Checking the computer power cord is the first step to troubleshooting when it stops working. Faulty power supply can create a lot of computer problems, which is why technicians prefer to check PSU first while diagnosing PC hardware.
The following can be some of the common issues of system failure:
- During the bootup process
- The PC does not power up
- Sudden restarts or lockouts while trying to use the machine
- Case fan and hard drives do not spin
- Overheating of the system
- Faults in system memory
If the PC does not turn up at all:
With troubleshooting, disconnect all unnecessary power cords from the PC. In the end, you should have only a mouse, keyboard, and monitor connected.
Another thing you need to check is the external switch. If it is located behind the rear unit; make sure that it is not off accidentally. Plug the PSU power cable into the plug point or surge protector, and power on the computer. Most models have an indicator light on the back of the unit that glows when it’s on. If it does not light up try another computer power cord and a different socket to remove those items as the source of the problem.
Following are some of the major things which show proper operation of PSU:
- Listen for fans, or mechanical hard drives spinning
- Check the connection of each PSU cable connecting to the computer hardware component.
- Check the motherboard light. If it’s flashing means it’s either faulty or disconnected.
The color of the motherboard light can sometimes tip off other components too. Whereas, lights and BIOS beep codes differ based on manufacturers.
Use a paperclip to test a power supply:
Another name for the paper clip test is the jumper test. It allows you to verify PSU functionality when it disconnects from the components inside the PC. It identifies some of the common issues:
- Short circuits inside the power supply
- Failed components
- Live power connection
Firstly, you need to turn the power switch at the back of the power supply to the turn-off position. Find the 24 pin connector. Bend the clip and check by inserting one end into the green pin and another in any of the black pins.
Flip the switch to the rear of the PSU and listen to the internal fan. If you can hear the fan then verify the power supply is on. If your power supply passes the very amateurish paper clip test, then check on this:
- Voltage fluctuations
- Power rail failure
Should you use a multimeter?
To perform more testing of your power supply you will need to use a multimeter, an instrument for measuring voltage, current, and resistance. If you are an electronics technician you might be using a multimeter already. But, if you are working as an internal IT person, it is not worth your time to go through a lot of jargon. It is common for departments to manage multiple PCs to keep spare power supply or two on hand for swap testing to identify when a PSU is the root cause of recurring problems.
If your computers are under warranty and think the power supply can be the issue, you need to take the manufacturer’s support and warranty of desktop computers upon purchasing. If you’re buying business computers as finished systems, it’s better to use company resources to find faults in computer supplies and other components.
Thanks for staying till here. There are different types of computer power cords available like c13 or c14 power cords and many others. Thus, while you choose which you should use, make sure to know the difference between them.