power supplies

Why doesn't my computer work after a power surge?

Episode 1286

Audry from Los Angeles, CA

Audry has an old HP desktop running Windows 7, but after a power outage, her computer won't turn on. She even had a surge protector. Leo says that even the best surge protectors won't protect against huge power surges. But it may also be that when the power came back on, it jumped across the surge protector in a rush. It could also be that the power supply shorted out. Leo recommends replacing it. A surge protector also has a fuse and if the fuse popped, then nothing will work until she pops them in. Leo suspects the power supply just blew out.

Why does my computer have a black screen?

Episode 1276

Ryan from Pittsburgh, PA

Ryan has an HP computer and it came up with a black screen. He tried to swap out the power supply, video card, removed all the USB peripherals, replaced the CMOS battery, and still has a black screen. He can hear the power supply running, and the fans are spinning up. Leo suspects it may be just a bad motherboard. Since Ryan has done all the easy stuff first, and then tried replacing peripherals, that only leads to the main motherboard. He should also listen for POST codes to see if the machine is letting him know something is wrong.

Should I repair my desktop or replace it?

Power Supply

Episode 1208

Larry from Petaluma, CA

Larry's desktop broke and he took it to get repaired. He was told that his power supply blew out, and his processor didn't have a fan on it. Should he repair it? Leo says that power supplies are an easy fix. Larry's also considering buying a new Dell. Leo says that with Windows 10 out, the older the machine, the more problematic the driver support. But power supplies are a very common failure that's easy to fix.

(Photo Credit: Danrok)

Can a laptop have static buildup?

Episode 1157

Robert from Lolo, MT

Robert is having issues with what tech support says is "static buildup" with his laptop. They advise unplugging it and plugging it back in, and that seemed to work. But it's happened several times. Leo says that can happen when the weather is really dry. That's why it's important to ground himself before he touches it. He can do that by simply touching the case side. Unplugging and plugging it back in, though, leads Leo to believe it isn't a static issue. Leo has a hunch that it could be power supply related, or the cable connector. It just sounds like a red herring.

How can I identify the problem with my home-built computer?

Episode 984

Matthew from France

Matthew built his own PC, but he's having issues with it. Leo says one of the problems with building his own computer is that he doesn't have anyone to turn to for support when something goes wrong. Matthew has been overclocking his PC and he suspects issues with the power supply. Leo says that power supply's are cheap and it sounds like it's just failing. Replacing it is easy and affordable. They are easy enough to pull out, but he should make sure he gets the right power supply that has the proper connections.

How can I stop Windows from hanging on startup?

Episode 945

Randy from Richmond, VA

Randy has an Acer i5 PC that's hanging up as it tries to start Windows. He's updated the BIOS, Drivers, and more. Leo says that the hard drive is probably failing. Even if he reformats it, it can die and it's likely that Windows sectors are hard to read. Also, it may be the power supply failing. Startup is usually when things begin to fail. Fortunately, both hard drives and power supplies are cheap to replace.