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Dell Dimension 5150 will not start!!!

So I've read many other problems where the power button blinks amber. Not for me! Here's the problem...

Initially, it worked fine, then I found one day I went in and saw it was shut off and pressing the power button did nothing. I had the power source tested and it was fine. In fact it started up perfectly there in the lab. Took it back home, hooked it up and eventually had the same problem. It shut down on me and will not start.

I take the side panel off and see the green LED is lit so there is flea power getting to the motherboard. I unplugged the power cable and drained all flea power by holding in the power button. I then plugged it back in and it "pretends" to startup. Fans kick on at least from what I can hear. The diagnostic numbers (1234) on the front panel quit when it gets to --34 (3 and 4 on). According to Dell this is a memory module issue. I have tried multiple times to swap both modules in and out to try and pinpoint which may be bad. No luck. They both appear to be fine.

So I'm stuck with a machine that can't do anything right now. And based on the fact it was working fine very recently after the same problem occurred, I'm thinking it is not a bad motherboard, memory, CPU, etc.

Anyone have ANY information? Again the power button is NOT blinking amber or doing anything.

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  • drgraffnburg Dec 11, 2008

    I did not put the RAM in backward, but that is a good thing to point out.



    To describe it further, when I first plug it in, it has always fired up a fan really briefly, say for 2 seconds but immediately goes back to a powered down state. Then originally I was able to turn it on. However, now when I plug it in, it fires up briefly for about 3-5 seconds and goes through the Dell diagnostic 1234 lights. It turns off when the 3-4 lights are lit. I can't tell if those lights had always turned on after plugging in or if this is a new behavior.

  • drgraffnburg Apr 01, 2009

    Update: I went and replaced the Power Supply and still same problem. I plug it in and it fires up for 5 seconds then it's off, no lights anywhere except the green LED on the motherboard.



    I was told by Dell support that it could also be my Front I/O Panel. So I went looking and found what I think is a great time saver for anyone having the same problem as me.



    http://www.pctechbytes.com/dell/delldeta...



    I followed these instructions and learned that I probably do, in fact, have a bad Front I/O panel. Progress!!!

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Now, I really have no clue when it comes to hardware on computers, but I had a problem much like yours. I would press the power button, the lights would stop on 3 and 4, and the computer would make a buzzing sound, stop, I heard normal noises, more buzzing, stop, more buzzing, then stop for good. All if this is with a black screen.

Well, I did what someone had suggested for the amber light and removed the battery on the motherboard. The computer has started up once since. I haven't turned it off yet. I doubt that it's a permanent fix, but it worked at least once for me.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

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Unplug your PC and then open it up and unplug the Power Supply Unit from the Motherboard carefully...
If there is an LED on the MB let it go out before moving on. Remove the RAM and notice where the notch is so you can replace it correctly ( This is Crucial ). Remove all Cards like your Video and any Network cards so that your MB sits unplugged from everything. Once you have let your Motherboard sit unplugged from the world for about 15 to 20 minutes, plug just the essentials in like your Video and RAM securely and make sure the notch in the RAM is correct, the ram should just click in. Plug the Power back in to the MB and you are ready to test...If nothing else works remove the whole MB and get a large piece of cardboard and some anti-static bags, cut them open and place them on the cardboard, inside up, then place the MB in it. Plug the PSU in after another reset of RAM/VIDEO and test again, and again, and again trying different RAM slots and alternating RAM if possible also... If your Video is PCI or PCI-E try a different slot if possible. If you get it working it might be possible that your MB is grouning out in your case.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008

  • Sudo Bash Dec 11, 2008

    You know what... When you plug it back in and the fan jumps, this can be a bad sign IF when you press the power button and the CPU fan turns on but you wait and press the power button again and it turns it will not turn off as much as you try to press the button. It is a sign of usually a bad MB but can sometimes be attributed to the CPU and possible even the RAM but not as likely as the MB. You didn't stick a stick of RAM in backwards did you?

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Dell hard drives are a constant source of trouble for me. If the processor fires up for a few seconds and the hard drive makes a few clicking noises but goes no further the try substitute another sata unit from any machine. It probably will not fire up into windows but should go into POST and a bit further.

Have you actually checked the power supply to the hard drive (at the sata plug)?

Green light on mobo indicates power to mobo but maybe not to the start switch connections?

Try sub hard drive first to prove a point

Posted on Dec 11, 2008

  • wigglybus Dec 12, 2008

    Do as I advised FIRST (substitute HD) - at least that way you can confirm or eliminate the HD first




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