Dell Optiplex GX280 thermal issue on boot

Posted on 2011-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I've got a Dell Optiplex GX280 mid-tower form factor that suffered a CPU fan failure and shut itself down.  I've replaced the fan with an OEM equivalent Delta fan with the 5-pin configuration required and it still has problems booting.

Safe Mode boots fine, operates normally for any length of time, and shuts down normally.
Normal mode gets as far as the Windows XP logo and after 2-3 seconds it does one of two things:
If the BIOS maintenance log has been cleared of thermal events, the fan goes to max speed and it sounds like a jet on takeoff.
If the BIOS events are not cleared, the unit powers down.

I'm concerned that either the CPU temp sensor is now faulty, the motherboard sensor is faulty, or there's a driver loading at startup that's stuck thinking the CPU is overheating.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what may be causing this and how to rectify the issue?
Question by:pmcinc
    LVL 32

    Accepted Solution

    Blown/swollen capacitor just under the hard drive or adjacent to the CPU.  Check for that first...waste of time to replace other parts.  It's around $30+ for a set of replacement capacitors, plus unknown minutes/hours of labor if you have the right equipment to desolder and solder in replacements.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Check the capacitors on the motherboard.  One or more might show swelling on sides or top, or might have brown 'ooze'.  This model Optiplex had problems few years ago and had motherboards recalled.  

    Article about issue can be found here.
    LVL 32

    Assisted Solution

    I have three GX620 SFF under my desk right now with blown caps.  Retired a GX280 for this reason...too expensive to fix.  That's more than 1/3 of our Dell computers...sad to say the white boxes have been lasting longer.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    I successfully had Dell ship out refurbed motherboard on a client Optiplex with this problem.  I mentioned to tech that Dell had replacement program for this exact issue - I think there was a class action suit also.  Program had ended a few months earlier, but I got lucky.  Give it a try.
    LVL 22

    Expert Comment

    by:Adam Leinss
    The exchange program on the motherboards with bad caps is long gone: ditch the PC.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the swift replies.  I didn't realize this model had such a history.  Kind of chilling considering about 2/3 of our computers are GX280's.

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