XPS 720, blinking amber light upon turning power on

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XPS 720, blinking amber light upon turning power on

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Hello everyone,

I've had this problem for a while now where if I keep my computer plugged in to the power socket and leave it off for a while it won't start up (get an amber light instead) until I leave it unplugged for a certain amount of time. Considering that usually the PC works fine afterwards I'm inclined to think there's something wrong with my power supply.

Would anyone happen to be able to verify this? I imagine that if it were the MB the PC would never start up no matter how long I leave it unplugged.

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  • Update:

    I contacted Dell and received a new power supply and motherboard last week, however today I once again ran into the same problem as before. Upon turning on my PC I only got a blinking amber light. :( Was the new power supply faulty or something?

  • Dear Tatteredhat,

    At least yours is blinking and according to the manual (which you have to print because they won't send one with the PC) you are in a better position than I am.  Two days after I made the final payment on my Dell Inspiron 530, which I upgraded with all the bells and whistles, I got a steady amber light.  What this comes down to is that at this point you are not dead in the water, exactly!  I am!

    According to their manual (the pages I printed) if you have a "Blinking" amber light, you are receiving electrical power and a "device might be malfunctioning or incorrectly installed."  Their instructions are: Remove and reinstall the memory modules, any cards, and graphics card, if applicable."  Also, "Eliminate interference" - some possible causes are:  1.) power, keyboard, and mouse extension cables.  2.) Too many devices on a power strip, and 3) Multiple power strips connected to the same outlet!"  Unfortunately, you will have to find a way to download the part of the manual that is related to "Power Problems" if you already haven't to find further information as I don't know your model. 

    According to the manual under "Power Problems" my steady amber light is due to a "Power problem or Internal Device Malfunction"!  Their suggestions for my problem is to "Ensure that the 12-volt power connector (12V) is securely connected to the system board" and "Ensure that the main power cable and front panel cable are securely connected to the system board."  I happen to have an HP laptop and was able to download the portion of the 300+ page manual I needed.  Unfortunately it was as helpful as the Dell tech I spoke to when it was about two months old, need I say more?

    Being quite knowledgeable about PCs, I stripped the case and reinstalled every part making sure everything was well seated and secure.  I could have saved myself the time spent as I figured it was not the issue.  However, I do know that it is something dealing with "Power!"  It could be the power supply, the  motherboard, any of the dedicated cards, memory, battery, processor, etc.  In other words without the tools to diagnose the problem(s) I will have to pay close to $100 to find out it could be something simple that would cost me half that price to repair.  So my "just over 2-year old" Dell is making a nice conversation piece sitting on the floor deader than a door nail with the recovery disks securely locked inside the DVD and CD drives, as they won't open.

    I have a choice, seeing how much I have already sunk into it (being nice) and already replaced the internal and external HD.  Do I spend more money on something that has been nothing but a migraine headache and usable less than 1/3 of the time I've owned it - most of that time spent keeping it up and running or just call it a lesson learned.  I got burned, and now purchase what I know to be a more reliable brand.  Once burned, shame on you (Dell), twice burned, shame on me!

    Sorry, I couldn't give you further help - at least they sent you "replacement parts."  Is it still under warranty?  Mine was under full warranty when the first problem hit less than two months after receiving it and was told to bring it to a repair shop (not on their $) and when I asked for at least a loan of an external B/U drive to back up my data; well I will leave it there.   I wish you well, lots of luck, and hope you are able to solve your problem, of course, as was suggested to me, you could bring it to a repair shop (on your $)Super Angry

    There are times in life that are:

    Unexplainable

  • Remove all internal components, Ram, cards, Disconnect the power cables going to all your drives, optical and hard drives. Disconnect all external connections.  Power on the unit. Listen for beeps, look at your front panel diagnostic lights and your power button.

    You should hear beeps, Your front panel diagnostic lights will have a pattern lit up. Since all is removed the exact sequence is unknown.

    If now your power light is not amber then you know that a component has problem. Start adding them back on at a time.

    Since you have a "new" mother board and supply for the moment you can rule them out. That doesn't mean you got bad ones  its just a point to start troubleshoot further

     HomeBuilt SandyBridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 ghz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
    Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 7 Pro

    Forum member since 2003

  • Davet50

    Remove all internal components, Ram, cards, Disconnect the power cables going to all your drives, optical and hard drives. Disconnect all external connections.  Power on the unit. Listen for beeps, look at your front panel diagnostic lights and your power button.

    You should hear beeps, Your front panel diagnostic lights will have a pattern lit up. Since all is removed the exact sequence is unknown.

    If now your power light is not amber then you know that a component has problem. Start adding them back on at a time.

    Since you have a "new" mother board and supply for the moment you can rule them out. That doesn't mean you got bad ones  its just a point to start troubleshoot further

    I am assuming this post was directed to "tatteredhat" as I had mentioned I had stripped out my Dell and it remains in the same condition.  You wouldn't happen to have any suggestions for me perchance, other than take it to a shop and have it analyzed, would you.  If you have any ideas, they would be most welcome if I could at least narrow down the list of possibilities.  I hate to buy something(s) and have them be the wrong part - it could end up costing as much or more than it is worth.  It is an Inspiron 530 Desktop with an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 500 GB HD, 4 GB Memory, ICH9 and Intel G33 chipset, RAID 1 (Mirroring), 7 DMA Channels, 24 Interrupt levels, 16 Mb BIOS chip (NVRAM),10/100 NIC, Intel integrated video card, Realtec ALC888 (7.1 Channel audio card), DVD-RW and CD-RW, all the expansion Bus and PCI types, connectors and the required upgraded motherboard and power supply necessary for the Core 2 Quad processor.  Also an external sound system and DVI connected monitor and of course all the USB ports and the front panel USB (4) card device slots, etc.  I could list everything, but I think this is enough information as you will come to the same conclusion I have unfortunately.  Without being able to test all the power devices and other parts, I am stuck.  It is good enough of you to even bother to read this.  Thank you.  

    There are times in life that are:

    Unexplainable

  • Did you just remove and replace or test it with it stripped out completely? If you strip it out completely then all you have left is the power supply, motherboard and the CPU.

    Normally CPU's rarely fail but that cannot completely rule that out. If you have good motherboard and power supply and CPU, with everything stripped out your power light should be steady and the correct color. 

    Another test is your fans. IF you fans spin up that lends more fodder towards the motherboard.

    Granted unless you have another system to test components in it is time and or financial drain on trying to eliminate the bad components. 

    In the case of the Original Poster my guess would be a bad motherboard and even the new one may not be good. 

     HomeBuilt SandyBridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 ghz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
    Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 7 Pro

    Forum member since 2003

  • Hello guys,

    Just an update, I removed all the components from my motherboard and I didn't hear any beeps or anything, it was just the same blinking amber light as usual. I guess it's the motherboard then once more, which is kind of annoying.