Dell XPS 600 Power Supply

I've got a Dell XPS 600 on the bench. The PC will not boot, even from a CD. When I turn the power on, the power switch shows yellow and the monitor also has the yellow power button. I don't even get to the BIOS. All the fans run when I start the PC. I've replaced the video card but it still doesn't work. I've replaced the hard drive, but no joy. This model has the power supply attached under the case with dual fans. I don't even have a power supply tester for this model. It has a 24 pin connector to the motherboard. I priced new power supplies for this model and they run around $90.00 plus shipping for a refurb. Is there a way I can test the power supply to see if it is defective? Do they make a tester for this kind of connection?
bwfqtbqAsked:
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jamietonerCommented:
In the power button led solid amber or blinking amber?
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jamietonerCommented:
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bwfqtbqAuthor Commented:
The power button is solid amber.  No diag lights on.  The motherboard light is on.
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jamietonerCommented:
This is from the link I posted above.
If the power light is steady amber, a device might be malfunctioning or incorrectly installed.

    * Remove and then reinstall the memory modules.

    * Remove and then reinstall any cards.

    * Remove and then reinstall the graphics card, if applicable.
Probably not a PSU, PSU usually gives a blinking amber light. If reseating the devices doesn't help strip the system, remove hdd(s), optical drive(s), fdd, pci cards, video card(s), and memory. Turn it on and see if you get a no memory beep code or the diag lights indicate a memory problem, if so install 1 stick of ram, and turn it on and see if you get a beep or diag code for no video card.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The XPS 600 uses a standard ATX pinout --> so any standard ATX power supply tester will work to test the supply.

The solid amber could indicate the system is "stuck" in a standby mode.   Try resetting the CMOS memory by unplugging the system; removing the CMOS battery for a few minutes; and then reinstalling the battery and trying the system again.    If that doesn't help ... and the power supply tests good ... you likely have an issue with the motherboard.
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PCBONEZCommented:
>> When I turn the power on, the power switch shows yellow <<
That's really all you need to know to start with.
You have a bad voltage on the board so it won't boot.
The no BIOS screen and no video is because it's not booting.
(Standby is blinking GREEN on that model. It's not in Standby.)
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Next question is what is causing the bad voltage:
- Bad PSU
- Bad Motherboard
- Some connected device is bad/shorted.

#1 Cause: Bad capacitors IN the power supply or on the motherboard.
[This sounds typical of bad caps in the +5vsb circuit in the PSU.]

The 24 pin connector for that PSU uses the standard 24-pin pin-out.
Any 24-pin tester should work.
A 20-pin tester should work too if you can get it plugged in.
(20->24 pin adapters might help.)
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The extra 4 pins are irrelevant except for making the connection problems.
Those 4 wires are in common with same-voltage wires in the 20-pin section so either a 20 or 24 pin tester will work except to find a broken wire.
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(Note: There is no -5v on this one but that's legal because it's optional in the specs for newer PSU's.)

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps600/en/SM/techov0.htm#wp1052309

http://pinouts.ru/Power/atx_v2_pinout.shtml

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You can also load it by attaching a couple hard drives and then momentarily short the connector to the green wire to a ground wire.
That should power on the supply then you can check voltages with a multi-meter.

Capactors that have caused problems after the famous "Capacitor Plague" finally came and went:
Nichicon HM and HN series with date codes between 2002 and early 2005
[Manufacturing error]
Chemicon KZG series
[They don't like heat, especially as near a CPU heatsink or the regulator IC's.]

.
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bwfqtbqAuthor Commented:
I appreciate everyone's help.  I'm gonna try these solutions tomorrow.  My customer is out of town for 3 weeks, so I've got time to find the problem and fix it.  I'll keep everyone informed.
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bwfqtbqAuthor Commented:
Well...I've tried all these suggestions, but no joy.  Capacitors on motherboard look OK.  The power supply tests fine.  However, I know, from personal experience, that a power supply may test OK when in fact, there is a problem.  The number 4 diagnostic light is on, but all the others are not.  I checked the documents provided, but there was nothing there to tell me what this means.  Is there anything else I can do to determine, for sure, that the power supply is bad (short of ordering a new one)?
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As you know, the fact a PSU tests ok with a tester isn't an absolute indiation that it's good.   Since this unit uses a standard ATX supply, I'd hook in another supply before trying anything else ... simply because it's the easiest thing to eliminate.

If I understand your comment r.e. the diagnostic light configuration, there's nothing shown in Dell's service manual for the XPS 600 that matches that sequence (only #4 on) ... as you can see here:
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps600/en/SM/adtshoot.htm#wp1053861

If another PSU doesn't power up the system, you almost certainly have either a failed motherboard or CPU.
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jamietonerCommented:
Usually getting a diag led code thats not suppose to happen indicates a bad motherboard.
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PCBONEZCommented:
I don't disagree with jamietoner but a lot of 'bad motherboards' are bad because the power supply was sending out 'dirty' power ('dirty' = (can be) the correct DC voltage but full of AC voltage fluctuations, aka: 'noise/ripple'.)
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Noisy power will overheat chips and caps on the motherboard and eventually it will cause them to fail even if the PSU never goes out of range on the DC volts.
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PSU checkers and multi-meters only check basic DC volts because they have too slow a response time to even detect noise or ripple voltages. (Need an oscilloscope to detect that.)

So try that PSU swap gary suggested before you go writing off the MoBo.
... And if the MoBo is bad then don't assume the PSU is good because you may slowly kill the next motherboard with it.

.
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