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PSU prob with Dell Dimension E310

By virbius
Feb 13, 2007
  1. Hey all, I be new to the boards, so, Sup?

    I’m hoping someone can shed some light on the problem for me.
    The power supply on my wife’s Dell E310 went out after a thunder storm. (it had an amber blinking light, according to dell user manual… PSU prob.). As I’ve read from others, Dell told me also that buying any other power supply would burn up the mother board. I read that they didn’t know what they were talking about and that another PSU would work. So, I matched up specs to the original as best I could, except that the original was a 230w and I went to replace it with this one…

    Ultra X Connect VS
    400w ATX PSU
    Meets ATX Version 2.03 and ATX 12V Version 1.2 specifications
    Short Circuit Protection
    In-rush Current Protection Thermal over-load cutoff protection
    (1) 20/24 pin motherboard connector
    (1) 4 pin +12V motherboard connector
    (6) 4 pin Molex connectors
    (1) 4 pin floppy connector
    (1) PCI Express Connector
    (2) SATA connectors
    AC Input voltage: 115v/230v
    AC Input frequency: 50-60hz
    AC Input Current: 7.5 (RMS) for 115vac input
    4.5 (RMS) for 230vac input
    Max Output Current


    Max Combined Wattage 400w

    The system only needed the 24 pin, the 4 pin +12v, (1) Molex connector, & (1) SATA connector
    It fit into the case perfectly. I turned it on and it displayed on the screen during initial boot up that it couldn’t find the drive SATA 0. I turned it off, unplugged from the wall, waited for the mobo light to go out, and saw that I had plugged the main drive SATA connector into SATA 1 plug, rather than SATA 0 plug. I switched it, plugging the main drive SATA connection into the SATA 0 plug. I plugged it back into the wall outlet, and pushed the power button. This time, everything started to sound fine (i.e. heard the hard drive startup, ect.) and then a high pitch click that sounded like it came from behind me, and a sharp flash of light from around the PSU area of the inside of the computer.

    Now, there is absolutely nothing happening. No blinking amber light... nothing, it's totally dead.

    Obviously, I’m thinking I did something wrong, or that maybe Dell was right. I’m hoping that it was just the PSU that just fried before my eyes, but as my initial question. Can anyone tell me what the heck just happened and why? I would immensely appreciate it.
  2. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I think the PSU was defective. That Ultra was not a good choice it has verry low amperage on the 12v rail and so so reliability. However your system is a non-propriatary standard ATX system that is compatible with any standard ATX powersupply. Older dells (mainly those of the pentium 3 era) did have propriatary PSUs but the newer systems like yours are satandard. I would recomend a PSU from oneof the following manufactures: Antec(avoid smartpower 2.0 series), FSP, Enermax, PC Power & Cooling , Seasonic.
    I personally recomend this for your system:
  3. virbius

    virbius TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, dmill.
    So you don't think the motherboard is fried or anything? I've done a bit of work on computers in the past but haven't touched them regarding hardware and repairs for nearly 3 years. I'm kind of a newb all over again it seems like. Never had nothing like that happen from a psu.

    I figured I should have gone with a more "brand name" psu (the Antec I saw everywhere at the store).

    I have a question though regarding your recommendation. You explained that the Ultra had very low amperage on the 12v rail. Is there a reason that the FSP that you gave a link for shows lower amps on the 12v rail that the Ultra? Is it more of a reliability thing with a more stable brand name psu? That one part just kinda threw me, unless I'm just not looking right.

    Anyway, thanks
    You feed back was much appreciated!
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    The FSP has two 12v rails with a total combined amperage of 34A the ultra has a single rail with only 20A. FSP is also an exelent brand when it comes to reliabiltiy surpassed only by SeaSonic and PC Power & Cooling which are both significently more expensive. FSP also rates their PSUs accuritely so a 400w PSU actually puts out 400w (most FSPs are acutally underated by about 50w so the 400w may put out 450w but it is no lower than what is stated on the label). Ultra on the otherhand rebrands cheep chinese PSUs (some of their highend units are built by better manufactures) that are oftain overated (meaning that a 400w PSU may only put out 200-300w under realworld conditions).
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