Having problems with your Dell Dimension 5100 (D51L1) PC Desktop ?

Dell dimension 5100 won't boot!

\015 Hi, I moved my girlfriends Dell desktop to another room and set it up.\015\012It had never given any problems before. It started up fine and I\015\012thought that was the job done. My girlfriend said that on different\015\012occasions it wouldn't boot up and she maybe had to press the power\015\012button as many as 20 times, sometimes only a couple. I only had difficulty on one occasion. Now\015\012it just won't boot at all. The motherboard light goes on but that's it.\015\012I tested the psu with a\015\012paperclip and a fan and it's fine. I've re-seated the memory and\015\012checked all connections and everything is perfect. I have built a few\015\012pcs so I'm not completely incompetent. Can anyone please suggest what\015\012might be wrong. I checked the power button and it seems to be making a\015\012proper connection.\015\012Help, please,\015\012thanks for reading this.........\015

Answers :

A bad Power Supply Unit (PSU) does not necessarily mean no power, just not enough power to run the computer. You can try swapping it out with another one of equal or greater output watts.
\015\012If after swapping it out you still have the same problem then you may have a failed motherboard then. Failure of motherboards is usually due to breaking capacitors. A few years ago a capacitor company stole the "recipe" for making capacitors from another company and tried to make their own, unfortunately they did not get the ingredients right and the capacitors started breaking after 2-3 years of use. They sold these capacitors at very cheap prices and a lot of computer companies and power supply makers bought them. This is easy to diagnose. Look for capacitors (caps) (they look like little tiny soda cans) on your motherboard (mobo). They should be perfectly flat on top and not bulged or swelling or leaking anything. The dead giveaway will be the fact that you are not getting anything after you changed the PSU. There are a few companies that will repair broken capacitor issues. Also if you add a bunch of extra components without upgrading the power supply you can suffer underpowered situations and that can cause internal parts to fail.
\015\012To eliminate some other stuff you could remove the memory and disconnect all the power plugs from the drives and then try to start it up. If it does not change the behavior at all (no beeps, no change in flashing lights) then you probably have motherboard issues. Make sure when disconnecting the memory chips (sticks) that you touch the metal on the inside of the case first to discharge static electricity. If it does change the behavior add 1 component or item back at a time to see what you can find out. Post back with what you find.

\015\012 A power supply or mobo can be flaky and fail some times and not others. And since she stated that she has had problems before, she can't blame you! From the conditions she described it sounds like a failing psu or mobo. Let me know what you find out. Also for curiousity sake what processor are you running?
Probably it's just coincidence that the startup trouble is worse now that you moved the computer. It sounds like a motherboard issue that's been brewing for a while and has just become permanent.

You've already made all the checks I would have suggested, so the next step would be to substitute the power supply with a known good one. You tested the supply to see if it would come on, but that doesn't mean the supply has all the right output.

If a good power supply doesn't fix the trouble, you need to look for a replacement motherboard. If I remember correctly this computer uses a proprietary board and you need to get the same one so it will fit the case. Several companies sell parts and eBay is a good source as well. I frequently get system boards from Blue Raven Technology (www.blueraven.com).

Good luck with the repair!
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