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#168788 - 09/14/07 10:43 PM Anyone good with Dell PCs?
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Hello all;

If anyone has good Troubleshooting experience with Dell Desktop machines - in particular, Optiplex G270's, please let me know!

I am experiencing a Trouble Indication referencing a Main Board Component failure (indicated by flashing Amber Lamp on power button).

I am thinking the failure may be the On-Board Video Adapter, as it never worked since I got the machine (in early 2004).
Placed an AGP card in the appropriate bus slot, disabled the on-board video in the system BIOS, and everything was fine...until last week!

That's what I get for shutting my machine off, and leaving it off for more than 24 Hours!!!
Seriously, I have no trouble with machines if they are always left running - or if powered down, only off for up to 24 hours. As soon as they get shut down for >24 Hours, something always goes FUBAR!

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

TIA! \:\)

Scott
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Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#168799 - 09/15/07 08:33 AM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: Scott35]
gfretwell Online   content

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
Bad battery? That will cause it to get stuck in an "auto config" cycle where it reverts to factory default everytime it reboots. My father in law had that happen and it was just a doorstop. This was the "coin" battery.
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#168815 - 09/16/07 10:57 AM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: gfretwell]
Gloria Offline
Member

Registered: 05/01/04
Posts: 395
Loc: Budapest, Hungary
Hi! We have 50 Optiplex G280 here, and during 2 years we had 3 bad of them. It just didn't start at all.

I'll check tomorrow the report with the repair guys.

One was the ventillator, that's sure, it also doesn't like the low memory, min 512 is good, I'll check the rest.
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#168818 - 09/16/07 05:33 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: Gloria]
noderaser Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 405
Loc: Portland, Oregon, United State...
Unfortunately, this kind of problem is usually caused by a bad motherboard or CPU. Just to make sure it isn't, try unplugging and reseating all of the components that are plugged into the motherboard, specifically the CPU and memory. Most component and memory problems should still allow the computer to boot to the BIOS. Another possibility is the power supply, but when they go they generally like to go down in a puff of smoke.

If you do pull the heatsync off to reseat the CPU and it works, be sure to clean off all the old thermal compound and put a fresh coat on. By removing the heatsync, you introduce air bubbles that will decrease its cooling efficiency.


Edited by noderaser (09/16/07 05:34 PM)
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#168859 - 09/18/07 02:14 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: Scott35]
petey_c Offline
Member

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 62
Loc: Miller Place, NY USA
Not too sure if this would help.... While I was last in Norfolk (Virginia, not England), we had 3 or 4 Dells experience a "thermal event". I was told by the repair tech that Dell purchased mother boards with defective capacitors on them. They would overheat, swell and fail. Look for caps that resemble a soda can that's spent too much time in the freezer.

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#168860 - 09/18/07 02:16 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: Scott35]
petey_c Offline
Member

Registered: 01/30/05
Posts: 62
Loc: Miller Place, NY USA
He replaced the mother board and we were back in business in about 15 minutes.

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#168879 - 09/18/07 07:30 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: petey_c]
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Hello again everyone, and thank you for the replies!

Been trying a few things + looking for signs of failed components, but no luck as of yet.

Reseated all socketed devices - DRAM DIMMS, Adapters in the Expansion Bus, CPU, etc., and still no luck.

Tried to boot with a device removed (or with only a single DRAM DIMM per attempt), and no luck.

Will purchase a new Lithium Cell (CMOS Battery), and try to boot with replaced Cell.

If that doesn't work, then it's time for a new Board, as it would appear to be a core device - CPU, Video Adapter, Bridges, Drive Controllers, etc.
I just need to accumulate some $$$ first!

Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions.

Will keep you all informed of the final outcome! \:o

Scott

p.s. I miss my machine!!! \:\(
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Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#168885 - 09/18/07 09:56 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: Scott35]
gfretwell Online   content

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I think you will find a board for a Dell is amazingly close to the price for a new machine. Funny how that works huh?
They don't use much "industry standard" stuff either. Most Dells even have a strange power supply connector layout. I doubt you can buy a 3d party board that even fits in the case. I tried to build a Dell "woodie" (from Ebay parts) but I never got enough real Dell stuff to get it going.
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#168968 - 09/22/07 12:35 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: gfretwell]
johno12345 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 93
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi,

The flashing amber power light indicates either a faulty motherboard or, more likely, a faulty PSU. Modern PSU's dont always go with a bang anymore, they usually just quietly give it up.

On the back of your PC there are 4 status lights, A, B, C, D. These indicate component faliures like the memory or CMOS battery. Turn it on and see what lights you get and post back.

Be careful replacing Dell PSU's with generic ones, Dell have a habit of altering the pinout on the PSU connector. This results in either another blown PSU or a blown motherboard.

Good luck!
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#169218 - 09/28/07 11:48 PM Re: Anyone good with Dell PCs? [Re: johno12345]
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Hello everyone,

Here's the latest news on the Desktop Story:

Replaced the CMOS Battery with a new one...
No luck. \:\(

Reseated everything connected to the Motherboard...
No luck. \:\(

Tried to get to POST with items removed...
No luck. \:\(

Looks like it's time for that Machine to become either a large Paperweight, or very extravagant boat anchor!

johno12345:
 Quote:


On the back of your PC there are 4 status lights, A, B, C, D. These indicate component failures like the memory or CMOS battery. Turn it on and see what lights you get and post back.


All Four (4) of these LED Indicator Lamps are dark (no status), as are the activity indicator lamps next to the NIC, which normally shows pings and such even when the machine was powered down.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There was a Dell optiplex G260 at work - which I thought was laying around because someone upgraded their workstation, but it apparently had some issues with random rebooting and possibly a loss of smoke scenario, so that board, CPU or PSU are not on my frankenstein parts list!

Just kills me - every time I shut off a machine for +48 hours, they either commit suicide, or induce long-term brain damage (fixed disk drive failure).
Nothing funny about getting dumped at IRQ 80! (although if I could even get to that point after POST, I would find it enjoyable...)

So it's time to toss the old, and purchase the new.

On this subject, all the pre-built packages come with Vista and no options for XP (I haven't dug too deep, so maybe there are XP options I just haven't seen).
Has Vista gone through its "Public Domain Beta Testing Period" yet, or is this O.S. still on its first release?

What I am referring to is:
Has Microsoft collected enough data on known issues with the Vista Operating System, since its first public release, in order to compile a somewhat stable SER through an OEM vendor (like Dell), or is it still in the "Try These Patches, And Cross Your Fingers" state?

Simply stated: Is it stable, or will I see lots of "BSOD" (Blue Screens with White Text - AKA "Blue Screen Of Death), &/or GPF error messages?

Sorry, old habits never die...
Don't buy the first production of a new CPU,
Wait for second releases on Operating Systems so the bugs are more worked out,
Wait for "version 2.2x.xxx" of software applications before investing,
etc.

Scott
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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