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2012-06-30

A+: Points of Failure on the Outside of the Computer

The front of the computer might provide valuable clues if you’re having problems with a system. In case of problems, check the following common points of failure for help.
Can’t read CD or DVD media— The drive door on the CD-ROM or other optical drive might not be completely closed or the media might be inserted upside down; press the eject button to open the drive, remove any obstacles, reseat the media, and close the drive.
You can also eject optical media with Windows Explorer/My Computer. Right-click the drive and select Eject. If the drive doesn’t eject the media, there could be a problem with the drive’s data cable, cable connection, or power connection.
Can’t shut down the computer with the case power switch— The case power switch is connected to the motherboard on ATX, BTX, and other modern desktop systems, not directly to the power supply as with older designs. The wire might be loose or connected to the wrong pins on the motherboard. Keep in mind that most systems require you to hold in the power button for about four seconds before the system will shut down. If the computer crashes, you might need to shut down the computer by unplugging it or by turning off the surge suppressor used by the computer. Some ATX and BTX power supplies have their own on-off switches.
Can’t see the drive access or power lights— As with the case power switch, these lights are also connected to the motherboard. These wires might also be loose or connected to the wrong pins on the motherboard.
Can’t use USB, IEEE-1394, or other ports on the front of the system— Some systems have these ports on the front of the computer as well as the rear. Front-mounted ports are connected with header cables to the motherboard. If the cables inside the case are loose, the ports won’t work. If the ports are disabled in the system BIOS, the ports won’t work.

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