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Old 11-26-2011, 10:38 AM   #1
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Hello, I recieved some wonderful help a month or so ago when my laptop was giving me trouble, now I am in need again of your assistance.

I was sitting on the couch with my laptop this morning and all of a sudden the power went out, for 20-30 seconds. No storm or anything, it was very bizarre. My desktop computer was on, the monitor was sleeping but the actual computer part was on. It all shut off due to the power surge, obviously. I have a surge protector, so I said whatever, and resumed using my laptop in the meantime.

Went to turn my desktop back on a few hours later... nothing. No fans, no lights, no sounds... just silence. No big deal, I reset the power surge protector. No change. I unplugged everything from my desktop and replugged it in. No change. I called my boyfriend at work to see what I should do, and he said there is a switch on the back and to reset it... but there is NOTHING on the back of my computer (very strange).

The only sign of life is this little green LED on the back of my computer, towards teh top, that blinks every 3 seconds or so EVEN WHEN the computer has nothing plugged into it. Not sure if this is just some sort of battery backup thing, or if it means something important regarding my power supply.

What do I do?

I know little about my computer, I cant really give you teh specs unless its working. Its an HP, I upgraded it to Windows 7 about a year and a half ago. The only hardware it has that didnt come standard with it is a wireless network card. Nothing has changed, I just lost power. I hope it didn't fry anything, because I don't have the money to test out the parts with replacements or bring it to someone.

All I know is that the files on my harddrive is VERY important, and ironically I was just talking with a friend last week about how I hadnt backed up my files for a VERY long time. I highly doubt that they are lost, but I dont know how to get them off my harddrive, all I have to work with is a laptop and boyfriends desktop that he wont want be tampering with.

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Old 11-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #2
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Try unplugging the power cord from the back, press and hold the front power button for at least 10 seconds a couple of times, replug the power card and see if it will start.

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Old 11-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #3
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You might try unplugging the computer from both the surge protector and the computer and pushing the power button (this which will help to drain all the power that is left over in your PC's motherboard) and then plug it back in.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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Do what everyone suggested except leave it sit a half hour before trying it again. If there still is nothing you burnt the power supply which isn't an expensive problem unless you have one of those "slimline" desktops where the psu is both crap, the only thing available and a fortune to buy!
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:33 PM   #5
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Thank you. I tried everything you guys said, but still no luck.

The blinking light got slower and slower when it was funny unplugged (and makes an annoying but quiet sound every time it blinks) and finally stopped after I held down the power button for a while. I waited a half hour with everything unplugged from it. Still doesn't turn on. Blinking light now blinking every second.

I dont understand how this even happened when I have a surge protector :/ I have no idea how to tell what power supply I have currently, or how to change it and I dont really want to touch stuff like that and risk being shocked or something. Also, I dont want to invest in this power supply if it may not even be the problem. What if my motherboard is fried? I dont know where to go from here :(
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Old 11-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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Try plugging it into the wall bypassing the surge protector.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrench97 View Post
Try plugging it into the wall bypassing the surge protector.
Didn't work either.
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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What model HP should be on the front or a tag on the rear or bottom.
The next step would be to clear the cmos using the jumper on the board the model will allow us to give you pictures from the HP site.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:19 PM   #9
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What model HP should be on the front or a tag on the rear or bottom.
The next step would be to clear the cmos using the jumper on the board the model will allow us to give you pictures from the HP site.
On the botton it says a6000
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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Here's the link to the HP site for your motherboard, unplug the power cord, remove the side cover of the tower move the jumper cap as shown(scroll down and expand Clearing the Bios settings then expand clearing the CMOS in the link wait 10 seconds move the jumper back to the original position replug the power and try to boot.

Motherboard Specifications, M2N68-LA (Narra) HP Pavilion a6000n Desktop PC - HP Customer Care (Canada - English)
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:35 PM   #11
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It almost only can be the psu or the motherboard and that is commonly what happens from a power surge.
Most people don't realize unless you paid more than $65 as a general rule for your power surge protector, it probably isn't a real power surge protector anyway. And even if it was, one good hit and the protection is gone anyway. So is yours new and what is it first of all?
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrench97 View Post
Here's the link to the HP site for your motherboard, unplug the power cord, remove the side cover of the tower move the jumper cap as shown(scroll down and expand Clearing the Bios settings then expand clearing the CMOS in the link wait 10 seconds move the jumper back to the original position replug the power and try to boot.

Motherboard Specifications, M2N68-LA (Narra) HP Pavilion a6000n Desktop PC - HP Customer Care (Canada - English)
Thank you for the link. My motherboard didnt look exactly like that, but I figured it out and did what it said... no luck :(

Rich-M: Yeah, I think I just found that out the hard way. I know its a few years old at least. I did some research and just learned that one power outage can basically take the life out of a surge protector, so there is no way that mine was doing its job.

This is really unfortunate... I wanted this computer to last a little while longer because I planned on buying a new desktop in the near future, but I dont have the money for it right now. I dont want to invest anything more into this computer, but I need to get it running to get my files (or find a way to get them easily) and to get my photoshop CS5 deactivated.

It looks like power supplies for this model are $20-$30.... more than I want to pay. When openeing up my computer it said it was an ATX-250-12z and for output it said 250W Max... any idea where I can get a cheap replacement? Any way that I can rule out its NOT the motherboard for sure?
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I dont understand how this even happened when I have a surge protector
First, a power off (zero voltage) is not a surge (thousands of volts). Second, if you had a surge, then you have numerous less robust and damaged appliances. Surges occur typically once every seven years.

Second, computers have a safety lockout feature do to some anomalies that might cause damage. This safety lockout is reset by disconnecting a computer from the wall for as much as two seconds. More time does nothing. If unplugging does not reset that protective lockout, then other hardware problems exist.

Third, from your posts, a $5 or $17 meter and one minute labor means important numbers. Those numbers mean the next reply will define what is wrong. No more doubts or speculation. Without those numbers, every reply will only be speculation. A list of 'could bes' is long and only speculative.

Fourth, a surge protector adjacent to a computer does not even claim to protect computers from surges. Read the manufacture specs. It makes no protection claims in numbers. At best, it only claims to protect from surges made irrelevant by superior protection already inside HP computers.

Your symptoms imply a manufacturing defect and resulting hardware failure. To say more requires hard facts and numbers. One minute of labor inside the machine gets facts. If you did the safety lockout reset (and assuming the power cord is connected to AC mains), then no useful reply is possible without facts obtained from inside the machine.

From that last post: you cannot rule out anything. A power supply selling only for $20 or $30 is probably missing required functions that were necessary even in the original IBM PC.

Read a number on that protector box. It will define a let-through voltage of maybe 330 volts. That means any voltage less than 330 volts on the 120 mains is completely ignored by that protector. Protector does nothing - even though a majority will recite urban myths that say otherwise.

Numbers are critical to every useful answer. A meter is the only means of obtaining a solution in the next reply. Your only alternative is to keep replacing good parts and fixing things until something works.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:01 PM   #14
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Westom is right and you can buy a device to check the psu, but sometimes that cost can be half what a psu would cost and I am not sure if it makes sense here, since it is something the average user may never use again.
There isn't a cheap psu you would want because the piece of junk that was in there may well have caused the problem, as they often do when they go.
A simple motherboard test could be shutting pc down and remove all ram sticks and restart. If system has a motherboard speaker you should get 3-4 beeps and if you don't you can be pretty sure the board is bad.
Without other components to test this unit, you might be best served by taking it to a shop who can test the board and the psu and tell you for sure but it sounds to me like both frankly. HP uses Bestec or Hipro Psu's which are such poor quality, the systems seldom survive a blowout from one of them anyway.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
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First, a power off (zero voltage) is not a surge (thousands of volts). Second, if you had a surge, then you have numerous less robust and damaged appliances. Surges occur typically once every seven years.

Second, computers have a safety lockout feature do to some anomalies that might cause damage. This safety lockout is reset by disconnecting a computer from the wall for as much as two seconds. More time does nothing. If unplugging does not reset that protective lockout, then other hardware problems exist.

Third, from your posts, a $5 or $17 meter and one minute labor means important numbers. Those numbers mean the next reply will define what is wrong. No more doubts or speculation. Without those numbers, every reply will only be speculation. A list of 'could bes' is long and only speculative.

Fourth, a surge protector adjacent to a computer does not even claim to protect computers from surges. Read the manufacture specs. It makes no protection claims in numbers. At best, it only claims to protect from surges made irrelevant by superior protection already inside HP computers.

Your symptoms imply a manufacturing defect and resulting hardware failure. To say more requires hard facts and numbers. One minute of labor inside the machine gets facts. If you did the safety lockout reset (and assuming the power cord is connected to AC mains), then no useful reply is possible without facts obtained from inside the machine.

From that last post: you cannot rule out anything. A power supply selling only for $20 or $30 is probably missing required functions that were necessary even in the original IBM PC.

Read a number on that protector box. It will define a let-through voltage of maybe 330 volts. That means any voltage less than 330 volts on the 120 mains is completely ignored by that protector. Protector does nothing - even though a majority will recite urban myths that say otherwise.

Numbers are critical to every useful answer. A meter is the only means of obtaining a solution in the next reply. Your only alternative is to keep replacing good parts and fixing things until something works.
Thank you, although clearly I wouldn't be posting in these forums if I had a clue of how to troubleshoot this issue. Sorry if my questions sound dumb, and Im not so hardware savvy to know how to do all these 1 minute tests that you speak of. I don't have any meters or tools or the knowhow to use them let alone understand what they mean. I really appreciate the advice that everyone has been giving me, irregardless of if my problem is solved, at least some ideas are being bounced around and its very helpful.

Whether I had a power surge or not, all I know is that the power went out in my apartment today, and resulted in my computer no loner turning on. Clearly this was a result of power loss. My computer is 3 years old (purchased on black friday 3 years ago... ironically) so I do expect things to go wrong at this stage in its life. Right now Im all about getting a cheap fix.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #16
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Oh, I thought of something else that may be helpful in my problem. The power button to turn on my desktop is backlit with a yellow LED when powered off, this light is always on. Its blue when the computer is running. There is NO light at all anymore, not sure if this implies anything?
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:10 PM   #17
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I hear you but I seriously doubt there is a "cheap fix" here available. Cheap hardware is what caused the end of this pc to begin with and better off throwing it in a closet than buying a cheap psu, it already suffers from that. If the board is bad, there really is no fix at hand because while you can put a board in the case, theirs would be way too expensive to even consider and anyone else's most likely won't turn on due to proprietary power plugs few of us could figure out.
That is a shame as I work on pc's and I always say a desktop should last 5 years and a laptop 3 (due to heat and other issues) but when you buy for price, all that changes. Building for price reduces the quality and value and in this case at the worst possible points in the system.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:19 PM   #18
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Whether I had a power surge or not, all I know is that the power went out in my apartment today, and resulted in my computer no loner turning on. Clearly this was a result of power loss.
Reasons we fix things, first and foremost, is to learn how to solve any problem. Not just electronics. Assuming a power off caused damage is a classic example of 'assumption only from observation'. Military academy graduates are taught engineering concepts to not make that mistake. You learn same by fixing things. Any conclusion only from observation is junk science.

An example. A power off caused a computer to not restart. They assumed power cycling is destructive. Then I took that machine. Attached to its power supply controller is a bootstrap resistor. Its only function is to provide temporary power during power on. Sometime during the previous three months, that resistor failed. A failure due to a manufacturing defect and too many hours of operation. A failure only apparent when they tried to restart that computer.

You will not fix it by yourself. Providing important facts will result in help that can quickly solve the problem. Or identify a defect so that a repair shop cannot scam you. To learn how simple problems are easily solved and why all answers also require numbers, then borrow or get a meter for $5 at Harbor Freight or $17 in Wal-Mart. A tool so simple and inexpensive as to be sold in stores that market to 12 year olds (including Radio Shack, K-mart, and has even been seen in some larger supermarkets).

You have symptoms of a classic manufacturing defect. Maybe something as simple as a fuse. Nobody can say anything more without facts and numbers. And by combining that with facts that “we who have done this stuff for generations” provide.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:20 PM   #19
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I hear you but I seriously doubt there is a "cheap fix" here available. Cheap hardware is what caused the end of this pc to begin with and better off throwing it in a closet than buying a cheap psu, it already suffers from that. If the board is bad, there really is no fix at hand because while you can put a board in the case, theirs would be way too expensive to even consider and anyone else's most likely won't turn on due to proprietary power plugs few of us could figure out.
That is a shame as I work on pc's and I always say a desktop should last 5 years and a laptop 3 (due to heat and other issues) but when you buy for price, all that changes. Building for price reduces the quality and value and in this case at the worst possible points in the system.
I bought this desktop with intentions of it just being something comfortable for browsing the internet and the occational game. I HAD an Alienware laptop that lasted 5 years, and I have a pretty powerful Sony Vaio laptop right now (that I hardly use.... because I like the comfort of a desktop). Obviously this may change and my Vaio may become my primary computer again. I dont really know HOW my desktop came to be my primary computer, it actually ran extremely well despite not being the best, so for what I paid its been worth every penny and Im a little heartbroken that its gone and died on me, when this morning it was working like a charm.

This is how I feel: if its the motherboard, its dead to me. I will NOT pay to replace that. If its the power supply, and I feel like it is... I dont mind paying for a replacement if I can get a deal.

I found this on Amazon, its cheap, but thats fine to me, it just has to get my by a few more months. [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001BX0MSK//ref=nosim/connorswebguidec Diablotek DA Series 250-Watt ATX Power Supply PSDA250: Electronics[/url]

But im not even 100% sure that will be compatible. From the sticker on the PSU in my computer it says "ATX-250-12z REV D7R .... output 250W MAX ..... HP P/N 5188-2622"

If anyone can help me find a replacement that is compatible with those specs, I would greatly appreciate it.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:26 PM   #20
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There is NO light at all anymore, not sure if this implies anything?
That hard fact implies one of two power supplies inside the PSU is not connecting power to the LED. Anything between AC mains and the LED could explain it. Inspection might discover a least likely reasons; a loose connector. To reduce many potential suspects down to but a few or one means numbers from the meter.

It could even be a simple fuse. Just one of many (and now less) suspects.

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