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Dell Dimension E510 flashing amber

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Working on a family member's computer - she has this symptom.
Searching forums, I found it's typically the front I/O board, or the power supply.
I've now replaced both - same deal.
Just looking for some confirmation/advice on next steps.
I want to be able to provide her with some cost estimates of what it would take to get it functional again.  I do know the hard drive is good - slaved and copied all her data off, but if she can get out of this with a good running PC and not having to purchase a new one, I think that may be the cheaper option...
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Question by:sirbounty
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by:Nick Rhode
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Is it the power button on the front that is flashing amber?  That is usually the Powersupply (some cases the motherboard).  On the I think the back of the workstation or on the front panel you should get another set of lights ( like 1 - 4)

System Lights (Codes) can be found here.

http://support.feelpcs.com/pc-spec/DimensionE510/tshoot1.htm
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by:scraby
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what light is flashing amber?  dimension pc's have numbered diagnostic lights.  if your power button is flashing amber then check the link below

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19245715.aspx

do you have a power supply tester?  this is more than likely a power issue but you need to disconnect everything that you can from the supply and then jump it to turn it on and see what it does (check voltages), then one at a time add devices (powering during additions) to see what drops it out.

you said you replaced the psu, was this with a new psu?
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by:piattnd
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I've had this happen a ton.  Unplug the power cord, press the power button several times.  The objective is to get the computer to drain all power.  Once you've done that, plug the machine back in and try to power it back up.

If it still doesn't work, it's Likely the power supply, though in a few cases, I did have to replace the motherboard.
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by:Nick Rhode
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As stated above he already replaced the powersupply (I assume it tested good or its new).  I am leaning towards the system board.

Another thing to check is can you see any noticeable defects.  Like bubbling/swollen capacitors.  Capacitors are the cylinder shaped objects scattered on the motherboard.  They should have flat tops
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by:piattnd
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Ahh yes, good catch.  I read right over it!

Sounds like it's time to remove all the components from the system and check for Dell codes.  Scraby posted the link and this is the quoted area:


Remove all the PCI cards, the video card [if applicable], memory, all peripherals, disconnect the data and power cables to all the drives, check that the front panel cable is connected to motherboard, with nothing else connected to the system, reconnect the power cable and power the system on.


If you do not get any beep codes or diagnostic lights on the front panel, then it would appear that motherboard has died.
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by:sirbounty
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New psu - even the old one didn't show any swollen capacitors.
Yes, it's the power LED that's flashing amber.

When I tested before, removing the i/o connector stopped the flashing, but that's where the power button is, so I couldn't turn it on...which is why that was the first item to be replaced.
When it continued after, I replaced the power supply...same result.
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by:scraby
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all the power button is essentially doing is jumping the green wire to ground (any black) on the psu (this is done through the mother board)

i would disconnect alot of stuff and then jump the green to ground and see if the psu powers up, if it does then start loading it down by adding devices back one by one, ofcourse powering down before each device addition, and see where it drops out, if it does drop out after a certain device addition then you probably have an issue with that device.
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by:sirbounty
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Removed the video card, all memory and reseated cpu.  Just the flashing amber light - no fans kick in anywhere that I can tell.

I'm not sure I understand completely what you mean about jumping the psu - I tried doing that, but it didn't seem to work for me...
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by:Nick Rhode
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What he means is you can have the power supply turn on by jumping the green and black together to see if it is actually a working powersupply.
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here's one of many on youtube, i would put the jumper on the back side (same side as the wires). this way you can plug it into the motherboard and power up the mother board without needing to press the power button in front of the case.  don't worry, there is only low dc voltage (only about 3 to 12vdc depending on what wire) and it won't hurt you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0OKmIuNtmI

start by disconnecting everything from the psu, plug it to the wall, jump the wire and see if it comes on, then plug in a hard drive (spinning disk preffered so you'll have some current draw) and see if it powers it up, then maybe plug the 24 pin into the mother board.  this will slowly build on the current output of the supply.  i've seen lots of psu's that test ok without a load but fail when loaded.
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by:sirbounty
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It's alive...
yanked everything, followed scraby's instructions in the last post, reconnecting one at a time, and everything is green now.  Booted to a 'all clear' post beep.  I'll pop a monitor on it tomorrow, but fairly certain it's all set.
Thanks much!
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