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What is the PSU Paper Clip test? All You Need To Know About Power Supply Unit Test

The power supply unit, which is also called the PSU, is an important part of a computer because it sends power to the rest of the machine.

However, a faulty power supply unit (PSU) can result in a variety of issues, which is why it is essential to check that it is in good shape. The paper clip test is one method that can be used to determine whether or not a power supply unit (PSU) is functioning properly.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you a step-by-step guide to perform this test. Therefore, keep reading until the end to get the most useful information about this test.

What Is The Paper Clip Test?

The paper clip test is a simple and easy way to figure out how much power a computer’s power supply unit (PSU) can handle. In order to carry out the test, a paper clip is used to create a short circuit between the green wire and one of the black wires contained within the 24-pin ATX main power cable.

This turns on the power supply unit (PSU), which should also cause the fan contained within the PSU to begin rotating. If the fan starts to move, it means that the power supply unit (PSU) is getting power and is probably working fine.

Step By Step Guide How To Perform The Power Supply Paperclip Test

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The power supply paperclip test is an easy and quick way to confirm if your computer’s power supply is functioning properly. Before starting the test, ensure that your PC is powered off and unplugged, and all the cables are disconnected from your power supply.

Here is the step-by-step guide to perform this test.

Step 1: Unplug The Computer From The Power Source

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The first step in performing the paper clip test is to unplug the computer from the power source. This is an important safety measure because it keeps the power supply unit (PSU) and other parts of the computer from getting broken by accident.

Assure that the computer has been totally turned off and that the power cord has been removed from the wall.

Step 2: Locate The 24-Pin ATX Main Power Cable

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The 24-pin ATX main power cable is the cable that connects the PSU to the motherboard of the computer. It is usually near the power supply unit in the back of the computer case.

Finding the right cable is crucial, as a power supply unit (PSU) or other computer parts could be harmed if the wrong wires were accidentally connected. The 24-pin ATX main power cable has a row of connectors, usually black and yellow, for a total of 24 pins.

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Step 3: Using A Paper Clip, Short The Green Wire And One Of The Black Wires In The 24-Pin ATX Main Power Cable 

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Once the 24-pin ATX main power cable is located, take a paper clip and straighten it out. You need to locate the green wire and one of the black wires in the 24-pin ATX main power cable.

The green wire is usually the first wire on the left-hand side, and the black wires are usually the second and third wires on the right-hand side. You can use the paper clip to create a short between the green wire and one of the black wires in the 24-pin ATX main power cable.

Now, the power supply unit will turn on, and the fan inside it will start to move.

Step 4: If The Fan Inside The PSU Starts Spinning, It Means That The PSU Is Providing Power And Is Likely Working Properly

If the fan starts spinning, it is a good indication that the PSU is providing power and is likely working properly. However, it is important to note that the paper clip test is not a substitute for proper testing of a PSU and should only be used as a preliminary check.

If the fan doesn’t start turning, it could mean that there’s a problem with the power supply unit (PSU), but more testing is needed to find out what’s wrong.

It is important to note that while performing the paper clip test, you should not touch any other parts of the computer except the wires you are shorting. Also, after performing the test, it is important to unplug the paper clip and plug the computer back into the power source.

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What Are The Limitations Of The Test?

You shouldn’t rely on the paper clip test as a replacement for a thorough PSU test; instead, use it as a quick visual inspection. There may be an issue with the PSU if the fan doesn’t start spinning when the computer is turned on, but this will need to be tested further to be certain.

Safety precautions: 

It is important to be very careful when performing the paper clip test, as shorting the wrong wires can cause damage to the PSU or other components of the computer. Before doing the test, it is also important to unplug the computer from the power source.

Conclusion

The paper clip test is a quick and easy way to check if a PSU is providing power to a computer. However, it should only be used as a preliminary check, and further testing should be done if the PSU is suspected to be faulty. And also, it is important to be very careful when performing the test, as it can cause damage to the computer.

FAQs

Here are some FAQs about the PSU paper clip test.

What Is The Purpose Of The Paper Clip Test?

The paper clip test is a simple way to check if the PSU (power supply unit) is providing power to the other components of the computer. It is a preliminary check and not a substitute for a proper test of a power supply.

Is It Safe To Perform The Paper Clip Test?

Yes, it is safe to perform the paper clip test as long as the computer is unplugged from the power source and proper precautions are taken, such as not touching any other parts of the computer except the wires being shorted.

What Should I Do If The Fan Inside The PSU Does Not Start Spinning During The Test?

If the fan inside the PSU does not start spinning during the test, it could indicate a problem with the PSU. However, further testing is needed to determine the exact issue.

Can The Paper Clip Test Damage The Computer?

The paper clip test is a safe method, but if it’s not performed carefully, it can cause damage to the computer.

Can The Paper Clip Test Be Performed On Other Types Of Power Supplies?

The paper clip test is specific to the 24-pin ATX main power cable and should only be performed on this type of power supply.