You might need a nerd if…

  • A burning or melting smell is coming from your computer
  • You hear electrical buzzing coming from your computer
  • Your computer won’t turn on and is completely dead
  • Your computer frequently becomes extremely hot to the touch

power supply repair

Power supply repair needed? Well let’s explain a few thing first.

Behind the scenes, a lot more is going on when you hit that switch! Your computer’s power supply is designed to do one job really well. It converts the alternating current (AC) power of your electrical socket into direct current (DC) which is the exact kind of power juice your computer needs to run. It’s also equipped with safeguards to prevent too little or too much power affecting your computer’s performance.

When it’s all functioning as intended, it’s an incredibly efficient process. Unfortunately, when things go wrong, it’s usually not pretty! In this article, we’ll give you the key info you need to know about your computer’s PSU, what can stop it from working properly and what you should do if that happens.

If your computer isn’t turning on, gives off a burning smell or produces odd grinding noises, you may be dealing with a power supply issue. This is not a thing you want to mess about with. Opening up a power supply can expose you to a sufficient electrical charge to really harm you. Contact us at Nerds On Call and we’ll check your power supply for you, replacing it if necessary. Just call us at 1-800-919-6373 or fill out our contact form.

A few things you should know about power supplies

A malfunctioning power supply can take out your whole computer

A malfunctioning PSU can send too much power into your computer. Too much power is bad. Remember that scene in Short Circuit when Johnny 5 was fried with lightning? No? OK, well the upshot is an adorable robot was struck by lightning.

Cute robot

His whole system went crazy, he became self-aware, bad guys were after him and it was just a mess. Now, we’re not suggesting your computer will become sentient if it gets too much power (although if it does, you should definitely contact us) but what a power overload will definitely do is wreak havoc on your whole computer. It’s quite common for this kind of PSU malfunction to cause a chain reaction of failed hardware. It’s bad news.

A dodgy power supply can also send too little power into your computer. Now, you might think this is less of a big deal but it too can cause a chain of hardware failures. Less power results in slower spinning internal fans, which in turn causes a gradual heat build up. Heat can cause all kinds of damage to your computer’s components. Also bad news.

So, the first thing to know about your PSU is that if you think it’s not working properly, it’s a good idea to act quickly. The second thing to know is that you need to see this movie. It’s awesome.

It’s often the first shortcut the retailers take to save on costs

Given their importance, you’d think big computer retailers would make sure they use reliable and durable PSUs, right? Sadly, that isn’t always the case. In fact, using cheap, bottom of the line power supplies is an extremely common way for the big retailers to cut their costs. This pushes a lot of additional risk on to the buyer just for the sake of saving a few dollars.

Unfortunately, a sizable share of shop bought computers are powered by substandard PSUs.

It’s one of the few things in your computer which can seriously zap you

If your computer is running right, a surprisingly small amount of current will be running through it. For this reason, the risks of harming yourself while tinkering with a computer’s innards are generally fairly low. However, this is absolutely not the case when it comes to power supplies. Mains electricity is going into this thing. If it’s improperly repaired or physically damaged in some way, a power supply can give you a serious zap.

electricity warning sign

For this reason, you should only trust power supply issues with people who know what they’re doing. We’ve replaced thousands of power supply units and we can make sure it’s installed properly. If you need help with a power supply installation, call us on 1-800-919-6373.

Signs your power supply may not be working properly

It may be a power surge. It could be poor ventilation around the computer. Maybe it is just old age. But sooner or later a power supply unit will fail. When that happens you’re going to see a few things happening.

Here are the most common things you’ll see:

1. Odd sounds

You may hear grinding or a rapid scraping sound as the PSU’s fans scrape against its metal housing. These sounds indicate that the PSU’s bearings are wearing out.

2. Nasty burning and melting smells

If you smell burning or melted plastic originating from your computer, switch it off immediately and ask the advice of an expert before turning it back on.

3. Your computer crashes a lot

The fluctuating power of a faulty PSU may also cause software related problems. You may experience frequent crashes or blue screen of death errors. You may also find that your computer appears to begin its boot sequence perfectly only to fail halfway through. All these could be red flags of a power issue.

4. Your computer won’t even turn on

If your PSU has completely failed, nothing will happen when you press the ‘On’ switch. If no fan, hard drive or motherboard sounds happen when you turn the computer on, the problem is very likely power related.

Power supply repair and how a nerd can help

We’ll run a diagnostic on your whole computer

There could be any number of variables at play. It may be that your power supply is fine but your hardware is placing too much strain on it. It could simply be worn out. It could be that the manufacturer decided to cut corners and install a cheap, under-spec power supply. Whatever the cause, the first step to finding a solution is an accurate diagnostic.

Nerds On Call will come to your house and provide a complete diagnostic of your computer. We’ll be able to tell you exactly what’s going wrong and give you clear advice on what to do next. The best part? We’ll only charge to cover the costs of our time.

We’ll replace your power supply

Most importantly, we’ll spend time figuring out exactly what power supply you need. If your computer has special hardware requirements, if your computer requires extra power to ensure adequate ventilation, if you have unreliable mains power, we’ll take all these factors into account to make sure your computer is powered with the right hardware.

We’ll make sure you’re safe

Mains electricity isn’t something anyone should mess about with unless they know what they’re doing. Working with us, you can have peace of mind that you’re working with experts.  You’ll receive no nasty, zappy shocks from your power supply.

Lego electrician and computer parts

If you need help with a troublesome power supply or power supply repair, give us a call at 1-800-919-6373 or fill out our contact form. We’d love to help you.

If you’d like to learn more about our hardware repair services, here’s where to look.

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Questions nerds often hear about Power Supply Repair

I saw this Youtube about how you can open up your power supply and fix it. Is that safe?

It’s only safe if you know all about electricity and are familiar with electrical repair. Serious juice runs through this hardware and if it’s not repaired properly you could get a serious jolt. We recommend you take this kind of problem to an expert.

I just got a computer upgrade. Do I really need to pay for a new power supply when the old one worked perfectly?

This really depends on how much heat your new computer rig will put out. A more powerful processor, in particular, is going to produce a lot more heat. You may need enhanced heat management to protect it.

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Common Terms


Allows your device to be used without having to be plugged into the wall.