Question about Dell Dimension 4550 PC Desktop

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My Dell 4550 has a cold start problem. It works great once its been running, it has to warm up for 15 to 30 minutes before it completely starts up. I have tried everything, started from scratch. I reformatted the hard drive, checked connections, reinstalled all software, updated BIOS, installed all Windows updates, all driver updates, anti-virus updates, ran the hardware diagnostics function (and no error codes). I've checked cords, pins in cords, reseated drive cables. What could be left to check.... Now scouring internet forums for an answer. You can hear the CPU working, light comes on, the cd drive lights come on as it runs through the beginning of the startup process, but then it just stalls and sits there, the monitor is black till that 15 -30 minute warmup is complete. Help

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  • Dell Master
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Did you change the power supply ?- it is critical to the operation of your machine. Often if something is wrong with it,k it is not common for the machine to not boot up at all. Could be that until it gets warm some voltage is not up to par and the machine just waits till it is for it to operate properly.

Just make sure that your Dell power supply is not one of the older ones that had the wiring reversed and was not compatible with regular motherboards. Newer Dells are now compatible but older units can only use a Dell supply lest you burn out the motherboard.

Posted on Mar 18, 2017

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I have had this happen to several systems and Dell usually sends me a replacement power supply - the power down to a flashing amber power light is regularly related to a PS fail. It can occasionally be a motherboard, but usually is not.

I would look at your power supply fan - is it running? When the power downs get closer and closer throughout the day, it shows signs of overheating (even though it does not show thermal events in the BIOS or logs).

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If you are getting bad block reports on your hard drive, it means that your hard drive media has suffered some degradation. It could very well be that some system files are being affected by this, thus continually triggering the problem. You may not like the suggestion I have, but it looks to me like the most solid solution (saving you hours and hours of troubleshooting).

Backup all files from your hard drive, save all of your browser shortcuts to backup files, then perform another Windows XP installation with a low level format of the hard drive. I know a PC specialist with many years of experience that says hard drives develop faulty areas over time and that every 5 years or so, it's just best to back up data from the hard drive and perform a low level format. This resets the device completely. If there are any faulty areas on the disk, they are skipped over--to the operating system, the drive will be perfectly fine.

This is not a guaranteed solution, but it sounds to me like it will eliminate a lot of possible culprits for you. Good luck.

Posted on Dec 30, 2008

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Sounds to me like the hard drive is bad.Download some testsoftware that does not require windows and test it. 

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/

Posted on Jan 15, 2009

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