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dimension 4600 - major problems


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#1
bluefishyjoe

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Here is some background info:

I have a perfectly good dell dimension 4600 that is only like 2 years old.

last thanksgiving it stopped working and my parents bought a new computer, and now i have an old, slow, laptop.

The dimension 4600 was a pretty good computer, and before it stopped working, it had probably $800 put into it, including new disc drive and a second large hard drive.

I now want to fix it up to use it.

It has something like 150 gigs of hard drive

It has a load of ram

the processor is nice, i think intel pent 4 or celaron

The problem:

On a day last november i went to start the computer up, it didnt.

I pressed the power button many times, there was no reaction of the computer, nothing started.

I tried everything that i could think of, nothing worked.

I know that the pc is receiving power because when the cord is connected, a small light goes on, on the motherboard.

I tried calling dell, but since our service plan was expired, they were not much help.

One thing that they had me try was to remove the ram and plug the computer in, when it did not beep, dell said that it was because the motherboard was fried.

Is that true, that pc has had problems before when we called dell, they were wrong about the problem twice, costing us money.

Does anyone have any idea of what could be wrong with my pc?

Is the motherboard really fried?

Could it be the power switch?

Does anyone know what could have caused the problem? was it my fault or dell's?

Please respond soon with your thoughts! if you need more info on my computer, ask please
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#2
Kemasa

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It could be the power supply, the switch or the motherboard (specifically the power control section).

Just because there is a LED on does not mean that all the power is available.

A friend's machine had the same problem. He tested the switch and tested the power suppy, which left the motherboard. You can try to reset the CMOS settings since there is a setting which controls what the power switch does. This is done by either setting a jumper or removing the CMOS battery for a bit.

It is hard to say how it happened, something things just fail. You can remove the parts and use them on another computer though.
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#3
bluefishyjoe

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ok, what am i supposed to do if the motherboard is the problem?
also, are there any other ways to test for different things
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#4
Kemasa

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You can replace the motherboard if it is the problem.

The first thing to try is reseting the settings, by using the jumper or pulling the battery.

You can also get a power supply tester or try using another power supply.
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#5
bluefishyjoe

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ok, is there any way to know for sure if it is the motherboard?
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#6
bluefishyjoe

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also, could leaving the computer on for days at a time have caused this?
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#7
Kemasa

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They only sure way to know if it is the motherboard is to replace it. You could try replacing or testing the power supply to see if it is good, which is easier and cheaper to try. My friend bought a power supply tester for something like $10. It is an item which is nice to have, but I don't know how well it tests the power supply.

Leaving it on would not really cause it to do this, although after enough use electronics will fail. Not using items at all can also cause problems too. Electronics just fail and you get things in order to use them, so don't worry about it. Constantly turning a computer on and off can cause problems, so no matter what you do there is an issue.
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#8
bluefishyjoe

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ok, i am going to wait for a while on the motherboard, first i want to try and see if it is the power supply.
does anyone know a way to test the power supply without having to buy something for it?
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#9
bluefishyjoe

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another thing, if i end up having to replace the motherboard, how much of the stuff on my current motherboard will i be able to save: for example: sound card, modem, graphics card, gaming card, power supply (if it is not the real problem), hard drives (yes i have two), disc drives, ram, and most importantly (or at least its what i think will be the most expensive part) the pent 4 processor. i need to know.

And is it even worth it? will it cost me more to fix this computer than to buy a new, equal, computer helped by selling the parts of the old one.
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#10
Kemasa

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You can try putting the current power supply in another system or borrow one and put it in yours to see if it works. Part of the problem is that the power supply is controlled by the motherboard, so in order to turn it on, the system needs to tell it to turn on. I am sure that there is some way to bypass this control and have the power supply turn on when power is applyed (an option for most systems, but it is still controlled by the system).

How much you can use on another motherboard depends on the motherboard that you get. Typically, most of the things can be moved over, but that assume a similar board. You just need to make sure that a new motherboard is pretty close to the same.

Normally hard drives are not an issue, yet. SATA is changing that, but most motherboards have EIDE controllers.

Often you can get a new system pretty cheap, but that may not have the items that you want, like high end graphics, etc. Only you can decide if it is worth it to get another motherboard. If you want a generic system, then most likely you would be better off getting another complete system. If you have a good video card, good sound, etc., then the decision might change. You could check on ebay (always a gamble) to see if you can get a motherboard like the one that you have or one which takes your current processor.
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#11
bluefishyjoe

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another thing, would it be a good idea if i were to take it in to a pc repair place for them to make the diagnosis? or would it be a rip off?
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#12
Kemasa

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Unless you can find a place that will do a free estimate, I would not tend to do that. Most likely it would cost you more than it is worth. You could call around and see what they would charge, but expect it to be expensive and that is not even for fixing it.

Personally I would try searching for a used machine of the same model before taking it into a place, but then again I would also just replace the whole machine or replace the motherboard before taking it into a place :-).
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#13
bluefishyjoe

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My problem is solved!

I tried calling dell again, with instruction from a dell techn i took the whole computer apart and ran numerous tests until the tech was sure that the problem was the power supply. the new power supply is on its way from dell and it only costme like $30! i will post the results on here once i get it.

Thank you all for your help!
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