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Troubleshooting Custom PC Power Issues

Troubleshooting power issues with a custom-built PC can be a systematic process. Here are some steps you can take to identify and resolve power-related problems:

  1. Check the Power Source:
    • Ensure that the power outlet is working. Test it with another device or use a known working outlet.
    • If you are using a power strip or surge protector, make sure it’s functional. Try plugging the PC directly into the wall to rule out issues with the power strip.
  2. Verify Power Supply Unit (PSU):
    • Check if the power switch on the back of the power supply is turned on.
    • Ensure that the power cable is securely connected to both the power supply and the wall outlet.
    • Consider testing the power supply with a PSU tester or swapping it with a known working PSU if possible.
  3. Inspect Motherboard Connections:
    • Check all power connections from the power supply to the motherboard. Ensure the 24-pin main power connector and the 4/8-pin CPU power connector are properly seated.
    • Re-seat RAM modules and any additional power connectors (such as GPU power connectors).
  4. Reset the CMOS:
    • Power off the PC and unplug it.
    • Locate the CMOS battery on the motherboard and remove it for a few minutes. Then, reinsert the battery.
    • This can help reset the BIOS/UEFI settings to default.
  5. Check for Short Circuits:
    • Make sure there are no loose screws or metal objects that could be causing a short circuit. Ensure that the motherboard is not making contact with the case where it shouldn’t.
  6. Test Individual Components:
    • If possible, test individual components. For example, try booting with only the essential components: motherboard, CPU, one stick of RAM, and GPU (if there’s no onboard graphics).
  7. Inspect GPU:
    • If you have a dedicated graphics card, make sure it is seated properly in the PCIe slot. Try re-seating it or testing with onboard graphics if available.
  8. Use a Minimal Configuration:
  9. Listen for Beep Codes or LED Indicators:
    • Some motherboards have built-in speakers that emit beep codes indicating specific issues during the POST (Power-On Self-Test). Refer to the motherboard manual for beep code meanings.
    • Check for any diagnostic LEDs on the motherboard that may indicate where the issue lies.
  10. Consult Motherboard and PSU Manuals:
    • Refer to the manuals for your motherboard and power supply for troubleshooting tips and error code explanations.

If, after going through these steps, your PC still won’t power on or boot, there may be a hardware failure. In such cases, it might be helpful to seek assistance from a professional technician or the manufacturer’s support.

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