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Author Topic: Dell computer tower flashing orange light  (Read 97197 times)

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wolfman

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    Dell computer tower flashing orange light
    « on: July 07, 2012, 11:28:05 PM »
    I've read/heard many things, but not sure where to start. My wife's Dell desktop will not boot up, and is flashing an orange light. Because it will not do anything, what is the best way to start troubleshooting? Is there a trick to get it to boot? Do I open it up and visually check the inside? Worst case scenario, how do I get her info off her hard drive?

    Computer_Commando



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    Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
    « Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 06:30:51 AM »
    Flashing lights on a Dell are usually diagnostic indicators.  Go to www.support.dell.com & enter your Service Tag & within the manual should be information on this.

    If the new computer is a desktop, you connect old hard drive to the motherboard as a secondary drive.  If the new computer is a laptop, you put the old drive in a USB enclosure & connect it to a USB port.  Either way, you then copy your files to the new computer's hard drive or use them directly from the old hard drive.

    jason2074



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    Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
    « Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 09:12:53 AM »
    Quote
    flashing an orange light
    Is it flashing by the power led button? If yes, then you could try removing the 20/24 pin main power cable and CMOS battery.

    Interleave



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    Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
    « Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 09:56:11 PM »
    Aside from the lights, are there any beeping sounds coming from the pc? The BIOS will usually make an audible when something is wrong - something to the effect of 4 beeps 4 beeps 2 beeps 3 beeps (you'll be able to make it out). You can find a list of beep codes (yes, really called that) for your pc and it will tell you what is wrong but it may be something rather cryptic that needs a little translation into English.

    Pc/laptop repair and upgrade expert. Love the new Ubuntu. Not so much Windows 8.

    Allan

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    Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
    « Reply #4 on: July 09, 2012, 05:46:11 AM »
    The flashing orange light on the Dell typically indicates either a bad power supply or a bad motherboard. The first (and easiest) troubleshooting step is to replace the power supply.

    wolfman

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      Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
      « Reply #5 on: July 17, 2012, 05:26:42 PM »
      I was able to look inside, didn't see anything disconnected, loose or burnt up. The additional cable coming off the power supply is for additional drives correct? The computer is a Dell dimension 521. So I cleaned up any dust and reconnected the power cord. It started up like it was going to boot up, I thought I was set, and then it stopped, and the orange light began flashing again. Does this help tell if it's the power supply or motherboard? If it's the power supply, how do you know which ones are compatible? I have a few extra computers around. Otherwise I should disconnect and reconnect the large cable? And change the battery? If nothing fixes it then, then it's the motherboard? And finally, if it is the motherboard, is it worth replacing on a computer this old? Or can I figure out what newer, faster motherboards would work as replacements? Probably getting ahead of myself, sorry for the slow response, I wasn't getting notifications. Thanks

      Computer_Commando



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      Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
      « Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 05:37:29 PM »
      C521 or E521?
      Anyway, for E521, http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime521/en/SM_EN/adtshoot.htm#wp1054146

      amber light Blinking amber indicates a problem with the power supply inside the computer. If the system cannot boot and there is a solid amber light, this indicates a problem with the system board (see "Power Problems" in your Owner's Manual).

      http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime521/en/SM_EN/techov.htm#wp1053345

      Standard ATX Power Supply, nothing special, about $30-40.

      Don't know what your others computers are, but it's likely you can use the psu from one of them, at least for testing.  You don't have to remove the one from the Dell, just unplug all the connectors.  Lay the new one to the side & plug everything in.  If it works, then buy a replacement.
      « Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 05:53:40 PM by Computer_Commando »

      jason2074



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      Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
      « Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 12:41:50 AM »
      This happened to me once on my Dell Dimension desktop. A blinking amber light on the power led button itself.  Have to go through releasing the static electricity by pressing the power button for atleast 10 to 15 seconds while all connectors unplugged and CMOS battery removed. Luckily for me its not the power supply and it is still running happily today. A steady amber light is different in your case.

      wolfman

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        Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
        « Reply #8 on: August 07, 2012, 11:44:35 AM »
        Which connecters do I disconnect? Everything connected to the power supply? Anything else? I'm a little confused. I did have the flashing orange light, but when I had the power supply tested at Milwaukee PC, they said it was OK. They said it was probably the motherboard. Not sure if it would be practical to replace that. Also, how do I get data off of that computer if it won't boot up? Hopefully the static electricity thing will work.

        jason2074



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        Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
        « Reply #9 on: August 08, 2012, 10:17:21 PM »
        Quote
        I did have the flashing orange light
        Is it coming from the power led light or from the power supply itself? Have you check or replace the CMOS battery. Remove all cables and RAM module and use one stick alternately on boot up.

        wolfman

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          Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
          « Reply #10 on: August 10, 2012, 05:37:16 PM »
          Remove which cables? I tried to do this and now I have new symptoms. It started to boot up and on the screen it said something like battery voltage low and memory amount has changed, and then it went dead. I replaced the CMOS battery (computer shop said power supply good) and plugged the power cord in and the power light went green and the fans ran, but that was it. It wouldn't stop, even if I held the button in, and nothing came on the screen. I had to pull the power cord, reconnected it again and it was the same thing, except now the power button remained amber, no flash. Any ideas on what to do next?

          jason2074



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          Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
          « Reply #11 on: August 12, 2012, 09:42:16 PM »
          Then swap another power supply of equal or higher wattage.

          wolfman

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            Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
            « Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 09:46:32 PM »
            Should I do this, even if the computer shop hooked up one of their devices and said the power supply was good? They also said I would have to go through Dell for a power supply, is that right or can I get one anywhere? The only ones I have here are the 20 pin connections, can I somehow hook those up to the 24 connection just to test? It looks like the one I have says DC output 280W.

            hartbeatmr



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            Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
            « Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 11:38:49 PM »
            Good morning wolfman and welcome back to CH

                 You did tell us that your PC was a dimension 521 but not the complete model. In this series Dell made standard towers, small form factor and ultra small form factor. If your PC is the regular size tower like this than a PS just like Computer_Commando
            C521 or E521?
            Anyway, for E521, http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime521/en/SM_EN/adtshoot.htm#wp1054146

            amber light Blinking amber indicates a problem with the power supply inside the computer. If the system cannot boot and there is a solid amber light, this indicates a problem with the system board (see "Power Problems" in your Owner's Manual).

            http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dime521/en/SM_EN/techov.htm#wp1053345

            Standard ATX Power Supply, nothing special, about $30-40.

            Don't know what your others computers are, but it's likely you can use the psu from one of them, at least for testing.  You don't have to remove the one from the Dell, just unplug all the connectors.  Lay the new one to the side & plug everything in.  If it works, then buy a replacement.

            will work IF your PC is one of the smaller units than your PS will be harder to get this is one of the smaller ones If you look at the PS on the white label and you will see a Dell PN like NH493 etc.  But you do not have to buy a Dell PS in most cases there are plenty of good PS around for not to much $$

            Now a LOT of power supplies come in 20 and 24 pin if you have a 20 pin and it has at-least 280volt you can use it no adapter needed the other 4 wires are just for more juice but 90 % of the time the PC will run just fine. Don't forget to plug in the 4 pin plug for the CPU (most are yellow and black wires)   

            The harder PS to get are small form factor and ultra small form factor but there are companies that do make them. It is up to you but it would cost a lot more going through Dell, Good Luck Mike
            Statement of the day.  The IT person asked. What kind of computer do you have and the customer replied a white one why?

            wolfman

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              Re: Dell computer tower flashing orange light
              « Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 11:48:42 AM »
              It looks like I have the small form factor, model # DCNE. The PS Dell P/N is MH596. If I order a PS, how do I know it's compatible and the right size for my Dell?