Question Two PSUs Failing Paperclip Test - How to diagnose?


Nov 22, 2013
Hi guys,

Friend of mine's PC died while they were using it the other day. I had a look at it and given that no fans spun up, no lights came on, etc. I thought the power supply would be my first thing to check. Went for the classic paperclip test (though with some spare equipment wire so not an enamel problem). No response from the PSU. Wanted to confirm the wire's integrity so tried the same with my own PSU from the same wall socket and it spun up as expected. Ok, their power supply must be dead, which at about 5 years old I didn't consider remarkable. So I got them to buy a new one.

Cut to installing the new PSU. Everything plugged back in and pressed the power button. Nothing. Try the paperclip test. Nothing. Didn't think to try the paperclip test first to confirm it wasn't DOA but figure that was unlikely. So either they got unlucky and bought a coincidentally dead PSU or their PC fried them both.

Now I could try with my own PSU, which I know to work, but I don't want to chuck that in, just to possibly have their PC kill it as well.

Any recommendations on pinpointing the issue without (or at least minimising risk of) potentially destroying more hardware?

P.S. Their original PSU was an Antec HCG 620W and the new one is an Antec VP700P, both reliable PSUs as far as I'm aware (and overkill in wattage).

Vic 40

Breadboard when testing. Motherboard+cpu+1xram outside the case on non conductive underground,see if this boots.

Can try and rma the new one although not great quality, but maybe budget doesn't allow.

Would be nice to know what parts in that pc.