Question about Dell OptiPlex GX280 PC Desktop

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Screen Wiggles, CPU Shuts Self Off, Powers Up Very Slowly

I have an Optiplex GX260 (refurb) that has recently exibited the following problems:

1) The screen on the monitor shifts from full screen to a little smaller than full screen, then switches back and forth. Very annoying when the screen expands and contracts as it appears to wiggle.
2) If the computer is left on without any activity, it has just started to shut itself off. It is not going into a sleep mode where you can move the mouse and it comes back on. You have to press the computer's ON button to get it to boot back up.
3) The computer is powering on very slowly. After it shows the Dell Optiplex screen, it has a black screen with a white cursor blinking in the top left corner until the Windows XP screen comes up. Originally, this screen would only show up for a few seconds before the Windows XP screen appeared. But it has slowed down considerably and sits with the black screen with the white cursor blinking for anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes.before the Windows XP screen appears.

When the computer was purchased it included an upgraded video card.

Any help you can give me with these problems is greatly appreciated!

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  • christina180 Dec 06, 2008

    This computer is a Dell Optiplex GX280 (not a GX260). I typed it in incorrectly. Thanks!

  • christina180 Dec 06, 2008

    The monitor size is a 17" enery star full size monitor.

    There are no errors on the screen when it wiggles from full size to slightly smaller, then back and forth.

    Thanks for the ideas. I will try working with them and see what happens.

  • christina180 Dec 06, 2008

    Problem #2 The computer is not enabled for hibernation. The Power Scheme is set to Max Battery -- this is the way it was set when it was received. Settings are: Turn off monitor: After 15 mins. Turn off hard disks: Never System Standby: After 20 mins.

    But the computer is shutting itself off totally, and it never used to do this.

    If it is a problem with the power supply, it will take me a few days to get a new one to try.

    #3 I have checked the Set Up for booting up. It looks normal, but to check it I unchecked everything but the Boot from SATA drive. Even then it didn't make any difference. It is even slow to enter the Set Up screen. After I hit F2 and it says Entering Set Up it still takes a full two minutes of black screen before the Set Up screen shows up.

    Any thoughts on this? Thanks



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#1 Sounds like a video card resolution setting problem. This can happen when the settings are too high for the monitor. What size is your monitor?

#2 Sounds like hibernation. You can adjust the power settings if you right click your desktop and select "properties" . The select screen saver and then power settings.

#3 Sounds like the bios settings have been modified to boot from other places than the hard drive. Make sure nothing is in the computer when you boot like CDs, Floppy disks. When the computer first turns on hit "F2" to enter the bios. Then look for boot order in one of the drop down menus at the top. It will tell you how change the boot order usually on the right hand side ont he screen.

I hope some of this helps you.


Posted on Dec 06, 2008

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Hmm... Any errors on the screen?

Could be a power supply. Fluctuations in that can cause power drops, which would be visible in the video card, and if severe enough, cause the PC to shut off. There are 4 screws and one 1 wire holding those in. It would take about 10 minutes to replace and probably cost you $40-$50 in parts.

To have Geeks do it: Probably $100.

Posted on Dec 06, 2008


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