Dimension 8300 no boot, diag lights say bad video card, replaced card, now no lights - General Hardware - Desktop - Dell Community

Dimension 8300 no boot, diag lights say bad video card, replaced card, now no lights


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Dimension 8300 no boot, diag lights say bad video card, replaced card, now no lights

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Hello Everyone,

I have a Dimension 8300 that recently took some damage from a nearby lightening strike.  At first there were no diagnostic lights but I did have the power light in the front button.  I learned in another thread that the power supply was the likely reason.

I replaced the power supply.  The Dimension then powered up with diagnostic lights in the back and a green power button light in the front.

However, there was still no sign on the display that the 8300 is booting.  I saw the optical drive lights go on and heard the hard drives power up (I think) but  I couldn't hear the hard drives being accessed.  The diagnostic lights showed:

A = Y

B = G

C = Y

D = G

According to the documentation here, http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim8300/sm/adtshoot.htm#1102195, this probably means the video card is bad.

The video card was a nVidia 3DForce 6200XE AGP.  Per the documentation I removed it, reinstalled it, and got the same result.  The documentation then says to try substituting a "known working video card". 

Unfortunately the only such card I have on hand is an old Diamond Stealth SVGA PCI card.  So I removed the nVidia and plugged the Diamond into a PCI slot, hooked up the monitor to the VGA connector, and powered on the 8300.

I can hear and see the fans come on and there are some sounds from the drives.  But now there are no power lights in the front (power button or optical drives) and the diagnostic lights are all off.

For all these different setups and attempts, I tried multiple combinations of pressing the power button momentarily after power on, keeping the power button pressed for a while after power on, and keeping the power button pressed during power on.  It didn't really matter what I did with the power button.

I'm stuck at t his point.  With the nVidia AGP card, I get diagnostic lights as shown above, meaning the problem "may be a bad video card".

With the Diamond Stealth, I no power lights in the front and no diagnostic lights.

I can't find this combo of symptoms described anywhere.  Anyone have any ideas?

Thanks for your time!

All Replies
  • Hi,

    Welcome to the community

    LED Diags indicator YGYG means video initialization failure. Possible it is the video card or the motherboard. How about trying the Nvidia Card to a different computer? In that way, we can check if your card is functional. Aside from that you can try using the integrated VGA of your computer as your video output (no cards should be installed while using the VGA Integrated) If you try these steps we can rule out what causes the issue.

    Best Regards,

    Dell | Social Media Outreach | Global Social Media & Community

  • With a lightning strike anything could have been affected.  Given the symptoms I would suspect the motherboard suffered some type of damage.

    Many homeowner insurance policies cover PC damage from lightning.  Check your policy or contact your insurance agent to see if yours is covered.

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  • Hi Elijah,

    Thanks for the input and suggestions.

    Unfortunately I don't have another PC available right now for checking the Nvidia card.  The one I'm using now is a Dimension 8400 that I have to keep available 24/7 for the time being.  I may be able to power it off and open it later next week.  When I do, I'll swap in the nVidia to see what happens.

    I can't use the integrated video on the 8300 because there isn't any.  The only integrated peripherals are the serial/parallel IO ports, the USB ports, and an Intel 10/100 LAN adapter.  Otherwise, it's a bare board.

    However, there has been a development with the Diamond Stealth Pro SVGA card.  I managed to boot with it and get all diagnostic lights showing green!  What I had been doing wrong was trying the Diamond with all the other cards except the Nvidia installed.  Evidently there's a conflict with another card and/or the original PCI slot I used for the Diamond was bad.  I'm still sorting that out.  

    Anyway, with all the other cards taken out and the Diamond Stealth Pro SVGA installed, I can at least boot.  Now unfortunately there are a host of other odd symptoms and tests to be worked out:

    1.  The Linksys wireless LAN adapter card doesn't work.  I don't know yet if this is because there's a conflict with the Diamond SVGA card.  In this config with just the two cards the 8300 still boots.

    2. The integrated Intel 10/100 LAN adapter doesn't work either.  I found this out when I tried to use it in place of the Linksys wireless adapter to access my LAN.

    3. I still have to figure out which card(s) is(are) conflicting with the Diamond and vice versa, and if there's a way I can configure the Diamond to use a different IRQ/address range.  It's been ages since I used this card, documentation is all gone, etc, etc.  Some of those settings are done with card jumpers, some in software.  A little online research is needed.

    4. I still have to move Diamond and Linksys wireless adapters around to see if there are problems with individual PCI slots.  

    5. And finally, I have to get the Nvidia into the current PC to see if it works, period.

    Obviously I have to be careful here about ordering any replacement cards, especially the Nvidia.  Isolating damage to either the AGP slot, the card, or both will take another week.  

    The good news?  The new power supply works, the memory (4GB) looks OK, and I can access both hard drives with no problems - yet.  I had to re-enter some of the BIOS settings but that was because I earlier in this process I swapped out the battery to see if that was the problem.

    I'll post a followup here (with additional questions, no doubt) later tonight when I have more information about this problem.

  • Im glad you were able to fix that issue. Feel free to post anytime if there is anything else.

    Thank you,

    Dell | Social Media Outreach | Global Social Media & Community

  • I have had the same no-boot Y-G-Y-G issue multiple times with my Dimension 8300.

    Caused not by lighting but by buying video cards off of ebay.  50-50 that the card works.

    I have two Nvidia 6200 (non-turbo) cards -  AGP and PCI versions.   Either work after I have given up on the latest card bought.

    However it lacks video converting capability of newer cards.

    Today no diagnostic lights at boot.  If remove my latest ebay video card  (no video card)   the Dell will proceed to G-G-G-Y

    EDIT: (other problem - check connections).

    I suggest buying a new or returnable video card.   Search here for suggestions.

  • How  old is the PCI card? It could be an older PCI spec that uses a different voltage than the current spec. that would account for the lack of the card working.

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  • The problem wasn't actually the video card.  It was an Adaptec SCSI card that was causing the problem. That was good news, because the original video card was a nVidia 3DForce 6200XE AGP.  For me, that's big bucks.

    I discovered this through trial and error when I noticed that with all cards removed except the video card, the 8300 booted OK.  Adding the cards back one by one ID'd the Adaptec card as the one that completely hosed everything and gave that false diagnostics light report.

    Since then I've isolated other cards that don't work properly since the lightning strike, though they don't keep the 8300 from booting.  One is my HT Omega Striker  7 sound card.  It does produce sound, but nothing you'd want to hear.

    There are also problems on the MB, specifically with the parallel IO and Ethernet interfaces.  I now have to use one of those USB/Ethernet adapters to get a connection to my LAN/the internet.  Neither the onboard Ethernet port nor any working ethernet PCI card I've tried will work.

    The onboard Parallel IO port is also hosed.  I now use one of those auxiliary Parallel port cards for my local printer.

    So I'm back up and running with everything except a working sound card, which I can delay replacing until my budget permits. 

    I'm concerned about those broken onboard functions and what they suggest about possible other problems with the MB, but thus far everything else seems to work OK.  The Microsoft boot CD RAM test passed, the hard drives are all OK, the peripherals are back in working order.  (The only peripherals I lost were my Linksys WRT54GS router - I had a spare for that - and my cable modem, which Comcast replaced).

  • DO you use a surge protector'isolator?   I bought aTripp-Lite ISOBAR I Bar-4 for audio equipment and now have the PC on it.

    Last night's storm reminded  me of that - a huge BANG directly overhead.

    A certain computer hardware forum often suggests upgrading the power supply to the best possible, and to be wary of relying on just the total watts.   It seems 'PSU upgrade' is response to 75% of all questions.

  • You should be able to get a used 8300 motherboard on EBAY.  However an 8400 aka GX280 would be the better way to go since its newer and has PCI-E slot for video.   Going a bit further puts you at an Optiplex 620.  I say this because in my area you can get a GX620 TOWER for $99.

    You do not want a GX520 because they remove the X16 video slot and 2 Ram slots on those.

    Optiplex GX620 Desktop Computer Refurbished

    Optiplex GX620 Desktop Computer Refurbished

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