For Christmas, we gave my kids a new machine. I bought a bare-bones machine from TigerDirect. We wrapped each component separately, so I did not assemble it until Christmas day. I assembled the machine without incident. Powered up. Then – nothing. The CPU fan would spin for less than a second. Nothing else. Machine did not power up.

I did some research and arrived at three possibilities for the cause. From least likely (and least expensive) to most likely, they were:

  1. Faulty power switch
  2. Improperly seated CPU heat sink / fan
  3. Faulty power supply

The first item was easy to eliminate. I disconnected the power switch from the mother board and used a screw driver to simulate powering up the machine. Same issue.

It was a long shot but an improperly seated CPU was said to cause some models of motherboards to automatically power down. I had used a spare heat sink / fan I had around. It was "new" in the sense I had never used it. However, I did not trust it since it had sat on a shelf and had probably been battered about. So, when I was able, I bought a much better heat sink / fan and installed it. Powered on. Same issue.

I bought a new power supply (actually a much better power supply) and installed it. Powered up. And it worked.

FYI – TigerDirect makes it very easy to get a return authorization.