What to do if your computer doesn’t turn on after a power outage

Elsie Otachi By: Elsie Otachi
4 minute read
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Home » Fix » What to do if your computer doesn’t turn on after a power outage

A power outage is one of the most dreaded moments in the life of any computer user, especially when you have a faulty machine or battery that doesn’t last longer than it should.

Sometimes, the same computer battery doesn’t bail you out when a power outage occurs because then your computer just goes off.  Even worse is when the outage occurs, then moments after you’re unable to switch on your computer – and it won’t budge.

If you’ve ever been through this, or you’re experiencing it, we have some working solutions you can use to get your computer back up and running.

PC won’t start after power outage? Here’s how to get it back on track

  1. Check whether power plug is connected after a power outage
  2. Unplug your computer and remove the battery after a power outage
  3. Check your power supply source after a power outage
  4. Check your computer fans after a power outage
  5. Check your hard drives after a power outage
  6. Perform a POST test after a power outage
  7. Check your CPU after a power outage
  8. Get a technician to check it after a power outage

Solution 1: Check whether power plug is connected after a power outage

Sometimes after a power outage, whether you’re in the middle of a bad storm, or there’s ongoing maintenance by your power supplier, the first tendency is to unplug the power cable to prevent a sudden surge when it is restored.

Check whether your power cable is properly plugged in and try to switch on your computer before moving to the next solution. You can also try disconnecting everything (power plug and peripherals) and just press & hold the power button for some time. This should remove all remaining charge.

Solution 2: Unplug your computer and remove the battery after a power outage

This is a sort of first aid for your computer. Simply unplug from any power sources, then remove your computer’s battery (or laptop). after about five minutes or so, return the battery back, hold down the power button for about 10 seconds (power still unplugged), and plug back to the power source.

Didn’t work? Try solution three.

Solution 3: Check your power supply source after a power outage

If your computer is plugged into a surge protector with a circuit breaker, then it probably tripped when the power outage happened, then it was restored. It your surge protector has no circuit breaker, then it has probably been burnt out by the power surge.

In this case, reset the circuit breaker, or just replace the surge protector altogether because it cannot be re-used. If your surge protector has the circuit breaker and it tripped, simply reset it. Check if this works on your computer after you plug it back to power supply.

Solution 4: Check your computer fans after a power outage

If you try turning on the computer and the fan doesn’t come on with power supply turned on, then either your power supply isn’t working, and needs replacing, or replacing the whole case and your power supply as well.

If the case is available and you start your computer then the cooling fan doesn’t run, then the problem may be power to the board, thus you may have to replace the motherboard, or your CPU – or both.

If your drives run when your CPU is off, then the motherboard, CPU or other vital elements of your computer may have been affected by the surges after the power outage. These elements are susceptible to electrical damage.

Solution 5: Check your hard drives after a power outage

If your computer won’t switch on after a power outage, you can remove the hard drives and place in another different computer. But you need a qualified person to do this in as far as re-registering your operating system goes.

Solution 6: Perform a POST test after a power outage

Computers come with speakers. If yours is are built-in speakers, try to perform the POST test, which will play some beeps when the computer starts up. The pattern of these beeps will let you know what has gone wrong within your machine. When all is well, the normal startup sound resumes.

Solution 7: Check your CPU after a power outage

You can do this by checking on the vents on the side of your machine while power is on. A green lamp glows on the motherboard. If this isn’t visible, then the issue is probably with your Switch Mode Power Supply (SMPS) unit found on the back of the CPU. One of the likely causes is the SMPS fusing owing to the power outage, or sudden surge of power (on/off). In this case, replace it.

A flashing green LED light means you need to reset your PSU, after which your computer should start up normally.

Solution 8: Get a technician to check it after a power outage

If the other solutions don’t work, better get a technician from your device’s manufacturer to check it.

Any luck? Let us know in the comments section.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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