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Dell Dimension 4300 won't power up

By nofear6235
Oct 26, 2010
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  1. Intel Pentium 4
    System chip set Intel 845
    400 Mhz
    512 MB SDRAM PC133
    PSU 250 W

    Here the story:
    Using this machine as a back up, and ran for past 9 years. Did some basic upgrades to keep up with today's more powerful applications. Reinstall W XP several times. All was good until last week I decide to change video card. Stock 64MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX 4X AGP replaced with 128 mb ATI RAGE PRO. I install driver provided. After restart all works perfect.
    I use PC for awhile and power off.
    Next day I press power button and nothing happen, no sound no beeps. Only yellow/amber light was noticeable. Try to power off and it wasn't responsive. The only way to power off is to remove power cable from the back of PSU.
    After several try, nothing change except the yellow light in I/O button no longer on when press the button.
    When I open the case, I've notice that yellow light on the motherboard is on, as well green light on the outside back of the case. I'll provide pictures later.
    None of the diagnostic ABCD lights are not on.
    I did some research before post my question, and assuming my issue is either PSU failure, I/O power device. What surprising me that after initial video card replacement machine did work, until it was powered off.
    I am planning to replace PSU first, but not sure how to select compatible with my MB, I've read horror story about non standard Dell OEM PSU for older machine, not sure if my 2001 D. Dimension 4300 one of them. I see that my current OEM PSU has 2 connectors to the MB, regular 20 pin ? and one 4 pin. Is this how newer PSU all comes, with 2 type of connectors to the MB, or I need a specific one.
    Here the pictures. If anyone have something to suggest I appreciate in advance.
    Thanks,
    Alex
     

    Attached Files:

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,708   +1,887

    In many cases, that's exactly the way that PSUs die. You turn the machine off, and it won't power back up.

    The 20 pin connector shouldn't be a problem. Modern boards use a 24 pin main connector, but four of the pins usually break away, for this very reason, to maintain compatibility with older motherboards. The 4 pin you're referring to is CPU power, and it's also part of the ATX spec, so this would be present on a new PSU also.

    That said, the PSU cutout in the Dell case is non-standard. Here's a random case I've linked; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147135 Please look at the PSU opening, you'll see that it's very different from the one in your Dell case.

    The Intel 845 chipset is powered according o the the ATX spec, it's no different than newer boards.

    Again, with that said, you really need another PSU present to see if the bolt pattern in your case matches up with a new ATX PSU. The Dell case is fairly large, and the mounting holes could possibly be re-drilled if they're off a bit.

    Disclaimer; This paragraph is probably paranoid, or possibly histrionic:

    The only "rub", is that the rear of the Dell case is partially closed, and if it fouls anything on a new PSU, you might have to get out the jig saw and open it up to squarish. That would involve taking all the insides out of the machine.

    This might be more of a project than it otherwise would be, but as an educated guess it's probably doable.

    This is a small to normal size replacement PSU; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371033 Full dimensions are under the, "details" tab.

    Check it against yours.
     
  3. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    @captaincranky:grinthumb
    Thank you for taking your time and answering my questions. It'll definitely helps.
    Going to order power supply later today. I found some for good price, assuming I should stay away from original 250W PSU range, may be 300 plus, just to be on safe side.
    As for modifiyng the case, it won't be a problem, I am technically incline:) and I’ll cut/drill the rear cover where needed at no time.
    I'll keep posted on my progress.
    Thanks again for your reply captain...
    Alex
     
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,708   +1,887

    The Antec that I linked you at Newegg, would be a fine choice. It may outlast the Dell, and perhaps you could maintain it as a spare. It would power your system, even with a moderate video card upgrade, without fault. They're very popular also, I'm thrilled with my four!

    Again I caution you, metal filings from machining the case could be disastrous to the electronics. Please use great care if this should become necessary.

    Oh, and you're quite welcome.
     
  5. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

  6. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Will do! I'll cover all guts with thick plastic and tape around, till I get all shaving done.:)
     
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,708   +1,887

    Upon looking at the rear of your case again, the issues I see are 1: you would have to remove the wire grille from any non Dell PSU. (No biggie there, take the grille off, replace the screws). However it doesn't appear that the on/off switch on a non Dell PSU, would clear the opening provided. That said, you would indeed have to look forward to widening the hole in the rear on the case.

    You should also consider purchasing the Antec from Newegg. If only for the fact that their $2.99 shipping is, (I believe), via UPS, where Amazon free shipping, is through Fed Ex "sortation" centers, then on to the US mail. Newegg's shipping is the fastest around, bar none.

    While the Star-Tech unit you posted, would indeed drop right in, I am unfamiliar with their reputation, and thus I can't comment on it.
     
  8. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I'll think on Newegg. Besides charging shipping, they also charge me a sale tax since I am in NJ.
     
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,708   +1,887

    Ouch, sorry. I'm from Philly, and have a much more favorable situation. (Guaranteed overnight delivery with UPS ground, and no tax). You'll surely still get your stuff from Amazon, it'll just take a bit longer.

    By way of a bit more explanation of PSU failure, there are several voltages that are generated by the PSU. It's written nowhere tht they all have to fail at once. Accordingly, you might have a light on the motherboard, or the fans might operate at full blast, yet not have other voltages at the other taps, to fire the PC up.
     
  10. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    no problem:)
    I use to order alot from Tigerdirect (now they become expensive vs NewEgg/Amazon/etc), liked their selection and support when needed. Back in 2005 I build nice for that time machine with ABIT FATALITY MB and Intel Pentium 4 519 3.06GHz / 1MB Cache / 533 FSB / Socket 775 / Processor.
    Only the drawback is when I completed build up, dual processors were announced:(.
    Still kicking today, after several OPS re-install. Soon I will post question on what is best route to take to upgrade that machine:)
     
  11. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Exactly my case. After initial failure, I still have flashing yellow light on power button, yellow light on MB and green light in the back of the case.
    Couple tries after, the only MB and green light still present.
    Prolly PSU failed even more!
     
  12. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    Well, after all this (PSU) is not exactly the case..
    I received new 430 Thermaltake PSU, connected to the motherboard with 20 and 4 pin connectors and also powerup both of my HD, thinking when PC starts I can hear the noice.
    Nothing happen, except the power panel yellow light start blinking again (same as when it fails first), when I press the power button.
    Also yellow light on the MB and green in the back of the case are still there .
    I think I connected all needed attributes, to be able to fire up the PC.
    My next step is to see if the power panel actually the problem. Is it any way to bypassed power button and try to power PC on?
    Also, do you guys think the power panel still available to buy for Dimension 4300?
    Attached power panel picture.
    Does any one have suggestion? Thanks in advance
    Alex
     

    Attached Files:

  13. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    I like to add some more info, may be some one have idea:
    Last night, I did remove all cards and memory sticks and also most of the connections from the MB. Picture attached.
    I then connect old original PSU to the MB, using 20 and 4 pin connectors.
    I also connect this lil panel which intermedia piece between power switch and MB.
    To my surprise I saw the fan under the green cover (CPU fan) start spinning, and minute after I smell burning. Lil smoke shows from the PSU. I also try with one card in and it was the same result. Minutes after fan stop turning, but when reconnect it starts again for very little while. Power switch led is blinking orange and it is a yellow light on MB.
    Here the pictures and thanks in advance for the idea's.
    Alex
    p.s. Is it possible when some of connection detached from MB, make PSU to blow?!
     

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  14. nofear6235

    nofear6235 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 21

    ok guys, I will be solo here:cool:
    Got this issue straighten out and it was a tricky one.
    It was a combination of events.
    Main event is the PSU went bad (not completely) and struck the memory.
    What mix me up, is that lights still on MB and some cards, I though first if PSU gone bad, everything should be dead...
    When I got new 430 PSU and replace the old one, nothing works.
    When I removed all components (including the memory sticks) and try power PC step by step, it works from very bare MB untill I install all "old" cards and HD.
    So machine is running now fine.
    Hope this will help people who just replace PSU, seeing that nothing change and lost drive to fix the machine.
    Here some pic of the process.
    The only drawback is my dad got used Dell Dimension 8100 from his friend while I was screwing with this POS:haha:
    But it's good to get the idea what happen, also I am sure some parts I upgraded will be better then 8100 machine, so I will replace them all except the MB and processor.
     

    Attached Files:

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