What's going on with my PSU?

September 22, 2018 at 14:17:21
Specs: Windows XP
I have an old Dell Dimension E510. Yes, I know it's ancient, but the only other computer I have is an Inspiron B130 and I currently am unable to get another PC, I've recently backed up the entire hard drive of the E510 and am keeping the hard drive unplugged until I know it's safe, just in case, so I pretty much have nothing to lose and am quite interested in seeing if I can fix this just to.

About two years ago, the power light on the E510 started blinking orange when I tried to turn it on. It would blink for over half an hour maybe, and then finally turn on and run normally. Then it just wouldn't turn on at all, and I bought a new (refurbished) PSU off of Newegg. That seemed to have fixed the problem, but then it started doing it again after about a year. I had to short the green wire with one of the black ones with a paper clip while holding down the power button in order to get it to turn on. I just stopped turning it off. Then my power went out, and when I tried to turn my PC back on, it worked fine shorting it like usual, but the PSU fan wouldn't spin. It started to but just acted like it was stuck. The computer ran fine, though. I was worried it would get overheated, because the metal case of the PSU got almost too hot to touch. This was a few months ago so I don't know if I remember correctly, I think I turned it off, and then when I tried to short the wires again it just wouldn't turn on. I don't think the orange light blinked or anything. I figured the PSU wasn't giving it power because the fan wasn't working, so I took it apart and oiled the fan, and it looked dried up in there so I cleaned it as best I could, and it would turn smoothly when I did it with my finger, but when I tried to turn it on the fan still didn't run, it would jerk forward a little and then quit. This was while it was not connected to anything at all. So I unplugged the fan from its plug inside the PSU and connected it to one of the 12v plugs from the PSU, and when I power the PSU up without connecting it to anything else, it appears to run just fine, the fan spins good without stopping or anything.

However, when I connect it to the PC again with the big 24 pin plug and the 4 pin CPU plug, I've also tried plugging in my DVD drive, and when I short the green and black and hold the power button down, the PSU fan spins, the computer acts like it's trying to boot up because the CPU fan spins and the front panel diagnostic lights turn on like normal, but no matter how long I keep the pins shorted and the button pressed, as soon as I take the paper clip off it just turns off.

I'm worried something's wrong with the motherboard or something, since I've gone through two PSUs that did the exact same thing with the blinking orange light. Could something else be messing up the PSUs?

I've also read that it could be something with the front panel button, but if I unplug that I don't have a way to hold the power button down while I'm shorting the pins to turn it on. If I could find the pin-out of the ribbon cable plug from the front panel, maybe I could short the two pins that correspond with the power button, but I can't seem to find it.

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#1
September 22, 2018 at 15:10:56
You should NOT be jumpering with a paperclip. That trick is for test purposes only.

You didn't tell us anything about the refurbed PSU. Regardless, the E510 does NOT use a proprietary PSU, meaning you can replace it with a standard one. Newegg has plenty of Corsairs on sale for under $30 after rebate. These are all about $28:

CX450: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...
CX500: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...
CX550: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...


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#2
September 22, 2018 at 20:53:16
It was the only way to make it turn on. Jumping it while holding down the power button, there wasn't any other way. Once it started booting I removed it.

Well I would just get another PSU, but I'm afraid that since two have done the same thing, there's something else causing the problem, which will just break my new PSU.

It's a Seasonic 400w SS-401 HT active PFC F 3. When I have it outside the case and only have its own fan connected to a 12v Molex plug, it still runs fine when I have the paper clip in, but when I take it out it turns off, which is normal because it's not connected to a power button telling it to stay on right? When I have it connected to the PC and put the paper clip in, the power LED on the motherboard flashes on and off really fast, as do the diagnostic lights on the front. Pressing the power button does nothing.

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#3
September 23, 2018 at 06:46:57
"It was the only way to make it turn on"

Then obviously there was a problem right from the start & it should have been dealt with immediately, and I don't mean with a paper clip. Did you ever do a search for Dimension E510 blinking amber light? I think you'll find the problem is in the front panel, possibly the USB ports. What do the diagnostic LEDs tell you?

http://support.feelpcs.com/pc-spec/...


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#4
September 23, 2018 at 16:39:18
I did look that up and that's how I found to do the paper clip. I heard it could be the front panel, the USB ports, or the PSU. I figured it was the PSU, because it started doing it suddenly and I don't think I did anything recently with the USB ports so I couldn't see why it would be that. And if it's the front panel why would getting a new PSU have temporarily fixed it? I wish there was a way to turn it on without using the front panel button, then I could test that. I'd just buy a new front panel but because my credit card company is having a conniption, I can't get that either. I tried unplugging the front panel and just turning it on using the jumper but that didn't work. It appears to need the power button pressed as well.

I don't recall what the diagnostic lights gave me when it was blinking, but now it's nothing because it only does the first millisecond of the startup and they all light up.


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#5
September 24, 2018 at 07:35:40
The front panel wiring isn't necessary for testing purposes. Unplug ALL of the wires between the board & front panel & try starting the system by momentarily touching a screwdriver to the the 2 pins on the motherboard that the power button would normally connect to.

http://support.feelpcs.com/pc-spec/...


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