View Full Version : Well It's not a problem with Thief but it's keeping me away from Thief!

18th Jan 2003, 04:58
Not to mention my other games too!!! I was having a lot of problems with my monitor...getting dark/colors bad and after fighting it and losing the battle I took it to a repair shop where I've had other work done a long time ago. Anyway, I turned the puter off and unhooked the monitor and took the plug out so I could take it in. Fine! Then I did something over the last two days that I've been thinking about...I bought another monitor :) Figured I'd do some switching around on the Compaq as it only has a 15" and the one being fixed is 17". OK...so I get it home today and plug it in and my puter I intended to use it with mainly (this is the one I have ported into the older brew that I share componets with) and it won't turn on :( No power???? I don't know what to make of this or why!!! How in the heck can you troubleshoot something like this if you can't turn the darn thing on? It was working fine when I shut it down to take the monitor out...what could make it go blah without any reason????? I'm currently using the new one with my older brew and everything is working fine...the monitor is a Sony Trinitron 19" and is Plug and Play, so I didn't have to do anything other than plug it in and naturally some on-screen adjustments...so it's not the monitor.

Power Supply(?)...but how could that be...since it was working previously....it's not like I had my puter on and all of a sudden it went out of commission...what else could it be???? The Switch??? how can that be checked out...it doesn't seem like that would be the problem...it seems to be clicking in and out as usual, doesn't seem to be broken as such...I'm completely baffaled...can someone of you techs give me any advise with this...cause I sure don't want to have to take the darn thing into a shop if I can avoid it. Thanks much for whatever you can offer with this bugaboo :(

18th Jan 2003, 05:35

If you moved the computer to unplug the monitor, you may have loosened the computer power cord or accidentally turned the power switch off in the back. You have two switches. One on the rear plate, and one on the front of the computer.

Double check the p-cord, and the switch in the back of the computer. It should be right next to the power cord, or just above it. It directly controls the power pack. The one on the front only controls the MOBO power.

18th Jan 2003, 07:48
Well I wish you would have been right but no that didn't solve the problem...of course I had checked the power cord but that was fine. The button, was still in the on position and didn't think I had bumped it but checked anyway...still nothing :( Any other ideas???? Thanks tBm :)

20th Jan 2003, 02:43
Assuming it isn't just the monitor not displaying a video signal (if it is getting one along with power), during the power up what, if any, of the following do you notice:

- Does the power supply fan (back of case) start spinning?

- Do any lights flash or stay on on the front?

- After applying power, can you hear the hard drives spin up (you'll hear a whine as they start spinning)?

- When you plug a lamp into the exactly the same plug as the computer (not the same outlet but the same plug in that outlet), does it work? This is to ensure that the outlet actually provides AC to the computer. Hey, I've heard of tech calls by users that complain the screen is blank -- during a power outage.

- Are you plugged directly into that outlet? Or are you going through a surge protector, power switch box, or UPS? If, hook directly to the outlet since maybe this other inline power protection device is broken or a circuit breaker is blown in it.

- Is the monitor plug into the same outlet? If so, does its LED indicator come on (even if it is a multicolor LED, usually it will light up as maybe amber to indicate it has power but no video signal)?

- Is the system case cover loose? Some include a safety switch that will disconnect power when the case is removed (or ajar).

- If the power supply has a fuse, it is rarely accessible from the outside. But some have a circuit breaker. Is there a little round black or white pushbutton on the back of the case at the power supply? If so, depress and see if the circuit breaker blew.

- Sometimes the pushbutton power button will stick. You press it in, the power goes off, and then it never really comes all the way back out. So when you go to push the button again, it hasn't cycled and won't "click". Sometimes the case gets out of alignment so the button doesn't come all the way out. Sometimes the switch breaks.

- Some computers really do not have a power switch on the front. Instead the switch on the front is a Sleep button to put the unit into hibernate mode. The actual power switch is on the backside of the case. Maybe that got flipped off. No number of times of hitting the Sleep button on the front is going to bring the unit back up if the power disconnect switch on the back is in the Off position. My step-mother has a Compaq. There is NO power switch on the front; it's on the back (and her's is in the corner between 2 desks and a real pain to get at).

21st Jan 2003, 00:24
Well here's the final skinny and resolve ;) I took it to a shop today to have it checked out and yes it did turn out to be the PS
:( So got my 300w replaced with a 350 and was charged a resonable price for it ($50.) plus cost of repair another $50 :( Doggone it anyway! I think maybe after talking things over that it may have blown because of another power out we had in my area (even though my puter was off) apparently it can still cause a power spike even though I have a good surge protector. I dunno but that's the only thing that has a plausable reason why it happened. So this has certainly been an expensive start in this new year for me and my computer habit, LOL Hopefully now things will quiet down for awhile. Thanks for all the offers of solutions and suggestions...now I can get back to my games :) Ta and Good Hunting!

21st Jan 2003, 03:16
Another user burns and learns that a surge protector does NOT protect like a UPS.

You need a UPS on your computer instead of just a surge protector. I only use surge protectors for low-grade hardwired devices, like telephones, lights, or cheap devices that can be readily replaced. I use a 2kVA true UPS for my computer. Everything for my computer system goes through the UPS: computer, monitor, powered speakers, scanner, inkjet printer, and even the laser printer because it only has a high current demand when printing, not when sitting idle, so I don't user the laser printer during power outages. Rather than use a surge protector, I also have a much smaller 450 VA standby UPS for my desk accessories (cordless telephone, a light so I can see in a power outage, and the rear set of computer speakers).

Most UPS'es are standby units which means they only kick in about a millisecond after there is a brown-out or power loss. The assumption is that the capacitors in your power supplies will accomodate the current load during the decrease or lapse in power. Power to your computer is via a feed-through from the wall outlet with some filtering. I prefer a true UPS where the devices attached to it get the power generated by the UPS and not from a feed-through from the wall outlet; i.e., output power is isolated from input power. Some of these also provide true sinusoidal output rather than stepped amplitude power (less EMF and less heat in power supplies) but they are much more expensive. Not many users have a 2 kVA true sinusoidal true UPS. A year ago I had to replace the 2 batteries at a cost of $170 after 5 years of use, but that's a lot cheaper than buying another $3500 true UPS. My last computer cost less than the UPS! Even more recently I replaced the single battery in the 450 VA standby UPS for my desk but its cost of $25 was cheaper than getting a new one at $72 to $80.

For most users, they only need to get a large enough standby UPS that will handle the load for their computer's system unit; they can put scanners, inkjet printers, and other external devices on a surge protector. But a really good surge protector that provides high spike protection and also identifies when it is no longer protecting (since they will all eventually get fried even if resettable, and having a surge protector that doesn't protect and doesn't tell you this means you have no clue if you really have any protection) will probably cost as much as the incremental cost of getting a larger UPS to handle your computer along with its peripherals. A standby UPS that you typically find in retail stores or sold online is much better than any surge protector. And don't put a surge protector between the UPS and the wall outlet since that is likely to defeat the UPS' ability to detect power defects; you don't need a surge protector to protect the UPS.

Be very thankful that your power supply took the hit instead of anything beyond that. The power outage probably produced a spike that blew the fuse inside the power supply. So you maybe bought a $50 power supply to replace a $2 fuse, but the spike might've damage other parts of the power supply, too. However, unless you're willing to open the power supply to test it and repair the easily replaceable parts, like the fuse, you're at the mercy of your store. Stores won't fix a power supply but a computer shop might, but obviously you don't want to have them spend more time fixing it than it costs for a new one. Fans are another common defect in computer power supplies. They sieze up or slow down due to excessive friction. Not only does your power supply heat up but so does everything inside since airflow has stopped (unless you also have chassis fans). These are easily replaced with another $8 fan but again unless you're willing to do the work then you are forced to buy a new power supply. Cheapie fans in standard PC power supplies seem to fail after about 3 years on average.

Hey, did the store give you back the defective power supply? If you paid full price for the new one (i.e., no discount for them keeping the old one), there's no point in letting them keep it and then sell it to a jobber who will then fixes it and resells it again as refurbished (which is probably what you got as the "new" power supply).

21st Jan 2003, 20:42
Hello Vanguard...your very extensive reply was very informative as usual and thanks :) Yes a UPS does sound like a very good item to add onto my systems and perhaps one day soon I'll seriously look into it but for now I'm done spending for awhile :D

As far as the old PS, yes he did give it back to me and insisted on it basically cause they get charged for the disposal and would have had to pass the extra expense onto me. He was a very nice man who was very good and helpful to me...he didn't take advantage in any way. The PS was blown for sure...and showed me what it had done to my puter...much charcoal all around from the burn out. I do also have additional fans inside my case..a 3" and a 2" in addition to the heatsink fan on the CPU.

He also is a gamer and we shared some comments about Diablo II but shamefully, I didn't even think about Thief :( I was excited over the fact I found another Diablo player. I would guess this man's age to be in his mid forties or so? Said he had a 14 year old Son :) and had been a Computer Eng. in the Military, etc. He also told me that at any time if I wanted some help regarding future computer stuff and advise...he would be glad to help me anytime with any information I might want :) So he's cool ;)

I'm just very glad everything is up and running again and it's soooo nice to look at things through my new monitor too! :D Ta and Good Hunting!