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Dell XPS 420 not starting, blinking amber light, orange light on motherboard, blinking green light behind USB on motherboard

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I am running Windows 7 on my XPS 420, I had upgraded the PSU two years back and installed extra ram and a SSD a few months ago.

I shut down the PC last night normally

This morning, it is not starting up, the power light was blinking orange, notably the plugged in mouse was also blinking.

I decided to open it up and check all the connections; everything looked good inside.  Before opening up the PC I disconnected all the plugged in extras like mouse, etc.

The computer actually started up normally and when I plugged in the monitor it looked regular, it had reached the Windows login screen.

HOWEVER, when I plugged the first USB component back in, the computer shut down and started blinking again.

I am not sure what the problem is here.  Is my motherboard fried?  I don't think its the PSU since the computer DID start up again after I noticed the blinking amber light.  I wonder if the blinking of the mouse earlier and/or the blinking green light on the back (inside of the PC) of the USB port mean something else.

Any advice is greatly appreciated

All Replies
  • Hi ac360,

    If the power light is blinking amber, the computer is receiving electrical power, but an internal power problem might exist.

    Ensure Processor Power cable is intact.

    Refer the following link to access Processor Power cable:

    http://dell.to/10bi1Nf

    Reseat the Processor Power cable.

    ****NOTE: Please ensure that the power cable of the computer is disconnected before opening the chassis. Refer to the Service Manual for assistance on removing or replacing the internal components of the computer.

    Also, may I know which device are you connecting to the USB port?

    Try connecting the device to another USB port and check.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Thanks & Regards
    Rajesh R
    #iworkfordell
    To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
    If a post answers your question, please click "
    Yes".

  • I tried to start the XPS again using the technique that had worked once before (disconnecting all USBs, etc.) and starting and it will NOT start now at all.  Any time I plug in the power cable I just get the blinking amber light. 

    Again, I notice an orange light on the motherboard as well, what does this mean?

    Also the led green light on the USBs at the back is also blinking.

    I reseated the processor power cable and that has had no effect.

    The USB device I tried attaching when it failed the first time was a gamer mouse with its own LED; as I said, that LED was blinking this morning along with the amber light on the power button of the XPS.

    I'm really at a loss as to what is going on.

  • I opened up the computer and disconnected everything except the psu It came on for about a minute but had these slow moaning sounds from the motherboard. The psu will not start up again
  • ac360

    Have you checked the sequence of the 4 diagnostic lights on top of the front panel?

    Are there any 'Beeps'?

    This is the XPS 420 Manual, with the Troubleshooter and Diagnostic Guide.

    ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_xps_desktop/xps-420_owner%27s%20manual_en-us.pdf

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Those lights are not illuminating, I reset all motherboard connections and it is clear to me now that the PSU is not the problem since it works on its own.  When it is connected to the motherboard, it is not getting the signal from the mobo to start up.  I am not sure if the mobo is fried or if there is something else I can do.  The mobo looks fine. 

  • ac360

    First check that all the power and data cables are properly connected, including the cables to the front panel.

    No difference and if you are comfortable working around computers, you could try the following:

    Note: The only 100% method of testing a PSU, is to install a known working power supply.

    Unplug the cord from the power supply, hold the power button in for about 15/20 seconds, open the case, unplug the 24-pin power connector from the motherboard and jump the Green wire to one of the Black wires, reconnect the power cord and power the system on, if power supply, case fans and the hard drive run, then the PSU may be good.

    Note: Do not remove any wires from the plug, use a small piece of wire or a paper clip as a jumper.

    Power supply checks out and the system still does not work, again remove the power cord, hold the power button in for several seconds to discharge the residue power, reconnect the 24-pin connector to the motherboard.

    Remove all the PCI cards, the video card [if applicable], memory, all peripherals, disconnect the data and power cables to all the drives, check that the front panel cable is connected to motherboard, with nothing else connected to the system, reconnect the power cable and power the system on.

    If there is no difference in the diagnostic lights, 'Beep' codes and/or the LED indication of the power button, it would appear that the motherboard has died and/or maybe the processor and the only method I know of checking a processor, is to install it a compatible working PC, or use a known working processor.

    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • Hey Bev, I did that PSU trick before my last post, which is why I figured out that it wasn't the PSU.

    I reconnected most of the internal parts and it did start to start up and I got diagnostic light 3 to illuminate along with some beeps.  

  • ac360

    Hey Bev, I did that PSU trick before my last post, which is why I figured out that it wasn't the PSU.

    I reconnected most of the internal parts and it did start to start up and I got diagnostic light 3 to illuminate along with some beeps.  

     
    ac360
     
    Dell's Troubleshooter lists a xx3x Diagnostic light, could indicate a possible processor failure has occurred, try resetting the processor to see if this makes a difference.
     
    Bev.

     

    If my answer was helpful, please use the 'Did this answer the question' and click: Yes
    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • I have a Dimension 5100 and had blinking amber light after I installed a new HD (cloned from a dying one).  I found that I could start the computer ONLY if I had all USB connection free, then after the computer booted up I could insert the USB devices (mouse, keyboard, printers) all works fine.

    Now I shut off the computer disconnect all USB connectors.

    In the morning turn on computer, have it boot up, then insert all USB stuff.

    Have no idea why this works but do this FIRST before you spend money and time looking for an answer

  • I have done this and the pc boots perfect what is the cause? as when I power down with the short in tact the fans speed up and i physically have to power the psu down