DELL OptiPlex GX260 System Low Voltage

Working on an out of warranty server

DELL Optiplex GX260

Receiving a System Low Voltage error and Power LED is Orange

Replaced CMOS battery - no change

Power Supply dying?  Cannot find troubleshooting doc on this box.

Thoughts?  I have to troubleshoot it in the morning.

Thanks

victoriatechAsked:
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Power supply dying would certainly seem the most likely diagnosis.  Unfortunately this PC uses a small non-standard power supply form factor -- but it is at least readily available.   If you don't mind refurb'd units, they're even very reasonably priced:  http://www.sell.com/224WZ2
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... actually, the form factor of the power supply appears to vary based on which of the three configurations of the Optiplex GX260 you have:  small form-factor;  small desktop;  or small tower.
So the link above may not be useful -- but I'd still replace the power supply => just be sure you get the correct one for the unit you actually have.  

Also, I presume you at least have found these documents:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx260/en/index.htm
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Hi Gary,

Indeed I have looked at those docs, thoroughly and although they do not explicity state that error, I would have concluded the same and replaced the PS.  I may run the DELL diagnostics and see what they say; they should be on a separate parition accessed via F12.

I don't know the form factor yet, walking in blind really.  I will likely remove the PS and get the FRU from it and order from that point on.

I will post back when I see what I'm dealing with.  if you have any more thoughts, please let me know.  You've helped me lots in the past and are always right on the mark.

Thanks.
Cathy
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chiingliangCommented:
do a check by unplugging all accesories like hdd, cdrom, floppy etc and just leave the mb+power.

try power up and see. sometimes its a bad hdd that draws/shorts the power supply.

you can use a multi meter to check the voltage level of the molex.

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PCBONEZCommented:
This is the third Dell I've seen with this symptom [Power LED is Orange] this year and the first two both had a burned out connector on the motherboard.
The connector of concern is the the 2x2 pin power connector. (On the motherboard.)

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_21820104.html
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Bozwell99Commented:
I've seen this problem occur when there is a problem with the extention power outlet or multi power socket. Try connecting it to a different power socket (and without UPS) on it's own if possible.
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jhanceCommented:
The LED is a warning signal or "idiot light".  It only alerts you that there is some issue.

Get a voltmeter and measure the output voltages from the supply.  If these are out of spec then you should replace the supply immediately.
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Looked at the box and it is a small mini tower form factor

Checked cables and they look fine.  CMOS has been replaced twice.  The first time it was replaced, the user loaded the OS and apps and then on final reboot received the low voltage error with the amber led.  He replaced the cmos again and still saw the low voltage message.

I plugged it in and the board light illuminates, but nothing happens.  Press the power button and ZIP.  Seems the PS is dead?  Would you agree?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes, I'd agree.   I believe the tower uses a standard ATX form factor -- but check the pinouts;  this may have been a Dell proprietary pinout supply.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
... according to this, the GX260 uses a standard ATX pinout ==> so if the form factor is a standard ATX (is it ??) you can use any ATX supply:
http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/Power-Supply.php
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Yes it does and I am sourcing one now.  Hopefully it resolves the problem.  I will post back once I get the PS and try it.

Thanks for your input :)
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PCBONEZCommented:
I agree it's most likely the PSU.

There are times that a short somewhere else (motherboard, a drive) will pull enough power that the PSU is overloaded and won't operate correctly. Not real common but it happens.

The thing to do now is either swap the PSU or check it's voltages with a PSU checker.
You can't get an accurate voltage check if the PSU is unloaded or if there's a short in the load so you need a PSU checker (or to try it in a different known good system) to check the PSU itself.
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r-kCommented:
I've had similar symptoms with both the gx260 and gx270 series. In some cases turning the power off and on a few times in a row will get the system working again.
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PCBONEZCommented:
There are any number of things that can cause a low voltage warning that are NOT the PSU.

I agree it's -likely- the PSU but running out to buy one without doing any additional trouble shooting or problem isolation has a nasty way of thinning an asker's wallet and increasing the size of their un-needed parts pile.

Experts should bear in mind that you are not playing with your own toys and you are not using your own money.

Even if it is a 'most likely' problem, to suggest buying something when further trouble shooting and problem isolation CAN be done to identify the problem with greater certainty and -hoping- you -guessed- right is unprofessional (easter egging) and a manner suggestive of an attitude where it's your points that matter and to Hell with the well-being of the asker.
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Sam,

I agree wholeheartedly with you, but sometimes you can only do so much.  I guess it depends on who your working for and what your role is in resolving issues and of course the wonderful world of warranty and corporate customers who don't care and just want a new one.

Without any spares to work with and limitations on checking voltage levels etc., may I ask what would you suggest I could have done before I concluded the PS was dead and should be replaced.

For me, in this case, I have a dead system that reacts to nothing.  Have to start somewhere...

As well, parts can be returned...unused to the vendor
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I agree it's best to do as much troubleshooting as you can before buying parts and starting the "swaparoo" game, ...  BUT  (a)  parts can, as Cathy noted, be returned to the vendor;  and (b)  one of the most useful spares you can have is a power supply :-)

... and as Sam suggested above:  "... The thing to do now is either swap the PSU or check it's voltages with a PSU checker ..." ==> if you don't have a spare I don't know how you'd swap the PSU without buying one :-)

Cathy -- just to confirm it, I presume you did look carefully at the auxiliary 4-pin power connector as Sam suggested above.   Although that's not likely the issue here, based on your earlier comment:  "the board illuminates" ==> the 5v standby power is okay;  but "nothing happens" ==> unless there's an outright short on the 12v line (possible, but unlikely), the PSU fan at a minimum should start spinning.   These symptoms, coupled with the "on-the-way-to-total-failure" "low voltage" warning, sure point to power supply failure.




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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Gary,  I did look closely at the 4-pin connection and it looks solid to me.  At this point I am at the mercy of a spare PS and expect one to arrvie by Friday this week.  Once I have it in and tested I will post back and let you know how it turned out.

Thanks for your comments - I am learning alot from you two gentlemen :)
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PCBONEZCommented:
My post was much more global that this particular thread and the only individual(s) it should offend would be those to whom the shoe fits.
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PCBONEZCommented:
@victoriatech - If the new PSU results in the same symptoms you have made zero progress.
You are working without adequate tools to do the job (spares, PSU tester, multimeter).
The thing to do would be to aquire or borrow the tools you need.
(As you are tasked with this in the first place I'm sure there's another PC in your life that you could 'borrow' a PSU from long enough for a swap-check.)
I HOPE you luck-out but if you don't you've sent money and wasted time.
I wouldn't want to tell my customer or boss that...
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This 4 pin connector on Dell's has a history of acring and burning due to poor contact.
I don't know if it's poor assembly procedures or if Dell got a batch of loose fitting connectors.
It is on the 12 volt rail.
To check it properly you need to disconnect it and inspect the actual metal contacts on both sides.
(You may have, I can't tell from what you wrote.)
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PCBONEZCommented:
My name is Johnson but can call me PCBonez or you can call me Bonez or you can call me PCB.. (-:
Otherwise most readers dunno who you're talking to.
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PCBONEZCommented:
arcing (sparks)...
I'm going back to sleep now...
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Wow, ok pcbonez.  Thanks for your comments.

To address your post - I agree to a point what your saying but it doesn't apply in my case.  If I could do more rather than waste time waiting for a part I don't absolutely know will work I would.  Limits of my role in this case don't allow me to do that.  I am not trained or allowed to take hardware apart to that degree.  Surface only.

I work on Warrantied hardware and the vendor calls the shots - not me.  This box is OOW yes, but protocol is protocol and I just follow procedure.

Here's hoping it works out.  Good thing the box in question is sitting in a cage on a dusty shelf and there is zero hurry to fix it.

Now I'm, going to sleep....

 

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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Cathy - well, since I never sleep, I'll just wait until Friday when you post the results of installing the new power supply :-)    Nothing's absolute in this business, but the odds are certainly in favor of that resolving this issue.     ... let us know :-)  :-)  (I'm sure you will)


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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
still plugging away...should be sleeping I know.  I will indeed post the outcome Gary
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PCBONEZCommented:
@victoriatech,
Ah, you are tasked with a job yet your employer disables your ability to do the job by not giving you the support, tools, or authority needed to actually do it.
I'm very familiar with that. . I used to work for the Government.
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KethothCommented:
It could also be a faulty motherboard. Either one of the power connectors or the CMOS battery connector could be going out. Could be a combination of a bad psu and connectors. Try another psu if possible and if you have a spare system of the same model try the psu on the other system as well.
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PCBONEZCommented:
It 'could' be a lot of things. Hard to say if they won't let victoriatech touch it.
It's rare but I've seen shorted power in unexpected places like a hard drive or even a memory module load down a power supply enough to cause low voltages on the other rails.
I've also seen where a thorough cleaning fixed the problem. Dust bunnies can be conductive.
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If the TS&R method is limited to swap'n'pray the PSU is a good first choice.
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KethothCommented:
well yeah...but I've even seen a no post issue from a ps2 mouse
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PCBONEZCommented:
I have too. .. Yesterday in fact. .. Just another unexpected place for a short.

We are waiting for the results after replacing the PSU.
It's already ordered and it's not due in until Friday.
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
I recevied the DELL power supply today and am going to try it in the morning.  I will post the results tomorrow.

here's hoping.

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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Tried the replacement PS and no luck!  I had to laugh after all the posts on this item that in the end my lack of available tools proved to delay this repair.  The system board is now on order and I get to wait and try that one.

I am so glad I'm not on the hook for this....

just a mere puppet.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Well,  "... most likely diagnosis ..." isn't an absolute :-)
... and in this case it obviously is something else.   You did the right thing, however, given the lack of diagnostic tools you have available.   Replacing the most likely culprit first is the right approach.
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for saying so.  It is frustrating when this kind of thing happens, but I am powerless really.  I'll post the results once the board arrives.
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victoriatechAuthor Commented:
Installed the replacement motherboard and issue resolved.  Thank you to everyone who responded.
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