How To Safely Turn On A Power Supply Without A Motherboard

Here is a good trick for you tech-heads out there. Quite often you need to test a power supply to see if it is working correctly and sometimes you may not have a computer to connect it to. Fortunately there is a very easy trick to turning a power supply on with just a small piece of wire or paper clip.

If you are using a paper clip make sure you don’t touch it when you turn the PSU on at the wall otherwise you might hurt yourself or cook something and on that note I take absolutely no resposibility for any damage to yourself or your equipment if you do somehow manage to blow something up. I use a small piece of insulated wire when I do it and just strip the two ends bare.

On all power supplies there is a big long 20 or 24 pin plug. As far as I am aware the majority of these use the same coloured wires in the same pin positions. Firstly turn the PSU off at the wall. Find the green wire (see the diagram below, it is labelled PS_ON#). It is pin number 16 on the 24 pin plug (Diagram Below Left) and pin number 14 on the 20 pin plug (Diagram Below Right).

On the 20/24 pin plug, poke your piece of wire into the pin on the green wire and poke the other end of your wire into one of the pins with a black wire coming out of it. There is one on either side of the green wire, use one of them, it doesn’t matter which one as they will both work.

With your wire in place, turn the power supply on at the wall and it should fire up and run as normal.

5 thoughts on “How To Safely Turn On A Power Supply Without A Motherboard”

  1. Wow, I’ve been following your posts for quite some time now and I must say that I’m most intrigued with this one as I’m often caught in those situations when testing a psu is necessary.
    It somehow seems pretty scary though..

  2. This is not always working as a PSU have to has any load connected e.g. 12V car reflector bulb

  3. I am trying to test my fans to make sure they work and i do not have a motherboard yet. my PSU gas 18 pin connector for the motherboard. how do i use the Paperclip trick on this???

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