The power supply is an important component of a computer. Regardless of the brand or operating system, all computers have a power supply. It’s designed to convert Alternating Current (AC) — from a corded wall outlet — to Direct Current (DC) for the computer’s individual components. How do you know if your computer’s power supply is failing exactly? Below are five signs that may indicate a failing power supply.

#1) BSoD

Assuming your computer runs Windows, the Blue Screen of (BSoD) is a possible sign of a failing power supply. The BSoD is an error screen in the Windows operating system. It typically occurs in response to a severe or “fatal” error. While you may encounter a BSoD for other reasons, a failing power supply often causes it.

#2) Random Shutdowns

Your computer’s power supply may be failing if it randomly shuts down without manual intervention. The power supply, of course, provides power to your computer’s individual components. From the central processing unit (CPU) to the storage drive and random access memory (RAM), each component needs power. When one or more components don’t receive the necessary power, they won’t be able to operate, in which case your computer may randomly shut down.

#3) Smoke

In some cases, a failing power supply may smoke. Power supplies generate heat as electricity passes through them. During normal operation, they restrict the amount of electricity to avoid overheating. When a power supply fails, however, an excessive amount of electricity may pass through it. All this electricity will heat up the failing power supply to the point where it smokes.

#4) Freezing

Another all-too-common symptom of a failing power supply is freezing. Sometimes a failing power supply will trigger a BSOD. Other times it will simply freeze the computer in which it’s installed. When your computer freezes, you’ll see a static image displayed on your monitor or monitors. Unfortunately, your computer will become unresponsive, meaning the image won’t change in response to typing keys or moving your mouse cursor.

#5) Won’t Start

If your computer won’t start, the power supply may have kicked the bucket. In cases such as this, you should double-check to ensure that your computer is plugged into a wall out. You may also want to test the wall outlet with a separate device, such as a phone charger, to make sure that’s active. If the wall outlet works and your computer is plugged in, the power supply may be bad if your computer doesn’t boot up on command.

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