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Dell Optiplex 990 MT

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Drugfair, Oct 15, 2019.

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  1. Drugfair

    Drugfair Thread Starter

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    We just purchased a refurbished Dell OptiPlex 990 MT i5 8GB Memory Windows 7 Professional which shows in blue lights on the front panel of the Dell PC: error codes 1-3-4 with the blue power button on when we power it up. It stays that way until it comes up to the Boot Manager and then asks to select Windows 7 or it will select it anyways. The PC takes 4 1/2 minutes roughly from pushing the power button to fully bring up the desktop. Once the desktop is up we don't see those 1-3-4 numbers anymore. It performs normally. I called the company that sold it to us and they thought is was the Memory sticks being jostled in the shipping that cause those three number to show. They said to reseat the memory sticks and that should take care of it. What do you all think ? Is it a memory problem or a motherboard problem or something else ? I ran the full Dell Onboard Diagnostics and it came up with nothing. I am somewhat skeptical. I don't think it's normal for those error numbers in blue to pop up during start up and for the PC to take 4 1/2 minutes to bring up the desktop fully ?
     
  2. Shazzalive

    Shazzalive

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    Sharron
    From what I can find online it appears that it may be a RAM issue as the company said.
    Error code 3,4 indicates memory failure, and error code 1 indicates no memory detected.

    Did you try reseating the RAM sticks as advised? (In the video substitute the word beep or beeps for error code or codes.)

    If doing so fails to solve anything, a solution that I found online goes thus: -
    1. Power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec.
    2. Open case and carefully reseat RAM (Random Access Memory) modules in their slots - you may need to remove the optical drive to reach the RAM modules.
    3. Carefully remove as many of any dust bunnies as you can.
    4. Remove motherboard battery and press/hold power button for ~30 sec.
    5. Reinstall battery (right-side-up).
    6. Try to boot with only mouse, monitor and keyboard connected.
    If that doesn't help:
    1. Repeat #1, above.
    2. Remove all modules except the one in slot 1.
    3. Repeat #4-6, above.
    Then swap all modules into slot 1 to see if you can identify a bum module:
    1. Repeat #1, above.
    2. Swap RAM modules into slot 1.
    3. Repeat #4-6.
    See this video about testing RAM:
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  3. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    Must be old considering that the Dell machines doesn't have numbers on the cases anymore

    What is the 7 digit service tag? If you don't know it, go to Command Prompt and type wmic bios get serialnumber and press enter. it should provide the serial number. If the serial number is not the 7 digits, then the motherboard is not from dell.
     
  4. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    OK, i found the service manual for that model. 1-3-4 indicates a possible system board resource and/or hardware failure.

    Troubleshooting Steps • Clear CMOS. • Disconnect all internal and external peripherals, and restart the computer. If the computer boots, add the peripheral cards back one by one until you find the bad one. • If the problem persists, the system board / system board component is faulty.

    NOTE: The diagnostic LEDs only serve as an indicator of the progress through the Power-on Self-Test (POST) process. These LEDs do not indicate the problem that caused the POST routine to stop.

    As to the numbers turning off, that is normal once the POST has been completed and the OS is loading.

    Do you have any audible beeps, other than a single beep? If not, and the computer is loading fine (abiet bieng slow) then the hardware is most likely fine.
     
  5. Drugfair

    Drugfair Thread Starter

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    No, I haven't re-seated the memory, Shazzalive
    Thanks for all for the great info and help. I was ready to do that but, the IT company we bought the used Dell from put into their 1 year warranty that if you do any kind of work on it (in their words tampering or altering the PC it invalidates their warranty) so, in light of that fact and that we're unhappy with how it starts up to the desktop we are returning the Dell PC to them for a full refund this week. I don't want to take a huge chance that the Motherboard might be going bad with it being one of the error codes (#1) on front at startup ?
     
  6. Drugfair

    Drugfair Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the helpful info, Couriant
    The 7 digit service tag is on a sticker on top of the Dell 990 case. In light of the couple of error codes and that, one of them (#1) points to the Motherboard; I am not taking a chance that it might be a Motherboard and/or chipset or related is going bad. Strangely there were no audible beeps just the blue lights 1-3-4 an blue power button came on initially until it then went to the part of startup whereby it asks you to select Windows 7 which we didn't like that part as well as it gave the impression of an operating system problem and then, it went to the desktop after that. The last time I saw a PC that asked me to select an operating system it was after a hardware failure and I had to re-image that computer. You might just be right about the Motherboard not being original or swapped out. I'm not going to take the case off as I suspect the IT Co. we bought it from will say that we tampered with it and that will invalidate the 1 year warranty. So, we're returning it this week for a full refund and be done with it.
     
  7. Couriant

    Couriant Trusted Advisor

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    I completely understand. The fact that it asks you to choose Windows 7 rather than going into Windows directly is a sign of a bad Windows installation, as you suspect.

    If you can wait a month or so, Black Friday is coming up and Dell will have deals which may be more suited for small budgets.
     
  8. Shazzalive

    Shazzalive

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    I understand. Many companies, internationally, have identical or similar provisos written into the terms of their warranty. This does make things a lot simpler in a way: If the item goes wrong in any way during the warranty period simply return it, untampered with. As long as the company in question honour their warranty and conditions then all is well.
     
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