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Please Help!!! computer wont boot up [Solved]

Ask a question vjerseygirl - Latest answer on Mar 8, 2016 12:44PM
Hello, we have an older dell inspiron desktop pc and we are having troubles with it. It used to be in one room then we moved it to my daughters room and now it's having boot problems. At first when it was moved it wouldn't boot up but the green light on the backk of the tower turned on. My son plugged it into the wall outlet instead of the power strip and it booted up. We then shut it down and re-plugged it into the power strip and it worked fine. My daughter was on it last night playing around on it. When she was going to bed she put it to sleep by just telling it to go to sleep, now it won't boot up even if we plug it into the wall outlet. The green light on the back of the tower still comes on but nothing else does. No fans, lights or anything but that one on the back. What could be the problem? Has it just given up the ghost and we need to buy a new one or can it be fixed? Thank you.
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Hi vjerseygirl,

This could be a power supply problem. The move should not have caused it.

One thing you could try before taking it apart would be to unplug it from the wall and then (with the power removed) press and hold in the power button. Then plug the power lead back into the wall and try to switch it on.

Hopefully you will now have a booting computer.

The place where you plug it in (wall or extension leads) should have no effect on the booting of your machine.

The green light on the back is likely to be a network light. It will come on when the network (in your case probably the Internet) is plugged into the machine and the router switched on.

Please let me know how you get on. If you are still unsuccessful, then let me know and we will go to the next stage of troubleshooting.
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Thank you for your reply. There are no internet cables hooked up to the back of it, it has no internet at all right now.

I tried what you suggested. I unplugged the tower from the power strip, pushed in the power button then plugged it back in. Nothing happened. It still isn't doing anything.

I appreciate any help I can get. Thank you.
BrianGreen 879Posts Saturday January 17, 2015Registration date September 27, 2016 Last seen - Mar 5, 2016 01:39AM
Sorry to hear this news :^(

The next thing is to unplug all of the cables except the mouse, monitor and power. Then try switching it on.
  • If it boots it might boot to windows - shut it down in the normal way with the mouse. If it boots to a black screen with a warning about no keyboard or something like that then press and hold the power button until it switches off. Add the leads one at a time testing it after each addition - when it stops booting it is likely the last thing you attached is failing. Remove it and continue with adding the bits.
  • If it still doesnt boot at all then its time for more drastic surgery.


Remove the power from the wall and take the side off the machine. As a general rule of thumb, lie the computer on its side with the sockets at the back of the machine at the bottom. then the side uppermost is the one to remove to give access to the insides.

With the side removed look at all the boards and see if any of the capacitors are leaking brown stuff or have blown tops. Here is a picture of some bad ones ...



If you see anything like this it is time for a new board.

If you see nothing like this it is worth removing the power supply cable from the main board. It is a long connector with about 24 wires attached. It has a clip in the side that needs to be pressed and then the plug can be pulled up. Its quite stiff and you do need to make sure the clip is pressed to release the catch. When it is off put it back in again. It will only fit one way. Replace the side, attach the mouse and monitor and power lead and see if it switches on.

Good luck - please let me know how you get on.
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I tired unplugging everything but the mouse monitor and power cord but still nothing. The only other thing plugged into it was the keyboard and even with it unplugged it didn't do anything.

I checked the capacitors and they aare all in good shape. No leaking or bulging on any of them.

I unplugged the power supply from the motherboard then plugged it back in but it still didn't do anything then either.

I'm at a loss now. Thank you for all the help. I just hope we can get this figured out.
BrianGreen 879Posts Saturday January 17, 2015Registration date September 27, 2016 Last seen - Mar 5, 2016 02:13AM
The next thing is Major surgery.

Take photos of the inside of your PC and make notes as you do this - we need to get things back to how they are now.

Basically you are doing the same as you did with the external devices attached to your machine. Remove everything you dont need. What you do need is a video output - some computers have an on-board video card so you can remove any add on ones. Remove all cards that are at right angles to your motherboard. Do not remove all of the memory - leave at least one stick in. Remove the data leads to the power hard drive and optical drive (you can leave the power leads in if you wish). DONT remove any wires from the motherboard.

Now try switching it on (with the power lead plugged into the wall). If it boots then add the parts back one at a time until you find a rogue one that causes the machine to stop booting. Hopefully re-seating things might help - corrosion of the plugs can cause this. However, if there is no boot in the disassembled state, then it is time for a new machine (or at least a replacement motherboard).
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BrianGreen 879Posts Saturday January 17, 2015Registration date September 27, 2016 Last seen - Mar 5, 2016 02:15AM
Unfortunately I need to go to bed now - been working all night. I will get back to see how you get on at about 3:00pm ... its now 7:15am.

Good luck. I hope it goes well.
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+I have tried everything you have suggested and nothing works. I guess I'm just gonna have to start looking around for another desktop then.

Thank you so much for all the time and help you have given me. I greatly appreciate it very much. Thank you.
BrianGreen 879Posts Saturday January 17, 2015Registration date September 27, 2016 Last seen - Mar 5, 2016 01:26PM
Sorry to hear that things are still bad.

The only other thing I can think of it that the power supply might not be providing a "clean" supply. They are not overly expencive and it might be worth getting a new one (at least the same power rating). You may be throwing good money after bad, so it might be seeing if you can test this theory before you buy one - could you borrow one?
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vjerseygirl 4Posts Saturday March 5, 2016Registration date March 7, 2016 Last seen - Mar 7, 2016 01:43PM
Hi. Just wanted to let yhou know I tried changing the power supply and it worked. It booted up just like nothing was wrong with it in the first place.

Thank you so much for all your help. I greatly appreciate all the time you've spent helping me figure this out. Thank you.
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Ambucias 32027Posts Monday February 1, 2010Registration date ModeratorStatus September 29, 2016 Last seen - Mar 7, 2016 05:07PM
Let's mark another one up for the old guy Brian!
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Ambucias 32027Posts Monday February 1, 2010Registration date ModeratorStatus September 29, 2016 Last seen - Mar 7, 2016 05:09PM
For he's a jolly good fellow !
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BrianGreen 879Posts Saturday January 17, 2015Registration date September 27, 2016 Last seen - Mar 8, 2016 12:44PM
So glat it worked for you. Im sorry it took so long to get there.
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