Question about Dell OptiPlex GX260 PC Desktop

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The HDD and ram work in another machine. The green light on the power supply is on so I know the power is connected to the machine. The HDD and case fan kick in so there is power to the board. I'm a little lost for ideas now. The only thig left really is the CPU?

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  • Z Laws May 11, 2010

    CPU or motherboard. The 260 is pretty old, and the case isn't great for ventilation. It could just have failed. Does it give you any beep codes?

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  • 54 Answers

The only thing left isw the cpu, the powersupply or the board but it sounds like the cpu now

Posted on Jun 29, 2009

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You might have a bad power supply, or something might have loosened inside the case. sometimes if the memory or processor get jarred , they might need to be reseated. unplug all the cables from the back of the tower, only leave the power cord in then try to power up. Sounds like it might be power supply or Maybee the motherboard. Have a computer tech check all the inside connections. Good luck..

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You can check that by opening the box/case, look for the 2 pins where the power switch is connected (with letters PW) and touch both with your screwdriver. If the computer turns on, your switch is bad. Im not responsible if you touch other pins and kill your computer. Has to be the power one.

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motherboards will not start up if the motherboard (northbridge) gets too hot. This is to save your CPU from overheating. Make sure that the CPU fan is on, and you can leave your case open, and not in your closet, to stay cool long enough to order a more efficient case with circulation. You probably upgraded graphics cards too? The new ones run hot.

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Greetings! As the first answer suggests, you must be comfortable taking things apart. I've actually just finished diagnosing the same problem on a customer's computer, and Here's what I did.

First, I remove the power plug, open up the computer, and inspect the caps (capacitors). If any of them are 'leaking' or 'bulging' or becoming 'pointy', then you are done, your motherboard is at fault for certain. If not, then I continue ...

Second, I have a power supply tester, something you can get at most small mom's-n-pop's computer stores, or online at newegg.com or tigerdirect.com for as little as $25 to $50. I unplug the power supply from the motherboard, both the 20-24 pin connector and the 4-8 pin connector (the 12 volt supply on newer systems 4-5 years old or newer). I plug these into the tester, and test the power supply by plugging the power back into the power supply. If all of the lights on this tester come on, then the power supply works. If they don't, or if they do, but you can smell a rancid burn't smell coming from the power supply when you put your nose next to it, then the power supply is shot. This would be a good time to have another power supply to use to test with the current setup, simply setting atop the current power supply, and replacing the plugs so that the working test power supply is plugged into everything instead, and if that powers the system and it turns on, then you know the power supply is the faulty part.

Next, if the power supply is good, or the test power supply doesn't turn the system on, then I continue to testing the motherboard. I have a POST tester to use for this, but you may not want to spend the $50 on this, and it's rather complicated, so now remove everything from the motherboard except the CPU, RAM, and HDD. this means remove any NIC's, Modems, CD drives, anything and everything. Now try with the test power supply connected to power the machine. If it starts, then it's one of the other parts. if it doesn't, then remove the HDD. Try again. If nothing, then remove the RAM and try again.

If nothing, then the last resort is to remove the CPU heatsink/fan, inspect the CPU, and remove and re-seat the CPU. This step in my opinion should require at least some prior experience with CPU's, and I would suggest having a can of CPU cleaner and a tube of CPU thermal grease to replace the now exposed thermal grease. The reason I would suggest prior CPU experience, is that the thermal grease is 110% necesary for the heat to transfer to the heatsink, and while others may disagree, there is a too much, and it's not a good thing. You need only a very small thin layer of thermal grease, only around 100th of an inch thick, even thinner.

So once re-seating the CPU, re-connect the heatsink and cpu, and try again. Then begin connecting parts one at a time, starting with the RAM, then the HDD, then the optical drive, etc, until either it starts, or everything's plugged in and it doesn't. Sometimes in odd situations, the system will not start with just the CPU, RAM, and HDD, while it will if you add the NIC or the Optical drive. In these strange cases, there's usually something wrong with the motherboard, cpu, or ram, and you'll want to find out from a profesional, or simply replace the motherboard.

In this most recent case I diagnosed with my customer's computer, the motherboard was faulty, with no visible evidence of damage. E-Machine computers most common problem are the motherboard and the power supply. In my experience with my own company, and with the last two computer shops I worked with, E-Machine's have these problems usually at least once within the first year, covered under the Manufacturer Warranty, and then once again after about 5-6 months past the first year. This is due to the cheaper quality parts, cheaper quality soldering, and cheaper construction in general of E-Machines. E-Machine can produce a much less expensive product, though this becomes evident in the quality and expected lifetime of the product.

Sorry to write a novel, but I hope this helps give some perspective on what is done by a technician. Realize, As I work on diagnosing a problem, I'm thinking of a lot more things than just what I've written here, this is just a general synopsis of what I'm doing when I diagnose a system, and should just be used for general diagnostics in the home, or as a begginers basis for working out problems.

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