David Papp Blog

How to Check Your Computer Power Supply

The power supply for your computer is the most important element. But it’s often the component that is overlooked; therefore, it’s usually a generic, budget brand. The power supply can cause errors and restarts because other parts in your computer are not getting enough voltage or power. If your computer is causing problems, test the power supply before spending money on maintenance.

Why do they fail? Power supplies don’t put out as much power as what they are rated for over time. Their output decreases. Overheating a computer (power supply) can cause issues. Bad power (black outs, brown outs, spikes) can cause the life to decrease as well.

You should always try to troubleshoot your power supply. Use a power supply that you know works before you spend money on a tester or new power supply. This is a simple, effective solution to solve a seemingly complex computer problem.

Purchase a low cost power supply tester as it’s an efficient, easy way to tell if the PSU is good. A multimeter is also an excellent solution because it can also be used for other things. Choose the most viable option that works best for you and your computer.

Ensure that your power supply fan is operating, especially if you have an older PC. If it is not working properly, replace the power supply as soon as possible. Sometimes fans can be blown out with compressed air. But if it’s not spinning, you need to replace your power supply immediately.

Check that your power supply is powerful enough for your operating system and your needs. If you have added extra hard drives, a powerful graphics card, and new RAM, then you should ensure that your power supply has enough juice.

5 thoughts on “How to Check Your Computer Power Supply”

  1. Very good advice! I notice that there are often a lot of problems with PC fans.

  2. Thank you for these wonderful tips. I knew the power supply was important, but I did not know how important until I read this. I will be sure to check my power supply on the computer I am using, and future computers I get.

  3. Great blog post! I knew power supply was one of the most important parts of a computer but was not aware of these facts at all.

    I might have to check my power supply now to check if it’s upto standards and working as intended.

  4. These are great tips on a subject that doesn’t get enough attention. Both power supply and the power supply fan are easily overlooked.

    Several years ago, when I had a Dell desktop computer, its power supply fan went out. I was fortunate to realize quickly that something was amiss — I didn’t hear the familiar sound of the fan — before there was any damage to the operating system. I was even more fortunate when a local computer repair shop had a dedicated owner who was able to get me a generic replacement that same day. I was back up and running very quickly.

    So yes, I have had firsthand experience on these matters. They are really crucial.

  5. More often than not, power supplies problem are the most basic one, for example dust and bad wires. Accumulation of dust in any appliances may cause the engine of the working part of the machine to easily heat up over a shorter period of time, than if there is no dust in the unit. This is mostly overlooked since it may seem like the dust doesnt matter, and believe me, it does, notice how computer electrician have fan and blowers? This is because they use it most of the time.

    Second one would be bad wires or exposed wires. If you have time, and please have time if you are using your computer for more than two hours in a day (every does), check for bad wires or exposed wires due to rat bites or maybe just a tear off the wire coating. Exposed wires may not only lead to your computer problem, it can also be as big as burning your house down.

    And lastly, I am speaking from experience, do not over use your computer if it is not designed to be that way. When I was young, I do not even pull out the plug of the power supply of our PC and just let it stand by there for a looonnnggg period of time, just like how I see my Computer engineering uncle do to his computer. After quite sometime, my PC wont work anymore, and from what the technician said, the circuit board of the power supply just burned out, I actually see the blackened parts. This is because my uncle had a better power supply (the one that blocks surges and easily shuts down and much more expensive, and this happened a long time ago) than the one we have in our home.

    So yes, if you are using somethings everyday, please be waware that it needs care and checking from time to time. 🙂 thanks david for the great article, and sorry fpr the long comment. I do relate to this very much. 🙂

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