It can be upsetting and confusing when you press the power button on your computer, and nothing happens. However, don’t panic; there are several commonplace causes that we’ll go over in this article. Common problems usually involve various issues with power or power-related equipment, internal hardware, and software/OS issues. If you’re experiencing a situation where your computer will not power up, try the following troubleshooting tips:
Is the computer getting power or not?
Most computers have some type of external power indicator, either light on the power button, front bezel, or keyboard. If this light comes on after pressing the power button, but your computer nonetheless presents you with a blank screen and does not respond to the keyboard or mouse, you might want to check our “blank screen” article for tips on proceeding. However, if all lights on your computer stay dark after pressing the power button, read on.
Check the power outlet
Power outlets can fail due to dirt, worn contacts, or loose wires. Household (or office) circuit breakers can also trip, leading to a “dead” power outlet where one was working fine moments before. If your computer does not power on, you should first check the connected outlet. If the computer is plugged into an outlet that is working correctly, some other issue is at play. You can plug a known working device, such as a desk lamp or hairdryer, into the outlet to see if it gets power. Another approach would be to try plugging the computer into another outlet in a different part of the building and see if it works. If it does work, the outlet may be defective, or the circuit breaker that services the outlet may have tripped. If it does not work, and if another device connected to the original outlet works fine, there is some issue with the computer itself.
Check the power cord
Check the computer power cord if the power outlet does not appear to be the culprit. Make sure the power cord is firmly seated at the wall outlet and where it connects to your computer. If it’s plugged in and there are no signs of damage, your computer may need a reboot or is experiencing some other issue. If the power cord is plugged in but appears frayed, badly kinked, or otherwise damaged, it may not be capable of providing power to the computer. If you can, test the power cord on another known working device, such as another computer or a piece of electronic equipment. The power cord is likely okay if the device powers up without any problems. If the device doesn’t start up or seems to receive power intermittently, the power cord may need to be replaced.
Check the power strip, UPS, or surge suppressor (if present)
If your computer is plugged into a power strip, UPS, or surge suppressor, those devices can also be points of failure that can prevent your computer from turning on. If you have any of these devices, examine them for any warning lights or indications of failure. A device that does not appear to be working should be set aside for repair or replacement. A quick and straightforward test involves bypassing these devices by plugging your computer directly into a known working wall outlet and seeing if it will power on. If that does not work, these devices are unlikely to be at fault.
Check the power supply switch (if present)
Some computer power supplies include a power switch on the back. A rear power switch is far less common than it used to be, but a few systems are out there that have them. Look at the back of the computer and make sure there aren’t any additional power buttons that are not on.
Disconnect any newly connected hardware
Does the problem coincide with a new internal expansion card, hard drive, RAM, or some external device you recently added to your computer? If so, one thing you may want to try is disconnecting any newly connected hardware. This can help determine if there’s a problem with the new device preventing your computer from functioning. If the computer powers up once the new device is removed, you can try reconnecting it and see if the computer turns on. If not, there may be a compatibility problem or defect with the new hardware that needs to be addressed.
Reseat internal connections
There are many electrical connections inside your computer, between various components, the mainboard, the power supply, etc. One of these connections can be disturbed, especially if you have recently moved your computer, bumped into it, knocked it over, or it was never firmly connected from the beginning. Cables that connect the motherboard to the CPU, video card, and other components are critical, and if they are loose or damaged, they can cause problems with your computer.
Unplug the power cord and all other connections from the back of your computer, open the case, and firmly reseat all cables, expansion cards, memory modules – make sure all of them are securely fastened in place. Close up your computer, reconnect the power cord by itself, and press the power button. If it powers on, you can reconnect all the other devices.
If you’ve tried all of the recommended steps and your computer still will not power up, a hardware failure is probably the reason. If your laptop or computer has a failing power supply, it can cause all sorts of problems, including the inability to turn the computer on. Another cause of a computer not booting up is a defective hard drive. If the hard drive cannot read or write data, the computer will not be able to start up. Yet another cause of a computer not starting up is a defective mainboard. This large circuit board contains all of the basic circuitry for powering and controlling the other components in a computer and can also experience electrical or mechanical problems that prevent it from working. In some cases, graphics cards can also cause computers to not startup. These cards contain very powerful hardware that can help make games look better, but if they are not functioning correctly, they can also cause problems with the overall system performance.
If you suspect a hardware failure, your best bet is to take your computer to an authorized service center. They have the required tools and equipment to determine the source of the failure and recommend a course of action.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why your computer might not be turning on. By troubleshooting the issue, you can usually fix the problem without taking your computer in for repair. So, if your computer isn’t turning on, don’t panic; try some of the solutions we’ve outlined in this article, and you should be up and running in no time. If none of the troubleshooting steps work, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are plenty of technicians who can assist you in getting your computer up and running again.