Dimension C521

By rsc00 ·
I have this machine for my boys and one day it did not power up. I unplugged everything from the motherboard, leaving just one dimm, and, same thing. I even changed the sata HD thinking that perhaps it went bad, but to no avail. When I push the power button, the light on the power button is amber and one second later, it turns off. The fan on the power supply starts, but stops one second later. The aux light on the motherboard is always amber and on. Nothing shows up on the monitor as the machine never gets that far to boot up, not even a splash screen. I don't know whether it is the power supply or the motherboard or something else. I don't know how to check the power supply to tell if it works correctly or not. I would greatly appreciate any help. Thanks

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Well depending on what you have available

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Dimension C521

I would suggest testing the PS in another computer for correct function.

Unfortunately these cheap nasty Power Supplies though that Dell Uses can not protect the M'Board correctly so they pass on any spikes and so on from the mains to the insides of the case and when they die not only do they die but they take the M'Board, CPU and RAM along for the ride. A good Power Supply should sacrifice itself to protect the remainder of any computer but many are not capable of doing this.

The best PS that I have ever used are from Antec


If that helps any. I've seen one where a tree fell onto the overhead Mains and brought the High Voltage Transmission Lines into contact with the Low Voltage Mains and after replacing the Power Supply nothing else in the case required replacing. This was the only reparable electrical device in that house.


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A couple of checks

by Jacky Howe In reply to Dimension C521

Power Supply
A common problem is the System mysteriously shutting down. This is often caused by the Power Supply being Overloaded, these safety measures ensure that it automatically shuts-down.
Over-voltage Protection
Short-circuit Protection
No-load Operation
Over-current Protection
Over-temperature Protection (Optional) Not all PSU's support this feature

If you are experiencing these problems you can test your PSU using the instructions below or purchase a more adequate Power Supply. Do a Google for Antec brand PSU's as they are by far the best quality.

<a href="http://www.driverheaven.net/guides/testingPSU/ " target="_blank"><u>testingPSU</u></a>

<a href="http://www.ochardware.com/articles/psuvolt/psuvolt.html " target="_blank"><u>psuvolt</u></a>

<a href="http://www.journeysystems.com/?powercalc " target="_blank"><u>powercalc</u></a>

Remove the Power cord from the PSU to discharge the Capacitors in the Power Supply. Then press the Power button for 10 seconds to discharge the Capacitors on the Motherboard.

Central Processing Unit
Faulty Fans, Dust and Grime build up on the Heatsink restricting air flow. Remove the Power cable from the rear of the System and disconnect the Video cable. I would give the inside of the case a blowout with compressed air. When blowing air through the fans make sure that you physically stop them from spinning, as they may generate power and damage something. Use an Anti-Static Wrist Strap to ground yourself or by placing the back of your hand on the Power Supply Unit and not moving your feet. This will prevent electrostatic charge from building up and by not taking this precaution it is possible that you could inadvertantly cause damage to the PC from an electrostatic discharge.

Then remove the Heatsink, giving it a thorough clean and reseat the CPU applying new CPU grease. If the Fans spin freely when you give them a spin they are probably OK. If there is resistance replace them.

Clean the golden edge of each memory stick with a soft rubber/eraser, remembering not to touch the golden edge of the memory stick. Check with one stick at a time, remembering to disconnect the power from the PC.

Also check the Capacitors around the CPU for swelling or bulging.

As the capacitor ages, its capacitance decreases while its equivalent series resistance (ESR) increases. When this happens, the capacitors no longer adequately serve their purpose of filtering the direct current voltages on the motherboard, and system instability results. Some common symptoms are:

* Not turning on all the time; having to hit reset or try turning the computer on again
* Instabilities (hangs, BSODs, kernel panics, etc.), especially when symptoms get progressively more frequent over time
* Vcore or other system voltages fluctuating or going out of range, possibly with an increase in CPU temperature as the core voltage rises
* Memory errors, especially ones that get more frequent with time
* Spontaneous reboots
* In case of onboard video cards, unstable image in some video modes
* Failing to complete the POST, or rebooting before it is completed
* Never starting the POST; fans spin but the system appears dead

Edit: format

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