If your computer won't turn on at all, the fault usually lies somewhere in the power supply. But what if your computer does turn on, only to turn off again within a few seconds? This perplexing issue can actually have several causes. If you're not sure what's to blame, and you feel comfortable dealing with the inner workings of your computer, try these troubleshooting questions while you wait for a computer repair service.
Are all the cables connected?
One potential cause of your problem could be a loose cable. Check inside to make sure all the IDE and SATA cables are firmly attached to the motherboard and components. In particular, make sure to check the hard drive and CD drive cables as these are the main drives your computer will try to boot from.
Are there any loose screws?
Aside from loose cables, loose screws can also be a problem. Computers have dozens of tiny metal screws to hold everything together. If they come loose and fall out, they may accidentally touch other metal components. This causes electrical currents to flow where they shouldn't, leading to electrical shorts that can cut your computer's power off right after you turn it on. Try to lift your computer and gently rock it from size to side. If you hear something rolling or banging around inside, it's probably a loose screw or two that need putting back in place.
Is the RAM in position?
Yet another component that can come loose is the RAM in your computer. If the memory modules aren't properly seated in the memory slots, your computer may turn off shortly after being powered on. The chips should be firmly connected to the slots, clamped down on each side. If you've recently installed new RAM, remember that the chips need to be installed in pairs. If you've only added one memory module, that could be the root of your problems.
Is your voltage switch set correctly?
On the back of your computer, next to your power supply switch, you'll find a power voltage switch. This switch has two possible settings: 110v/115v and 220v/230v. However, only one setting will work with your country's mains power. If the switch has been moved accidentally, this could be the cause of your power problems. In Australia, your switch should be set to 220v/230v. If it isn't, put it back on the right setting and try turning your computer on again.
To learn more about troubleshooting your computer's problems, contact a computer repair service in your area.