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Start up problems


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#1 kimgeni

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:14 PM

I've got an old Dell Dimension 5150 with some start up problems. It started a couple of weeks ago.

When I push the power button, one of three happens:
1. No booting, but a blinking light from the button for a minut or two.
2. The diagnostics and dvd-rw lights blink and the fan starts, but it lasts for only 2-3 seconds. Then nothing.
3. Starts as normal

Given that the pc starts, everything seems normal. The problem is the first seconds after I push the button.

I did some googling, and it seems like the most common problems for the 5150 are the power button itself, the motherboard and the power supply.

According to my user's manual, point 1 (the blinking light) indicates that "the computer is receving electrical power, but an internal power problem might exist".
Can anyone tell me what this means? Since its reciving power, I would guess I probably need a new power supply unit (psu)?

If I need a new psu, how will I know which one to buy? In other words, how will I know that the size and cables fit. Is everything standard?

My video card has a higher max watt usage than my psu can supply, but I was told that it didnt matter as long as everything worked fine. Could it be that this has caused the psu to work harder than it otherwise would, and that this over the years contriubuted to the problem? (Given that the psu is the problem.)

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:57 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleepingcomputer!

I see that your problem just popped up out of no-where.

When I see posts such as yours, the first thing that comes to mind is a faulty connection, one that happens intermittently, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

Before I proceed with instructions for you to follow, I have to post an important warning:

Warning: Before proceeding with any attempts to repair or modify the inside of any computer, be sure to ground yourself to the computer's metal case before and at all times while you are performing this task.
The human body is capable of storing lethal amounts of static electricity, which is capable of destroying the sensitive electronic components which are located inside a computer.


First, over time air/humidity can cause oxidation to build up on the metal surfaces that mate together to form the connections between the components and peripherals located inside the computer case.

The key is to disturb this oxidation. This can be done, by simply going through the computer and disconnecting and reconnecting all the wires which are plugged into the various plugs inside the computer case.

Examples are: Any or all power supply wiring harnesses that go to devices such as hard drives and optical drives.

The ones that go from the PSU to the motherboard, there might be both a 4 pin and a 20 pin connector.

The wires going to hard drives for data transfer, this is the case for both the E-IDE/PATA ribbon wire or the SATA hard drive data transfer wire.

Remove and return any add-on cards such as Video cards, sound cards, modems, ethernet cards from their slots.

Remove the RAM sticks and return them into their slots again.

Anything you remove, please make sure it is fully seated, fully connected to its mating surface!

Please before restarting the computer, make sure everything looks like its supposed to, make sure none of the plugs or cards are loose or out of place and are firmly making conntact with their mating surfaces.

Make sure no wires make contact with cooling fans stopping them from spinning as they should.

I can make this a long list, however I think you can get my point by me just saying, go through the computer case and un-plug and re-plug any and all wires which are plugged into something.
Doing this procedure disturbs the oxidation build-up and removes the intermittent connection problem, which eventually will get worse over time so there is no connection at all.

After you try this, please come back to this forum after a test run and let me know if this problem has gone away.

Good luck.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 29 May 2010 - 01:09 PM.

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#3 kimgeni

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 01:56 PM

Thank you.

I've done what you suggested and removed and replaced everything. Unfortunately there are some exeptions. I coudnt get a good grip (because of their position) on the cables going from the front panel (diagnostics lights and usb ports), their connection to the mother board and the 12 V cable from the psu to the mb. So I was unable to unplug them. I was also unable to unplug the cable from the fan to the mb, it was simply to hard. I didnt know wheter it was all about pulling or if I should push somewhere, so I didnt take any risks and decided to let it be.

Some other notes. It was quite a lot of dust in there, do not know if that could cause such problems? Especially the video card was dusty. There were also some dust in the videio card's pci-e (or is it just pce?) port. Not in the midle of the connection itself, but in the holes surrounding it, if you know what I mean. Removal of the dust demands some kind of vaccuming process, so I just left it there. I tried to gently blow the dust of the cards and ram sticks after the removal, and to clean the top of the fan and the floor. Do you have any general cleaning tips?
It was also very hard to replace some of the ram sticks, they just wouldnt go back.

When I plugged the power cable to the computer again, the power light started to blink. Not a good sign. I then waited until the light had stopped, before I tried to boot.

I then encountered a new / the same problem but in a new way. My diagnotics lights told me it was "another problem" (which include cables and devices), and when I turned on the screen I got this message:

11X-B148 RV630 GDDR3-16MX32 128BIT512

I only recognise the GDDR3 and 512 part, so I guess its my video card? Could it be the dust? Or is it my ram sticks, which were so hard to replace? Both my video card and 4 ram sticks are 512 mb. 2 of the ram sticks and probably the video card is gddr3.

Decided to check my video card. If I remember correctly, I've got Radeon HD 2600 XT. According to Wikipedia, this card has code name rv630. I guess that means we know what the message refers to. If this is the same problem as before, at least we now know what we are up against.

Mr Desktop's young friend, Mr. Laptop, told me that even though he is ready to step up and take responsibility, he would very much like to get the old man back in business. So I hope we'll be able to figure it out. :thumbsup:

#4 Sneakycyber

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 03:21 PM

For cleaning tips.. I use a can of compressed air or my 6 gallon air tank regulated to 15-20 PSI and a 1" paint brush to clean fans and motherboards. For the case I just use 409 sprayed on a cloth. In the event of a really dirty fan I use Rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. Be careful when using the paint brush and watch for static build up, it doesn't take much to fry a memory chip. Avoid using a vacuum on any electrical components.

I would start with testing the PSU you can either test it manually using the following method or by purchasing a PSU tester from newegg.com
The purpose of this procedure is to bypass the motherboard to test a ATX PSU. Some manufacturers Like Dell have used some non ATX PSUs which have a different pinout for the 20/4 pin connector, please confirm that your PSU is a ATX type before using this procedure.

Caution:
This procedure will involve working with live 12VDC electrical potentials which if handled improperly may lead to electrical shock. Proper precautions should also be taken to prevent electrostatic discharges (ESDs) within the case of the computer. For safety purposes please follow the instructions step by step.

First, shutdown your computer. Then unplug the power cable going into your computer.

Once you have opened the case, touch the metal of the case to discharge any static electricity.

The connector of the PSU which connects to the motherboard is readily recognizable by the number of wires in the bundle. To disconnect it you will need to press on the plastic clip to disengage it and then pull the connector up and away from the motherboard. Please take notice of the location of the locking tab and the notch on the socket of the motherboard, this will only connect one way as it is keyed. This wire bundle will have a memory of the way it has been installed and will want to bend back that direction, you may have to play around with it to find a position that the connector will stay in the same position while you run the test.

Posted Image
www.playtool.com

From the top left to right the pins are 13-24, the bottom from left to right are 1-12.


Please notice that there are PSUs with 24 pin and 20 pin connectors, the location of the green wire in the 24 pin connector is #16, and the green wire in the 20 pin connector is #14. If you look at the connector with socket side facing you and the clip on the top the number one pin will be on the bottom left corner. This makes the pin out for the 24 pin connector from left to right 13-24 on top, and 1-12 on the bottom. The pin out for the 20 pin connector from left to right is 11-20 on top , and 1-10 on the bottom. If you look at the connectors you notice that these are sockets that fit over the pins on the motherboard where the PSU cable attaches, this is where you will place the jumper. For a jumper you will need a piece of solid wire about the size of a paper clip (20-22 awg), preferably a wire with insulation. It will need to be large enough to fit firmly into the socket so that it will not need to be held in place while testing. You are at risk of electrical shock if you are holding the jumper when you power up the PSU. Insert one end of the jumper into the socket of the Green wire, and insert the other end into the socket of any Black wire.

Once the jumper is in place plug the cord back in. If the PSU is working properly the case fans, optical drives, hdds, and LEDs should power up and remain on. I would suggest that you not leave this connected any longer than is necessary for safety purposes.
At this point you can use a DC Voltmeter to read the different rail Voltages. You will want to insert the black probe into any of the Black (-) sockets, and insert the Red (+) probe in the five different colored sockets, one at a time. Below are the five different colors and their corresponding rail Voltages. The Voltages should be within about ten percent of the given values.

Yellow +12VDC

Blue -12VDC

Red +5VDC

White -5VDC

Orange +3.3VDC

To reconnect the 20/4 pin connector unplug the power cord, remove the jumper, and reconnect the connector. Take a moment at this time to make sure that nothing has been dislodged inside the case.
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#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 03:34 PM

Very good advice sneakycyber thank you for chiming in with your much welcomed assistance!

kimgeni follow that advice and please keep us posted.

We work as a team here and will await your results and offer further advice to hopefully get you up and running again. :thumbsup:

Kind regards.

Bruce.
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#6 kimgeni

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 10:20 AM

Thank you. You both write long and detailed posts. Great.

Some questions before I proceed.

How I do I figure out if I have an ATX psu or not? I searched for the phrase atx in my user manual, but found nothing. My manual says "DC power supply", dont know if that tells you anything?

I do not have a volmeter. And I dont think a have an apropriate wire. Can you be more spesific about what kinda wire I need?

It looks like the safest choice would be to buy a psu tester. The price was ok, even though I dont like to buy stuff I know I'll probably use only once. I guess I just need to plug the tester in the connection and I'll get the result without any fuzz?

Especially if its important to have a voltmeter, and I dont have the right wire, I might as well buy a psu tester. Are there any criteras I should look at if I decide to buy a tester? It looks like newegg only ships to US or Canada, but I see that Amazon UK have some testers. Can you recomend any European web pages and possibly a tester?

#7 Sneakycyber

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 01:01 PM

You will know if its an ATX PSU by the plug. There is a 90% chance it is. You can get a meter from your local electronics store like radio shack if your in the states, this may be a cheaper alternative then buying a PSU tester. As for the wire to turn on the PSU you can use a paperclip. Lastly if you are still unsure about testing the PSU you can take it to a computer shop and have them test it. Or you can try a known good PSU in your computer.
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#8 kimgeni

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 05:41 AM

I did get a psu tester from Lindy.

For the 24 pin the results were within the limits.
5V: 5,2
12V1: 11,9
3.3V: 3,3
-12V: 11,9
5VSB: 5,2
Power good: 190ms

I did the test twice and the results were the same both times.

I did the same with the 4 pin connector, but the psu tester didnt respond at all.

I therefore connected both the 24 and the 4 pin at the same time. The results were as before for the 24 p, and for the 4p
12V2: 11,9

All results are within the permissible ranges according to the tester's manual. But the sound alarm, which beeps if power good values are out of tolerance or if there is no voltage connected, were beeping when both the 24p and 4 p were connected at the same time. Do not know what that means.

Do these results tell you anything?

I did try the 5.25 connection from my drives, but nothing happened. SHould I try this togheter with the 24p? The manual doesnt say wther they should be tested alone or not.

The tester also has a SATA connection, but I it didnt look like it would fit my 3p hard drive connector. Should they fit or are there different strandards?

The user manual is a bit unclear, so I just have to ask, should the 24p be connected when I test all the other connections? (It just says that the 5,25 3,5 and SATA should be connected once at a time.

By the way, whats the green light in there?

Edited by kimgeni, 13 June 2010 - 05:46 AM.


#9 Sneakycyber

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:11 AM

Yes the 24 pin needs to be connected at all times this turns the PSU on. Green light in where?

Edited by Sneakycyber, 13 June 2010 - 11:11 AM.

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#10 kimgeni

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:21 AM

OK. Thanks. I'll redo the sata, 5.25 and 3.5 tests.

The green light on the moatherboard.

#11 Brother Bill

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:36 AM

Should just be an indicator light to show there is power to the board. You won't find ATX in your manual. Your unit has a BTX form factor but I believe that it does take an ATX PSU.

#12 kimgeni

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:35 AM

Redid the tests.

The 24 pin was connected all the time. The other connectors were testet one at a time.

Results

only 24p
+5V: 5,2
+12V1: 11,9
+3.3V: 3.3
-12V: 11.9
5VSB: 5.2

24 and 4p
As above, but the +12V2 which only lights when p4 is connected was 11.9

24 and my cd/dvd rw (5.25 connector)
As above except for
+5V: 5.3 for my p8
and +12V1: 11,9 for my p9

24p and my SATA
As for the 24p

These are the results from the display and almost all of them are within the permissible range given in the instructions.

The +5V and 5VSB's upper permissible range is 5,25. As you see, my results for these are 5.2 for most of the tests, but my p8 cd/dvddrive was 5.3. COuld this be causing problems?

In addition to these resuolts the psu tester has indicator lights for +12V , +3.3V and +5V. None of these were lighted when the 24p and 24p and 4p were connected.

Do these results tell you anything? Or do I need to hand my PC over to someone who can have a look and not only rely on what I am able to do?

#13 kimgeni

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 06:38 AM

And what aout that error message from May 31st? It is clearly related to my video card.

#14 Sneakycyber

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 11:53 AM

Did the tester come with an instruction manual? :thumbsup: I apologize I have never used one I generally use a multimeter those voltages are within specifications. For your question "In addition to these resuolts the psu tester has indicator lights for +12V , +3.3V and +5V. None of these were lighted when the 24p and 24p and 4p were connected. " The 24 pin connector does have 5V and 3.3V wires in the harness depending on how the tester works these should have been lit when the 4 pin and 24 pin were connected this could be your problem.
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#15 kimgeni

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 11:37 AM

It does have a manual, but I think its rather short. Let me tell you what it does.

The indicator has a display. This shows the voltage for several different tests.

The tests are
+5v
+12V1
+3.3V
-12V
+12V2
5VSB
and ATX power good value measured in ms.

The +12V2 refers to the 4p, but I do not know what the others refer to.

The results for all these tests are showed on the display.

I then plug in the 24p, and test that one togheter with the 4p, SATA and 5.25 one at a time.

The manual has a list of permissible ranges for each test. The results for all the tests, but one were within these limits. When the 24p and one of my two 5.25 were connected, the result for the +5V indicated 5,3 while the permissible range is 5,25. I suppose a 0,05 difference could be due to measurment errors, so its hard to draw any conclusions.

The power good value were always 190ms.

These results indicate that everything is OK. However, in addition to the results shown in the display, the tester has 3 indicator lights. They are labeled +12V, 3.3V and +5V. When the SATA is connected all of them are supposed to light, and they are. When the 5,25 are vonnected the +12V and +5V light are supposed to light and they do. But when only the 24p or the 24p and 4 p are connected, there is no light. The manual doesnt state wheter or not there should be light when only the 24p and/or the 4p is connected, but it seems like these indicator lights (with the tests 12, 3.3 and 5) only apply to the SATA and 5.25. I guess the display shows the results for the 24p and 4p and the lights for the Sata and 5,25. Does this make sense?

The manual also includes a German version (for some reason the English and German version are somewhat different), and as far as I can understand, this seems to support my guess that the lighs ar only related to the SATA and 5.25.

The German manual also seems to tell that not only the 24p, but also the 4p should be connected when I test the Sata and 5.25. Do not know if this means I should redo the Sata and 5,25 tests.

Based on this, it seams like everythning is OK. But notefrom my previous post that the results for the +5V and 5VSB tests were all 5.2 (except for the one mentioned above at 5.3), which is close to the upper limit of the permissible range at 5,25. And scince I removed and replace every cable I could get to and my video and sound card, my PC hasnt booted at all. The first time after the remove and replace proces I got a black screen and the error message above, since then. nothing.

Edited by kimgeni, 23 June 2010 - 11:40 AM.





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