my computer won't start but the amber light c

Crucial Computer memory ram - 512mb upgr...
May 14, 2011 at 21:11:00
Specs: Windows XP, Intel, 2GB RAM
It is a Dell Optiplex GX270. I plugged a new MP3 player into one of the USB slots, but didn't know what I was doing, and I pushed several buttons on the player but was frustrated because I didn't know how to make it play. All of a sudden my computer just quit, and the power light is now solid amber but otherwise there seems to be no power. Did I short out the motherboard, or CPU or Hard Drive? I've used computers for about 12 years, but am not super-savvy, certainly no geek. Help!

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#1
May 15, 2011 at 06:13:04
It doesn't matter what buttons you pushed, I don't think you did anything wrong. Remove the mp3 player & disconnect the power supply from the wall. Reconnect it after a minute or so & try to boot the PC. If the self test shows on the screen, hit F8 & try to go to last known good config or safe mode. If it doesn't start at all, make sure that both fans are spinning. The fan where the power connects to the PC can be seen or heard from the outside but you have to open the box to view the fan on the mother board.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#2
May 15, 2011 at 11:49:42
Hi and thank you for your quick response. I can see the one fan and it is turning, but don't I have to disconnect the power cable if I'm going to open the computer? Then how would I know whether or not the fan runs? Is it safe to plug the computer in when the housing is open? Also, the computer won't shut off when I press the power button, although I held it down firmly for at least 5 seconds; so I have to unplug it to get it to power off. The monitor just shows a message that there is no signal, so I can't do anything onscreen.

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#3
May 15, 2011 at 12:02:35
Open the housing & turn on the machine. It's safe. Don't forget to try F8 when it starts to boot.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#4
May 15, 2011 at 15:01:06
Thanks again, but that's the problem...it won't start to boot. I found the memory modules didn't seem to be seated properly, so I made sure they're tucked in nice and tight now and the end clips are tight. Both fans are working. Maybe I should just salvage the memory sticks and remove the hard drive and throw the thing out...it's refurbished anyway, but I've always had tremendous success with refurbished machines because they don't come with all the extra stuff this old grandma doesn't need or want. I've had this one 3 years and loved it until the end.

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#5
May 15, 2011 at 15:08:15
Before you throw it in the garbage, try one memory stick at a time. If you want to take a $40 chance, install a new power supply.

How do you know when a politician is lying? His mouth is moving.


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#6
May 15, 2011 at 15:48:42
An amber light on the Dell Optiplex power button means your power supply is bad

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#7
May 15, 2011 at 19:06:04
Many thanks to both Guapo and THX 1138 for all the help. I did more research and agree, it's got to be the power supply, because I've checked the diodes to see if they are corroded, checked all the connections to see if any are loose, there are no burned spots on any of the wires, removed the memory sticks one at a time and tried to power up unsuccessfully, so the power supply seems the best candidate for causing the problem. Again, thanks so much for all your input. By the way, the power supply is 160 watts; do I need to install 160-watt power or would I dare install 210 watts? The 210-watt power supplies seem more readily available, but I don't want to burn the thing up.

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