I am posting for the fist time here because a friend brought me a Dell dimension 5100 computer with the blinking amber light problem.
I have spent over an hour reading thru hundreds of posts concerning this and it sounds very familiar to the factory defective capacitor problems that Dell and many other manufacturers had about 2.5 years ago.I work at an elementary school and we started having problems very similar to these. It started out slowly with only a few computers displaying erratic symptoms, but as computers got older more and more had to have the motheboards replaced because of the defective capacitors. Soon, the whole district started to have the same problem and it became so common that Dell had to come out and do sweeps to replace most of the motherboards on thousands of computers. They even extended the service after the computers were out of warranty.
I think their could be a possibility of a connection whereby thousands of those defective capacitors could have ended up in the power supplies, motherboards of these computers having the blinking amber light problem. At least, the symptoms of intermittent turn ons, having to heat the PSU with a blowdryer,finding a green capacitor with its head a little bulged inside the psu, all these are consistent with defective capacitors in almost all domestic electronic products with switching power supplies.
Maybe Dell is trying to avoid the expense of fixing this and passing the cost to the consumer. In any case, the whole thing seems fishy to me.
First, you are in the wrong forum section for issues with a Dimension 5100. This section is ONLY for XPS model desktop users. The Desktops/General Hardware would be the forum section for Dimension desktop hardware problems.
Second, we are not Dell employees so your rant will not reach Dell.
The blinking amber power light, in almost all cases, is a defective power supply. On an "old" PC such as the 5100 who knows why the power supply failed? Could have been a power mains surge, lightning hit, overheated, etc. True it could have been a faulty component but there have been very few 5100's posted on this forum with power supply problems. We have seen a lot of E510/5150's but not 5100's.
I am not a Dell Employee
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Well, my post was not meant for Dell employees to listen to my rant, rather, it was meant for all those that have been frustrated with the help Dell has given them regarding the amber blinking light problem. It was meant for those who may wish to get to the bottom of this, to encourage them to dig further, that it could possibly turn out out to be a defective capacitor problem that Dell should cover even if out of warranty. Even if most problems are with another model such as the 5150's and not the 5100, the reasoning and the possible culprit and solution could be the same. Those defective capacitors could touch some models and not others, as the problem capacitors could be distributed to different batches of power supplies and/or motherboards. In any event, it could be worthwhile for some to investigate this possibilty further, if it could possibly avoid having thousands of frustrated customers having to pay for something that might not correspond to them, thats all.
I do apologize for posting to the wrong forum, it was my first time to the forum, it was very late at night, and i was very tired after a hard days work.
Thanks for your response
I see you are set on a capacitor as "all" the problems. I'm a (retired) PC tech and have worked on computers since 1962. There are many factors that can cause an electronic device to fail, and what component(s) fail. A power surge can cause many problems - and those problems may not appear for months after the power surge as the power surge weakened a component and it took months for the weakened component to fail.
Each case must be handled individually to try and determine the actual cause of failure. But, repair is not really a viable option. A power supply that costs $35 (US) new, would cost at least double that to repair so there is no incentive for companies to repair them.
I am set on possibility only, not set that this in fact a capacitor problem. Exploring/investigating the possibility that defectively manufactured capacitors might be the root cause. It certainly was the case with the Dell workstations in my school district and it was the case also with IBM computers before them. It was the case also with many other products like power supplies in TV sets and other electronic products. Like you said, at that time each case was handled individually until a pattern began to develop .When it was determined that the root cause was defective manufactured capacitors, Dell began making sweeps of all the individual schools replacing thousands of motherboards. They are still replacing them for free after the warranty has expired. So, there is precedent.
That this is the problem with Dell computers with the " flicking amber light" symptoms is not known, but the possibilty cannot be totally ignored or ruled out in my opinion.
I have been in the repair business since the 60's also, so i certainly understand what you say about the cost of repair exceeding the cost to buy one and that there is aboslutely no incentive for a company to repair them. However, by what i read in hundreds of posts in these forums, Dell is asking customers to pay/buy the replacement power supplies, motherboards and i/o boards in order to fix their computers.
Now, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as the root cause of the problem is not defectively manufactured capacitors, whereby the responsibilty of the cost would certainly shift from the customer to Dell footing the bill of the replacement parts. Since there is precedent, and the possibilty exists, customers should be aware of it and make their claims if and when there is a determination as to the root cause.