Authored by Mike Bacon in Computer Hardware
Published on 10-02-2009
One component that people tend to overlook when diagnosing computer issues is the power supply. Power plugs that are integral to operating the peripherals such as, CD, and DVD-ROM drives, hard drives and pretty much everything can fail.
This will be evident if you are unable to power up the particular drive, or device.
Generally there are extra plugs available, unless you have added extra hard drives and optical drives. If that is the case you might be able to wire in a new plug if you have the electrical repair skills to do so. Apart from that you may be able to switch out the bad plug for one that works. Sometimes, it might be difficult to get the available plug to reach the device. The best solution in this case would be to use an extension plug.
However, if the computer will not power on at all you may be forced to conclude that the power supply itself has failed completely. You will now need to replace the power supply. Warning! Never attempt to repair a failed Power Supply unless you are a professional electrical, or electronics technician.
The first step in replacing the power supply is to make certain you are following the procedures to prevent electrostatic damage, or ESD. There are several ways to do this. Make sure your computer is on a desk or table. Using an antistatic mat on the floor is a good idea. You can ground yourself to the computer case, by use of an antistatic wrist strap. This is a device that goes around your wrist and has a cord with an alligator clip to attach to a ground point on the computer case.
Unplug the computer power supply. Now you need to open the computer case, and carefully unplug all of the devices within. When unplugging devices, you may notice that the plugs are difficult to pull out of their sockets. Do not attempt to manhandle the plug out, as it can cause you to injure yourself and perhaps damage components inside the computer. Wiggle the plug out carefully. There will also be a plug attached to the mother board. Unplug that and you are ready to remove the power supply form the computer case.
There are several screws that hold the power supply into the case. Remove these, and put them aside so you can find them again.
Hopefully you will have already purchased a new power supply. Make sure you get a similar power supply with the highest wattage your system will accept. Generally, you can just get what you had before. One thing you might need to pay attention to are the dimensions of the power supply. Some power supply cases are specific to a particular brand of computer, or computer case.
Replacing the power supply at this stage is a simple matter of following the removal steps in reverse. Place the power supply in computer case, and replace the screws. Reattach the connectors to the motherboard. Plug in your devices, and close the computer case. Plug in the power supply, and power up your computer.
Repair of a computer power supply usually consists of replacing the power supply in this manner. Follow these steps and you should be up and running in no time.