Computer won't start; amber light

Desktop

Desktop
Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Computer won't start; amber light

  • I was working on the computer, then suddenly everything froze. I couldn't do anything. I tried the power button and it still won't do a thing. So i resorted to pulling the power plug out.

    I plugged it back in, and the computer won't start, just an amber light, and the 4 diagnostic lights are all off. I did the "remove the battery to clear NVRAM" and also stripping the system bare to see if any hardware was malfunctioning.

    Why would this have happened? Can the CPU cause this? Or the motherboard? Or the power supply unit?

    My Dell is currently out of warranty. Its a Dimension 8400 I purchased during December 2004.

    I would appreciate any input.

    Regards.
  • Be sure that the voltage selector on the power supply is set to 115V
     
    1. Unplug everything from the front and back of the system except for the power cord, including:
      • keyboard
      • mouse
      • monitor
      • speakers
      • printers
      • scanners
      • USB devices
      • handheld PDAs
      • external Zip or CD-R drives
      • joysticks/game pads, etc
    2. Attempt to turn the system on.

     

    Steady Yellow/Amber

    Second state of the LED at power up. Indicates the POWER_GOOD signal is active. If LED remains this color, it is unlikely that the power supply needs to be replaced.

     

    To reseat the ATX and 12-volt connections and the input/output (I/O) panel connection, perform these steps:

    1. Unplug the external power cord from the back of the system.
    2. Press the power button for three seconds to drain the flea power.
    3. Open the case.
    4. Reseat the ATX 20-pin connection and the 12V 4-pin (2 black and 2 yellow) connection from the power supply to the motherboard.
    5. Reseat the 12V 4-pin connector.
    6. Reseat the I/O panel connector from the I/O panel on both the front of the chassis and on the motherboard.
    7. Close the case, reconnect the power cord, and start the computer.

    Remove all the memory from the system, then try to power up the computer. and listen to beep codes and reply back so that we can do the further trouble shooting steps

  • I have a Dimension 8400 and the other day it froze, shut down, and wont start with the blinking yellow light.

     

    My friend gave it a look over and said that i blew the power supply. Need to get a new one installed.

  • dre2003

    If your system is not under warranty, for a replacement D-8400 power supply, call Dell Spare Parts @ 1-800-449-3355 option 4, M-F 7 to 7 CDT and have the system's "Service Tag" handy.
     
    or you can buy a unit for $59.00 from here,
     
     
     
    The model A00 is NBG, so you need to buy a power supply model RevA01 or higher, the latest being RevA10.
     
    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

  • Hi, thanks for the input. I have tried all the above and not come to any resolutions.

    But I think I have found out the real problem, after some small experiments on my hardware. It appears that the 4 pin 12V CPU power plug on the motherboard is damaged. The top bits of the plastic coverings on the plug and on the motherboard have become charred brown. If i don't apply small amounts of force onto the plug, the CPU fan won't start, meaning the CPU won't start either.

    Could this been due to a cause of temperature or a fault in the power supply unit? Is there a cheap and easy way to fix this or do I need to replace the motherboard and the power supply?

    Thanks.
  • Thanks Bev ... I'll try that.
  • adhoc125
     
    That's a hard call, but if the motherboard connector looks like it's in good shape, then it would cost less to replace the power supply. For the D-8400 you need a power supply unit, model A01 or higher.      The model A00 is NBG.
     
    For a replacement, you could call Dell Spare Parts @ 1-800-449-3355 option 4, M-F 7 to 7 CDT and have the system's "Service Tag" handy.
     
    or check out,

     
    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

  • From what i can see, the top 2 pins on the motherboard are charred. Instead of silver, they are now brown. The plastic covering the top two pins on the plug are charred too. The pins in the plug are brown. Not sure if they are supposed to be made of copper or silverish metal.

    Does anyone know what could have caused this to happen? There hasn't been any power surges or the like. I remember calling Dell before, and spoke to them about the charred plug and they said its normal.

    Thanks.
  • adhoc125
     
    Charred electrical plugs or connections are not normal.  This is mostly caused by badly made or overloaded, connections or connectors.
     
    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

  • Thanks for reply.

    That's what I thought too. It'll be such a pain if I have to replace both the m/b and the PSU.

    Would a power surge or similar incident caused this to happen? I do have those surge power boards, but I guess they don't always work. Are Dell components known to cause this charring?

    Thanks.
  • adhoc125
     
    The same connector damage [charring] was noted in another D-8400 on this forum. I believe that Dell replaced both the motherboard and power supply.
     
    I have an idea, that the connector has not been securely installed into socket, creating arcing between the pins.
     
    Now you have me thinking that I should open the case of my D-8400 to check the power connections inside. 
    This week I did check the power supply, to see which model was installed in case it's a NBG Rev A00, but the unit installed, is a Rev A01.
     
    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

  • I replaced the Power Supply but it still wont start ... i checked the motherboard connections but i didnt see any charing but when my computer first broke i did smell a smoke type smell
  • dre2003
     
    What is the sequence of the diagnostic LEDs at the back of the case?
     
     
    If there are no LEDs showing. then remove all the PCI cards, the video card and memory, disconnect the IDE/SATA and FD cables, check that the front panel cable is connected to motherboard, with nothing else connected to the case, except the power cable, then power the system on. If you do not get any beep codes or no LEDs in the back, then it would appear that motherboard has died.
    If the LEDs light up and there are beep codes, then add the parts one by one, rechecking that the LEDs etc, still work.

    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

  • yeah the lights don't light up

    when everything except the video card is in, the computer works but when the video card goes in the amber light flashes ... I guess i need a new Video card.

    Thanks Bev

    -Adrian
  • dre2003
     
    You're welcome.
     
    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