Solved: Dell E510 won't turn on

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MrFrank

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One of my 2 Dell E510 desktops won't turn on. It was working 100% fine, no prior symptoms. I have Windows XP, sp3.

I pushed the "on/off" button. Nothing happened. I held the button - the amber light blinked repeatedly.

I swapped power supplies with my identical E510. The one I took out worked fine in the other machine, and the one I put in did not work. So it's not the power supply.

I replaced the CMOS battery. No help.

Now, the symptoms changed slightly. The amber light blinks ALL the time when the machine is plugged in, and I see (and hear) the power supply fan making a very slight attempt to turn. It doesn't. The on/off button does nothing. The only way to stop the blinking amber light and fan attempt is to unplug the machine.

I checked the obvious connections.

All computer parts are original.

I see nothing obviously fried on the motherboard.

My wife is yelling at me.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

MrFrank

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I should add that I've gone through everything in the Dell trouble shooting tree, including disconnecting hard drives, fan, DVD & floppy drives. I still have a blinking yellow power light.

Could there be a problem with the on/off switch itself? Pushing it does absolutely nothing to the computer. It seems to "click" normally when I push it, and it travels the usual slight distance, but could there be a short?

The amber light blinks quicker than it does on the Dell support site and I don't know if that means anything -see blinking light at http://support.dell.com/support/top...pe=&os=&component=&lang=&doclang=&toggle=&dl=
 
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The Dimension E-510 used a BTX form factor motherboard. These boards had a high failure rate after they were a couple of years old. What you describe sounds like a defective motherboard.
 

MrFrank

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If that's the case, does it pay to buy a new motherboard? This unit is kind of slow but I can live with it.

Can I just throw the 2 hard drives (Raid configuration) into the other (working) E510 in order to get the data off them? When I'm done, can I put the original hard drives back in to keep the working unit as it is?

Thanks.
 

MrFrank

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Is there anything else I can look for on this computer with my rudimentary abilities? What lights am I looking for? There are no beeps. Could it be some kind of short in the switch, as I mentioned?
 

MrFrank

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The correct manual is here:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim5150/en/om/WD846A02.pdf

Lights 3 & 4 blinked together a couple of times, but now they do nothing.

3&4 together mean "Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred" (manual, p 47). But that is not possible, since the memory modules are out.

Other symptoms are still the same: blinking amber at all times, I see & hear PSU trying a momentary start, no other response.

Ideas? Is there any way to verify a dead motherboard other than by elimination?
 
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It sounds dead!!

Hard drives can be hooked up as slaves anytime to recover data..
 
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You could test the PSU. If it's good your board is probably dead.
 

MrFrank

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Please see my first post. The PSU is definitely good.

I don't like it, but I think I have a brick.
 
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Sounds like it's time for a new machine.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with repairing the machine. AFAIK when Intel stopped further developement of the BTX form factor in 2006 I don't believe any manufacturers continued to build any new BTX form factor boards.

I believe the only replacement boards you would be able to find would be "pulls" with a 30-60 day warranty.

I've had a number of failed BTX form factor boards in the shop in the last couple of years, and none of the owners felt it was worthwhile repairing the machines.
 

MrFrank

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Mumbodog, please see above - the first thing I tried was swapping the PSU. It didn't help.

win2kpro, and all of you, THANK YOU for your time and input.

One last thing I might try. I read somewhere that a stuck on/off switch could mimic a bad PSU. I tried to get the *front* cover (not side cover which is of course off already) off the E510. It's got to be simple but I don't see how, and I don't see it in the manual ("RTFM" not necessary). I'm not talking about the 7" black cover over the DVD, floppy, and USB ports - I mean the silver cover that goes from top to bottom.

Thanks.
 
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You gotta' learn how to Google as well as RTFM. That procedure is readily available on the Dell site.
Typically, there are two silver tabs you can see with the right side cover removed. Press in, presto!
 
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