Help, my computer is toast

I shut my machine down last night and went to power it up this morning and...nothing. My guess is that the power supply is the culprit, but if that's the case it's not a total failure since the little green network LED is still lit up when it's connected. Really, I'm guessing that it's the PSU because I have no idea what else it might be.

I built this sucker less than 6 months ago, and the PSU is a nice Antec 450W SmartPower, but who knows right? Sh*t breaks. Maybe my computer just couldn't deal with my mad sk1llz at HL2DM last night.

Anyway, what do you guys think? I figure I'll give Antec's service department a call and see if I can arrange an RMA, but I am wondering if there is some other avenue I should be pursuing as well.

Hmm... well, a bad PSU could still power that light, but it'd probably do something more (like spin a fan for a couple seconds, or at least make 'em twitch if it's getting enough power to the mobo to keep the light on). You haven't had any water spill on/near it lately have you? Water can damage the mobo/cpu/memory and give the same problem.

My guess would be the CPU overheated/fried, but like I said, it's just a guess. Try unhooking everything (including graphics), and see if it'll boot up. If it does, it's probably a memory issue (which could keep the system from booting). If it still doesn't... well, I guess start at the PSU and RMA till you've got it solved.

And I doubt I'd be lucky enough to suggest "bad switch" twice and be right. But heck, it's worth a try. If you want to test that quickly, just use a jumper and put it on the power switch pins on the mobo for a second, then take it off. If it boots after that, you need a new switch.

What have you tried? Have you done the voodoo of pulling the power cord, press and hold the power button for a second, then plug the power cord back in? ATX power supplies have a overload protection circuit that self resets and that can make them unresponsive until you do that.

Short of fan failures, PSU are one of the components I've replaced the least.

I'll just point out that few threads are as obviously belonging in "Tech & Help" as one like this.

If you want to call some one for support on a system that you built, I would reccomend calling the mobo manufacturer. In the process of proving that it isnt the mobo, they will be very likely to point you in the right direction. Also they will have the largest amount of things you can try, just be prepared to tear the whole thing down while on the phone.

would definitely try the LiquidMantis voodoo first though

I've found that on some machines, the connect light will light up whether the machine is powered or not. Sounds like a PSU problem to me (I had a PSU go on me and had similar symptoms).

LiquidMantis wrote:
What have you tried? Have you done the voodoo of pulling the power cord, press and hold the power button for a second, then plug the power cord back in? ATX power supplies have a overload protection circuit that self resets and that can make them unresponsive until you do that.

Just tried that, no dice.

Nope, no water or liquid of any kind has been around the machine. I regularly check the CPU temp, and it usually hangs out around 40-45 C under load so I'd think overheating was extremely unlikely. Fans were new along with everything else and operating properly. Everything was fine last night. I just shut the damn thing down normally and then it wouldn't power up this morning.

Bad switch...that's a good idea, I'll check it out. Seems as likely as anything at this stage.

*Legion* wrote:
I'll just point out that few threads are as obviously belonging in "Tech & Help" as one like this. :D

Oh yeah, forgot about that forum. Doh!

I have something similar to this.

A PSU tester is a good investment. Robear lent me one not long ago, and it was nice to have something tell me the PSU was fine (though I think I needed a more powerful PSU to solve the problem I was having).

If this is a new system, definately check the switch. Robear just built a new system, and had the same problem out of the box. My first guess was the switch because he had already tested the PSU, and while he had the little light on the mobo coming on, nothing happend when he hit the power. We tested it with another switch, and it worked. He took the switch out, and the positive wire hadn't been connected in to the switch itself. I'm assuming this could have possibly happened here, where you got a few good connections but then it slipped out.

That PSU tester looks very handy, it's a pity there is nowhere local that I could go to buy one.

I will most definitely check that switch. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that, since that would be the cheapest fix.

Well, the bad news is it's not the switch. The good news is, it does appear to be a faulty PSU. I checked it with a multimeter, and sure enough, dead as a doornail. Well, almost that dead--there's just enough voltage to light up that green LED on the mobo. I've already got my RMA request in to Antec, hopefully they get back to me soon.

Just FYI, if you short the purple wire in the ATX connector to ground the PSU will turn on and you can test the other connections with it disconnected from the system.

yeah I had a lot of fun troubleshooting the first system I ever built with the mobo manufacturer. They told me to disconnect everything except the memory, processor, and power supply. Then they told me to turn the machine on, to which I replied "You just had me unplug the switch!" in sort of frustrated and slightly high and might tones. Then they had me short 2 leads together with a screwdriver....it was like I was McGuyver for just a glimpse....good times!

Anyway telling people to short stuff together on the mainboard is on my shortlist of advice not to post on the internet. Ever hear the one about the guy who sealed his computer and filled it with water, only to blame the water-cooling forum for the demise of his PC?

Podunk wrote:
Well, the bad news is it's not the switch. The good news is, it does appear to be a faulty PSU. I checked it with a multimeter, and sure enough, dead as a doornail. Well, almost that dead--there's just enough voltage to light up that green LED on the mobo. I've already got my RMA request in to Antec, hopefully they get back to me soon.

Hopefully they can overnight something to you for easy replacement. It would be a shame if you couldn't play HL2DM on Sunday

Check your PM!

Well, Antec support has been very nice, but their RMA department is apparently run by the most sluggish bunch of bastards in the universe. Two days since I sent them the forms they requested, and they still haven't even assigned me an RMA number.

Fortunately, I ordered a new 500W Antec SmartPower PSU from ZipZoomFly (Fedex 2nd day for $1.99!) and it came in this afternoon. Removing the dead PSU was a royal bitch, especially with a 90mm fan on my cpu. I've always been a fan of Antec's designs, but I've never had to swap out a PSU from one of their cases before. I can sum up my experience thusly: it sucked. Ass.

The Sonata II has a metal strut riveted across the side that helps support the PSU and the ducting inside the case. It also makes it f*cking impossible to pull a PSU without either removing or beating the crap out of your CPU cooler. Being the lazy bastard that I am, I opted to simply beat the crap out of the CPU cooler. It's one of those Zalman thingies with all the fins. Turns out that with a little effort they bend back into shape after you mangle them with a dead PSU.

Much to my relief, everything fired up beautifully once I had the PSU connected, so (knock on wood) nothing else seems to have been damaged.

Now if I just get that RMA happening, I'll feel a little better about the $70 I spent on the 500W PSU...