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Dell Dimension 8250 Power Problems

To anyone who can help me out!

I have lived with this problem WAY TOO LONG now.  My Dell Dimension 8250 works perfectly, except when powering on.  I have to describe the situation.  The power button has a little light indicator in the button to indicate what state the computer is in.  When I turn off the computer for a long time (longer than an hour) and I want to turn it back on, the power button's light will be amber (meaning it's like in standby mode).  I then have to wait about 10 minutes before I can hold the power button down to shut it off, and then turn it right back on so that the light is green and the computer boots up normally.  It is almost as if the computer needs time to warm up and boot.

I have had this problem for over two years!  I actually posted this question on this board 2 years ago and no one could help (that's why I m giving 500 of my points to anyone  who can solve this problem or assist.  It is a tough one).  I'm hoping someone out there can help me out.  I have narrowed it down to hardware, but I don't know what exactly to do.  It is VERY annoying when I want to turn on the computer.

My Specs:
Dell Dimension 8250
Pentium 4 - 2.4 ghz 533 FSB
250 watt power supply
256 RDRAM
120 gb HD

Things I Tried/Suggested but a no go:
RAM modules bad (Can't be - I changed them)
Changed BIOS battery
Called Dell Tech support (you know where that went...I did get $100 compensation tho)
Switched Powersupply

Let me know if you need any other information.  I desperately want to fix this problem because it has been bugging me for a long time.  My temp. remedy (although not a good or efficient one) is leaving the computer on, but yea...I can't figure out what the problem is!!!!!!
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nktm85
Asked:
nktm85
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4 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
i would suggested a bios update, or another mobo as possible causes
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phototropicCommented:
Just to clarify: if the pc is powered on, and you want to turn it off, what do you do?
If the power setting is for a "soft switch", you would need to depress the power button for a full 5 seconds. That should turn the pc off.
If you want to turn it back on, you should only need to depress the power switch momentarily for the machine to power up. Is this not what happens?
" When I turn off the computer for a long time (longer than an hour) and I want to turn it back on, the power button's light will be amber (meaning it's like in standby mode)."
If you depress the switch for 5 seconds, it should turn off. If you press it again, it should turn on. In what way is the proceedure different for your machine?
Sorry if I'm being dumb here, but I just want to understand exactly what the problem is.
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nktm85Author Commented:
I have the latest bios update, and could be the mobo, but I don't want to spend money for a new one (poor college dude).  Hopefully it is not the mobo tho

When the PC is on, and I turn it off, I use Start - Turn Off.  That will make the computer turn off with no light on the power button.  The computer is still drawing power though because in the back the ethernet light is still on.  When it is off for longer than an hour, and I turn it on, the light goes from off to amber.  I then have to depress the button for 5 seconds to turn it off (no light) and the depress it again (short) to turn it on (light is green)
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rindiCommented:
As nobus noted, it is probably a bad mainboard. Often this is caused by bad caps. Check the board for capacitors leaking/bulging/cracking. Also make sure everything is properly seated.
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nktm85Author Commented:
But if it is a bad mainboard, can the computer start up like this?  I would have assumed if it was, the computer would not start up at all.
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rindiCommented:
Not with bad capacitors. These can make it "work" like what you are seeing.
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nktm85Author Commented:
ohhhh ok.  When I get home today.  I will definitely look at the motherboard closely for bad caps and make sure everything is connected right.  If it is, I have to get a new mobo =(  I just don't see getting another mothboard worth it.  Maybe I can find one on eBay for CHEAP!
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nobusCommented:
Another thing that can cause it, is a power supply that cannot handle the load. Did you add devices?
You can calculate the power you need here (and add  a 10% margin) :
http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp      
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nktm85Author Commented:
I did change the power supply when the problem first came up.  I changed it to a much more powerful one (i think 400 watt at the time), but it still went on.  So I returned it and put back the dell psu since it was still good..  Thanks for the link though.  According to this I am way under!  Looks like it is time to replace the stock dell power supply!
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nktm85Author Commented:
Ok I got back and looked all over the motherboad (plus dusted my computer....sooo dusty!) and I could not find any cap bad or anything in particular that could cause the motherboard to be broken.  I will try and find a replacement motherboard for cheap and hpefully that works, but for now i need to change the power supply.  Maybe when I switched the power supply to 400W a while ago...that wasn't enough.  I'm going for a 500w now =D
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nktm85Author Commented:
I thought of a test that might narrow down the problem even more.  Disconnect everthing from the power supply except the mobo.  If it turns on correctly, that means it is the power supply is too small and need a more powerful one.  IF it still doesn't work, that means I need to replace the mobo.  Does that sound good???  I will try that tonight when I get home again
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rindiCommented:
That can narrow the cause down.
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nktm85Author Commented:
ok I took out all the power cables to components except the mobo.  It still did the same thing.  I also switched to another power supply (500W) and same.  So i am almost 100% sure it is the mobo.  I am trying to get one on ebay, and I will let you all know how it goes and give poitns accordingly =).
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rindiCommented:
Make sure it is either the same model, or fits into the case (some Dell's have proprietary cases and motherboards which have different measurements than standard models). If it is a different board you'll have to reinstall your OS as the hal and drivers will be different.
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nobusCommented:
be aware it still can be the cpu too - can you test it on a compatible mobo?
But i agree that the first suspect is the mobo
btw - did you calculate the power you need?
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nktm85Author Commented:
hmmm... how can the cpu affect the power management of startup?  Just wondering.

Using the link you gave me i need 400w, + 10% about 440w.  I went to staples cuz that's the nearest store to me and could only find a 500w.  I am going to return the 500 and find a MUCH better deall on a 450w latter.  After I figure out what the problem is!
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nobusCommented:
>>   how can the cpu affect the power management of startup?  Just wondering  <<  because it is the motor, and main driving device for your whole pc
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nktm85Author Commented:
k i purchased a mobo off ebay, and now waiting to get it.  I will let you all know how it goes.
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nktm85Author Commented:
AWESOME!

I replaced the motherboard for less than $40, and the problem is fixed.  NO more "warm up" time to start up the computer anymore.  I gave 300 to nobus for first suggesting the mobo and powersupply comments (I bought a 430W power supply, which is exactly what I need) and also gave points to rindi for assisting!.  Thanks guys!
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rindiCommented:
Your welcome
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nobusCommented:
glad to be able to help !
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