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Bad power supply?


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#1
poppyal

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Well, I'm back. My daughter-inlaw's 'puter has probs. When it boots, the power supply fan just keeps going faster and faster - sounds like a jet getting ready to take off. Shut it down immediately. Tried to re-start and got nothing, no power or anything. The powet button flashed amber rather than solid green. I suspected power supply was shot, so I replaced it. I then booted and got no video. I reset cmos, booted and the power supply fan started going faster and faster again. I went to Dell and used their online help, but got no help. This is a two year old Dell Dimension 8400. Does anyone have any ideas as to what the hey is wrong?
Happy Holidays to ALL!
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#2
wannabe1

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Hello again....

Did you ever get this thing back into Windows?

Have you let the fan cycle all the way up? I'm curious as to whether the fan cycles up and down in speed depending on the processor load. Some Dells use a "smart fan" technology that will vary the fan speed...during the startup, the processor works hard and the fan would spin very fast...after Windows loads and the system is at idle, it should slow down. It may even cycle slowly up and down kinda like it's breathing if the technology is in use.

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#3
poppyal

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Hi, wannabe1. Yes, I did get the last system working fine, thanks to your superb assistance. This is a different system. The fan was WAY to fast to be on any type of normal cycle. And now, when I plug in the power to the system, the fan starts all by itself - without the system being turned on. And the system will not boot at all. What a mess, again. I think I will stop trying to help my family.
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#4
wannabe1

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:blink: Thanks!

I was talking about this system...your post sounded like it wouldn't boot, but I wanted to be sure. :whistling:

Let's see if we can fire it up. Go into BIOS setup (it should tell you what key to press on the first splash screen...usually F1 or Delete, but it varies by BIOS version). Look for an option to set the BIOS Defaults...on some machines, pressing F5 will accomplish this. Save any changes (F10) and exit BIOS Setup.

Will it boot to Windows this way?
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#5
poppyal

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Sorry I was gone so long. This unit will not boot at all. I can not get to anything. No video, no nothing except the fan, which runs as soon as it is plugged in - without the system turned on.
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#6
poppyal

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Give me a minute to put the original power supply back in, then I'll get back to you with what is happening.
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#7
wannabe1

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Did you put a Dell power supply in when you changed it? Putting the old one in may, indeed, get things going again. Is there a lot of dust in the CPU cooler? Overheating can cause what you described initially.
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#8
poppyal

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O.K. The system is back to the original state. When I try to boot, nothing happens. There is a light in the power button, and it is blinking amber rather than steady green. The fan is not running either.
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#9
wannabe1

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Odd one....

Looking at the connectors from the power supply to the mobo, are there two separate connectors one long one and one smaller square one (four pins)?

To be honest, this is already starting to sound like a motherboard problem... :whistling:
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#10
poppyal

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Yes, that is the configuration. I was hoping P/S rather than mobo.

By the way, I finally was able to go to 1024 ram on my personal 'puter. Works great.
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#11
wannabe1

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RAM makes a whale of a difference in the way a machine performs, doesn't it? :whistling:

I wish I could look at the motherboard.... :blink: There's a lot to be said for hands on troubleshooting. I'm debating flashing the CMOS...I don't know that it will help, but then again, it's surprised me more than once...and with the current state of things, it sure ain't gonna hurt.

To do this, you need to remove the CMOS battery. It's about the size of a quarter and is usually located in the lower right quarter of the Motherboard. Near the battery (either below or to the right on most) you should see 3 small pins with a jumper block on them. It should look like this, where the underscore represents the jumper . . . Move the jumper to the other pins . . . for about 30 seconds and then move it back to it's original position. Put the battery back in, making sure to put it in + side up. Try to boot your machine.

Note that this will clear the date, time, and restore all default settings to the BIOS. You will have to reset any settings you have changed such as Boot Priority. If you are not using a static strap, keep one hand or your arm touching the metal part of the case to prevent static discharge damage to the Motherboard and it's components.

Let me know how it goes...
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#12
poppyal

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@(^&@#%^)@. No help. Still a dead unit.
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#13
wannabe1

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Take a look at the motherboard for me. Near the CPU there should be a row of capacitors that will look like little soda cans all in a row. These should be very uniform in shape with a flat top. Do any look "swollen", have domed tops, or show signs of leakage (usually a dark discoloration at the base)?
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#14
poppyal

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All of the caps look good.
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#15
wannabe1

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Hmmmmm...

Let me give this one a little thought and do a little research. My gut is telling me motherboard, but I'd like to check around a bit before I call the game. :whistling:
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