don't worry if that unit doesn't.

3) locating the proper pins on the board will be tough if it's the type of plug i think it is. So you might not be able to bridge it easy. An alternate method would be to plug the front panel plug back into the board, and CUT the wires running to the front panel, then twisting the ground and power together for the power switch. If the power switch is broken you'll be getting new wires anyway. If it isn't then some electrical tape can fix what you did.
 
Jan 15, 2020
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Hi,

I have the same problem. Computer was working fine at home (using it as a server) then I brought it to school. Had everything plugged in correctly (there is no power switch on the back of this model) green light was illuminated on the power supply and the power switch did nothing. After a couple days of research I tried replacing the battery on the motherboard (used to power the BIOS, a CR 2032 battery). After replacing the battery and leaving it plugged in for an hour or 2, the power button light came on. Me being dumb unplugged it before i turned it on though because i wanted it plugged into a different power strip. A few more days of struggle i tried taking the new battery out for an hour and then putting it back in. This worked! I had the computer running however it still wasnt in the final place i wanted it. After shutting it down, moving the computer and plugging everything in it again did not want to start up. Doing the same procedure i took the battery out for an hour and then put it back in and tried to boot it. Nothing. I tried using a screwdriver to see if the power switch was failed. Nothing. I tested the power supply as described above and the power supply worked but still the computer would not turn on. I was frustrated, and started writing this post. When i took a break after the first 2 sentences, i looked over at the computer which was still in pieces from me trying to test everything and the power button led was on. I pressed it and it booted right up. I understand you may not be as lucky as me with this scenario but it is my experience from a few days ago that once it boots, it stays booted. You wont have any trouble if the thing is never unplugged. I will be leaving mine on for the next 4 months before i am forced to move out of my apartment.
 

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