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11-27-2011 04:39 PM
A local store had 380 watt power supplies for $15 after rebate, so I just got him a new one. We opened the broken power supply, and we found a bulging capacitor. The cap in question was right behind the fan, so it looks like the hot air from the hair dryer temporarily "fixes" the problem.
11-30-2011 09:55 PM
I did EVERYTHING that the HP website said. Unplugged all cables, even removed the motherboard and cleaned all dust off fans and power box. Started plugging everything back in one at a time.
lt did NOT start blinking until i plugged the main cord back into the motherboard. The instructions said...that if it didn't blink when I unplugged everything, then it wasn't the power box. But isn't the main cord connected to or is the power box? So wouldn't it be the powerbox?
THEN i read this.....
about leaving power cord plugged in computer and power supply. I left power cord plugged in while plugging main cable back into the motherboard and it worked.
This worked, but when i turned off computer to hook it back up to everything else. I had to take side back off and while power cord connected, unplug and re-plug the mother board back in.
I hope i don't have to do this every time.
12-25-2011 12:39 PM
Well Merry Christmas to you! Power outage Thurs night before Christmas. Went to turn my computer back on Fri morning and nothing. Looked at the back and saw the blinking green light. Googled issue and you post popped up. First few post seemed interesting, but then ran across the blower dryer resolution. 5 mins later, only 1 with blow dryer, the green light went solid and computer booted up. So again that tip was a first class Christmas present for sure!
01-16-2012 09:10 AM
The blowdryer trick works! I moved my computer, it was working fine before, but after moving, it wouldn't start, flashing light, unplugged everything, then plugged the computer power cord back in, then used the blowdryer for about a minute. The green light stopped flashing, then went out completely (Yikes!), couldn't turn it on, tried pushing the power button a few more times, then it came on like normal. I moved the computer back, plugged everything back in, and it's working normally.
01-28-2012 10:09 PM
My Dad's vintage 2005 HP Pavilion a1218n also had this issue.
Skipping the hair dryer, I opted for a more permanent solution. Disassembling the power supply revealed two bulging capicitors (both 2200 mF @ 10V) on either side of the heat sink. Measurements revealed readings of 400 mF & 1800mF. The readings were steadily dropping instead of remaining stable.
Replacing the capacitors solved the problem. I just chose to use ones of the same value but with a larger footprint. I figured with more area for the same value capacitance and voltage, there would be less chance of them shorting out again. That and the fact that my stock is a bit outdated!
I also tried swapping for another power supply without success. Hard to say whether it was also defective or just different enough not to work.
The hair dryer is a great MacGyver trick if you are stranded on a desert island, but it is no permanent cure for bulging electrolytics.
01-31-2012 05:57 PM
Thank you guys so much!
I just tried to install some ram into my moms old compaq, bring it up to 2GB from 512MB and it did not like it what so ever. Wouldn't turn on, wouldn't do anything. I tried clearing CMOS with jumpers, and battery. Un plugging both (4) pin and other PWS cable on Mobo, and nothing. Once I unplug it from the wall it would blink green. I thought I must have fried the whole thing.
Never imagined I would be jump starting her computer with a blow dryer, but it actually worked. I couldn't believe it.
03-10-2012 10:36 AM
Summary: Hair Dryer worked !!!.
Details: Computer was running fine for the past 2 years. House lost power 2 times. After first power lost, I could restart. After second power lost, I could not restart. The green light at the back was flashing. I searched for answer and found this "hair dryer trick". I tried blowing hair dryer on medium hot, for 30 second, 1 foot from the back. Total blowing time: about 30 seconds, the green light was steady and non-flashing, I could power on again. I did NOT unplug anything inside the computer. This trick saved me a lot of time from trouble shooting this "weird issue". So, I thank you for sharing and I joined the community to say thanks. This is my first post here and I write this to show my appreciations.
Experience: I am fairly experienced in computer. I could buy parts and assembled 5 computers in my life. I was about to un-assemble this computer and re-assemble 1 part at a time. Thank you for sharing your trick. I saved a lot of time from trying 1 part at a time. Total time spent: 1 minute (30 seconds to find the hair dryer and 30 second to blow the hair dryer).
My thank: I have been volunteering to help many friends about their computer problems. The most common benefit for you would be: PLEASE LEARN ABOUT "HOW TO MAKE EXACT COPY OF YOUR COMPUTER". The software that you should learn about is "GHOST by Norton company", or, "TRUE IMAGE by Acronis company".
Benefit for you: like PHOTOCOPY idea, after you make EXACT COPY of your computer, you do not have to worry about breaking your ORIGINAL COMPUTER. If a virus slows down your computer, you can copy your computer BACK TO ORIGINAL CONDITION THAT YOUR COMPUTER CAN RUN RIGHT AWAY.
That's my contribution to the community to help others. Good luck to you. Please check out my above idea when you have 5 minutes. For most of us, Keeping EXACT COPY of you computer means: if you have software problem, you do NOT have to fix. If you have Windows problem, just copy it BACK. Computer will work right away. You have many software that can copy, some are free, some are not. From my experience, my choice tool is 1 of these software: "GHOST by Norton company", or, "TRUE IMAGE by Acronis company" (Very friendly and most often WORKS WELL, if not on sale, about $40, (if on sale, BestBuy sold "TRUE IMAGE" at about $20, Fry's Electronics sold TRUE IMAGE at about $5 on 03-07-2012). In summary, the either software is good, friendly, and affordable (comparing to paying someone $50 to fix), you should keep EXACT COPY of your "WHOLE COMPUTER".
Again, thank you and good luck.
03-24-2012 03:39 PM
desktop didn't start and green light blinked, used hair dryer both times and had success. My question is: what does blowing hot air on the pc vent do that makes it possible to restart? what's the science involved? and is there a remedy for preventing these "crashes:
03-26-2012 10:06 PM
My guess is the heat would be expanding the di-electric material in the capacitor, just enough to boost it's storage holding ability, for the rest of the circuitry to turn on in the power supply. Charge is stored in an Electrolytic capacitor between "rolled up foil" in a "di-electric" material.
This foil could be shorted out and the heat expands the di-electric in between, "un-shorting" it.
Eventually, I imagine, the di-electric will once again be displaced, due to chemical changes, and require another meeting with the Hair Dryer.
Personally, I know capacitors do not last forever, but in this case, I think HP cut a few corners on the quality, especially the ones in all our HP Power Supplies!
The only permanent solution is to either get a new power supply, OR change those two capacitors, as described earlier. If you are handy with soldering, it is not a difficult task, and the capacitors shouldn't run you more than an couple of dollars, if that.