Having problems with your Dell DimensionTM E520 PC Desktop ?

When I turn the computer on I get a buzzing noise and it won't boot. I press the power button and lights 3 and 4 are illuminated on the front. Fan is active, screen power light goes orange. When I press the power button again it instantly turns itself off. Any help gratefully recieved!

Answers :

The LED lights on the Front Panel are Diagnostic Lights.

LED's 3, and 4 being illuminated, indicate a problem with the ram memory modules (Sticks), according to Dell.

This is Dell Support, and the Service Manual main menu, for the Dimension E520,


On this main menu page left-click on - Advanced Troubleshooting.
Now click on - Diagnostic Lights
Look at the chart.

My diagnoses is different. I think it is a Power Supply issue.

Do you have more than one ram memory module ('Stick') installed in your computer?

Basic procedure, implementing safety guidelines both for you, and your computer.

Computer off, And unplugged from power.
Open the computer case, and touch the metal frame.

Your body carries Static electricity. Touching the metal frame of the open computer case, will relieve your body of Static. (Computer unplugged from power first)

Static electricity will fry out, (Short Circuit), the hardware components inside a computer ]

In the main menu you can click on - Removing and Installing Parts, for guidance in opening your computer case, and removing/installing ram memory modules.

(Removing the Computer Cover, and Memory, respectively)

If you have one memory module, remove it, and clean the gold plated contact pins on the bottom, with a pencil eraser.
Use care, and refrain from touching the contact pins with your fingers.

You can hold the ram module anywhere on the body of it, as the body is coated with a see-through plastic.

Apply the pencil eraser to the top of each contact pin, and stroke down with the eraser.
A side to side motion is not a good idea, as well as starting from the bottom of the contact pin, and going up.

[This is DDR Sdram, and not DDR2 Sdram that is used in your computer.
I linked it to show you a close up view of the gold plated contact pins, and the Black DRAM chips on the side of the ram module,


The top of the contact pin is is close to the DRAM chips.
{DDR Sdram has 184 contact pins. 92 on each side.
DDR2 Sdram has 240 contact pins. 120 on each side]

After you clean the contact pins with the pencil eraser, use air from you, or a can of compressed air for computers, to remove the eraser 'dust'.

If you have more than one ram memory module, do the above procedure for all of them.

With having just one ram memory module, reinstall it back into ram memory Slot 1.

(DIMM 1 may be stamped on the motherboard next to ram Slot 1.
Slot 1 is the ram slot that is closest to the Processor, that is sitting at an angle on your motherboard)

If you just have one ram memory module, place it in Slot 1.
If you have more than one ram memory module, pick one, and install it in ram Slot 1.

Do not close the computer case at this time. Plug the computer back into power. WAIT 1 minute, turn the computer on.

Still No?

If you have more than one ram memory module, use it in Slot 1. Test again.

If the second ram module you try works, then the first ram module is bad.

If you have just one ram memory module, and this test resulted in the computer not working, the diagnoses is that you have a bad ram memory module.

Same thing if both ram modules do not work, if you have more than one ram memory module.

I think it is the Power Supply is bad, due to the fact that the computer, 'Fell to it's knees', when you tried to turn it on the second time.

Bad voltage power rail. Not enough power from the power supply to turn the Processor on, and keep it running.

Computer power supply's power is rated in Watts. (Wattage)
Voltage times Amp's = Watts

1) ALL the lights use less than 1 Watt of power.
2) EACH fan uses 2 to 3 Watts of power.
3) A typical Processor uses 55 to 125 Watts of power.

When you press the Power On button, 5 Volts of standby power is redirected to the Power Supply.

This turns the Power Supply on.
The first chip to receive power is the BIOS chip.

The BIOS program burned into that chip, looks to see what devices are connected, does a Ram Memory count, turns the Processor on, and hands the computer over to the Operating System.

(Windows XP is an example of an O/S)

I believe you do not have enough power to turn the Processor on.

There is a way to test the power supply with a power supply tester, (About $15)
Or a known, good, and compatible power supply, can be used for a test.

(One more thing to Note*

For a time period Dell built their computers as a Proprietary computer design.
This means they wanted THEIR computer parts, installed in THEIR computers.

The main proprietary item at that time was the Power Supply.

This is in reference to the 24-pin ATX main power cable connector, and the wire placement in that connector.

Close up examples of a 24-pin main power cable connector, (In your Dell computer this connector has P1 stamped on the side),


Look, at your 24-pin ATX main power cable connector on your Dell power supply, and observe the color code of the wires.

Use the lock tab on the side of the connector, to orient where the wires are placed.

Now look at the 24-pin ATX main power cable connector for the power supply you are wishing to use.

The color code of the wires MUST be in the same.

The system is shutting it's self off. This could the power supply..or meany othe things. Trully need more data to help further.
Repair Help & Product Troubleshooting for Dell DimensionTM E520 PC Desktop

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