What to do if your computer won't turn on

Like humans, computers occasionally stop performing as expected. In the case that your computer won't turn on and come to life, try these steps to bring it back.

Prerequisites: Ability to move computer

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: 5-10 minutes

Expected Outcome: Issue discovered and/or computer powers on

Tools Required: PC or laptop, proper cables, POST/beep code list

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Steps to Perform 

  1. Check the power supply
    Laptop: Make sure charger is plugged into correct port and into working wall socket.
    PC: Plug directly into a wall outlet or surge protector you know is working, make sure the power switch on the power supply is on and if the outlet the computer is plugged into is connected to a light switch, make sure it is on as well.
  2. If the computer sounds like it is turning on, check the monitor connections to ensure everything is plugged in and not damaged.
  3. Listen for beeps if computer sounds like it is coming on. One beep means it is okay and the issue may be with cables or the monitor. More than one beep indicates some type of issue.
    (Check computer's manual or manufacturer's website for the POST/beep codes to determine what the beeps mean.)
  4. Unplug unnecessary USB devices