How do I bypass ATX power supply safety?

Written by gabriel dockery
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How do I bypass ATX power supply safety?
Computer power supply (power supply image by robert mobley from

ATX power supplies have a built-in safety mechanism that does not allow the power supply to initialise if it is not properly plugged into a motherboard. However, this safety feature often prevents the use of more than one power supply in high-end computer systems. This safety mechanism can be overridden without endangering yourself or your computer equipment. This process is an easy one.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Paper clip

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  1. 1

    Unfold your paper clip into the shape of a "U."

  2. 2

    Locate the main motherboard drive connector for the power supply. This will be the largest connector coming from the power supply and have either 20 or 24 pins.

  3. 3

    Locate the pin that is connected to the green wire and a bundle that connects the power supply to this plastic connector. There is only one green wire.

  4. 4

    Locate the black wires that are connected to the sockets on either side of the green wire. There are two black wires, one on each side of the green wire.

  5. 5

    Insert one end of the paper clip into the green wire socket and the other end of the paper clip into either of the black wire sockets, it does not matter which one. This will complete the self-test circuit the power supply checks every time it is turned on. These green and black wires do not contain any operating voltages, only a minute signalling voltage that will in no way harm you.

  6. 6

    Turn the power supply on by plugging it into the wall and flipping the operating switch into the "On" position, if it has one. Your power supply is ready for use. With the self-test safety mechanism bypassed, the power supply will operate as though it is plugged into a motherboard.

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