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Blinking amber light on Dell Dimension E510

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Since a power surge the only sign of life on the above machine which is one and a half years old, is a blinking amber light on the power button on the tower. Have gone throught diagnostics with Dell tech support twice. First time it fixed itself while diagnosing. Second time they said I needed either a new power source and/or new motherboard. Both were sent from Dell, were put in by my daughter who knows computers. It is now still doing exactly the same thing. :confused: Any answers would be appreciated.

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Well if you replaced the motherboard and power supply, then the only other couple of things that would cause this would be the cpu, memory, or video.

I would lean towards the cpu, especially if your video is onboard the motherboard.

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Here's what I did....and it worked.

What didn't work,

1) You may try to pull all cards/memory from the computer and see if the computer will turn on (which didn't make a difference).

2) Replace power supply (I didn't have to try this).

3) Replace the motherboard (but hey, this is expensive, and unless you replace the cpu may not work).

What worked....

Unplug computer, disconnect all usb/monitor/internet, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop out the BIOS battery (looks like a big watch battery and use a small flathead screwdriver to depress the spring lock on one side), plug in computer, hold power button for about 20 seconds (must reset BIOS or something), let up on power button, wait 10 seconds and push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stable (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

If this has worked you have proven that it's not the power supply (it turned on).

Go buy a new battery (CR2032 3 volt). Unplug computer, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop in new battery, plug in (you should notice the power button blinking amber again), hold power button until it stops blinking (about 20 sec....again must reset BIOS or something), wait 10 sec., push power button. the computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stabe (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

Now, close case, plug in all usb/monitor/internet/etc. Power up computer. You'll get an internal floppy drive error. Push F2 (maybe F1) to get into the BIOS settings and go to "drives" and turn off the internal floppy. Save and exit. The computer should boot properly now.

This seems to be a big problem with the e510, my theory is that this one small battery is the root of most of these failures (as these computers usually fail after 1-2 years), not the power supply or the motherboard (heck, when you replace the motherboard it comes with a new one of these batteries...a several hundred dollar piece of hardware, with a $5 battery that will actually fix it).

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I don't know if this is your problem, but it is worth a try, I had the same problem with a Dell a few months back. If you have a voltage selector switch (130v - 250v) on the power supply, try unplugging the power cord, and move the voltage selector switch over to 250V and then back to 130V, plug the power cord back in and restart your computer. Hope it works, let us know if it does.

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dnapac/New Geek 12-27-07 post did the trick. I had same problem with the blinking amber/yellow light on Dell Dimension E510 and it wouldn't boot. Most other posts would have cost me a lot of money in buying a new power pack and motherboard. However, followed the instructions in the 12-27-07 post and it worked like a charm with a quick trip to Radio Shack and $5.24 for the (CR2032 3 volt) BIOS battery. Worked like a charm, including the fix to the"floppy diskette drive not found" problem. Outstanding technical troubleshooting and problem solving dnapac! Thanks! :)

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I have seen on these systems the the power button can cause some issues if you open the side of the case and then remove the cover around the optical drives you can actually turn the system on and off with out using the exterior power button.

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I have been having the same problem. Mine started after I powered OFF the computer and Windows Updates were waiting. Would not come back on. Blinking amber light. I replaced the battery and all seemed great for 2 months. Went to turn off the computer last night and Window Updates were waiting. Would not power back on. I've just removed the battery for now.

If you look at Dell's site there are hundreds and hundreds of posts about this. Dell is doing nothing to fix the problem and will charge you for horrible support.

I am just going to buy a new PC as my business can not suffer these down times. Sad thing is it will most likely be a Dell because the other companies are even harder to deal with.

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I checked all the usb ports for bent tabs...there are none.

Checked for corrosion on all boards...there is none.

I took out the cmos battery...and it booted up. :D

I replaced the battery with a cr2032...and it booted up. :D

if i start the computer backup right after i power down it will start back up.....but....if i let it sit severy minutes (still pluged in) it will not boot back up....i get the amber light of death. :mad::mad:

Why is this doing this? power supply? power drain?

Ideas?

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Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of Dimension 5150/E510’s come in with bad power supplies caused by faulty capacitors. The symptom is either NO POST or the power button blinking amber. For $2 + S&H in parts it can be fixed. I posted a guide explaining what to look for and how to fix it. How To Fix a Dell CX305N Power Supply

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Hi everyone, i also own a 18 month old dimension 5150 that has the orange flashing light of death. I was given it 2 months ago by a family member as they got a new one. As soon as i got this problem i opened the case and it was full of dust!! it even had a spider living in there lol. I cleaned everything up and replaced the heatsink paste on the cpu as this had gone rock hard and wasnt conducting at all. Put it all back together and hey presto all up and running, Or so i thought. An hour and half later it shut down whilst i was getting the drivers as i was going to do a fresh instal. Im lucky enough to have a spare psu to hand so i changed it but it made no difference. Ive checked the diagnostics lights and it flashes up 3&4 it means ,Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred.

Ive replaced the memory but again no luck. Upon looking on the net i found that a lot of people was having trouble with there front mount usb but again mine is o.k. Ive checked the motherboard for any corrosion or leaking capacitors & on the psu as well but again nothing. Ive tried removing everything and replacing one at a time & yep you guessed it nothing. I finally decided to bridge the 20 pin power supply whilst on the board witch made everything power up as it should, But as soon as i plug the 4 pin plug in it shorts the power supply and protects it for 5 seconds. Im now out of ideas i know its the motherboard thats the problem but does any one have any ideas or schematics of the motherboard where i can chase down the short. I will not give up on this as i am pretty stuborn lol & also it would be nice to finally find out what causes this farod (flashing amber ring of death). Thanks in advance.

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Hi 1980blakey, to find out exactly what the problem is with your MOBO you may need to have a full diagnostics performed on it and that will cost unless you know someone with full test bench / software, the replacement MOBO is not expensive (better putting the £/$ toward that) ;)

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aplusperfect, thank you for the info! I had the same problem... I ordered the neccessary caps, they got delivered in 2 days and the repair took me less than 15 minutes with basic electronic knowledge for sure. I have 3 E510's in my office and ordered extra caps for the others if/when they fail! Thanks again,

Jon in Orlando, Fl

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Hi DnaPAC,

The solution was great and it did the trick for me. I tried several things like reseeding all the components back after removing them one by one to isolate the problem. I was going to put a purchase the front panel card which has the power button, but i thought I will do a google and tripped upon this site and this posting...It was great and did the trick for me.

Altough, if I remove the CR2032 and put the power plug back on it comes up without having to touch the front-panel power button. Anyways, I am sure that it has worked. I need to buy the battery and replace it.

Cheers........Thebull(Taurean) (Not the stock market bull...since its going thru a bear run....)

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Awesome! A $5 battery brought my PC back to life.

I owe you a beer.

Regards,

Mike

Here's what I did....and it worked.

What didn't work,

1) You may try to pull all cards/memory from the computer and see if the computer will turn on (which didn't make a difference).

2) Replace power supply (I didn't have to try this).

3) Replace the motherboard (but hey, this is expensive, and unless you replace the cpu may not work).

What worked....

Unplug computer, disconnect all usb/monitor/internet, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop out the BIOS battery (looks like a big watch battery and use a small flathead screwdriver to depress the spring lock on one side), plug in computer, hold power button for about 20 seconds (must reset BIOS or something), let up on power button, wait 10 seconds and push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stable (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

If this has worked you have proven that it's not the power supply (it turned on).

Go buy a new battery (CR2032 3 volt). Unplug computer, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop in new battery, plug in (you should notice the power button blinking amber again), hold power button until it stops blinking (about 20 sec....again must reset BIOS or something), wait 10 sec., push power button. the computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stabe (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

Now, close case, plug in all usb/monitor/internet/etc. Power up computer. You'll get an internal floppy drive error. Push F2 (maybe F1) to get into the BIOS settings and go to "drives" and turn off the internal floppy. Save and exit. The computer should boot properly now.

This seems to be a big problem with the e510, my theory is that this one small battery is the root of most of these failures (as these computers usually fail after 1-2 years), not the power supply or the motherboard (heck, when you replace the motherboard it comes with a new one of these batteries...a several hundred dollar piece of hardware, with a $5 battery that will actually fix it).

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I had the same problem with my 5150/E510 also. I flashed the bios with the updated A07 and everything has worked perfectly since. Hope this works for everyone.

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Just hold the power button in for about 60 seconds and it will turn on. I have tried several things to fix the problem and have decided to live with it. By holding the power button in you also bypass resetting the bios all the time.

E510

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Here's what I did....and it worked.

What didn't work,

1) You may try to pull all cards/memory from the computer and see if the computer will turn on (which didn't make a difference).

2) Replace power supply (I didn't have to try this).

3) Replace the motherboard (but hey, this is expensive, and unless you replace the cpu may not work).

What worked....

Unplug computer, disconnect all usb/monitor/internet, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop out the BIOS battery (looks like a big watch battery and use a small flathead screwdriver to depress the spring lock on one side), plug in computer, hold power button for about 20 seconds (must reset BIOS or something), let up on power button, wait 10 seconds and push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stable (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

If this has worked you have proven that it's not the power supply (it turned on).

Go buy a new battery (CR2032 3 volt). Unplug computer, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop in new battery, plug in (you should notice the power button blinking amber again), hold power button until it stops blinking (about 20 sec....again must reset BIOS or something), wait 10 sec., push power button. the computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stabe (1 min. or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

Now, close case, plug in all usb/monitor/internet/etc. Power up computer. You'll get an internal floppy drive error. Push F2 (maybe F1) to get into the BIOS settings and go to "drives" and turn off the internal floppy. Save and exit. The computer should boot properly now.

This seems to be a big problem with the e510, my theory is that this one small battery is the root of most of these failures (as these computers usually fail after 1-2 years), not the power supply or the motherboard (heck, when you replace the motherboard it comes with a new one of these batteries...a several hundred dollar piece of hardware, with a $5 battery that will actually fix it).

DNAPAC,

Your tips worked like a charm in my dad's Dell E510! Thanks!

My dad's computer had the same symptoms you described. I opened up the computer and saw that nothing was out of order, at least visually. I did a search on google and came across this forum. I bought a new battery and replaced it. And, everything is working fine now. I was so elated that a $5 battery fixed everything. To make his desktop even better for a couple more years, I added 2 GB RAM to the desktop. And now, the thing flies!

Anyways, I'm going off on a tangent. Thanks again DNAPAC.

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I just got a Dell E510, blinking amber light of death, new PSU, check HDD, Memory, Processor, reseating every connector. Nothing.

Then, when I was starting to take it apart (to use the DVD drives on a new system) I notice that on one of the front USB ports had all four pins

twisted inside, it looked like if someone had twisted a memory stick inside the

port, cuz they were all twisted and touching eachother and touching the inner metal jacket of the port. As you may know, the on/off switch runs to

the motherboard with all the usb ports , earphones and mic jacks on a ribbon cable. So, when I disconnected the ribbon cable, I did not get the blinking amber ligth of death, istead I got the regular green light and the fans spinned for a sec. Since the power switch is not connected I could not turn the machine on. Then, I just tried to untwist the pins inside the port, making sure that they were not making contact with the inner metal part, and connected the ribbon cable to the motherboard, and what'd you know , the thing just turned on just like that!!!! :eek: :eek: :D :)

Every thing works now (with the exception of that USB port).

So there you have it, this is the least thing I could have checked.

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I don't know if this is your problem, but it is worth a try, I had the same problem with a Dell a few months back. If you have a voltage selector switch (130v - 250v) on the power supply, try unplugging the power cord, and move the voltage selector switch over to 250V and then back to 130V, plug the power cord back in and restart your computer. Hope it works, let us know if it does.

I dont know how to thank you..You saved me a bundel of money..Tech wanted $75.00 just to check it out. Tried your advice and computor came right on. Thanks again Kennogreen

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Thanks DNAPac,

Worked like a champ for me as well! Replaced the battery, took 5 minutes and we are up and running again.

Lowen

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How do you take off cover?

here's what i did....and it worked.

What didn't work,

1) you may try to pull all cards/memory from the computer and see if the computer will turn on (which didn't make a difference).

2) replace power supply (i didn't have to try this).

3) replace the motherboard (but hey, this is expensive, and unless you replace the cpu may not work).

What worked....

Unplug computer, disconnect all usb/monitor/internet, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop out the bios battery (looks like a big watch battery and use a small flathead screwdriver to depress the spring lock on one side), plug in computer, hold power button for about 20 seconds (must reset bios or something), let up on power button, wait 10 seconds and push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stable (1 min. Or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

If this has worked you have proven that it's not the power supply (it turned on).

Go buy a new battery (cr2032 3 volt). Unplug computer, open it, hold power button until green led on the inside on the motherboard turns off, pop in new battery, plug in (you should notice the power button blinking amber again), hold power button until it stops blinking (about 20 sec....again must reset bios or something), wait 10 sec., push power button. The computer should turn on. Wait for it until activity seems stabe (1 min. Or so). Push powerbutton to shut off.

Now, close case, plug in all usb/monitor/internet/etc. Power up computer. You'll get an internal floppy drive error. Push f2 (maybe f1) to get into the bios settings and go to "drives" and turn off the internal floppy. Save and exit. The computer should boot properly now.

This seems to be a big problem with the e510, my theory is that this one small battery is the root of most of these failures (as these computers usually fail after 1-2 years), not the power supply or the motherboard (heck, when you replace the motherboard it comes with a new one of these batteries...a several hundred dollar piece of hardware, with a $5 battery that will actually fix it).

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dnapac I thought all was lost with my $5000.00 xps 720 with the amber light issue. You solved it for me and saved me tons of cash. Thank You so much I love you. PS im not gay

Sean

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