PSU Failure or Motherboard?

My luck with PC’s seems to be pretty poor of late.

I had an issue the other week which can be seen here Unexpected I/O Error - #4 by daveo132 - I’m unsure if it’s related.

Long story short my PC (after moving if for some re-decorating) no longer powers on.

When turning on the Power to the PC, all I can hear is a very faint clicking (ie constant clicking) from the PSU.
Pressing the power button on the PC results in nothing - at all.

I’ve stripped back the the PC to just the PSU, Motherboard, CPU, 1 Stick of RAM and an M.2 drive. Everything else (LED / Fans / SATA / USB etc) is disconnected. Also checked all the CPU power and 24 pin was seated correctly.
No change.

It is possible that an LED lead got pinched but the cable looks ok, maybe a short internally has caused damage?

Reason I wonder if its the motherboard is due to the issue I had the other week and if it’s a sign of a dying board.

PSU is a Fractal Design Ion,
Motherboard is a Auros Pro WiFi B450 itx,
CPU Ryzen 1800x

I guess next option is to swap out the PSU.
Would the faint click be OCP indicating a short?

Do you still get the clicking when you disconnect all the modular cables from the PSU?


Yes it would seem so

Sounds like it’s going to be a bad PSU then. Sorry man


Better than the motherboard!
Fractal are pretty good so I’m sure I can sort under a warranty.

Not sure why I didn’t think about unplugging it all myself. Long weekend of painting!

If you have a MB speaker dongle you can easily rule out the MB if it gives out no POST beep codes. But it seems like the PSU is bad. That clicking sound coming from the unit is no a good sign.

I don’t have one I’m afraid but Its not even powering on. So not even as far as a POST

Talking about my luck.
Looks like the power supply to my USB hub also went bad taking with it the tobi eye tracker, monitor downlight and my corsair dongle.

This was on the same power strip as the PSU so maybe something else went wrong. It was a surge protected strip but who knows…

very sad! :relieved:

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If you haven’t tried it, it might be worth popping the CMOS battery. Remove the power, take out the CMOS battery, wait a minute or so, and put it back. It can bring some PCs back to life; I have one, and at least one other LTT poster has one.

I agree with other posters about the PSU, though the failing PSU may have damaged the motherboard. That happened a lot in the days of the capacitor plague.


have you done the fan and paperclip test on the psu?
look it up on youtube.
but understand even if it passes you should then have it tested with a multi meter.
the paper clip test should cause the fan to spin in the psu, if it has a silent mode you will need to attach a fan to the psu.

the faint click is likely over protection kicking in to stop you shorting the rest of the system.
as to what caused that? its anyone’s guess.

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I haven’t, but that clicking is happen with the PSU out of the case, nothing plugged in to it at all.

Truth be told, given that it’s clicking away with nothing being plugged in at all, I’m wary to prod at it anymore.

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After having to figure out some other issues (resulting in a failed SSD) and having replaced my PSU under RMA (props to Fractal for sorting nice and easy) I’m back up and running with no further issues.


Get rid of that power strip!!! Either:

  1. It is defective and the cause of your issues.
  2. It is defective and did not stop the surge (I guess it could just be a dumb power strip with no surge protection, but you should be using some sort of surge protector)

In general with, PC hardware troubleshooting, my rule is, it is always the power supply. Granted that assumes you have checked all the cables and everything else outside of the case. And yes, I recognize that it is not always the power supply, but that has been most of my issues.

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Glad to hear you are sorted.

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I only done the paper clip test (green to ground) to jump a PSU on.
But if one has a multimeter, couldn’t one put it in continuity, and use That to jump the green?

Might actually be “safer” than a bare, exposed wire.

But paper clip seemed safe enough.

Since the sense expects to be closed circuit to start the PSU, why tie up a meter with jumper-cable duty?

Just to jump it once?

I mean, it would work, right?

Not to keep it on full time like…

Oh I have!
It’s been replaced with a better branded one.

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