PC won't boot after circuit breaker tripped

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  • Reset everything, computer was plugged into a surge protector. Other stuff plugged into surge protector is still working.

    Is it a bad power supply?

    Or does the cap need more time to charge before booting?
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    SacHawk2.0
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  • Try unplugging all the other stuff. If the breaker went off you are overusing that curcuit.
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    Largent80
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  • There's a difference between not booting and not powering on at all. Pedantic maybe but it makes a difference to the diagnosis.
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    A London Hawk
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  • Did you try changing the plugs of the computer with one of the working elements to make sure that it's not that particular plug? Do you have a spare power cord around that you can use to make sure that it's not the power cord? I would change the power supply next if the computer isn't even beeping or the fans aren't starting after you hit the power button. ( I assume this is a desktop.)
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  • Yes, desktop. No beeps, no fan. Power strip is working as are the other items plugged into it. I just don't get why the power outage would cause the power supply to fail. Unless it's coincidence. The surge protector should have, well...protected it.

    Only other thing i can think of is the capacitor charge dissipating while the power was out. Or the power supply coincidentally went bad at the same time.
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  • Try a different power cable and plug it directly into the wall, and make sure you've flipped your physical switch on the back of the power supply on and off. If it still doesn't even turn on in any way at that point, 90% chance the power supply is toast. Usually when a PSU blows from a power surge, however, you can smell it. It's very possible your PSU simply died. (Not saying it's coincidence, but if you can't smell it, it didn't blow in the traditional sense.)
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  • Also...if it IS indeed the power supply, please, PLEASE don't be a cheap bastard. Buy a good power supply, not a cheapo piece of crap. I'm sure Roland can give you a good brand or two that he would recommend. I use corsair and have had great experiences with Antec in the past.
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  • PC Power & Cooling. They are the best in the business at making power supplies.
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  • SacHawk2.0 wrote:Yes, desktop. No beeps, no fan. Power strip is working as are the other items plugged into it. I just don't get why the power outage would cause the power supply to fail. Unless it's coincidence. The surge protector should have, well...protected it.

    Only other thing i can think of is the capacitor charge dissipating while the power was out. Or the power supply coincidentally went bad at the same time.


    Thining about it, the death of the power supply might've tripped your circuit breaker and not the other way around.
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    Sarlacc83
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  • When my power supply blew in this computer, I got another and replaced it. It did not have a smell. I have the old one and plan on fixing it. I am a tech after all.

    also....when I opened it up, I had about 4 tons of dirt fall out. So what could have happened is it got dirty and shorted out. I thought the harddrive would have been toasted..but got lucky. About 2 times a year, I "should" clean out the compartment. And that may happen. LOL
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  • It sounds like the PSU for sure, but be prepared for the possibility that once you replace it and boot your machine back up you find your hard drive is fried as well.
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  • I wouldn't be too worried about the HD failing. It's a possibility, but not likely.

    PC Power & Cooling would be super cool in the 80s, the company got bought out a few years back though so who knows. In fact, I looked it up and the company that bought them out is now out of business. :/

    I was really surprised but on some of our lower end builds a few year back we started using Rosewill's and they came back at about the same rate as Thermaltake (our preferred brand) and Corsair.
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  • SonicHawk wrote:PC Power & Cooling would be super cool in the 80s, the company got bought out a few years back though so who knows. In fact, I looked it up and the company that bought them out is now out of business. :/


    OCZ bought them, but PC Power & Cooling's manufacturing plant is still the same, and it was purchased by Toshiba recently, along with most of OCZ's other assets. They're still making PSUs that have exceptionally stable rail voltage, etc.
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  • My PC won't boot if my phone or Kindle is plugged into the USB port. It's not something like that is it?
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  • GeekHawk wrote:My PC won't boot if my phone or Kindle is plugged into the USB port. It's not something like that is it?


    Sometimes my computer wont shut down if there is a peripheral is plugged into a usb port. I understand that and take appropriate measures.
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  • For PSU's, I'm a Corsair guy.
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  • Thanks for the advice, all.

    I removed the PSU, cleaned a little dust out of the case and and then re-installed it. Plugged everything in and waited 5-10 minutes. Works like brand new.
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  • SacHawk2.0 wrote:Thanks for the advice, all.

    I removed the PSU, cleaned a little dust out of the case and and then re-installed it. Plugged everything in and waited 5-10 minutes. Works like brand new.


    Don't worry... it will be dead soon. :twisted:














    ...or it will work forever no problems. :0190l:
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    SonicHawk
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  • Sounds like a safety switch, like my Corsair PSU has. After a power outage, I have to physically turn off the power switch on the PSU for 10 seconds, and then turn it back on. Almost like a built-in breaker.
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    taz291819
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  • The brownout probably tripped the thermal breaker in the power supply. Leaving the thing unplugged a while resets it.

    Why did this happen?

    Breakers trip because too much current is being drawn through them. More current = more heat. A breaker trips because a component inside of it expands with heat and opens the switch. What you probably experienced was a low voltage condition known as a brownout. Mostly reactive loads (like your computer's power supply) respond to changes in the supplied line voltage by drawing more or less current to compensate. If a device requires 350 watts of power to run, it is going to attempt to draw that 350 watts regardless of the line voltage. So, if the line voltage dips too far, your PC will draw a ton of amperage in an attempt to stay running, and it will cause the thermal breaker in the power supply to trip. Your surge protector will do nothing for you here because it's not a surge, it's a sag. The only thing that can protect you from a sag is a UPS, though you would want one with good transient response (which means $$$).
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  • Agree with smokinHawk with an addendum. Sometimes the fan(s) in the power supply get too dusty and it slows the fan. The fan will then try to go around and draw too much current creating heat. Just another thought. Then the heat will increase which will trip the heat "breaker". Cooling it off and cleaning it off will allow it to reset. This would be the opposite of a thermocoupler. Thermo couplers use heat to keep the fuel going to a source of flame. Thermo couples are used for propane and other natural gas heater units. Very happy that you were able to fix it with minimal troubleshooting. :)
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  • Educational thread hijack - thermocouples generate a small voltage by the application of heat. They are used for such things as temperature detection, or as just mentioned above. They work by having 2 dissimilar metals (copper/alumel, chromel/alumel, etc) welded at the couple (the probe part), then putting that part into a heat source and measuring the resulting voltage. You can put several of them in series right next to each other (called a thermopile), so that the small voltages add up. If you then stick the thermopile into a pilot light flame, the output can be used to open an electrical valve that allows gas to flow only when the pilot light is actually lit. If the pilot light goes out, only the very tiny amount of gas that normally supplies the pilot light can build up, and unless things are unusual that small amount won't build up into an explosive mix. The thermopile cools off and the main gas valve closes.

    This has nothing to do with the OP, but that's the nature of educational thread hijacks.
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