While most power buttons on a desktop computer will still work even though the tiny LED light is broken, there is something reassuring about seeing the green, amber, or blue button light up when you power on your machine. It is possible to replace a dead LED bulb on many makes and models of desktop PCs, but some computers will not be so easily repaired. Some exploration "under the hood" is necessary.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Magnifying glass
- Jeweller's flat head screwdriver
- Digital camera
- Replacement LED bulb harness
- Optional: Goop adhesive
Turn off your machine and unplug all the cables in the back of the tower. Remove the side chassis cover and set it aside.
Use a handheld magnifying glass to examine the power connectors on the motherboard. This connector cluster is usually found on the lower right hand side of most motherboards. A half dozen small electrical wires will be seen coming off this connector cluster. On some computers and motherboards this power harness plug is made from one piece of plastic. Notice tiny labels like "HDD" or "LED" or "STANDBY." Other types of connections feature individual plugs for each set of wires, each with its own label.
Determine which type of plug you have. If the power connectors are grouped into one modular plug, you will have difficulty replacing just the "LED" wires. Contact the computer manufacturer to get a replacement for the entire harness. If the power connectors are separate, you can replace only the burnt-out LED section.
Unplug the LED connector from the connector cluster. Trace this line back to the front panel.
Remove the front panel of the computer. Depress the cover tabs inside the chassis frame. Pull the front panel away from the frame slowly. Do not use excessive force.
Examine the LED bulb. Take a photograph to record how the bulb is inserted in the plastic mounting. Free the old LED bulb carefully. Do not use force. Do not interfere with the actual power button electrical wires or mounting. The old LED bulb and the wires should come away free in your hand.
Take the bulb and the wires to a local computer parts store. Ask the clerk to help you find an exact replacement. In most cases "close enough" is not good enough: LED bulbs that are too large will not fit in the front panel correctly. If the store does not have a good replacement, try searching for the part on line.
Install a new LED bulb in the mounting. You may need to glue the bulb to the mounting: use Goop adhesive not "hot melt glue." Trail the wires back to the power connector cluster panel. Slip the connector on top of the proper wires on the connector cluster panel.
Plug the video cable and the power cord into the computer. Boot the computer. Notice whether the LED light comes on as expected. If it does not come on, troubleshoot to determine what could be wrong with your installation. Unplug the computer first. Check all the connections at the power connector panel. Retest.
Return the front panel to its place when the test is successful. Restore the chassis cover. Plug in all your computer cables. Turn the machine on.
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