Problem: My Dell Dimension E521 will not turn on
This happened once before and after a week of leaving it plugged in, it finally turned on when I pressed the button. But, yesterday, out power went out because of a storm. Now, it will not turn on again. It is all plugged in and everything. Awhile after our power came back on, a green light came on inside of the computer, you could see it if you looked at the button. Then, this light went away. Then awhile later, an amber light came on in the same spot. I know it is getting power becuase the Auxillary Power LED inside of it is on. When I press the button, nothing happens.
Question: What bad and what do I need to do it fix it?
Is the power button LED, solid green, blinking green, solid amber, blinking amber, or off?
Check the reading of Diagnostic Lights on the front panel.
The e521 Diagnostic Codes and Troubleshooter is HERE.
Are there any 'Beeps', or Error messages?
If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: YesForum Member since 2001I am not employed by Dell
Did you check your<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed / replaced from this post by Dell>
? Did you check the four diagnostic lights in back?
You may have a bad power supply. That's my guess. They're not terribly expensive but you should be sure of the diagnosis before you spend any money.
Please post back and let me know if you need more help.
As I said in my post, the LED has been:
I do not receive any error messages or beeps because... MY COMPUTER WONT EVEN TURN ON? When i press the button... nothing happens!!!!!!
With all due respect, you should read the whole wall of text before replying.
I did read your 'whole' post before replying, are any of the four diagnostic lights on the front panel lite?
If any of the four diagnostic lights are not lite and you are comfortable working around computers, 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 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 the 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 you do not get any beep codes and/or there is no change in the diagnostic lights, then it would appear that the motherboard and maybe the processor has died.Bev.
First of all, I apologize for my previous post.
There are no diagnostic lights on in the front (Edit: The lights are there but they never lit up). Whe I press the power button, nothing happens. The light behind the button doesn't come on anymore, and there are no diagnostic lights.
I took the power supply plug out and bridged the green to a black wire, and my computer started to make sounds, sounded like something was spinning, and the light on the top CD Driver came on.
Is there a way I can test to see if it is the motherboard? Maybe the button is broken, is there another way I can try turning it on without using the button, like bypassing it entirely?
The LED on the motherboard is the 'Stand By Power Light' [aka 'flea power'] and only indicates the motherboard has 'some' power reaching it, not an indication that the power supply has not failed.
When you use the 'jumper', if the power supply fan and the hard drive work, it usually indicates the PSU is fine.
To check to see if a hard drive is running, gently place a finger on it and see if there's a slight vibratation.
I already posted the procedure for checking the motherboard, but to check the motherboard a 'Know' working power supply is needed.
I know of no method of checking the front panel on/off control panel, as the wiring is Dell proprietary and the pin-outs have not been published by Dell, maybe another member knows a procedure for this and can step in.
The only problem with seeing if my PSU is fine by replacing it, is, I don't have one that is compatible (I believe). My other computers consist of 3 HPs, from late 1990's and really early 2000's (I think).
The problem with checking the motherboard is, when I press the button, no light or anything comes on, almost as if the connection from the button to the motherboard is broken, the PSU isn't good, or the connection from the PSU to the motherboard is not good. It's like the computer is permanently off.
I don't want to buy a power supply for around 40$, just to find out that it is the motherboard, and fork over an extra 100$. Finding out the power supply was a waste. I also don't want to fork ove 140$ just to find out it is the button so I'm in the hole 140$ and I have a broken computer. Personally, I would rather buy a new computer, but thats up to my dad.
Could a malfunctioning part, other than the PSU, motherboard, or button, cause my computer not to turn on?
Since you seem to be an expert, what part does it sound like it is, in your most educated opinion? Seeing as the power supply SEEMS to be working, although, when I press the button nothing happens.
I just wish there was a way to test the button to see if it is the button or the motherboard. Stupid Dell ;).
The e521 system supports most standard ATX power supplies with either a 24-pin, 20+4-pin main motherboard power connector and four SATA power connectors.
Unfortunately, while you can make an informed diagnosis, sometimes computer troubleshooting, due to the complexity of components, is diagnostics by substitution.
If the power button LED is not lite and if the power supply fan does not work, personally, I would try another power supply, because a power supply costs less than a motherboard, as I've said before, a 'Know' working power supply is needed to check the motherboard.
Deleted, due to duplicated post, caused by forum error.
I took the power supply out of one of my old computers, plugged it into the main slot, and it turned on. So this means its my power supply.
Since you seem to be an expert, could you recommend me one thats compatible at a decent price? Thanks.
And when I turned it on, the third light came on in an amber color.
The Antec 430w power supply HERE is compatible with the e521.
Thanks for the great post - it lives on!
I used it to determine that I need a new PS for a Dell E521. Found one at Discount Electronics. Do you know if they are reputable, Bev? The PC is 5 years old and I didn't want to pay $100!
I've found that Discount Electronics are a good vendor, I believe you will find that they also, give a 90 day warranty.
Thank you for your kind reply, Bev. My wife will be happy to get her computer back and we will have time to decide what to do next with that 5 year old model. Ron
You are welcome and good luck.