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DellDimension 5100 - suddenly dead -- but removing RAM

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sunsation, Jul 13, 2007.

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  1. sunsation

    sunsation Thread Starter

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    I have a Dell Dimension 5100 running Win XP.
    The only thing that was over added was 2x256 ram modules over 9 months ago. NO other upgrades or changes.

    One day after a power outage, the computer would not turn on. I tried to diagnose the problem and bought a new Power Supply.

    I removed the cards in the slots, disconnected the power to the hard drive (sata) and the DVD rom. I also removed the 24 pin power connector and the 4 pin power connector and then reconnected only the 24 pin and 4 pin power connectors to make sure they were properly inserted.

    Nothing. When I attach the power cord it will start to turn on but immediately turn off. It just gets the cpu fan to start to spin but turns right off. Doesn't pass POST.

    I had everything out except for the RAM.

    So not even thinking about the ram... I removed 4 ram modules and connected the power cord. This time it stayed powered on but just beeps (Because no ram is found). RAM has to be installed in pairs, so i tried both the ram modules (each pair is identical in manufacturer, speed etc... identical in every way). When RAM is in any of the slots... it doesn't power... only when ALL ram is out.. it will power up... but no POST obviously.

    Any ideas if this is a MOBO problem or would all my ram be dead?
    Thanks.
     
  2. sunsation

    sunsation Thread Starter

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    One other thing.... I tried this...

    Removed the CMOS battery for 15 minutes then put it back in and powered up the computer. It worked and went into windows xp normally.

    I shut down (Start - shut down) and then it wouldn't start back up.

    The only way for me to get the computer on, is to remove the cmos battery and then put it back in after 15 minutes.

    What could the problem be?
     
  3. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Try to borrow different RAM to try out.... and hope just your RAM modules have been damaged. But your system has been spiked by external forces and is somehow damaged.

    Your motherboard is more likely damage... if resetting CMOS (there is NO jumper next to the battery?) isn't fixing it period - its troublesome. Resetting CMOS takes a second.

    If the RAM swap doesn't work... which I doubt, but who knows... I'd say your board is dying... You could leave your PC on, all the time.... until you can get it repaired or replaced. (Depending on if you're under warranty). Dell parts are not generally standards compatible... so replacement of the WHOLE computer would be required, or recycle your drives.
     
  4. sunsation

    sunsation Thread Starter

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    It just doesn't make sense that after resetting the bios, I'm able to start it up and it runs normally. It's restarting that is the issue.

    I might be able to buy a new mb and use my existing cpu and parts with it.. and pick up a case.

    I'm still paying for this stupid computer for another year.

    Next time I'll just build like I did for my spare computer.
     
  5. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Yeah... but be advised, your CPU may also be damaged... sorry - but it is possible. ;(

    A friend's system was completely fried from a spike. Modem, board, CPU, Hard drive... it was such a mess, that we built him one from scratch rather than spend time trying to figure out what was NOT dead.
     
  6. sunsation

    sunsation Thread Starter

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    I had someone tell me it might be the switch. Computer runs fine once it's on... it's just powering up initially that is the problem.
     
  7. Compiler

    Compiler

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    The switch? You press a button, it is wired to the mobo, it tells the mobo to TURN ON. if the button is defective, it would not give you the problems you're having now, nor would your current solution have anything to do with a switch/button.

    Your motherboard controls the power supply. You've done everything right to troubleshoot the problem. It don't look good.
     
  8. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    When there is a power outage, there is always a higher chance of taking out the Power Supply (ferro-resonance and switching spikes on restoration)

    When you lose the power supply, you also have a possibility that it takes out some downstream components (motherboard etc), or causes damage.

    But it will not be the switch...
     
  9. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    If it booted up at all though kiwi, I would bet the only problem is the psu.
     
  10. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    I tend to agree Rich M, it would need to be an obscure fault to cause the symptoms described. Also the DELL PSU's are probably not the worst in the pack as far as cascaded faults go.

    The original poster needs to remember that fitting another motherboard (unless its a Dell replacement) also means getting a new copy of Windows. That version (OEM) is "locked" to the specific motherboard.
     
  11. lara25

    lara25

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    You were right about the CMOS Battery. All you have to do is buy a new CMOS battery. I too have a dell dimension 5100 that also went dead after the power went out. I had to replace the power supply to turn it on and then kept getting an error - No Boot Disk Available. I tried everything but the problem was the CMOS battery. Just buy a new one.. or use one from another working computer.. Thanks for this post...I would have never thought about the CMOS battery if it weren't for your post.. you same me a $1000.
     
  12. lara25

    lara25

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    You were right about the CMOS Battery. All you have to do is buy a new CMOS battery. I too have a dell dimension 5100 that also went dead after the power went out. I had to replace the power supply to turn it on and then kept getting an error - No Boot Disk Available. I tried everything but the problem was the CMOS battery. Just buy a new one.. or use one from another working computer.. Thanks for this post...I would have never thought about the CMOS battery if it weren't for your post.. you same me a $1000.
     
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