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Burning smell-Desktop Dell


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#1 Sandi1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:34 PM

Hi everyone, I'm so glad I found this forum! My son has an almost 2 year old Dell Desktop Inspiron 3656. Yesterday he noticed a burning smell coming from the tower. I unplugged everything from it after shutting it down and smelled the odor coming from the power supply area. We kept it off a bit and set it in a different area, more ventilated an it again had this strong odor like something was burning. I opened the case today and had a look around. The smell is definitely coming from the power supply area. I took 2 photos to show you. One photo appears to show a yellowish mark which appears to be from too much heat.

 

I'm looking for confirmation of what I believe the problem is before I go to Dell and order anything or if this could possibly be something else. Thanks in advance!  

 

Attached File  IMG_20170319_1402322_rewind.jpg   151.71KB   0 downloads

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#2 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:52 PM

Power supplies are one of the most failure prone components of a desktop machine.

 

You have all the classic signs of a power supply failure in progress that would likely have completed itself had you not cut the power.

 

Power supplies are cheap, available from sources far less expensive than any computer manufacturer, and so long as you buy one that has the same specs as the one already in there (or better) you should be just fine.

 

It is impossible for me, or anyone, to absolutely confirm from afar whether the power supply is the problem but I'm willing to say I'm 99.9999999% sure it is.  If you're capable of popping a new one in it should be less than $50 to buy one.  Based on the specs that are shown on the case (but you should look at the power supply itself to determine the minimum to be ordered) this is a very basic unit.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#3 Sandi1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 02:56 PM

Thank you so much for your response britechguy. I'm comfortable removing the power supply on my own so now I need to figure out where to take it to get a replacement according to what's written on the box. Wish me luck and thanks again!



#4 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:07 PM

Sandi,

 

         I've always ordered either from Amazon or eBay.  The delivery has normally been very fast.

 

         If speed is of absolute essence then I'd start calling around at places like Best Buy, Radio Shack, or virtually any of your local computer repair folks to see what they have and at what price.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#5 Sandi1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:17 PM

so I'm looking for a 180 watt or better, is that right? I'm at amazon now and see prices from 155.00 and up! yikes am I looking at the wrong one?
 


Edited by Sandi1, 19 March 2017 - 03:22 PM.


#6 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 03:26 PM

I'm not certain what you searched for, but it can't be right.

 

See these search results:  https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dcomputers&field-keywords=desktop+power+supply

 

There are units well above 180W (which is why I declared your machine "basic") that retail for $20 to $50.

 

I am not and never have been brand loyal and generally shop by price point for units that meet the specs I need.  They all seem to be made in China these days (for the most part, anyway) and I'm quite certain that the same units get boxed by different companies since it's neither cost effective nor necessary to have custom power supplies.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#7 Sandi1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:56 PM

Yup definitely looking at the wrong stuff, this is an optiplex and I found 1 on ebay for $60 180 watt.

One last question if I may, can I get a higher wattage or would something else need to be upgraded in order for the pc to handle the change in wattage? Is a higher wattage preferable?

My son has a business on youtube and needs all the help he can get, if higher wattage would help in any way, I'm all for it. Thanks again!



#8 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:23 PM

A somewhat higher wattage probably couldn't hurt, but don't go crazy and install a 600W unit in a machine that came with a 180W unit.

 

You can think of the wattage of a power supply as being matched to the demands of the hardware somewhat like a sprinkler is matched to the size of the area being watered.  While one could, in theory, buy a circular farming irrigation unit for your front yard it's overkill and utterly unnecessary.  The same is true with regard to having a high wattage power supply for low demand hardware.

 

Again, I emphasize that you should look at the label on the power supply itself to determine what's actually in there rather than relying on the external label on the tower case.  If you do have a 180W then a 250W would be a major upgrade in your case.  The cost difference at this end of the power supply range should be negligible.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#9 Sandi1

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:42 PM

Thank you so much! You've been a great help. :)



#10 britechguy

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:49 PM

You're quite welcome.

 

Just be ready for the frustration that comes when you're trying to uninstall all the connections (and, often, cable ties) to get the original unit out.  Also make sure you have a system where you mark everything that was connected as you remove the connections.  It is very, very easy to overlook hooking something up otherwise.

 

This is not a hard job, just tedious (or at least it's tedious for me even though I can do it pretty quickly now).


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
             ~ Lauren Bacall
              

 





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