The Power Switch Isn’t Working

Dear Computer Lady,

About a week ago I unplugged all the wires from my computer to organize them better. When I plugged everything back in and pressed the power switch, the computer turned on for a second then it shut off and smoke came out the back.

I don’t know what happened, now when I press the power switch, my computer wont turn on at all. I was wondering if you knew what happened and how much it will cost to get it fixed.

Thanks for your time! Jim


Hi Jim,

It sounds like a capacitor in your power supply blew. This is something that I have seen more and more in the past two years. You will need to replace the whole power supply, they retail for about $60, plus labor if you are not comfortable replacing it yourself.

Most of the time, everything is fine once you put in a new power supply. In rare instances, I have seen damage to the motherboard or hard drive which would be much more costly to fix.

By the way, it probably has nothing to do with your wire re-organizing.


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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