Computer No Longer Turns On. Time to Troubleshoot

The purpose of this blog is to help others who may not know how to Troubleshoot a "dead" PC. Feel free to chime in with suggestions as I go along with the process. I don't claim to know everything, nor do I.

However, this may turn into me needing help if I can't f***ing figure it out. Stay tuned for the journey.

So, here's what I know:
PC Specs: Intel I3-6100 3.7GHz, some cheapo MSI RX 480, a Gigabyte B150 board, 1 stick of cheapo DDR4 RAM from Corsair, and a 80+ Bronze 620W Seasonic S12 II power supply.

I don't exactly know the circumstances of the PC that is no longer working. I built it, tested it, and gave it to a friend's kid.

He called me yesterday saying that his computer no longer turns on. He says he hasn't messed with it since I set it up, so I'm not sure what has changed in the 6 months since I handed it off.

List of things I have tried (will be updated as I go):

  • Unplug all devices except power cord and try to turn it on.
    Result - - - > Computer unresponsive. No fans spinning, no motherboard lights, no noise, etc.
  • Make sure I'm not dumb, and check power supply switch.
    Result - - - > Power supply is turned on. Computer unresponsive. Same result as before.
  • Unplug everything, even the power cable, and hold down the power button for 30 seconds. Reconnect power and try the power switch once more.
    Result - - - -> Computer unresponsive, same as before.
  • Remove Supply (removal not necessary just convenient for my situation), and test with a power supply tester.
    Result :arrow_down::arrow_down::arrow_down:

    Power supply is working correctly.

Things I have not yet tried (will update, as needed, and will move to the "have tried" section as I go):

  • Clear CMOS
  • Try jumping the PC via the screwdriver trick™ on the power switch pins
  • Check for electrical shorts/damage to motherboard.
  • Reseat RAM
  • Check for shorts on wires.
  • Start disassembly and reassembly. Reseat motherboard, RAM, CPU, etc.

Reserved for the conclusion and final solution to the problem

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Do you have access to any spare parts? Figure it would help in what we can suggest to try

This would be my next step to eliminate the switch as an issue.
"Try jumping the PC via the screwdriver trick™ on the power switch pins"

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Well, the power supply should be good to go.

Unfortunately, I do not have any spare DDR4 RAM. I'll have to steal some from my brother's rig that I built if I want to test that. Same with CPU and motherboard. No spares there either.

I wouldnt worry about the individual parts as the mobo should "turn on" even with bad parts, it would just fail post (But still good to know what we have if we get further)

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I was thinking the same. The list of "things I haven't tried" was in no particular order. Just off the top of my head.

I'll have to go retrieve the PC from it's home so I can troubleshoot the rest of it. I brought the power supply home to test, but I should have brought the whole computer. Stupid me.

Will update later tonight or tomorrow.

From the looks of it, I think the Mobo is dead, Although I would look at the traces on the mobo and try to see any liquid damage or any mosfets in bad shape. Could still have suffered damage and not be noticeable ( electrostatic, bad grounding )

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clear the cmos then try the "jump the pins with a screwdriver" . i could be a simple bad power switch.

next remove everything except cpu, 24 and 4/8 pin power connectors, and try to turn it on using the "jump the pins" trick. yes this includes removing the panels switches (reset, power, hdd led, etc), all usb headers, pci(e) cards, front audio headers, fans (except possibly the cpu fan),etc .

you want it to be just as if you had a new mobo on its cardboard box, with the cpu/fan installed. in fact if the cpu (or any other) fan is shorted, it may cause a no start condition as well. replace the cpu fa with a known good one.

if this fails remove the board look to see if a screw (or anything for that matter) fell behind the mobo, shorting it out. look for swollen/leaking caps, carbon tracks or any other indicators of a bad board. then try starting the board on a non conductive surface ,such as a motherboard box.

does your psu tester load test the psu? if it drops voltage under a load, its bad.


I'm not sure if it load tests, but the PSU fan turns on, all the lights turn green, and the voltages are good.

I'll definitely try unplugging all the stuff and do the screwdriver trick. I really hope it's something simple. I don't want to have to RMA anything

Update, long over due. Almost forgot about this thread. Fixed the thing rather quickly. Had to remove the graphics card to get to the CMOS battery.

Take out the battery, and put it back in. And boom. Started right up. Kinda anticlimactic, but that’s all it took. ¯_(ツ)_/¯