If your Xbox One is making noises but not powering on, there are a few things you can try to get it working again. The most common causes of this issue are a loose power cable, a faulty power supply unit, or a problem with the internal hard drive. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps to diagnose and resolve this issue so you can get back to gaming.
Quick Fixes to Try
Before digging into the Xbox to try to fix it, there are a couple quick things you can try to get it working again:
- Make sure the power cable running from the console to the wall outlet is securely plugged in at both ends. Loose connections can prevent the Xbox from powering on.
- Try connecting the power cable to a different outlet. Use one that you know is working for other devices.
- Press and hold the Xbox power button on the front of the console for 10 seconds. This may help reset things if the console is unresponsive.
- Unplug the power cable from the back of the Xbox, wait 30 seconds, and then firmly reinsert it.
Trying these basic troubleshooting steps takes just a few minutes and can help get things working again without needing to open up and tinker with the console. If the Xbox still isn’t powering on after trying them, read on for additional fixes to test.
Check the Power Supply Unit
If quick fixes like reseating cables and power cycling the console don’t work, the next thing to check is the power supply unit (PSU). This is the large external power brick that ships with the Xbox One. It takes the AC wall power and converts it to the DC power needed for the console.
Issues with the PSU are one of the most common reasons for an Xbox One not powering on. Here are some things to look at with the power supply:
- Listen for fan noise – Put your ear close to the PSU and listen for a faint humming or buzzing sound. This is the fan inside the PSU spinning. If you don’t hear this, the PSU is likely faulty and needs to be replaced.
- Check for indicator light – There should be a small LED light on the PSU near where the power cable plugs in. When connected to power, it will light up either white or orange to indicate everything is working. No light could mean the PSU is bad.
- Try a different power outlet – Plug the PSU into another outlet you know is working just to be sure the issue isn’t with the wall power.
- Swap in a working PSU – If you have another Xbox One, try connecting its working PSU to your console. If your Xbox boots up normally, you know your PSU needs replacing.
If after testing these things it appears the PSU is faulty, you will need to purchase a replacement. Replacement Xbox One power supply units run around $35-50 on Amazon. Swapping in a new one is plug and play – no tools required. Just be sure to get the right PSU for your particular Xbox One model.
Check Internal Hard Drive Connections
If the power supply checks out okay, another part that could be causing your Xbox One to have problems powering on is the internal hard drive. The hard drive stores all of your games, apps, and system software. If it encounters connection issues, it can prevent the console from booting up properly.
Here are some things you can try to troubleshoot the hard drive:
- Listen for spinning/whirring – Place your ear next to the console and listen closely for signs of the hard drive spinning up when you press the power button.
- Reseat SATA connections – Open the console, locate the hard drive, and disconnect and reconnect the SATA data and power cables connected to it.
- Try a different SATA port – Attempt moving the hard drive to a different SATA port on the motherboard if available.
- Remove and reinsert hard drive – Completely remove the hard drive and then put it back into place to reestablish a solid connection.
If reseating the hard drive connections helps get things working again, great! Be sure to fully reassemble the console properly. If not, the hard drive itself may be faulty and in need of replacement.
Replace the Internal Hard Drive
If you’ve determined that the Xbox One hard drive itself is bad, replacing it with a new one should get your console powering on.
The process for changing the hard drive is straightforward:
- Obtain a compatible replacement hard drive. Look for a 2.5″ laptop hard drive between 500GB – 2TB.
- Open the Xbox One case by releasing the side clips.
- Locate the hard drive bay and release the hard drive by pulling the retention arm.
- Slide the old drive out then insert the new replacement drive.
- Reconnect the SATA data and power cables.
- Secure the hard drive by re-engaging the retention arm.
- Close the Xbox case and reinstall the case screws.
Once the new drive is installed, the Xbox One will walk you through some startup prompts to configure the drive and download a fresh copy of the system software. Be patient as this can take 15-20 minutes the first boot. But once finished, you should have a normally functioning Xbox One again!
Reset the Xbox One System
Resetting the Xbox One back to factory default settings can help resolve a variety of system errors that may be preventing your console from powering on correctly. Here are the steps to reset an Xbox One:
- Turn on the console and wait till you see the Xbox logo screen appear.
- Press and hold the Bind + Eject buttons on the front of the console until you hear two beeps.
- The console will display a screen asking you to choose Reset and Remove Everything or Reset and Keep My Games & Apps.
- Select Reset and Remove Everything to fully wipe the system back to factory conditions.
The reset process generally takes 5-10 minutes to complete. The Xbox One will restart a couple times during the reset before taking you through the initial setup prompts like when you first got the console. After the reset is finished, hopefully your Xbox One will be able to successfully power on.
Check for Overheating Issues
Overheating can sometimes cause Xbox One consoles to shut down or have difficulty turning on. If your console is located in a confined space, has a build-up of dust, or the internal fan is malfunctioning, it may be overheating.
Try the following tips to keep your Xbox One cool:
- Give the console at least 6 inches clearance on all sides for proper ventilation.
- Make sure vents are unobstructed and free of dust buildup.
- Use compressed air to clean out any dust collected inside the console.
- Consider adding small adhesive heatsinks to hot components like the CPU/GPU.
- Test the console in an open area instead of enclosed in a cabinet.
Adding some basic cooling measures can help prevent overheating shutdowns that stop the console from turning on.
Test with Known Working Components
If you’ve tried all the troubleshooting steps above and your Xbox One still isn’t powering on, there are a couple ways you can test with known working components:
- Test in a different outlet – Try connecting just the console (not TV or other devices) to an outlet that’s on a different circuit breaker than the original outlet tried.
- Use a power strip – Test the console on a basic power strip that has surge protection.
- Try a friend’s Xbox One – Borrow a friend’s working Xbox One to test all your components (HDMI cable, outlet, TV, etc) and verify the issue is with your console.
Systematically testing with these alternative power sources and a known good console can help narrow down the cause of the issue.
Contact Microsoft Support
If you still can’t get your Xbox One working after trying everything recommended, it’s time to seek additional help through official Xbox Support channels:
- Request Call Back – On the Xbox Support website, you can request a call back from an Xbox support agent who can troubleshoot over the phone.
- Submit Repair Request – If your Xbox One requires repair, you can submit a request through Xbox Support to arrange getting your console fixed.
- Find Local Repair – Use Microsoft’s Support and Service page to locate Xbox repair centers near you.
Microsoft can diagnose issues that may be beyond the basic troubleshooting steps here and arrange service if needed. Their technicians have access to special diagnostic tools and replacement parts you can’t get elsewhere.
Getting an Xbox One game console to power on when it’s only displaying a blank screen can be frustrating. But there are a number of things you can test yourself to get it working again.
Double check connections, test with a working power supply, inspect the hard drive, reset the system software, check for overheating, and try testing individual components one by one. With some diligent troubleshooting, you should be able to isolate the issue.
For any problem that persists beyond basic troubleshooting, leverage the Xbox Support site and agents who are available to assist. With proper help, you should be up and gaming again in no time.