Answer : Not all by itself, for sure! related (see gaming hints) or why 250w power supples are near useless.
The first test it to be sure the PSU fan works, if not it will overheat fast and fail. (if packed in lint? gee by golly, clean it?)
Related to power is the CMOS NVRAM , RTC and COIN Cell.
I now have new, Laptop power supply section here.
Rapid testing? or what is this jumper test?
Have no tools? see this.
For those that think a glowing LED means something, stop, and re-think that, any LED will glow at 2vdc (even less !) and means NOTHING, it only means the wall power is not 100% dead, and nothing more!
The only sure fire tool that works, is a voltmeter (DMM) or scope, (and load bank resistors for the pro)
Did you know PSU Supplies have many failure modes, not just dead.?
(fan bad or stalled in lint, overvoltage detected, over current or under voltage detected) or just makes too much noise , so you remove it and trash it. Again most PC fail for overheating.
A bad PSU if it fails in the worst way can blow up $1000 worth of expensive electronics, so buy a good PSU, and prevent it, get one with larger fan ,quieter.
The PSU follows ATX rules.(and color coded wires)
The PC Case has a power switch, this does not actually pass 120vac (or 240v) to the power supply, at all, ever. It is 100% digital switch (amomentary closure SPST switch)
Shutdown rules: All PC made can self shut down, for many reaons, this page here is PSUs only on Desktops, but even Laptops can self shut down for most of the same reasons.
All PC DT have a processor, and if over heated it shuts its SELF down.
My fancy GFX Geforce GLU card can shut it self down (overheating tops that list)
My Desktop can shut down for (Too low FAN RPM x3, one of 3 overheat sensors.) My fancy PSU can shut down up to 8 different ways, 5-6 are voltages/current wrong or overheated or the PSU fan stalled)
The TURN ON even happens first:
The power switch, on the case only sends a logic request for power to the MOBO input jacks (motherboard slang) Only.
The MOBO has complex logic on this pin, (and timing) The MOBO has software (on/off ) switch on board, that is how the START button in WINDOWS can function correctly (for shutdown) "called soft power off switch"
The MOBO can also (many) shut down the PC for other reasons, included , FANs going dead, (mine does) and OVERHEATING of key components, (the mobo maker decides this, or is programmable in BIOS as mine is)
My PC has up to 4 fans, if any of the 4 fans and the one inside the PSU goes dead, the MOBO shuts down the system so it does not get damaged, (smart no?, and all part of the ATX system designs)
So the MOBO sees you push that Power_ON on momentary switch on the CASE and...
The Mobo, then sends 0vdc to the power on pin 14 (old) seen below, on the PSU. The PSU quickly turns on. (pin 16 on all new PSU)
The PSU then looks at many things, Overvoltage , over current, and dead supplies, (newer PSU have up to 10 supply lines ! , not just the simple 5 seen in my example) If any line goes BAD, 12,5, 3.3v (+ or -) the PSU sets power ok false.
The PSU may also look for PSU overheating and shut down. (top brands)
The MOBO watches that PowerOK pin 6. (pin 6 is and output only, tells the MOBO power IS ok do not shut me off) But the BIOS makes the rules here, the BIOS can shut down the PSU, for other reasons.)
This pin 6, tells the BIOS there is no gross PSU failure now. (here). My PC can shut down for fan RPM too low or other overheat sensors.
This next pin must be good or all things die. Pin 9 SB or Stand by power. (This pin on my PC even charges my cell phone with power on the PC off ,via USB jacks)
The standby power +5vsb "standby-power"
With AC power to the rear jack, this pin always has power, and the MOBO uses this power to monitor the power switch to turn on, with line cord connected. F1 fuse not blown and IC3 below doing its job 24/7.
My PSU has a 0/1 rear power switch , in the 0 position, standby is dead, now. (We use this if there is lightening coming soon ) (or vacation switch)
If +5vsb goes dead, the MOBO will be dead. We use a voltmeter on pin 9 and see 5vdc there. good. if not , the mobo can not turn on the PSU.
If the PC ran for 1 second, then that means the PSU is sending POWER FAILURE warnings to the MOBO.
There is more see that here.
When Power_OK (pwr_ok or Power good) pin is low that means FAILed; (near 5vdc is GOOD)
Again, the MOBO can shut off, the PSU , for many other reasons. (the MOBO makers book on it tells you all these facts, it be good to read this first) (mine has over 8 rules for self shut down)
Checks Simple. (I'm a tech and have a PSU test cable jumper at all times) in logical order below easy to harder.
Regulation spec, (intel)
We use a scope to check ripple. (caused by BAD CAPS inside the PSU)
Using a scope, 120hz or 10 to 40khz chooper caused, ripple max. ,mV = millivolts 1mV = 1/1000th volt
Photo Dwg. #1 PSU connections. To bench test the PSU, jump pins PS_ON to any ground pin.
All modern 10 year or newer PC use this ATX2 spec. PSU, it's a standard on the right. 24 pins. Jump 16 to 17 is safest way to force power on.
old relic ATX new ATX2 with 24 pins, but NON ATX, the SSF PC uses 6pin Plug, seen here (hacked)
THE WIKI covers all this ATX stuff , read here what pin does what?
A Random found ATX power supply. (old, but shows how it all works ! really nothing beats a schematic, no?) This PSU is simplistic, with only basic protections.
Drawing #2: AC input is the AC line cord. (if you look close you see that there is standby power all the time line power is connected.
This is a SMPS design. Q1 and Q2 are the 20khz Chopper Oscillator. (power on , activates the chopper) IC1 controls power.
Newer ATX supplies, have up to 10 supplies inside, (up to) (newer supplies even have complex , power modulation chips that use only the power it needs, saving power and Carbon Dioxide (green) emissions.
The point here is all pins below for power must be tested by the technician to be sure the PSU is not detecting faults, even faults on supply lines not used, (-5 and -12v many not be used but may be monitored)
Photo: 3 Example of better PSU for gaming systems or any with powerful GPU card (graphic processor unit) PCI cards added.
If all this is Greek? then you learned that Electronics is not simple, find a technician to fix it. I'm retired, now and can help. (but only here with words and pictures)
Now I show REAL SCHEMATICS so all can learn this, not just with words.
Softpower on/ off feature is burried deep inside the glue logic, per below, and all that fan protection stuff too. (and it's own VRM rules and monitors)
Learn too that a CPU or GPU can also shut down a PC in under 1-3 seconds flat if it overheats, (magic inside the Main chips does all that by DESIGN)
The mobo has its own power regulators too (VRM), for its one special needs for special chips. The VRM were used , because the PSU powers lines do not provide, special needs for special chips on this MOBO)
This VRM Voltage regulator Modules,, can also fail and also see the PWR-OK false and thus a drop of POWER ON line. (you can't replace these bad VRM)
Here is a year 2000 Intel 850 schematic showing the glue chips that do that. (oh my golly, gee,, a Floppy,PATA,RAMBUS,PS2 and RS232/ Parallel printer jacks) yes, a relic.
As you know, most makers of MOBO the schematics are top secret, but how nice of Intel to show one 16 years old so folks can learn , thanks Intel !
See the signal pin PS_ON? that goes just to one place, the PSU cable jack , this is the MOBO telling the PSU to turn on now. (you told MOBO to turn on, via the power button on the PC case)
The PSU turns on , its fan spins fast and if power is not bad, the PSU then sends, the signal, Power-good (PWRGD_Ps) to the mobo and chip below, and the PC turns fully on, and holds there.
The Gluechip can turn the PSU off for many reasons, (windows shut down, overheats, dead fans many,VRM errors, and more)
Or the USER pushed the shut down icon in WINDOWS. (called Softpower Down (its just a 1 bit transistor burried deed in this chip)
The below chip will be dead (or just asleep) if the 5VSB standby power is dead, from the PSU. This supply is active full time, A.C power good to the PSU.
The +5vsb standby power line from PSU to MOBO runs over 13 circuits, see pin 2 below for that. 5vsb is complex, it allows many chips inside the PC to do the WAKE-ON functions. (wake on LAN, wake on USB, wake on mouse,etc)
For a newer PC?, what changes?, is the GLUE LOGIC pin # and the CHIP seen below , used today. As you can see the intel engineers even call it GLUE themselves, no surprise here.
Links: (best of best) Intel has the best PDF page, on topic. (not surprising to me)
Now the tool-less tech answers:
If you have no voltmeter, to do simple tests, then all you can really do is GUE$$ and swap parts. (or do like most, get the PC fixed by a Technician)
Symptoms, BIOS dead. Screen Dead.
Learn too, that any LED can glow with just 2vdc, or less and means almost nothing glowing, but flashing, it means it has failure codes , fully documented by HP.com.(for your exact PC)
Rapid Testing to find true cause; (assumes 120vac line power reaches, PSU (wall power) and its fan not packed solid in lint stalling it and overheating it fast.
A Dead PSU. (or suspected) (fans dead all 3? or more)
atx2 unplugged, here. pin locations and voltages are here.(there is no dangerous high voltages here, but if you short wrong pins, it will spark and get hot and burn you.
Tricks, use an unbent paper clip, (small) to jumper the 2 pins, I then make my meter black test lead go to pin 18 "COM" with same paper clip 2 to aligator clip. I then walk the red test lead to each power pin. (to Spec.)
Pin 16 is Poweron pin, jump it to 17, then connect line power last. Pin 16 is the side with the Side locking device, per photos above.
GAMING 101: Fast Video cards, GPU's Graphic Processors.
<<<< See it in DM , device manager?
The RED arrows below are Heavy wires Yellow/BLack (if he CARD shorts, the PSU shuts down)
Lets say you want to game or do some fancy engineering CAT/CAM or Computer modeling?
You bought a GTX-660 (or 650 or faster?) from Nvidia or other card makers? Now what?, most watch it crash with blue screens of death (HALT). Why? , answer it's the AMPS DUDE !
That card needs 12vdc at "30 amps" if you read the Nvidia installer PDF line by line?
A hard cold fact that. (and keeping that fan free of lint !!!)
This card sucks big amps.
This Card needs 30 amps of power here (360w). (says the manual for it) RTM , when you buy a card read the manual and learn its power needs first. (best is before you buy it, read that)
The PSU was named "ATX12V v2.2" and above versions. The 4 pin PSU molex runs the CPU but the 6 pins Molex runs the below card ,over 75watts (express max)
This card below sucks so much power it has 2 , 6 pin molex jacks. 20amps times 12vdc is 240watts. No express slot on earth can source that power ever.
The reason power goes here is for 1 reason only the PCI-e slot can not handle this power level at all. Best is a 2 cable PSU, for here.
Here is the correct minimum solution that always works here. 700 to 750watts, the price range is $50 to $80... The very powerful 12vdc here is what matters. I've run 5 years crash free at 700w. (Mine is 28a times 2)
A Thermaltake PSU 700w or more is also a good deal. Make sure the amps are good, some makers of PSU lie about the watts (sold as no name PSU from China direct), read the label first.
I see endless posts by folks saying bad things about a PC, Windows, and many things, all the while violating the GPU card manual spec., they can't read or can not understand, that AMPS matter.
Try to know watts is combined, and only amps available matter.
Adding a GFX card to a PC with 250watt PSU, is just silly, It is a wasted effort and endless grief watching said PC crash endlessly BSOD's , or even goes DEAD.
So is it silly to try to run 125watt GPU card from only 75watt, express slots. (hopeless that) unless you have GPU card AUX power plugs and a matching PSU, to drive it.
What matters most is the 12vdc rail . The yellow wires are all 12vdc, UP to 4 go to a single PSU regulator inside. My PSU has run crash free for 5 year now. Not one hickup. (not just 1 PC)
if you use a proper PSU, the GPU will NOT CRASH (99% crash free, 1% are bad games,not updated) no lint packing up GPU nor CPU fans ,nor heatsinks, clean them.
Is this your PCU? and the fan stalled and packed in filth, (all PSU do this, if not cleaned every year)
really? You expect this to be ok? It stalls the fan and make all parts overheat and die. That dirt blocks air flow too)
Always clean parts OUTSIDE using Can-O-air or 30PSI shop air.
Then looks like this cleaned. (bent open for easy viewing) from wiki pages.
LAPTOP (LT) power structures are complex.
One way to think about any Laptop is to Imagine most of the parts above, in the PSU are moved to the Laptop MOBO.
Because that is what they did and added 1 or 2 battery packs and a battery charger chip. (to test any laptop, first take out the huge batteries , usually just 1, and see if the LT runs now.? Batteries can short, and overload regulators.
The LT also has a power controller chip, to control all 6 or more modes of power.
All this can fail.
The Laptop has a large number of power regulators.
We remove all modules on any LP to find ones that are shorted, and overloading any of the regulators. (large battery out first)
All power comes from the 19vdc power pack (AC pack) with main battery out tests are best.
That 19vdc must make it onto the mobo actual and not have broken power jack at the DC plug.
Drawing LT#1: Here is my Laptop state drawing, 2009 made PC. There are 6 states, of operation, for sure normal, sleep and hibernate.
If you look closely, the huge battery S4/S5 (mine can have 2 huge batteries) one needs to be good, or +3VL will be dead, AC pack unpugged. The PC can not , AC pack pulled unless the battery is charged, and not bad.
If the coin cell is dead, all bets off. BIOS goes NUTS, all batteries main are pulled and AC line pack is removed., (the coin cell keeps NVRAM alive , with zero power from all 3 sources in my case)
S0 is full on power state (see CPU CORE hot, bingo, a running PC) I guess S3 is sleep and S4-S4/AC is hibernate?
See MY power page here. If you have schematic like me, matching your PC not mine, we can test each regulated supply seen here.
If one supply rail reads wrong (10% out of spec or more), we remove modules to find out if one is shorted.
Never condemn any MOBO until you prove all modules connected. are not shorted. (a new coin cell is always first to change out. the words RTC above mean real time clock.(time of day and date))
The regulators on all MOBO all shut down overloaded, in all cases.
Lacking a real schematic means all you can do is measure voltages, (key voltages) and pull modules.
THE CMOS BUZZ word, (NVRAM, and RTC):
How does my NVRAM work (CMOS)
version 4. 8-1-2017