Having problems with your Dell Dimension 8400 PC Desktop ?
Dell Dimension 8400
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\015 I have yellow yellow green green lights on back of computer. Solid green light on front. Won't boot and sometimes fan is very loud. Any help?\015
The Dell Dimension 8400 will seem to randomly go into fan-jet-turbo mode on power-up and fail to boot. The problem I'm referring to is not a heat problem which an over-speed fan might otherwise suggest but a hardware problem the details I'll get to in a bit
I've done all the normal and obvious stuff that has been reported before
remove/replace AGP video card
removed all extra power loading / drives / USB etc
check supply voltages with a DMM (I even re-adjusted the hipot to get the right voltage - it was a little low)
As an engineer it is important to determine root cause. Do to this it is necessary to find a way to make the problem occur and not occur. If you're able to do this you can fix it.
Well in my case the problem it related to a mechanical stress on the heatsink. What I mean is a little force pushing the heat sink toward the fan turns off the problem (boots normally) while a little force in the directly away from the fan turns-on the problem (fan-jet-turbo-mode).
The root cause is could one of several things, it could be a damaged motherboard with a broken trace, it could be a socketing issue,
The Fix (not really - just a band-aide) was to use a tie a couple of small tie-wraps through a some small holes in the heatsink then through the fan mounting holes.
Only slight pressure is necessary - too much will likely cause permanent damage. The fan is mounted on rubber isolators so it somewhat limits the force on the heatsink
Any this mechanical issue is somewhat supported but all the information I've read - how removing/replacing the CPU can fix the problem, changing memory, removing cards - all these mechanicall stress the motherboard and likely move the heatsink some.
Intermittent problems are the worst to debug!
San Jose, Ca
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