Power Button blinks amber once only, computer won't power up. PSU Dead?

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Power Button blinks amber once only, computer won't power up. PSU Dead?

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Hi, last night I powered down my computer, and in the shutdown process, I noticed windows was installing an update or two.  After I went and got ready for bed, I went back to email something I'd forgotten to send.  When I pushed the power button, nothing happened.  I held it down for 20 secs or so, then pushed again.  The button lit amber one time, then went dark.  Only by repeating this procedure (hold it down for a while, then press again) does it light once.  No other behavior.

Studio 540, WinVista Home Premium 64-bit, quad Q8200.

Has anyone seen this behavior or have any ideas?  Any ideas what I can do or what to check?  I have never done much more than install new RAM.  Other than that, I have very little hardware experience.  I've been working on a video project for weeks and it's supposed to go to parents this weekend!!!  Help!

Thanks everyone,

Louis

All Replies
  •  LouisAFF

    Check the reading of the power button LED, is it Steady White, Blinking White, Steady Amber, Blinking Amber or is it Off?

    The Studio 540 Troubleshooter is HERE

    Are there any 'Beep's, or error messages, if there are, please post the exact text of them?

    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,

    There is zero activity on the tower box and zero activity on the monitor.  The power button LED lights up amber for one blink and then remains dark.  No beeps, no other colors displayed on the LED or screen.  Completely dark after the single amber blink, the screen nor the screen power button displays any activity (the screen is powered on and steady amber power button).

    I think I recall that the hard drive activity light blinks amber along with the power button LED (matched behavior).  Unfortunately, I'm at work and can't verify at the moment.

    Thank you for the troubleshooter link.  None of the scenarios in the guide matched mine.  I have tried to search the forums, but mostly come up with "blinking" amber.  Not single blink like I am experiencing.  Is this something new?

    Louis

  •  LouisAFF

    First open the case remove and reinstall all the cards and memory, check that all the cables are properly installed, by unplugging and reinstalling the connectors, close the case and remove all the peripherals, except the monitor, mouse, keyboard and see if this makes a difference.

    No difference, try installing another power supply.

    If you have the Dell Studio 540 Mini Tower, this PC can use most generic standard ATX power supply units, with either a 24-pin or 20+4-pin main motherboard power connector, with or without the on/off switch.

    You should be able to buy a compatible power supply from either a local or online computer store.

    Note: You require a power supply with four 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

  • Hello,

    I have this exact same problem with my PC. I have an old dimension 2350 which i upgraded the ram from 1gb to 2gb 5 months ago. Since then i have not had a problem with it. yesterday i turned on the pc as normal and the monitor was amber and the power came on and fan ran. this then turned off after about two seconds and wouldnt start up again. I took the caseing off and removed the ram. re-installed everything and closed it up and the same thing happened. the output from motherboard obviously isnt registering with the VGA for the monitor. The computer doesnt even seem to have enough memory to load the Dell boot screen which is worrying. Sorry i cant help Louis but im having a similar problem too. (and troubleshooting is useless :[ )

    Sometimes the desktop loads and just holds a green light for power with no flashing one for activity whilst the monitor just does nothing like the old piece of junk it is (its fine by the way :P)

    Andrew

  • AndrewBurrows

    Hello,

    I have this exact same problem with my PC. I have an old dimension 2350 which i upgraded the ram from 1gb to 2gb 5 months ago. Since then i have not had a problem with it. yesterday i turned on the pc as normal and the monitor was amber and the power came on and fan ran. this then turned off after about two seconds and wouldnt start up again. I took the caseing off and removed the ram. re-installed everything and closed it up and the same thing happened. the output from motherboard obviously isnt registering with the VGA for the monitor. The computer doesnt even seem to have enough memory to load the Dell boot screen which is worrying. Sorry i cant help Louis but im having a similar problem too. (and troubleshooting is useless :[ )

    Sometimes the desktop loads and just holds a green light for power with no flashing one for activity whilst the monitor just does nothing like the old piece of junk it is (its fine by the way :P)

    Andrew

     AndrewBurrows

     Have you checked the reading of the DIAGNOSTIC LIGHTS on the back panel?

    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,

    Thank you very much.  I will open it up and cycle the connectors.  If this doesn't work, can I use the PSU from my older Dimension 3000, at least to test it?  I do not know how many or what types of connectors it has, or wattage, etc.  Not sure how much this matters. 

    I will work on this tonight and share my results.  I really appreciate your help.

    Andrew, sorry to hear, and good luck.

    Regards,

    Louis

  • I will test this tomorrow aswell, many thanks!

    Andrew

  • LouisAFF

    Bev,

    Thank you very much.  I will open it up and cycle the connectors.  If this doesn't work, can I use the PSU from my older Dimension 3000, at least to test it?  I do not know how many or what types of connectors it has, or wattage, etc.  Not sure how much this matters. 

    I will work on this tonight and share my results.  I really appreciate your help.

    Andrew, sorry to hear, and good luck.

    Regards,

    Louis

    Louis

    Sorry, but the Dimension 3000 power supply, is not compatible, it only has a 20-pin main motherboard power connector and no SATA connectors.

    Read my previous post, regards to the compatible PSU for a Studio 540 MT.

    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

  • AndrewBurrows

    I will test this tomorrow aswell, many thanks!

    Andrew

     AndrewBurrows

    Good luck.

    Also, it maybe better, if you start a new thread for your Dimension 2350 issues, to avoid confusion with the OP's Studio 540.   Wink

    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,

    Yes, thank you for the info on the compatibility and 540 PSU requirements.  If I can't get the Studio going, I will probably take the PSU to have it tested and buy a new one if needed (Best Buy is the only place I can think of around me here in Seattle).  I will continue to pray that this is the only issue!

    Louis

  • Louis

    Unfortunately you need a 'know' working power supply to check all the other components.

    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 on, 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.

    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 think I can handle that test, thanks Bev.  I assume holding the power button down for 15-20 seconds is to discharge any static electricity?

  • Louis

    Actually, it's to discharge the residue power of the motherboard and power supply,  to discharge the static electricity, you need to touch any unpainted metal part of the chassis.

    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/All,

    I re-seated all the connectors from the PSU:

    1.  24-pin connector to the motherboard.

    2.  4-pin (2x2) connector to the motherboard.

    3.  One optical drive connector (SATA?), "P6" and a smaller one next to it (both to a DVD-ROM drive).  

    4.  2nd set of optical drive connectors, "P6" and a smaller one next to it (both to a DVD-RW drive)

    5.  One 5-wire blade connector labeled "P4", connected to the hard drive.

    6.  One 6-pin connector "P8" to the video card.

    I then re-plugged in the power cord to the PSU, with only the monitor connected to the case.  Same result as before (single amber light blink).

     

    Then, I disconnected all the PSU connectors (1-5 above) and jumped the green wire to one of the black wires on the 24-pin.  With the jumper in place, I re-connected the power cord to the case.  The PSU fan turned on and ran continuously (high speed at first, then slowed down to a constant lower speed).  I noticed a single green LED on the back of the PSU, which was lit.  If I removed the jumper and then re-installed the jumper, the green LED would go dark.

     

    Next, I re-connected #5 above to the hard drive.  With the green/black jumper in place, I re-connected the power cord.  The PSU fan came on as before, and the hard drive sounded like it was powered on (I could hear it spinning, but no indicator lights that I could find). 

    Is this indication that the PSU is okay?

     

    Finally, I re-connected everything as in the beginning, re-connected the power cord, held down the power button for 15 seconds.  When I push the power button after holding it down, the same single amber light blink happens, but I also notice that the motherboard fan and the case fan spin momentarily.


    What can we surmise from any of these events?  I'm afraid it's worse news than a bad PSU.  Aaacckk!!!

     

    Louis

    PS  Again, all your help is very much appreciated.  I'm always impressed with those of you in the know helping those of us trying to get in the know.

  • Louis

    Yes, in sounds like the PSU is working, but as I posted, the only 100% method of checking it, is to try a 'know' working unit.

    As the power supply checks out, again remove the power cord, hold the power button in for several seconds to discharge the residue power.

    Remove all PCI cards from the system, take out the video card [if applicable], disconnect power & data cables from all drives. 

    Reconnect the power cord and  power system on, see if you get a different LED indication on the power button, or 'Beeps'.

    No difference, remove the memory from the system and try again.

    Still shows no signs of life then you are looking at a motherboard replacement.

    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