I have a Dell GX280 that fails to start up, the power button has an amber light where it should be green, when you open the machine there is an amber light on the mother board that stays on. After testing all of the other hardware, I thought it was a problem with the motherboard and replaced it with another off of eBay. After a few boots, I had the same problem again.
I bought a Dell GX270 as a replacement, and after a few start-ups this computer is now experiencing the same problem.
Can somebody help me diagnose exactly what is going on? I have no idea what to try or do now.
Is the power button solid amber or blinking amber? What color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on rear of the tower? If not all green, look up GX280 error codes here.
Are any parts from the GX280 being used in the GX270 (RAM, drives..)?
Since this happens with two GX280 motherboards and with a GX270, it almost sounds like you might have either a power problem or maybe a bum peripheral. Have you booted up with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached?
If you use a power strip, surge protector or uninterrruptable power supply, remove them and plug the PC directly into the wall. And try a different outlet in another location..?
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Forum Member since 2004
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I've not used any parts from the GX280 in the GX270. Both are showing a solid amber light on the power button. There are no LEDs lit up on the back of the machine. The machines will not boot up with any outlet in the house it's connected to, only shows the solid amber light on the power button and on the middle of the motherboard.
Solid amber means:
The Dell Diagnostics is running a test, or a device on the system board may be faulty or incorrectly installed.
Check that all the parts are correctly seated, including the CPU. When you swapped the motherboard,did it have it's own CPU or did you use the original?
You may have to strip the motherboard down to the barest basics. Disconnect from the wall and press/hold power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and unplug cables to the optical drive and floppy drive, leave only the boot hard drive connected. Remove all PCI cards, except video card, remove all RAM modules except the one in slot 1; disconnect network/modem cables. Remove the motherboard battery and press/hold the power button for ~30 sec. Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!) and boot with only mouse, monitor and keyboard connected.
The light on the motherboard means only that the board is getting some power. It doesn't mean that the power being supplied is the correct voltage. A power supply problem is usually indicated by a blinking amber power button, but yours is solid amber...
Having no diagnostic LEDs on, suggests a pre-BIOS (motherboard) failure , but I don't understand why 2 motherboards and an entirely different system have the same symptoms. Do you know that the 270 was actually working before you got it?
For the GX270, I am RMAing back to the store I bought it from, it's within their return period.
For the GX280, I only replaced the motherboard, CPU, RAM etc were all reused. It ran fine for a few days, maybe a week. I will try stripping it down and following your steps.
I talked with the company that I bought the 270 from, they suggested I try re-seating the processor, which I did, and the machine started working. I woke up this morning and powered it on, and again I have the solid amber light, no lights in the back. Re-seating the processor did not work. I've stripped it down to just the PS, CPU and one stick of RAM, and still nothing. Is there anything else I can try?
EDIT/UPDATE - just re-read the Dell service guide for this, it suggested checking any power strips it might be plugged in to. We did just happen to attach a power strip last night, we removed that and everything powered up again just fine. Boy, this is frustrating.