Tip & How-To about Dell OptiPlex GX280 PC Desktop

How to open up a Dell OptiPlex GX280 computer

When it comes to body style and design, desktop computers are a lot more varied than laptops. Opening up a desktop computer case can be completely different from one computer to the next. If you have a Dell OptiPlex GX280, the procedure for opening the case is a relatively easy one.

First, power down the computer and disconnect the power cord. Also disconnect any external cables, such as the monitor cable or a USB cable. If you have any thumb drives or flash drives sticking out of the computer, remove them as well.

Gently turn the computer on its side and spin it around so that you are looking at the rear (where most of the ports and connectors are). Make sure the ports are all closer to the floor than to the ceiling -- if not, flip the computer so they are.

On either side of you -- what would be the top and bottom of the case, if it were standing up -- is a large gray plastic tab set into the case. Press both of these tabs in at the same time, and the catch on either side will release so that you can open the chassis by pushing the upward side of the case away from the bottom part. The case should open like a clamshell, so that you are looking down onto the motherboard.

While you have the case open, it's a good idea to make sure all of the connectors are snug and no wires are getting pinched. If you have a can of compressed air, spray out the inside of the computer to get rid of the built-up dust. (You may want to take the computer outside first.) A simple routine cleaning can help keep your system running longer and better.

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1 Answer

connecting power supply to motherboard


Hi There

This guide was developed to instruct readers on the proper procedures for installing a power supply unit (PSU) into a desktop computer case. It includes step-by-step instructions with photographs for the physical installation of the PSU into a computer case.
IMPORTANT: Many name brand manufacturer PCs use specially designed power supplies that have been built specifically for their systems. As a result, it is generally not possible to buy a replacement power supply and install it into these systems. If your power supply is having problems, you will likely need to contact the manufacturer for repairs.
CAUTION: All power supplies contain various capacitors inside of them that retain power even after the power supply had all power turned off. Never open up or insert any metal objects into the vents of the power supply as you can risk electrical shock.
To start with installing a power supply, it is necessary to open up the case. The method for opening the case will vary depending upon its design. Most new cases use either a panel or door while older systems require the whole cover be removed. Be sure to remove any screws fastening the cover to the case and set them aside.
Align the new PSU into place in the case so that the 4 mounting holes align properly. Make sure that any air intake fan on the power supply that resides in the case is facing towards the center of the case and not towards the case cover.
Now comes one of the most difficult portions of the power supply installation. The power supply needs to be held in place while it is fastened to the case with screws. If the case has a shelf ledge that the power supply sits on, it will be easier to balance.
Make sure that the voltage switch on the back of the power supply is set to the proper voltage level for your country. North America and Japan use 110/115v, while Europe and many other countriesuse 220/230v. In most cases the switch will come preset to the voltage settings for your region.
If the computer already has the motherboard installed into it, the power leads from the power supply need to be plugged in. Most modern motherboard use the large ATX power connector that gets plugged into the socket on the motherboard. Some motherboards require an additional amount of power through a 4-pin ATX12V connector. Plug this in if required.
A number of items reside within a computer case that require power from the power supply. The most common device is the various hard drives and CD/DVD drives. Typically these use the 4-pin molex style connector. Locate the appropriate sized power leads and plug them into any devices that require power.
At this point all of the installation and wiring should be completed with the power supply. Replace the computer cover or panel to the case. Fasten the cover or panel with the screws that were previously removed to open the case.

Link with Photo


Dec 12, 2011 | Computers & Internet

1 Answer

My GATEWAY DX4840-11e did not power up, so I CHATTED with ONLINE support and they resolved it with me performing a POWER DRAIN. That worked temporarily because when I powered up the next day, I have to perform the POWER DRAIN process again. Plus when I get it and running, it goes into the CMOS CHecksum error and the DATE/TIME setup everytime. I was told that I have to send it into the DEPOT for service, of course at my expense even though I'm still under warranty. My question, is there an onsite service ceter for GATEWAY DX4840-11e in Colorado?


CMOS Checksum Error, and having to set the Date/Time repeatedly, generally points to a bad CMOS battery.
If it were I, I would replace the battery with a new one. However this is what I would do.

Your computer is still under warranty. Opening the computer case may void the warranty.
Therefore you may not come to the same decision that I would.

On the motherboard is a round flat battery about the size of a U.S. Nickle.
It's a type of watch battery. Generally a CR2032.

Example;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CR2032_battery

A CMOS battery will generally last from 4 to 7 years. Perhaps the CMOS battery installed in your Gateway is bad. Just a lemon that came from the battery factory.

The battery holder on the motherboard is rounded in shape to fit the battery, and has a metal clip inside. There are different styles of fastening used in the clip design, but generally a small tab of the clip is eased to the outside edge of the battery holder, thereby releasing the battery.

This article will 'shed more light' on the various styles of CMOS battery holders,

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/81

Proper procedure in order to replace the CMOS battery;

1) Unplug the computer from power.
[NOTE* Always unplug the power cord from the surge protector, and not from the computer's Power Supply. (Back of the computer) Unplugging from the Power Supply MAY cause a voltage spike. ]

2) Observe Anti-Static Precautions

Anti-Static Precautions:
Your body carries Static electricity.
Static will fry out (Short Circuit) the delicate hardware components inside a computer.
ALWAYS relieve your body of Static BEFORE working on a computer.

Computer unplugged from power, computer case open, TOUCH the metal frame of the open computer case.
This action will relieve your body of Static.

Should you leave your computer in the middle of working on it, be SURE to Touch the metal frame again upon your return.

3) Opening the computer case:
This is Gateway Support, and the Support Documents page for the Gateway DX4840 series of Desktop Computers,

http://support.gateway.com/us/en/s/desktop/2010/gateway/dx/dx4840/DX4840nv.shtml

I would like you to click on - Product Views.
Now click on Rear View.

Observing the rear of the computer look at the right side. Along the edge down towards the bottom is a screw. This screw is removed, then the Side Panel is pulled towards the rear of the computer.
(There is a raised portion, or hump, in the Side Panel for placing your fingers)

If your Gateway DX4840-11e desktop computer has an Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard, the CMOS battery is located down towards the bottom of the motherboard, and slightly to the right.

For additional questions, or clarification to what I have stated, please post in a Comment.
Regards,
joecoolvette

May 01, 2011 | Gateway Desktop / Intel Core i3 Processor...

1 Answer

NEC Powermate V466 No power


billyto91, I haven't worked on an NEC Powermate V466 before, but searching the internet reveals it to be a desktop computer.

My sources do not exactly indicate whether it is a desktop unit, that the computer case resembles a 'pizza-box', or is a tower style of computer case.

This is a Service Manual I found online just now from NEC, (Free),

http://support.necam.com/mobilesolutions/hardware/Desktops/486/486man.ASP

Left-click on - Service and Reference Manual (ELSIE) for V466 Series (DT & MT)
(In blue)

This is a PDF file. May take up to 30 seconds before you see the first page. (Took 6 seconds to download for me, with a medium speed DSL connection)

The reason I posted this link, is to try to give you information on opening your computer case, and see what style of Power Supply it uses. More specifically, what main power cable the Power Supply uses.

1) Computer unplugged from power. Open the computer case. The Service Manual is less than, in that it has omitted some necessary illustrations.

Indication is, that there are two screws on the back of the computer case, that are removed. Then the cover is slid forward, and lifted off. ('Pizza-box' style)

BEFORE you reach inside, I advise observe anti-static precautions.

{Your body carries Static electricity. Static WILL fry out (Short Circuit) the hardware components inside a computer.

Computer unplugged from power, TOUCH the metal frame of the computer case.
This action will relieve your body of Static.

Should you get up, and walk away from working on your computer, upon your return Touch the metal frame again}

If you have a 20-pin ATX main power cable connector, or a 24-pin main power cable connector, there is a procedure that can be used, to see if the problem is the Power On switch, or the Power Supply.

Example of a 20-pin ATX main power cable, and it's respective connector,

http://www.playtool.com/pages/psuconnectors/connectors.html#atxmain20

Scroll down further for a 24-pin ATX main power cable, and it's connector.

I'm willing to bet you have a 20-pin ATX main power cable.
Observe the photo all the way to the right.
You will see a Green insulated wire, and a lot of Black insulated wires.

The Green wire is the Soft Power On wire.
ANY Black wire is a Ground wire.

The procedure is to use a jumper wire from the Soft Power On wire, to ANY Ground wire.

(It is a little more involved than this. Should you desire to do this procedure, state so in a Comment. {Believe upper right of your page}
I will detail in length of how to do the procedure)

IF, using the jumper wire turns the Power Supply on, the problem is a bad Power On switch.

IF, using the jumper wire does Not turn the Power Supply on, the problem is the Power Supply.
(Bad Power Supply. Weak Voltage power rail)

This is an example of a Power On switch, that I have found fit's many computers,

http://www.directron.com/atxswitch.html

I realize this is a bit much all at once, if one is not familiar with computer repair.
I will answer your questions to the best of my ability, and guide you step by step if needed.

Jun 08, 2010 | NEC Computers & Internet

1 Answer

how do you remove the processor fan on a Compaq d330 ST PN DC581AV?


The Processor used in the HP Compaq D330 series of desktop computers is an intel Pentium 4.

The older style of Pentium 4 that uses a Socket 478, processor socket.

There were three different styles, of the HP Compaq D330 desktop computers made.

1) Desktop style:
Looks like a 'Pizza Box', and lays flat on the computer desk.

2) Microtower style:
A small tower style computer case

3) Slimtower style:
A small tower style case that is narrow in width, and shorter in height than the Microtower.

Reason I brought this up, is the fan design changes from style to style.

One style uses a fan which attaches to the Heatsink with screws.
(Heatsink is the finned metal unit under the fan, and sits directly on the Processor)

The other style has a plastic baffle that surrounds the fan. (Black in color if memory serves)

(The Baffle is a round plastic part that surrounds the fan blades. It directs the air flow. My term would be - fan shroud, as in used on a car)

Again going by memory, but I believe the baffle is a two part unit. There is a top half, and a bottom half.

Once the Heatsink/Fan Assembly is removed from the Processor socket, I think you can access two screw heads, coming up from the bottom.

Removing the two screws allows the Baffle to be separated, and allows access to the fan.

I believe there is also a tab on the top half of the Baffle, which a U shaped part from the bottom half of the Baffle, locks over the tab.
The U shaped part is a Lock.

(May be two tabs, and two U shaped locks. One on each side)

The U shaped part is gently pried out towards the outside, which allows the tab to slide free.

The two halves could also be glued together.

If your reference is to just clean the fan, after removing the Heatsink/Fan Assembly from the processor socket, I would use Q-tips, and a can of compressed air for computers, to clean it.

When using the can of compressed air I advise using short bursts.
The fan is only designed to spin so fast, and spinning it faster than it was designed for, can lead to premature failure of the fan's bearings.

If your reference is to replace the fan due to the fan's bearings have failed, my advice would be to replace the Heatsink/Fan as a unit.
There are much better models out there than this factory one.

Also accessing an original fan, will lead to buying the complete Fan/Baffle assembly.

1) You may be able to find it on a website like Ebay.
2) It will probably be a pull off of an old computer, and who knows what the lifespan will be?

NOTE*
BEFORE the Heatisnk/Fan Assembly is reinstalled;

The bottom of the Heatsink, and the top of the Processor case must be Thoroughly cleaned!
Also fresh new Thermal Paste must be applied, and correctly.

Thermal paste is around $2 to $4 at a local computer repair shop. It should come in a small tube, and enough for one application.
Should you need advice on how to properly apply thermal paste, let me know in a Comment.

If there is a white thermal pad being used, take it off, throw it away. These cannot be reused, and are junk to begin with.

I use an old plastic credit card to scrape the Heatsink bottom, and the top of the Processor case. Then I use Q-tips dipped in Isopropyl Alcohol to help clean. (Rubbing alcohol)
Takes a few Q-tips.

Also Note*
BEFORE you reach inside your computer, have the computer unplugged from power, AND touch the metal frame of the open computer case.

Your body carries Static electricity, and Static will fry out computer hardware components.
Especially a Processor.
Touch the metal frame of the computer case to relieve your body of Static.

If you get up, and walk away, when you return touch the metal frame again.


To Remove the Heatsink/Fan Assembly from the processor socket:

Looking at the processor socket you will note that there are four H shaped brackets.
These are plastic, and are formed into the base of the processor socket.
There is one in each corner.

The H shaped bracket has a slot hole in the middle of the bracket, towards the top.
The Heatsink/Fan Assembly has a tab that lines up with that slot hole.

Four tabs on the Heatsink/Fan Assembly corners, to match the four H shaped brackets.

The top of the H shaped bracket is - Gently pried towards the outside.
Very gently as it's plastic, and is brittle from the heat inside the computer all these years.

The H shaped bracket is just pried out far enough to clear, the tab of the Heatsink/Fan Assembly.

Once two tabs are released, the Heatsink/Fan Assembly can be tilted a little, and lifted up, and out.

This gives you a closer view of that Socket 478 bracket not installed,

http://www.directron.com/heatsinkholder.html

(You can click on the photos to enlarge them)

I would like you to go here to Manual Shark, and download (Free) the Technical Reference Guide, for the HP Compaq D330 series of desktop computers

http://www.manualshark.org/m/hewlett-packard-hp-compaq-d330-desktop-pc-technical-reference-guide-for-hp-compaq-d330-and-d530-personal-computers-featuring-the-intel-pentium-4-processor-and-intel-865g-chipset-28293/

On this page above the large yellow - Manual Details heading is - Download. Left-click on Download.
(To the left of Download is an Adobe PDF icon)

This is a PDF file download. (The computer you are using now has Adobe Reader on it, which uses PDF files)
You may not see anything happening for up to 20 seconds.
Please be patient as the PDF file is downloading in the background.
Once it finishes downloading, the file will come up on your screen.

With this guide you'll see the Heatsink/Fan Assembly, and a closer look at how to remove it.
(Page 40)

Feb 23, 2010 | HP Compaq Business Desktop d330 Slim Tower

1 Answer

i have a 5200 desktop gateway i need to pull the


As you face the computer the Left side comes off.

Computer off, and unplugged from power.

Press the Power On button in, and hold it in for a count of five seconds, then let go.
This is to drain residual power from the computer.

Come around to the backside of the computer.
On the right side of the computer, (Facing the back of the computer), there are two large Thumbscrews.

One towards the top along the right edge, one towards the bottom, of the right edge.

Turn each one to the Left to loosen, and loosen them all the way.
They may not come all the way out, of the edge of the cover.

On the side of the side panel cover, is an indention.
This is a place to put your fingers, and pull back on the cover towards the rear of the computer.
(Or pull towards you)

The side panel cover only slides back about an inch, then it is tilted out, and lifted up.
Set the cover aside.

BEFORE you reach inside your computer, Touch the metal frame of the open computer case.
This will relieve your body of Static electricity.

Your body carries Static electricity, and Static will fry out the delicate computer hardware components, inside a computer.

Computer unplugged from power, you are safe.
Touch the metal frame, your computer is safe.

(Additionally; If you get up in the middle of working on your computer, walk away then return: Touch the metal frame of the open computer case again)

This is Gateway Support, and the User Guides download page for the Gateway 5200X,

http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/5200Series/1008272/1008272ul.shtml

On this page Left-click on the last file listed,
Gateway Computer User Guide.

Opening the computer case is on Page 50 ,
or in the Bookmarks, it's Accessories>Opening the case.

Feb 14, 2010 | Gateway 5200XL PC Desktop

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