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Chapter 10. Troubleshooting Power Proble... > Determining You Have a Power Supply ...

Determining You Have a Power Supply Problem

Someday we might have talking computers that tell us when trouble's a-brewing—but until then, you'll just need to recognize the symptoms. When you notice one or more of the following problems, your power supply's trying to tell you, “Help me!”

  • The rear of the power supply is too hot to touch while the computer is running. Ouch!

  • You're working away at something, hands well away from the reset switch on the front of the case, but the next thing you see is the power-on screen because the computer has rebooted itself.

  • You cannot turn on the computer.

  • The computer locks up or generates Windows errors (like the blue screen of death) at random intervals.

  • As soon as you plug in a bus-powered USB or IEEE-1394 device or install an additional hard disk, DVD drive, or add-on card, your computer starts crashing.

  • You must unplug and reattach a USB device repeatedly before the computer recognizes it.


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