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Optiplex GX280 - loud fan at start up and amber power light - does not boot

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I work for a small company and we have 2 gx280 systems that are having the same problem. Both units are out of warranty.

When the system boots it does not post and the fan either gets gradually louder or goes immediately into jet engine speed. The power light on the front gives a solid amber glow and the diagnostic lights above the usb ports do not light up at all.

I've reseated the ram, blown out all dust particles, reset cmos, reset nvram, tried booting without HD and floppy, swapped the video card but nothing seems to help. After several hours of searching I've found numerous postings regarding faulty capacitors on motherboards of this model. I've checked the motherboards on both units and neither have blown capacitors. I am also unable to find any documentation from Dell about the motherboard recall. Can anyone provide me with alternative things to try or give me some kind of documentation from Dell?

Optiplex GX280 - 3.4 GHz SD - 512 MB (1 - DIMM) - 160 GB SATA - DVD-RW

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  • Toothpaste is not recommended.  Arctic Silver would be.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • Sorry to re-open this thread, but I have this annoying amber light issue. The caps under the inside edge of the power supply in my SFF gx280 are messed up, does this indicate anything specific? Just power supply problem or could be MoBo also?

  • M32Mirach

    Sorry to re-open this thread, but I have this annoying amber light issue. The caps under the inside edge of the power supply in my SFF gx280 are messed up, does this indicate anything specific? Just power supply problem or could be MoBo also?

     
    M32Mirach
     
    Please define this, does it mean the capacitors in the power supply are bad, or there are bad capacitors on the motherboard?
     
    If the power supply has the bad caps, then you would need to replace it with new PSU and if it's the motherboard, then this would need to be replaced.
     
    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
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  • The best place to get parts for a Dell Optiplex GX 280 is throu Impact Commputters Phone # 800/797/7164 / Web.is impactcommputters.com & a NEW motherbord runs around $110.00 ! What ever I've needed thay had or can get at a good price & their nice peple to work with !

  • The board is bad. SFF is proprietary power supply.  You can get GX280 Towers working for $99 from microcenter and other sites like  http://www.pcretro.com

    Dell Dell Optiplex GX280 Desktop Computer Off Lease Refurbished; Intel Pentium 4; Microsoft Windows XP Professional; 1GB DDR2-533 RAM; 120GB Hard Drive; DVD-CDRW Combo Drive; Integrated Graphics; 10/100/1000 Network; Display Not Included

    Dell GX280 Refurbished Off-Lease Mini-Tower Desktop Computer, Intel Pentium 4 - 3.0 GHz CPU, 1 GB memory; 120 GB hard drive, DVD-CDRW combo drive, new generic keyboard & mouse, Ethernet for LAN or broadband internet access, No modem or speakers, Microsoft Authorized Refurbished unit with Genuine XP Pro operating system preloaded with Recovery CD, Free Microsoft online support & Office trial.
    www.walmart.com/ip/Dell-80GB-GX280/16880175

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
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  • Well I did that and it still roared I tried different power supplies but didn't work any advice
  • The board is bad , buying a refirb will cost as much as parts.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
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  • But it is refurbished so I bought a board for 20 bucks
  • if my gx270 goes bad motherboard im afraid its getting stripped for salvegable bits uk is full ex dells n that 4Gb drr cost me more than a months beer :) liked the thermal transfer compound moneysaving tip back there also :) ill brush my teeth with antec silver maybe save me dentist costs auto fillings.



    Smile  Hiya From UK Smile

    Dell Streak-7  Force Shutdown / Hard-Reset / Safemode / Recovery  info hard-reset.com/dell-streak-7-hard-reset.html

  • Since this issue has been re-opened, I'll add my experience.

    Just received a GX280 SMT as a gift.  Purchased from Newegg, refurbished/recertified by Joy Systems.  Got this exact same issue right out of the box.  All I did was plug in the power cord, and the fan took off in hyper mode, and the front on/off button light blinked slowly (yellow).  Never even turned the system on.  After several minutes of scratching my head, I held in the power button until everything shut off, turned it on again and it booted up like normal.  Entered the license key, did the preliminary setup and it worked fine after that for a few hours.  I downloaded some software (anti-virus etc) without any issues and the system seems to work, just perhaps unstable.  This was all yesterday.

    Got up this morning, turned on the system.  Nothing....but the front light blinking with a faint clicking sound inside.  After many minutes, more clicking inside, fan came on strong, then off, then on, several times.  Seemed to be trying to boot but never did.  I finally had to unplug it, pushing and/or holding in the on/off button did nothing.  And then FINALLY...after numerous episodes with the on/off button it came on, and worked fine during that period of a few hours.  Didn't think to look at the diagnostic lights on the back.  But I did have one successful boot-up later in the day after shutting down for a few hours.  I sure am leery of keeping this thing.  Newegg has a 30 day replacement only policy on this.

  • 444paul

    A blinking amber power button LED, usually indicates a non-functioning power supply, or a failed motherboard.

    Does the power supply fan work, check the reading of the four diagnostic lights located on either the back, or front panel.

    The GX280 Troubleshooter and Diagnostic guide, is HERE

    Personally, I would return it to Newegg and request a replacement unit.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
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  • shesagordie

    Thanks for the link.  Just gave it another try, and it booted up just fine, so all the diagnostic lights are green.  I guess it's a hit-or-miss kinda thing.  Sure is an uncomfortable feeling.  Can't tell if the power supply fan is working. All is quiet and working smooth right now. 

    I'll get with the gift-giver and see when this was purchased.  Maybe I have some time to see how things work out.  Will also call Newegg, and maybe Joy Systems too to see what they have to say.  But it will likely be sent back if not too late.  I don't want to mess with diagnostics too much since it's under warranty.  Disappointed that the refurbishers didn't catch this.

  • 444paul

    You are welcome.

    Bev.

     

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  • Tuesday morning, 3 failed boots, of one form or another.  System is boxed up and going back to newegg.  Replacement only, so I guess they'll send me another one just like it, or similar.  Glad I found this thread, tho.

  • 444paul

    Sorry to hear that and I hope it all works out for you.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell