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Dell Dimension E510 Problem

I saw listings from people who had similar problems, and I hop you can help me.

A client of mine has a Dimension E510 with blinking amber light that wouldn't start. I managed to get it to start by resetting the bios with the jumper. The computer then restarts until the computer is unplugged, at which time it's necessary to once again reset with jumper. I flashed the bios, but it didn't help. I also tried each memory chip (it has two 256 mbs) individually, and it didn't help. Could it still be the power supply, since it reboots at reset everytime? I also replaced the battery, but that didn't help either. Thanks.

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  • chuckschultz Dec 27, 2008

    I too have this problem. I am in the process of trying the battery change. My problem is the 4 prong female power receptacle on the Mother Board. If I un-plug it and have everything else plugged in the Computer boots, however once I plug that in, it shorts out for some reason and the computer blinks a 2/3 amber light. Dell states this as a Hard Drive problem, but my Hard drive turns over fine when that 4 pronged power cable is not inserted. It does this with both power supplies I have. I don't know what the solution is yet, but that seems to be the main problem for mine. And it's a little over 2 years old, so it fits the time span that tnmatt described. I think if the battery fix doesn't fix, I will have to replace the mother board. Starting to hate dell.

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Sounds like a bad power supply, I'm working on one now trying figure how to get to the bios on this thing. I was searching on the net and I saw you question. If you have a answer for me e-mail danlhall@charter.net please.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Here are just a few things I would suspect.

One of those windows in the BIOS settings will display all the voltages at spec and the actual voltage. There should not be more than a 10% difference above or below. As you seem unafriad of your computer could you remove the left side and see what the make and model of the power supply is. It should give spec and voltages.

Second is your Cmos battery weak, was it individually packaged and is there a date on it, Try getting one from a different source to make sure you are getting a different lot or try a different brand. Look at the contacts on pc for the battery look for signs of oxidation. Look at the soldering to see if it looks damaged or bad, they can crack or break. Some one with a tester could check them to see if they are good. Of course, make sure you are connecting the battery with the correct polarity. Also, check for a leaky capacitor on the motherboard.
When you are taking out the cmos are you just immediately putting the new one in and then restarting? If so do this instead, unplug from power, remove cmos battery, leave it just like that for at least 30 mins. This allows a good power cycling. Then replace with good new battery (you can have the battery tested for strength) if battery has date codes you can check for freshness, you want to try to get a fresh one, after install of battery, plug in and try it. Sometimes a minimum 30 min power cycling resets things. Also, What else is installed and how much "stuff" is connected to the USB ports but is not self powered? Now the amber light ... Unplug computer, disconnect all usb/monitor/internet, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop out the battery. Plug in computer, hold power button for about 20 seconds (must reset BIOS), let up on power button, wait 10 seconds and push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stable (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

If this has worked you have proven that it's not the power supply (it turned on).

Go buy a new battery (CR2032 3 volt). Unplug computer, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop in new battery, plug in (you should notice the power button blinking amber again), hold power button until it stops blinking (about 20 sec....again must reset BIOS), wait 10 sec., push power button. the computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stabe (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

Now, close case, plug in all usb/monitor/internet/etc. Power up computer. You'll get an internal floppy drive error. Push F2 (maybe F1) to get into the BIOS settings and go to "drives" and turn off the internal floppy. Save and exit. The computer should boot properly now.

This seems to be a big problem with the e510, my theory is that this one small battery is the root of most of these failures (as these computers usually fail after 1-2 years), not the power supply or the motherboard (heck, when you replace the motherboard it comes with a new one of these batteries...a several hundred dollar piece of hardware, with a $5 battery that will actually fix it). Those are a few things to look at for now.


Posted on Nov 07, 2008

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