XPS 420 Stopped Working -- Diagnostic Lights 1, 3 and 4 - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

XPS 420 Stopped Working -- Diagnostic Lights 1, 3 and 4


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XPS 420 Stopped Working -- Diagnostic Lights 1, 3 and 4

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My XPS 420 stopped working today, and it's showing the 1, 3 and 4 Diagnostic lights, with the fan blowing superfast (and noisy).  I've checked prior posts on this Forum, and it seems this is not an unheard of problem, although the solutions seemed varied.  In my case, this happened about 8 months ago, and after a number of hours on the phone with Dell (India Branch), they finally sent someone out and replaced the motherboard, graphics card and all 4 memory modules.   This solved the problem until yesterday, when the exact same thing happened.  Of course, now, I'm out of warranty, and Dell's response is about what you might imagine.

In any event, I've done a number of the things recommended -- blew out all the dust, pulled and reseated the memory modules, pulled and reseated the little silver battery, pulled and reseated the graphics card, etc.  No luck.  So then I started pulling out the cards one by one, and when I got to the graphics card, success.  I put everything else back in place, except for the graphics card, and the computer booted up, and the little miniscreen display lit up as normal.  No crazy blowing fan, no lit diagnostic lights and the power button is steady blue.   Problem is, of course, no monitor.   Logic tells me that I need to replace the graphics card, but the question is, with what?  As I've digested this, it appears that the PSU is underpowered (375W) for the graphics card.

Here are my specs:

-- XPS 420 (Intel Core2 quad processor Q6600 (8 MB cache)

-- 375 W PSU


-- NVIDIA 8600 GTS graphics card

So what should I use to replace the NVIDIA card?  Ideally, I'd like to get something that works with the existing PSU.  I don't do any gaming or any graphics intensive stuff, so I don't need the top of the line card.  Just something that will work, and that won't cost me as much as a new computer.  Suggestions?

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  •  Matt1004

    Either the SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16, video card shown HERE, or the EVGA 01G-P3-N959-TR GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 video card shown HERE should work fine with the XPS 420 and the default 375w power supply.

    Dell rates their power supplies at Steady State loads, not Peak loads like most other manufacturers.

    I have a EVGA Geforce 9400GT in an Inspiron 530 MT running on default 305w power supply without any issues.



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  • Matt,


    Thanks for your post.  My computer is 3 1/2 yrs old and this EXACT same thing just happened to me 2 days ago for the first time.  I'm not sure what to do.  Wondering how you ended up?  Any input would be greatly appreciated.


    - Harry

  • Harry,

    I replaced the graphics card, and that seemed to solve the problem (at least, it hasn't happned again).  I went with the GeForce 9500.  Good luck!


  • I have had the same - frequent crashes until it hit the same problem you described above.  I had suspicions it was the graphics card so substituted this for an old one (also AGP but not a particularly advanced one) and hey presto, it worked.