Solved: Test psu?

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LAKESUSY

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My Grandson has a Dell XPS400 that will not power up. The amber light comes on and blinks. We were told that indicates a problem with the PSU. We purchased a used but supposedly operational PSU and installed but the PC still does not power up. Is there a way of testing the PSU to ascertain whether that is indeed the problem? :confused:
 

panicrooster

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Sounds like it's not the psu or that would be my immediate guess, and guesses are almost as important as experience, experience only adds to better guesses. If the light is coming on it's your hard drive activity light odds are and showing that you HD is "thinking" (read/write). That's a good sign. Weird beeps beyond one simple beep is bad. It should have the little mobo speaker (tiny) attached and give beeps to tell you of hardware probs but doesn't necessarily always do. WHat you may have is a display problem due to the display adapter (graphics card or integrated in mobo) and just not showing on the monitor to appear as if broken. Very common. Also memory can quickly make a pc run this way. Hopefully you have the book to this pc and look up the "cmos" reset switch. You may need to reset this but single handedly may not solve your prob. What's most important is find out what EXACTLY was done to this pc between it's last boot up and it's last good shut down. THere will be the key. If this pc was overclocked in the bios or with a software OC then that's not shocking. Your system will appear as if the hardware is bad but isn't, only it's main settings which are mainly run fromthe bios. Look into what was changed leading up to the last shutdown and I can help you from there, BUT there is always the chance a piece of hardware has failed. Between now and then (info) you should reset the cmos switch on the mobo and see if that fixes a miss configure or bad OC.
 

managed

Allan
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According to the Service Manual for the Dell XPS400 (available here :- http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps400/) there are four green lights on the front of the case, just to the right of the headphone and microphone sockets.
The pattern these 4 lights show, on or off, may help to find what's wrong, so if you post this pattern, or download the manual and check it yourself, it may help pinpoint what's wrong.

There are PSU testers but I would wait on that till we see if the lights help.
 
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You can take the tower in to a local repairer and have the power supply tested. It only takes a few minutes, and the cost should be minimal.
 

LAKESUSY

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Good Morning and Thank you for your help. There are no green lights on the front of the case. There is a green light inside the case on what I suppose is the mother board. The only light on the front of the case is the power light and it is flashing amber. There is no sound, no fans, no whirring. My Grandson does not have the book. (if you could see his room, you'd understand why) I will follow the link to Dell, thanks for that! The unit was turned off, operating fine, the next morning it would not power up. We may have had a power "bleep" during the night but it is plugged into a surge protector.:confused:
 

managed

Allan
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HP must have used different cases for that model, hence no green lights.

I think you're best course now is to follow win2kpro's advice and get the power supply tested, in fact you could have the original and the new power supplies tested at the same time.
 
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We purchased a used but supposedly operational PSU and installed but the PC still does not power up. Is there a way of testing the PSU to ascertain whether that is indeed the problem? :confused:
Your best and cheapest route is still to have the power supply tested by a reputable repairer.

I sell both new and used power supplys. With either, before the customer leaves I test the power supply with the tester so that they can physically see that all the rails and response time are within tolerances.

Did the seller test the used power supply you bought while you were there and could see the test?
 

LAKESUSY

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No, the unit was not tested as far as I know. We bought on E-Bay for minimum bid. We were told it was taken from a "working PC". Not being sure what the problem was, we took a cheap chance, .99 + shipping. We did find the diagnostic lights, by the way. They do not come on at all. I have a call into a repairman. We are kind of "off the beaten track" so it would have been easier if we could have fixed it ourselves but thank you so much for your feedback!
 

managed

Allan
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According to the manaul :-
If the power light is blinking amber, the computer is receiving electrical power, but an internal power problem might exist.

Ensure that the voltage selection switch is set to match the AC power at your location (if applicable).
and, for all 4 green lights out -
The computer is in a normal "off" condition or a possible pre-BIOS failure has occurred.

The diagnostic lights are not lit after the system successfully boots to the operating system.
Thought I'd post this so you could maybe mention it when you explain the problem.
 

LAKESUSY

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Just thought I would post the outcome of this problem for anyone's future reference. I had a computer tech come look at the unit and with a little testing it was discovered that the video/graphics card was not good. So it wasn't the power supply after all. Very reasonably resolved!:)
 
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