Old computer refuses to turn on

Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2016 11:36 am
I have two old computers, a Compaq and an Emachine. I have been using them only to store photos and for word processing. They both stopped working the past couple of months, first the Emachine, then the Compaq. The Emachine will not turn on at all. The Compaq will turn on for a few seconds then shut off. I have checked for dust buildup inside them and they are clean. I know that for the age of these devices, I should just throw them away. But if there is an easy fix, then I would like to get them working again.
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2016 12:31 pm
It could be many things.

The first thought is a bad power supply for the one that doesn't turn on. But it could also be a bad switch on the case or switch connection is loose on the motherboard.

If you have another power supply, I would suggest trying to swap to a known working power supply to see if that is the issue. It is possible to short the switch connection on the motherboard to find out if the issue is with the case.

The one that starts and then shuts off could be a bad power supply as well. It all depends on how far it gets into the start up sequence. It could also be a bad motherboard. Bad capacitors on the motherboard can cause shut downs or not starting.

Since you have already opened the case to blow out dust, check to see of the capacitors are bad. You can tell by looking. Here is a pic of good and bad ones.


There was a period of time where there were a lot of bad capacitors and an Emachine is probably from that time period so I am guessing you Compaq is as well. It is possible to replace capacitors if you have the time and tools and nothing else to do. But for old machines, I would suggest recycling them and buying newer replacements. You can pull the hard drives and rescue any files on them.
Reply Sat 12 Mar, 2016 02:08 pm
Thanks Parados. I had a basement full of electronic repair equipment but in the past 20 years or so have gotten rid of them. Most consumer devices today are disposable and not worth fixing. Yes, your advice are good. I will do a visual check on the capacitors and check the power supplies. I do have newer computers including this HP laptop I am using now. Thanks again.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 16 Mar, 2016 12:06 pm
wow, you are so good in this!
0 Replies

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