Dimension E521 Not Booting

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Dimension E521 Not Booting

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I'm trying to troubleshoot a Dell Computer for a friend of mine.

When the computer is turned on, you can hear the fans and and such power up, but no video output to the screen. No Dell Logo nothing. I noticed that the power switch stays an orange color, my friend had stated that it is usually green. 

I tried pulling the battery and power to the computer to resest the BIOS but didn't seem to help.

Where would I start to troubleshooting since I"m not getting video or bootup menu from the computer?

Dimension E521


Thanks

 

All Replies
  • buzlink

    Is the power button LED, solid amber, blinking amber?

    Check the reading of Diagnostic Lights on the front panel? Diagnostic Codes.

    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

  • The E521 manual doesn't list the power light codes, but on most Dell's a solid amber power light usually is a motherboard problem. 

    You can try reseating any PCI cards and also the memory and see if that helps. (Reseat - with the PC powered off unplug then plug back in).  If that doesn't help, try booting with the PCI cards unplugged - obviously if there is no video card you won't get any video but you can see if that changes the front panel power light color, etc.

    If the motherboard is defective, only another E521 motherboard will fit.  Dell uses custom OEM motherboards and front panel connection.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Home Built PC with Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H motherboard, i7 3770 CPU,  Windows 7 64 bit Home/Win 8.1.  SSD drive.  Sonar X3c 64 bit Recordng Software.

     

    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • Solid Amber,

    I will try reseating all the PCI and memory.

     

  • buzlink

    Solid Amber,

    I will try reseating all the PCI and memory.

     

     

    buzlink

    If the above, does not resolve the problem and if you are comfortable around computers, you could try the following:

    Unplug the cord from the power supply, hold the power button in for about 15/20 seconds, open the case, unplug the 24-pin power connector from the motherboard and jump the Green wire to one of the Black wires, reconnect the power cord and power the system on and if power supply fan and hard drive run, then the PSU should be good.

    Note: Do not remove any wires from the plug, use a small piece of wire or a paper clip as a jumper.

    Power supply checks out and the system still does not work, again remove the power cord, hold power button in for several seconds to discharge the residue power, reconnect the 24-pin connector to the motherboard.

    Remove all the PCI cards, the video card [if applicable], memory, all peripherals, disconnect the data and power cables to all the drives, check that the front panel cable is connected to motherboard, with nothing else connected to the system, reconnect the power cable and power the system on.

    if the fans spin up and there is no change in the diagnostic lights, or beep sequence, then it would appear that the motherboard has died and will need to be replaced.

    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

  • My friend is thinking it is Yellow.  Is there a diffrence between a Orangeish and an Yellowish color?

    Just checking?

    I sticking with that it is is orange or Amber as you have stated.

  • buzlink

    There is no difference, it can be either a 'Orangeish/Yellowish/Amber' colour, or Green.

    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

  • Here's a thought. 

    If no graphic display is detected, won't you get that yellow light? 

    The reason that I ask is that the Nvidia GF6150 integrated video on the E521's and C521's tend to go out rather frequently.  Personally, I have had 1 out of 1 E521 with this issue and 1 out of 2 C521's with this issue. 

    First thing that I would do would be is to try installing a video card.  If you don't have an extra, look in your local classifieds or ebay for any PCI or PCI-e video card.  You can probably find an old one for almost free.  

    Again just a thought, but I am currently own 3 of these machines and all of them have their peculiarities.

    -thorman

     

     

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    C521 - Athlon64x2 5600+ Windsor, 2GB DDR2-800, Galaxy Nvidia 9600GT LP Video Card (my gamer)

    E521 - Athlon64x2 4400, 4GB DDR2-800, Nvidia 8500gt (wife's C4 machine and my backup gamer)

    prior Dell's:  Optiplex GX110 (owned 3 of these), Dimension C521, D400 laptop, E1501 laptop, and many others.

  • My Dell E521 Desktop has a PCIe video card.  Bought 3/2007. Last week, the video just went out.  The computer runs, starts up, shows green on the power light, doesn't beep, hard drive light flashes, motherboard led lights up, but No Video.

    I have :

    -remounted every device pci, pcie, power supply, memory

    -tried new video card in both PCIe and PCI and built in slots

    Still No Video.  It sounds like it is booting up.

    I'm thinking it may be a Motherboard issue, but would love any advice before paying $100 to get a new E521 motherboard.

     

    Thanks!

  • Let me guess:   If I were to check your recent activity logs,  Windows Update recently updated your video card driver.  

    I have determined this to be the problem with both Dell e/c 521's that I had the video troubles with.  Here's the real issue - ever notice the screen when you first boot up, before the BIOS even runs the system check?   For a split second, your video card drivers are displayed.  A portion of your video drivers are stored in that tiny little 8mb section of your HD that caches the BIOS and is unaddressable (you can use all but 8mb when you partition a HDD, that last 8mb seems to be 'lost'). 

    When Windows Update installs a slightly incorrect video driver, that little portion on your HDD that you can't 'see', is also messed up.   You don't even have a correct video driver to get you into the BIOS.  The easiest solution is to remove your HDD, install another HDD, restore your OS using the CD's/DVD's that Dell provides, and then install your original HDD in the second HDD slot, pull off all the files you want to keep, then format the original HDD and keep it for extra storage.   

    Windows XP and the integrated Nvidia 6150 video are notorious for this problem with these machines.  If you have XP and use Windows Update to install an newer video driver - I can almost guarentee that it will attempt to load the driver for the Nvidia 6200 which isn't 100% compatable.   You can always try to use the MOBO jumper to 'clear' your CMOS, but I think the portion of the video driver on that 'unaccessable' section of your HDD will mess you up.  

    Let me know if this helps or if you have additional questions.  I will see responses to this forum in my email, so I will get back to you within a day or two. 

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    C521 - Athlon64x2 5600+ Windsor, 2GB DDR2-800, Galaxy Nvidia 9600GT LP Video Card (my gamer)

    E521 - Athlon64x2 4400, 4GB DDR2-800, Nvidia 8500gt (wife's C4 machine and my backup gamer)

    prior Dell's:  Optiplex GX110 (owned 3 of these), Dimension C521, D400 laptop, E1501 laptop, and many others.

  • I had this problem with failure to start on an E521 with diagnostic error codes 3 and 4. From the manual this is supposed to be a bad memory module problem. I have 2 pairs of memory modules and tried every permutation of 2 and 4 modules and still had the error. I tried reseating my cards, especially the graphics card and this worked. I would try this because evidently codes 3 and 4 do not always apply to memory