So Your PC Has Just Died. What Should You Do Next?

It’s a scenario that most people dread. They press the power button on their computer and wait a few seconds for some boot messages to appear on their displays. Except on this occasion, nothing happens. You think that you didn’t press the power button properly, so you try again. But still, your PC seems dead!

At that point, you are doubtless starting to panic. Especially as some important files are on your hard drive and you haven’t backed them up yet! By now, pressing the power button many times and even trying a different power cord does nothing to change proceedings.

You are probably starting to accept that your PC is dead, and you’ve lost your work. The good news is that you can revive your system, and your data is usually still intact! So, how do you breathe some life into the metallic doorstop that used to be your computer?

A PC case that's been modified

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Here are some top tips to help you revive your seemingly dead PC:

Safety first

Some of the tips on this blog post involve opening up your PC case and touching the electronics. It’s important you aren’t full of static electricity. That’s because you can fry what were otherwise working parts!

I recommend investing in an antistatic wrist strap. They are used by PC technicians around the world, and stop static electricity from zapping your PC’s parts.

Inside a computer

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Trying the obvious

The first thing to do is make sure all your computer’s leads are plugged in. I once had a call from a friend and he couldn’t see anything on his display, despite the PC making the right “noises.” It turned out that his VGA cord wasn’t connected properly!

Assuming you’ve done those checks, swap your power and display cables for known working ones. Although rare, sometimes the fuse might blow on the power cord.

Take a look inside your PC

So far, your initial checks have proved fruitless. By now, you might be considering calling a PC repair shop. Before you do that, open up the side of your computer’s case. What do you see?

If you’re looking at years of dust build-up, it’s time to do some cleaning! Start by vacuuming the dust from your PC’s components, taking care not to let your vacuum cleaner make contact with them.

Use a can of compressed air to blow out dirt from crevices like the CPU heatsink while you’re vacuuming. Once you’re done, try turning your PC on. In many cases, dust can cause systems to not turn on.

If your PC is still dead, the next thing to do is check that everything is “seated” properly on the motherboard. Sometimes, a slight knock to the case can unseat the small RAM modules from the board. When that happens, the computer won’t start.

Finally, consider replacing the PSU (power supply unit) with a known good one. If your PC starts up after this gets done, you will know that your old PSU died (a common fault). And if your system is still dead, it might be time to call in the experts.

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