Computer desktops and laptops always improve year after year. Operating systems are increasingly becoming more user-friendly and processor speeds are ramped up even on the most basic systems. Despite these software and hardware advancements, there's still this old-fashioned issue computer users still experience till this day: a machine that simply refuses to power up.
Before you call your tech for a pricey consultation or rushing out to get a new computer, consider trying out these three basic troubleshooting tips first to fix your startup issues.
1. Check the power supply
First, make sure that the computer is plugged in. I know that sounds like a silly mistake to make but it does happen. Check that the power cable is securely connected to both the power source and the computer itself.
If you are using a power strip or surge protector, make sure it is powered on. Check if other appliances going through the same power strip are on. If not, try resetting the surge protection circuit by flipping the switch back to on.
You can try bypassing any power strip, surge protector or extension cord by connecting your computer power cable directly to the wall outlet. Try testing the outlet too with another appliance to verify that the issue isn't with the power outlet itself.
If the power source looks fine, check the power cord for damage. Frayed shieldings and bent connectors are not only shock hazards, they are fire hazards as well. Try swapping it out for another compatible cable. PCs and monitors typically use the same three-prong plug so borrow the one from your display if you don't have a spare cable lying around.
One last thing you can try is to "power drain" your computer by discharging any static electricity that's preventing it from starting up. Do this by leaving your computer unplugged, press the power button a few times, then plug it back in.
While you're at it, unplug all external peripherals like USB devices, monitors and printers but leave the power cable plugged in. Check if one of these peripherals is malfunctioning and is preventing your computer from powering up.
Still nothing? Now you'll have to dig in deeper and check the power supply.