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Dell Studio XPS 435mt motherboard power issue

I have a Dell Studio XPS 435mt that is not booting. I get a quick amber flash on the power button and the case fans spin up for just a second then that's it. Power supply has a steady green light on the outside. Motherboard has a steady amber light. I pulled power and held down power button for 20 seconds, same result. I removed all six 1GB memory modules and the ATI video card, same result. I removed the power connections to the HDD and DVD, same result. I pulled the CMOS for 30 seconds than reseated. Attached power cable and the power button was quick flashing amber. I pressed the power button and the power button turned white and the fans spun up. I removed power and replaced one memory module than powered back up. Same as before, single amber flash then nothing.

Could this be the power supply, motherboard, CMOS, video card??!? I am thinking the motherboard needs replacing, but i'd like some input before I plunk down the cash for it. Could it be the PS?
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bluedogcs
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bluedogcs
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2 Solutions
 
sjklein42Commented:
If you have not already tried another (known-good) power supply, you should do so.  Those symptoms can definitely be caused by a weak P/S.  The P/S may even test good on a tester but fail under load.
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sjklein42Commented:
Also examine the motherboard for swollen capacitors:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague 

DELL had a class action suit against them for this problem.
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bluedogcsAuthor Commented:
no swollen capacitors. I will try and locate a similar power supply. Do I need to find one with a P6 connector? I have a bunch with P4 connectors...
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sjklein42Commented:
If it has enough connectors and they all fit, it will be ok.  (The long plug may not have enough pins.)  You do not need to plug in the H/D, etc. to test - just the motherboard connections.  Completely unplug everything from the old power supply, first, though.

All the other tests you did were appropriate.  Good checklist.  If no joy after swapping power supplies, sounds like the motherboard and/or CPU.
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nobusCommented:
you tried most of the troubleshooting steps; here my guide on it :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Components/Motherboards/A_1945.html      (Short-overview-of-how-to-troubleshoot-bad-hardware-when-a-pc-does-not-post)
you can also test if the power supply fan starts running if you remove the power connector to the board (20 or 24 pin) and short the pins from power On to gnd :  http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=910707
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nobusCommented:
if not -time to replace the power supply; but be aware that a bad PS can damage the mobo also !!
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bluedogcsAuthor Commented:
just ordered new power supply. If replacing the power supply doesn't resolve the issue then I will order a new motherboard.
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nobusCommented:
that lloks like the way to proceed
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bluedogcsAuthor Commented:
Just tried a new power supply and got the same results. Must be the motherboard. Waiting on the delivery of the motherboard.
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nobusCommented:
ok - post results
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bluedogcsAuthor Commented:
replaced motherboard and PC is now operational. I wish every power supply had a self-test function. Thanks for all the help!
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nobusCommented:
you can wish a lot; but that makes not it exists
anyhow -it should make it a penny more expensive; and that's why they don't do it
tx for feedback
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