1. My computer shuts off on it's own. No warning, the power light will blink orange and the only way to get it to work again is hold the power button for approximately 7 seconds, allow the computer to shut off, then turn it back on again. There is no telling when it will shut off again. Sometimes it shuts off right away, other times you can be online for hours.
2. DVD burner/player does not work. It allows me to burn and play CDs, but not DVDs. It states that it is a DVD burner.....
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Blinking amber (orange) indicates a problem with the power supply inside the
computer. If the system cannot boot and there is a solid amber light,
this could indicate a problem with the power connections for the CPU on
the system board (see "Power Problems" in your Owner's Manual).
I would try another power supply, but first check the capacitors on the motherboard. If you get another Power Supply, Use one that has the same or greater output watts. I keep several old ones around for this purpose. If that does not solve it then you may have a failed motherboard. Failure of motherboards is usually due to breaking capacitors. A few years ago a capacitor company stole the "recipe" for making capacitors from another company and tried to make their own, unfortunately they did not get the ingredients right and the capacitors started breaking after 2-3 years of use. They sold these capacitors at very cheap prices and a lot of computer companies and power supply makers bought them. This is easy to diagnose. Look for capacitors (caps) (they look like little tiny soda cans) on your motherboard (mobo). They should be perfectly flat on top and not bulged or swelling or leaking anything. Be sure to look under the fan shroud also. The dead giveaway will be the fact that you are not getting anything after you change the PSU. There are a few companies that will repair broken capacitor issues. Also if you add a bunch of extra components without upgrading the power supply you can suffer underpowered situations and that can cause internal parts to fail. To eliminate some other stuff you could remove the memory and disconnect all the power plugs from the drives and then try to start it up. If it does not change the behavior at all (no beeps, no change in flashing lights) then you probably have motherboard issues. Make sure when disconnecting the memory chips (sticks) that you touch the metal on the inside of the case first to discharge static electricity. If it does change the behavior add 1 component or item back at a time to see what you can find out. Post back with what you find. And remember a bad PSU does not always mean no power, just not enough to run the computer. IF you have recently made any hardware changes I would start there first, but it sounds like a bad PSU or MOBO.
As a temporary measure, taking the side panel off the dell 5150c stopped it from shutting down, so in my case it was clearly a heat problem, as suggested by previous the poster. The following instructions assume you're comfortable replacing computer hardware components - do at your own risk!
The solution is to buy an 'air duster' and some thermal compound for the CPU heat sink. If your CPU fan doesn't sound healthy (mine didn't), also buy a new one (ca. £20 on ebay: search for G9474 ).
Read the service manual: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim5150C/en/sm/index.htm for details on how to install / remove the fan and heat sink.
Clean out dust from the heat sink with air duster. Remove the fan, and clean or replace (recommended). Also clean the grill in front of the fan. Clean off old thermal compound from the CPU / heat sink and replace with a thin layer of fresh compound. Replace heat sink and side panel and you're done.
It was a faulty or worn out power supply fan. I just replaced it and the computer has been running for about an hour and a half and still no shut down. The system temperature is stable. It runs quieter now. New fan cost 13.88CAD.