Introduction: Fix a Dead Power Supply Using a Hair Dryer (Reflow Trick)

My Hp Pavillion a805n desktop stopped functioning properly after I temporarily disconnected the system from the power supply. At first, I thought the machine was dead (i.e. Power Supply Failure). However, I discovered a little trick using a Hair Dryer to bring the machine back to life. I thought I'd share to help other distressed Hp owners out there...

Summary: A quick & temporary fix for those with a blinking/flashing power supply. 
Risk: When dealing with heat and computer components, there is always a risk of something going wrong. Perform this procedure at your own discretion. 
Reddit:Upvotes appreciated

Comments

author
JulianU1 (author)2016-01-25

Actually, it's never a wise idea to try and repair a broken or failing power supply. Even when unplugged it can hold a lethal charge of electricity. It's best just to replace or have it professionally repaired. And if you have a case that holds the PSU up top, doing something like this can cause a capacitor (one of the giant ones) to leak and ruin your motherboard and your day.

author
jay james (author)2012-09-14

Its probably the case that at least some of the electrolytic capacitors in the power supply have dried out. Their capacitance then drops in value. Heating them up makes them rise in the level of capacitance. The circuit will then work better.

author
MikB (author)2011-11-26

Seconded: If your hair dryer can reflow solder, it is hot enough to reflow your skin off. Not a good look. Mmmm. Burnt hair.

Another reason this may work is that some power supplies, when cold, won't start up because they are getting old and have marginal components in them. You really need to find the ageing component OR the marginal soldered joint and fix THAT -- the heat from the hairdryer just shows you have a problem, it doesn't fix it!

author
killbox (author)2011-11-21

Cool that it worked, but i very much doubt its reflowing anything. with a hair dryer. they are just not hot enough to melt solder!

more likely the power supply has an intelligent fan detection system. and the fan is failing so thats what is causing the flashing led. the hot air being forced into the fan probably heated/loosened up some of the remaining grease and moved the fan to a sweeter spot to start .