I have gone on more than one service call for a dead PC, when the trouble was not really a dead computer, but just a lack of power! So, here I'm highlighting some simple techniques for checking out things other than the computer. It may save you the cost of an on-site service call!

A simple way to check for power is to use a lamp or radio as a test device. Plug a lamp into your surge suppressor (if you are using one). Plug in the same socket as the PC was plugged. If lamp lights, we need to keep looking. Click here for next test Click Here for Next Test



Lamp Test

If lamp does light, then we need to check surge suppressor further. Plug lamp into other sockets to see if power is present. If no sockets work, then double check the power switch, to see if it is working okay. Now move lamp to the wall socket.

Wall Power

Plug the lamp into the wall socket, that the surge suppressor was plugged (or the PC was plugged, if no surge suppressor). If lamp doesn't light, then you have a power problem!

You might need an extension cord to bring power to the PC, but at least you know who to call if you need help!

Next Test (from above)

You have established that you have power at the surge suppressor, so you may have a bad power cord, or PC Power Supply is off. To check the PC Power Switch, look at the back of your PC, the Power Supply Switch on this PC is in the upper left corner, and is on.


If your switch is on, then let's swap the power cord. Most monitors have a similar power cord to the PC. So, borrow the cord from the monitor. Does the PC power up now? Remember that you won't have anything on the monitor! Look for the power light, or hard drive or CD lights, or listen for hard drive activity.

Note: Some PC's have a power switch on the back, many do not!

If you have confirmed power to the PC, but nothing happens, even though you have turned the PC on, the next step is to open the covers. Computer Novices, should stay out! Get help.


After looking all of the above, and you'd rather get help, then go to

Computer Support

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