Computer Power and Activity

By Dustyn Williams
Jul 7, 2008
  1. Apologies if this is in the wrong forum, but it seemed most relevant here.

    I had an old Dell Optiplex 150 donated to a student organization. It was stripped down to the motherboard, power supply, and video card. I connected a hard drive and threw in some RAM and am trying to get it to start (unsuccessfully).

    When plugged in, there is a yellow light on the motherboard. When the power button is depressed, nothing happens. No lights, no wirs, no fans, no hard drive, nothing. I just got the skeleton two days ago, and the department that gave it left it outside the office. It is an upgrade from the board we had, despite my lack of details of model numbers.

    Any ideas as to what I should try to get it running?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Replace the power supply. About $35... or lower if you go to
    They deal in Dell Optiplex units and often have power supplies for sale cheap.

    Better yet, buy a new ATX for about $34. If you don't put a power hungry video graphics card, you may have a winner.

    Or you can buy a power supply tester for $10 to $30 which will tell you what you want to know... one of the three rails has gone bad.

    Other than the power supply, it is a pretty rugged unit.
  3. Dustyn Williams

    Dustyn Williams TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ill give it a shot, thanks.

    For anyone else who has any ideas:

    Even if I strip it down to just a stick of SDRAM 256MB, the processor, and the low-end DELL-supplied graphics card, I cant get anything to start. Its pretty much a dead unit; i was hoping I could get away without having to swap power units.

    Ill give it a quick test with a spare ive got and repost.
  4. Dustyn Williams

    Dustyn Williams TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright, I got it to power up, but it stops at the boot screen telling me its not able to find diskette drives and primary hard disk drives (i.e. the ones that were there). Ive got another hard drive plugged in its place.

    It wont respond to my USB keyboard. Do I need to manually reset the bios for it to recognize the new hard drive?
  5. Dustyn Williams

    Dustyn Williams TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Power up is great.

    Im running 256mb ram and a harddrive.

    On boot, it does not recognize the hard drive, looking for the diskette drives and other hard drives it had in it (which the department kept, since they have "important information" on them). Do I need to manually reset the BIOS?

    It will not recognize any commands from my USB keyboard. Ill fiddle with it, but im heading into uncharted territories for my "having done this before" knowledge

    Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A02
    Copyrhight Phoenix
    Copyright Dell
    All Rights Reserved

    Dell System OptiPlex GX150
    dell's website

    Diskette drive 0 seek failure
    Primary hard disk drive 1 not found
    Secondary Har ddisk drive 0 not found
    Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup Utility

    Does not respond to USB nor PS2 keyboard in any port. if i mash on the keyboard enough, i get a bunch of beeps (obviously some input is getting in). Any ideas?
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...