XPS 420 Dead

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XPS 420 Dead

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Hi all. I have a perplexing problem:

  • When I hit the power button, it flashes amber continuously. But it's kind of a fast flash. It's hard to count the flashes. At the same time, the LED on the back of the case on the PSU flashes about twice a second.
  • No POST test, no beep codes, and no diagnostics codes.
  • With the computer off, pressing the PSU test button on the back of the computer causes the LED next to it to come on steady and causes the fans to run. I've read elsewhere that this means that the PSU is good.
  • I disconnected all devices from the computer, removed all cards, removed memory, and disconnected all internal devices from the motherboard and from power. The only connections remaining to the motherboard were front panel I/O connector (for the power switch), main power connector, rear / card cage fan connector, processor fan connector, and processor power connector. That's components 4, 5, 16, 17, and 18 from the System Board Components diagram HERE.
  • No change in behevior. I've read elsewhere that this means that the motherboard is probably bad.
  • Replaced the motherboard. No change.

Any ideas on how to diagnose this further?

Thanks!

Dave

Verified Answer
  • davegrundgeiger

    Does the power supply fan work?

    If you are comfortable working around computers, you could try the following:

    Note: The only 100% method of testing a PSU, is to install a know working power supply.

    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, if power supply's fan and the hard drive runs, 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.

    XPS420 systems do not use a Dell proprietary power supply, you can use most standard ATX power supplies with either, a 24-pin or 20+4-pin, main motherboard power connector.

    Because the XPS420 have an open back panel, a power supply with or without the on/off switch can be used, you should be able to buy a replacement from most local and online computer stores.

    Note: You need a power supply, with five SATA power 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

All Replies
  • I'm in a similar boat. I recently picked up an Optiplex GX620 from a system recycler/parts puller so I could build my newphew a computer out of all my unused spare parts. When I got it, it worked fine, even lasting through the night with no thermal issues of any kind. I turned it off for a couple weeks while I looked for a decent low-profile vidoe card for it, but when that finally came in, the computer would not boot for the same issue you're having - flashing amber power light.

    According to the support docs, that describes a "power issue". One trick I know from troubleshooting power supply issues is that jumping wire 14 on the power supply's motherboard connector with any of the ground wires should cause it to come on. Doing this mimics pressing the power button, and it sounds like this is exactly what the test button on your power supply does. In my case, the power supply did not start up when I did this, so I assume a new one will fix my problem.

    If it doesn't, I will be keeping a close eye on this topic. Sorry I can't really be of any help.

  • davegrundgeiger

    Does the power supply fan work?

    If you are comfortable working around computers, you could try the following:

    Note: The only 100% method of testing a PSU, is to install a know working power supply.

    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, if power supply's fan and the hard drive runs, 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.

    XPS420 systems do not use a Dell proprietary power supply, you can use most standard ATX power supplies with either, a 24-pin or 20+4-pin, main motherboard power connector.

    Because the XPS420 have an open back panel, a power supply with or without the on/off switch can be used, you should be able to buy a replacement from most local and online computer stores.

    Note: You need a power supply, with five SATA power 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

  • I bought a Corsair TX750W power supply from Best Buy today and installed it. Problem solved. The physical dimensions weren't quite the same as the existing PSU, so it didn't latch into the clip on the inside of the case, and it didn't completely fill the opening in the back of the case. The screws were in the right place though, and I was able to make it work. Thanks very much for the responses!

    Dave

  • davegrundgeiger

    Happy to hear the problem is resolved.   Yes

    Have a great holiday.   Cake

    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 420 decided not to turn on today. The power switch on the front does not even blink. The internal aux_pwr_led is steady yellow. I jumpered the green/black on the power connector as suggested, and the fan/disk operate, and pressing the power switch starts the system. What is the likely failed component ?

  •  jwillj

    What is the colour of the power button LED, is it blinking, solid, or off?

    Check the reading of the 4 diagnostic lights on the front panel.

    Are there any error messages, or 'Beeps'?

    THIS is the XPS 420 troubleshooter and diagnostic guide.

    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 Bev,

     

    No light on the power button, blinking or otherwise.No diagnostic lights are illuminated. No errors or beeps. The diagnostic guide did not assist me.

    What I have done :

     

    1. Jumpeded the greeen/black as suggested

    2. Conected the power input power cable to a separate power strip

    3.Turn on the power strip - power switch goes to amber for a second, goes to blue for another second, then goes dark. Diag  lights are now a steady 3 and 4

    4. Press the power on button. System starts normally

     

  •  jwillj

    As neither the power button LED, or any of the diagnostic lights are lite, it would seem that the power supply has issues, try installing a different PSU.

    XPS420 systems do not use a Dell proprietary power supply, you can use most standard ATX power supplies with either, a 24-pin or 20+4-pin, main motherboard power connector.

    Because the XPS420 have an open back panel, a power supply with or without the on/off switch can be used, you should be able to buy a replacement from most local and online computer stores.

    Note: You need a power supply, with five SATA power 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

  • Bev, This may be a stupid question but I will ask any ways. I have an XPS420 and am looking at replacing the power supply. Most of the power supplies I see have a fan that is on top of the power supply. The current power supply that came with my system is a 375w with a single fan located at the back of the PS. Can these new power supplies be inverted or is there enough room to allow good circulation. Thanks!

  • kennyc7373

    There should be sufficient space between the case and top of the power supply to allow for good air circulation, also you may have a problem inverting the power supply, due to the arrangment of the screws holding the power supply to the case.

    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

  • So what you are saying that thean configuration on the power supply I select should not be a factor? From the photo's I have looked at the fans normally face the top of the case and I was concerned that it wouldn't work on the XPS420.

    Any suggestions for a good reliable PS. I'm looking at around 450 - 550w.

    Thanks!

  • kennyc7373

    Corsair and Antec are good brands of power supplies, check out the 550w unit HERE that would be compatible with the XPS420.

    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