Ouch, PC just shut off with no warning

Oh no! My PC just shut down as I was in the middle of paying some bills. It’s so crazy. It just suddenly shut down and then the power lights were glowing, as if it were trying to restart, but then the lights would go dim and a few seconds later flutter on again, repeat. I had to take the plug out of the back to get it to stop doing that and it still did it for a few more seconds.

I’m freaking out.

I’ve never seen a PC do that before. I wonder what it could be? The only thing I can think of is that it was complaining for the longest time about a little bios battery going dead and asking me to replace it.

It’s been doing that on start up for a number of years now, but I haven’t gotten around to replacing it.

Holy shit, I have no idea how to troubleshoot this thing.

The last desktop I had which did something like that, never booted again until I put in a new power supply.

Sounds like a pretty serious short and you should be thankful it shut down. Maybe the lithium in the battery leaked and ate through your computer like alien blooood!

Ooooooohhhh, I’m pretty big on gratitude anyhow, but this is extra I guess.

What else could have happened? Is this one of those deals where it explodes into a fireball?

I’m thinking of a simpler firestart, but that’s as dangerous as anything.

Wow, I had no idea that could happen. I have read that an old battery risk ruining the motherboard with discharge. If I would have known that I would have replaced it.

I was joking about the lithium! (at least it shouldn’t leak, unless it’s been damaged)…
Be careful if you open your computer though ^-^;

First replace the power supply. If that doesn’t do it, replace the MB.

Yeah, its most likely the power-supply. They only last 5 or so years normally although if their load is lite they can last longer.

This was my first thought as well. The BIOS battery just remembers your bios settings/date&time when the PC is off, I don’t think it’s a huge deal nor would it cause what you are describing.

Power Supplies, on the other hand, are a pretty big point of failure in even the best PC’s, which is usually because folks tend to skimp on them when they build - why drop $150 on a PSU when $50 gets the job done and that $100 extra can get a beefier card? Well, honestly right here is exactly why you get a high-rated, higher end PSU!

And, if your PC is old enough the BIOS battery needs replaced… when was the last time you put a new PSU in? How old is it?

Definitely sounds like the PSU died.

Agreed, another vote here for the power supply going bad. The symptoms certainly sound like it.

It happened to me and it was the motherboard that died.

This exact thing happened to me a decade ago. Power supply went pop one day. Replace that and you should be golden.

Awesome. Sounds like the first thing to do is just yank the power supply out, take it to the store, and get a new one. I’ll yank it out later today. Thanks everybody. I really appreciate your help.

This is an old PC. I brought it home from work a few jobs back and then they let me go and I never gave it back. I’ve had it since 2013 or 2012? If I can get it running again, I will backup all my stuff and make ready for the motherboard to go. :)

Worst comes to worst, all the drives should be fine.

Yeah when mine popped everything else was fine. Apparently modern PSUs are very good at protecting other components.

OMG, it’s going to be a challenge to get the PS out of the box. Somehow the cables go all the way down in behind everything. I need a video to show me how to take it all apart.

This is why modular power supplies are best, for future reference. If the cables are hardwired Into the psu, it’s going to be a right royal pain. Does the side of the case where the motherboard is come off? Cables usually route underneath the mobo.

I had issues with a power supply for a PC I was building a few years ago. Before you go through the pain of taking it out of your case, you might want to get the replacement PS and plug the new PS cables into your motherboard to see if it fixes your issue (i.e., hook up the new PS, turn on the PC, see if it boots. As long as you don’t do something silly like rest the new PS on your motherboard, you should be ok to do all that with the case open/off).

This is TRUTH. But also the prices do go up as you go from fixed to partial to fully modular so be aware. Still it makes it much easier when you need to swap a supply or a motherboard & etc.