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Computer not starting

By israel02 ยท 23 replies
Oct 25, 2005
  1. Hey guys,
    I'm new to the board... did a google search and found this one...
    So.. my problem is that my computer wasn't starting for a while.. so i tried everthing and the thing that would make it start was adjusting the voltage thing on the back of the computer... I have a dell 2400 series and it's about a year and a half old. Now i can't get it to start no matter what.. I have no knowledge about computers so that's wh i'm looking for help here. I read a little bit about the voltage thing in this forum w/ someone having similiar problems and i guess your not supposed to play with it haha.. so did i fry the computer or can i just purchase a new voltage thing. Sorry if i sound ignorant but it's because i've never had computer problems before and I dont really know the anatomay of one... Thanks to all that offer suggestions!!
  2. tinku

    tinku TS Rookie

    does the screen show any messages at all?
    does it make any beep sounds? long? short?

    mine wouldnt boot up either. i found out with the beep codes that the problem was with memory.

  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    I agree with Tinku, we need more info from you.

    Details please. What exactly happens when you power up. What can you hear? What can you see?

    What voltage to you have the selector on the back of your PSU set to?
  4. israel02

    israel02 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well.. i have very basic knowledge about my computer but i'll do my best.. .

    When the problem started a few months ago i would hit the power button and all that would happen is a light would just start to blink... not sure what it was.. than all i would do is just keep trying .... and usually what made it start was adjusting the voltage.. than i would try and it would work.... that's basically what i would do every time... no beeps.. just the flashing light.. over and over.. until i would play w/ the voltage thing... i believe i usually got it to boot while at 340... but that's normal... sometimes i would try for an hour until it would start up... if i didn't start... i would just get the light to just blink quitely... no fan engaging.... just a nice light telling me HA HA :) So i hope this helps... i'm like a baby looking at a hot model... i dont know what to do haha..
    I really hope this might help a little biT?@! And if i would replace the voltage thing how would i do it? 2400 dimension series (dell) 1.5 years old
  5. tdeg

    tdeg TS Rookie Posts: 119

    It should still be under warranty, call up dell and they should send a tech out to fix it.

    Probably the easiest way.
  6. kkelley515

    kkelley515 TS Rookie

    If I understand your last post correctly, you don't even get a fan. Not even the fan on the power supply?

    It sounds to me like you have a faulty power supply. Same thing was happening to me a few months ago. I took the power supply out of the box and over to CompUSA. They tested it (for free) and verified that it was no good. So I picked up a new power supply for ~20 bucks, put it in, and everything was fine.
  7. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 259

    ok i don't mean to give a half post but has anyone thought of manually testing the PSU?

    I was once told by a techie at this company that if you cant turn on your computer, to test the PSU you disconnect everything (cdroms, motherboard, graphics card, hdds, everthything)and then you test the PSU by shorting the cable that connects to the motherboard (using a paper clip or something). I personally have never done this but I have seen the techies do it... anyone know what i am talking about that can explain it better?

    I just figured someone here might know what i am talking about and be able to tell you exactly how to do it, as noone has thought of it already.

  8. kkelley515

    kkelley515 TS Rookie

    There is a PSU test that can be done, where you pull the PSU connection off the main board and connect a few of the terminals with a paperclip (I don't recall which ones, you'll have to do a web search), and if the PSU fan doesn't start up then you know that your PSU is dead. However, this is only going to tell you if the PSU is completely dead, and will not rule out other problems with the PSU. Based on the fact that israel02 does have a few lights turn on, there is SOME power making it through, so I think this test isn't going to tell you anything.

    When my PSU went bad, I could get LED's to light up, and the PSU fan ran when I did the paperclip test. The PSU was still bad, though. It wasn't feeding the proper voltage to the main board. Short of having a multimeter and knowing how much juice is supposed to come across each of the wires, it would be very difficult to test this at home.

    I would still suggest taking the PSU in someplace and having it tested. If you call around, you can probably find someone who will do it for free.
  9. pkroks

    pkroks TS Rookie Posts: 259

    okay, now that i know that the test i mentioned would only work if the PSU was dead then i would also take it to someone to have it tested.
  10. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    It's a piece of crap PSU, not worth the gas to drive to a store and possibly pay a service fee for someone to look at it. Just buy a new one, get at least a 450W, (should only run you about $30 US).

    It really does sound like the PSU, not sure what you're talking about adjusting the voltage, the only thing adjustable would be the input supply rating, i.e 110V/ 220VAC whatever.

    For the record a high end 450W Computer PSU's would have : +3.3V(28A), +5V(45A), +12V(26A) Here's the link:

    This kind of PSU is for performance gaming or video editing rigs, not for your standard DELL office PC. Not that it wouldn't be good, it's just over kill for office machine.
  11. israel02

    israel02 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok.. now that you all are leaning towards the psu.... how would i go about removing it? Anyone familiar with dells? I believe i only had a year warranty on it... grrr so yeah.. anyone that can help me take it.. looks like the frame of the tower is riveted on... so i'm confused... help?@ haha I'm not sure how easy it'll be to give me instructions over the internet but anyone that wants to try is more than welcome!!!! maybe i'll do a "removing dell psu " on google.. haha
  12. israel02

    israel02 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So yeah guys.. i did my search and it ends up dell is hiding their psu problem... guess there's tons of it out there.. anyone in here know about it?? Anyone want to buy mine :eek: But yeah.. i still need guidance on how to remove it... so like i said before.. HELP@? I would like to fix it this weekend... also will need hints toward where i should purchase a psu that will be adaptable for my dell... i dont belive you can use web addresses on this site but maybe i'm wrong... i'll check my email after work tommorow.. hopefully i have instructions and advice waiting for me :slurp: Remember i have basic knowledge.... thanks you guys.. very much appreciated@!@
  13. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Ok I'll do my best to explain how to get into your case. UNPLUG the thing.

    1) If there are little chrome screws at the back of the computer hold the sides on, undo those and pull on the side of the case from front to back. i.e. you're trying to "slide' the side panel towards the back, it should come right off now.

    2) If no screws, then look around the front, the plastic front facing must be pulled off (usually from the bottom), be careful not to break the little snap-in posts. Now slide the side face toward the FRONT.

    The PSU is the little grey looking box at the back top (usually) which the wall power cord plugs into. Follow all the connectors to the mobo and peripheral units (CD, HDD, floppy etc.). Unplug ALL connectors. LABEL them 1st if you're not sure how to put them back!
    Now at the back of the PC (behind the PSU on the outside) should be 4 little screws holding the PSU in place. Remove them while holding the PSU so it doesn't drop and hit something in your PC. Take it to any local PC Shop and say you want a "Real" one of these! Then give it to them to throw out or have a good laugh at.

    Install is the reverse of this post. (i.e mount the PSU, connect all connectors...etc.)

  14. israel02

    israel02 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Got the psu out.. never thought it was so big... gonna order one off the internet now.. hope this will fix it!! Thanks to everone for taking the time to help me with this!!! Cheers
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,096   +418

    One of my computers is a Dell. Check your power supply connectors to the motherboard. Dell might be using a proprietary power supply and motherboard. If so, you will need an adapter to enable a standard ATX power supply to connect. Here is a site that explains what I am talking about and they also sell the adapter. Click here for power supply adapter.
  16. israel02

    israel02 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I looked at the picture and i only have the long strip comming off the motherboard... not the other one that's next to it as in the picture.. so i think i'm safe??? Like i said... i have no computer knowledge.. so im hoping that by not using the adaptar I will be alright... Can someone help me out if i'm wrong??
  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,096   +418

    I think you're good then. Some power supplies come with 20 pin mobo connectors and some with 24 pins. Some with the 24 pins have connectors where you can separate the 4 extra pins so you can use them with a 20 pin connector. Anyway, I don't mean to confuse you but just be aware of what you're shopping for in a power supply. That said, even if you end up with the wrong one, there are always adapters.

    BTW, budget permitting, try to avoid cheap power supplies.
  18. Kicker15

    Kicker15 TS Rookie

    I'm new to the forums and need some help

    I'm having this same problem with my Dimensin 2400. I was checking some forums last night and suddenly got the Blue Screen of Death. I've had this screen before. It says something along the lines of system shutdown to prevent damage to computer. Something about drivers or something.

    Anyway, so it shutdown and I tried restarting but instead of booting up, I just got a flashing orange light. I unplugged the PC from the wall and let it sit overnight to see if it was just too hot but it still gives me the orange flashing light. I opened it up and saw that the motheboards LED is on but no fans are running.

    Is the problem my power supply or something else?

    comp specs are:

    Pentium 4
    770mb RAM
    60 Gb Harddrive
    Nvidia Geforce FX 5200 PCI slot

    I'd appreciate any advice
  19. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    The answer to your question is YES, it is your PSU OR something else. :)
    But seriously, what do you mean by orange light, where, on what?
    Does the PC POST at all? Any beeps? No fans means dead or partially dead PSU. What make and Wattage is it? Look at the label on the side.
  20. Kicker15

    Kicker15 TS Rookie

    The orange light is the light that is usually green. It's right abve my Power button. There are no beeps for me to isolate the problem. The power supply is 200W and it's just a standard Dell power supply
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Buy a new PSU with 400Watts or more. Good specs will have 5V rails with >40Amps and 12V rails with >22Amps. Your PSU is dead.
  22. Shadowrunner

    Shadowrunner TS Rookie Posts: 106

    i gpt this problem before: open up the computer, look for a big black/grey thing (the heatsink) take that off, flip the switch up CAREFULLY to remove the CPU, then check for bent pins, if there is none put it back CAREFULLY (there should be a gold arrow - line that up with an engraved arrow in the socket)
    -- thats the only help i van give ya atm
  23. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    If you remove the heatsink from the CPU, you really should be cleaning off the old thermal paste, and re-applying some new. Not doing so could result in heating issues.
  24. Kicker15

    Kicker15 TS Rookie

    alright, thanks for the help ^^
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