Inspiron 531 Won't Power Up

Desktop

Desktop
Desktop computer Forums (Audio, General Hardware, Video)

Inspiron 531 Won't Power Up

This question is not answered

Hello.  I've seen several posts regarding various desktop models not powering up including the 530 which is very similar to the 531.   Here's my story. :)

I was using Nero to recoded a DVD.  As it was analyzing the disc I opened up Roxio.  At that point I got the blue screen of death. It said something about something fatal happening and windows is shutting down to protect the pc or something like that.  The blue screen also said something about performing a crash dump.

Well the crash dump was taking forever.  So I pulled the plug and powered off the pc.  Then , when I tried to power back on via the front panel power button, - nothing.  No blue light, no PC powering up, nothing.   The green light in the back of Power Supply was still lit.

So after researching a bit on the net I tried forum member shesagordie's test of the power supply:

"Try unplugging the cord from the power supply, hold the power button in for about 15/20 seconds, open the case, unplug the 20-pin connector from the motherboard and jump the Green wire to one of the Black wires, reconnect the power cord and if power supply fan and 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.

Bev."

After a couple of tries, this worked.  The fans powered up, the hard drive, the blue light in front, etc.  I was able to log-on to Windows (Vista) and use the pc as normal.  But then I pulled the paper clip jumper from the green wire to the black wire and the PC shut off.   So I had to try it again.   After a couple of tries, I again got it to power up.  Again, I pulled the paper clip jumper but this time it stayed on.

So then I tried shutting down via the Windows Start Menu/Shutdown.  The pc shut down but then I wasnt able to power up again via the front panel power button.  I again did the jumper cable to get it up and running.  This is the only way I can get the PC to power up.

So basically my PC will be fine and useable if I leave it powered up ( I do anyway).  But if it shutsdown unexpectedly or I want to shut it down myself, I wont be able to get it powered up again unless I do the jumper from green wire to black wire.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what may be causing this?  The power supply seems to be fine since the jumper works.  What else could be causing the pc to not power up (from a shut down) via the front panel power button?  It does power up via a restart.

One thing I did notice, - the Power Supply Green Light is dim when I cant get the PC to power up and the 24 pin, main power socket is attached to the motherboard. If I disconnect the 24 pin from the motherboard, the green light is bright.  Then, both with the jumper cable connected and after the PC powers up, the green light is bright.  Not sure if this means anything.

Thanks in advance for you responses and help!

All Replies
  • club1820

    First check that the cables from the motherboard to the front power switch and I/O panel are properly, by removing and reconnecting them.

    No difference, could be either a faulty power switch and or, the I/O panel, try replacing and see if this makes a differnce.

    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, thanks for the response. I was hoping you would chime in. :)

    Actually, before I finally got it to power-up with the jumper, I disconnected everything from the mother board and reseated everything.  The fans, drives, memory chips, cards,  etc.  Including the front panel power switch and the I/O panel.

    The front I/O panel is for the front USB sockets and headphones/mic connections if I am thinking of the same thing you are.  How would this effect the front power switch?  Either way, the front panel I/O connections are working fine.

    So then, should we conclude that its a faulty front panel switch?  If so, where/how can I get a replacement switch?

    Thanks for your help!!!

  • club1820

    I have a 4+ year 530MT that a clone of the 531 [except for the processor] and that would be the part I would first replace.

    A refurbished Dell Cable NT294 Button Power button for the Inspiron 530/531 can be purchased from either HERE, or HERE

    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, thanks!  Now that I knew what to look for, -  I found a NEW  one on Ebay for the same price. :)   Thanks!  I hope this solves my issue.  I will report back once I install the new switch.

    Thanks again and have a great Turkey Day!

  • Bev, BTW - I'm curious as to what the jumper (green & black cable) does to make the PC start-up?

    Thanks.

  • club1820

    Bev, BTW - I'm curious as to what the jumper (green & black cable) does to make the PC start-up?

    Thanks.

    club1820

    It simulates the path provided by the motherboard connector and jumpstarts the power supply.

    But, there's a "gotcha", passing the above does not mean that the PSU is 100% good, as it's not being tested under any kind of load, that's the reason why I recommend using a 'know' working power supply for 100% test.

    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

  • club1820

    That's great, $7+ is a good price.

    I hope both you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving also. 

    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 see.  Well, I ordered the front panel switch and hopefully that solves the issue.  If not, then I guess I need to replace the Power Supply.  A bit more expensive.

    I'll report back.

    Thanks.

  • I'm having a similar issue... we have a computer lab.  We found that if the 531 is unplugged, it will NOT power up at all unless it sits for a period of time (1-5 min).  Then it will come on.  Usually leaving it plugged in works... but this morning one of the 531's didn't power up at all.  I tested the power supply (jump green/black)...   still nothing when I plug in the 20 pin.  I can jump it and it will start up... but shut down and it will not start unless I jump it again...

    Did you have any luck with the new switch? 

    Tnx,

    Mike

  • mam361

    Assuming that you have the inspiron 531 Mini tower and not the 531s Slimline version.

    Try installing a different power supply

    Most generic standard ATX power supply units can be installed, 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

  • Thanks Bev...  So - this morning I pulled a working power supply from an identical computer and put it in the questionable one.  It did NOT power up.  I put it back (just to be sure) into the other system I took it from and it worked fine.

    So, then I jumped over the power supply (green/black) and 'kick started' the questionable system.  I left the jumper in place... powered down.  Got an amber glowing switch.  I turned it back on, no problem.  I shut it down again - got amber glowing switch light ... pulled the jumper and it went out.  From there it would not start at all.

    It seems like there is something causing it to not come on.  Is there BIOS setting somewhere that may be corrupted??  I'm wondering if I should flash the bios...   The system seems to be just fine, once you 'jump start' it...

    Mike

  • mam361

    There are no BIOS settings for this issue and never ever attempt to flash the BIOS, unless the computer is functioning correctly.

    Are there any 'Beep's', if there are, please post the sequence of them?

    Is the power button LED, Steady Amber, or Blinking Amber?

    The Inspiron 531 Troubleshooter is HERE

    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

  • Actually, I don't have a definitive answer just yet.   I received the switch and installed it.   When I tried to power it up with the new switch, it did NOT start up.  I once again had to use the jumper to get it started.   So, since I normally have the PC on all the time, and with the holidays and everything I havent really had a chance to turn it off and test the new switch.  Although the Initial test after installing the switch did not work. So I can only assume it won't work and the problem is not caused by the switch.  

    For me its not too much of an issue only because I never turn the PC off.  Its only a pain to get it started when I do need to power off as the jumper only works after a few different tries.

  • Not sure if this means anything and the troubleshooting guide applies to me in this instance, but at times when trying to get it powered up with the jumper, it doesnt work and I only get a steady Amber light. (?)  As mentioned previously, I have disconnected and reseated everything previously.

    Troubleshooting Guide:

    If the power light is steady amber, there may be a power problem or an internal device malfunction.

    Ensure that all power cables are securely connected to the system board (see System Board Components).

    Ensure that the main power cable and front panel cable are securely connected to the system board

  • When I apply power there is nothing.  Totally dead.  To jump it I have to remove the 21pin connector, the power supply will then turn on, then I plug in the 21pin and hit the button to start...   No beeps... normal start.  Shut down with the power jumper still in place gives me a steady amber light (the power fans are still running... so I'm thinking that is the cause of the amber lights)  I press it again and get a blue ... normal start-up.

    It's weird that it won't jump start unless I jump it, remove the 21pin connector from the board, then plug it back in when the power supply is producing power.  (Not that I like doing that... it can't be good for the circuitry).

    Seems like there is something preventing the system from coming on.  

    Could it be related to this...  if I take ANY of our 531 units and unplug them... when I plug them back in they will not power up immediately... the power up is delayed by as much as 2-3 minutes...    I had that happen with an old Dimension 3000 once, just thought it was a bad power supply... but maybe there is something with the Dell units when they get old...  ??