Dell Vostro 220 is giving off a weird smell

January 28, 2011 at 14:17:11
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium
Today, my PC just out of nowhere started giving off a strange smell. It's kind of like a burning plastic sort of smell. I'm not what you call an expert at PC. In fact, I barely know anything about PC at all. But I did try opening up my PC to see what was wrong and did the nose test and found that it was my PSU that was giving off the strange smell. It was also hot even though the PC was only on for a couple of minutes. Also, this is my PC:

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January 28, 2011 at 14:25:24
Weird smells are not good. You might want to check if the fan in the PSU is rotating. If not, give it a prod as it may be stuck. But if the problem continues I'd be inclined to get it checked by someone who knows about these things.

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January 28, 2011 at 14:35:03
It looks like my PSU is dead. Any recommendation for a new one? And how to install it?

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January 28, 2011 at 14:56:18
Post back with your machine specs. It's easy to replace. You may want to upgrade it at this point.

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January 29, 2011 at 01:13:23
You can find documentation for the Vostro 220 at The "Service Manual" has comprehensive instructions for replacing the PSU, complete with diagrams.

It's always worth spending that little bit more on a PSU - go for a make like Corsair, Antec, CoolerMaster, rather than a no-name cheap unit. PSUs are rated by wattage - the existing PSU should have some identification that shows what wattage it is (I believe that the Vostro 220 has a 300W PSU as standard); go for one the same or, preferable, a little greater. If you want one exactly like the original you can find them in various places. Google "Dell Vostro 220 PSU" and you'll get a lot of hits.

Replacing a PSU is fairly simple if you are reasonable competent at mechanical things; if not it might be better to get someone who knows to do it for you.

All this is assuming that your PC is out of warranty - if not, contact Dell.

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