Computer Won't Start

Hi, I’m having problems with my Dell Dimenison 8400 Computer. It is about 4 years old and has always ran great. I upgraded to a larger C drive about 5 months ago and it worked until today.

When I go to turn it on, there is no input to the monitor. The keyboard keys don’t light up and the only thing that happens is the fan starts going at a high rate of speed. It sounds like a jet engine about to take off. The power supply fan is turning. In the front, the harddrive indicator light remains off.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what the problem is before I start taking the thing apart? Should I replace the power supply? The C drive?

Thanks for any input.:bow:

It sounds like the CMOS chip is corrupt with a bad checksum. It’s very unlikely you can reset the CMOS since it is a…Dell.

[QUOTE=KTL;2221830]It sounds like the CMOS chip is corrupt with a bad checksum. It’s very unlikely you can reset the CMOS since it is a…Dell.[/QUOTE]

I don’t know much about either of the things that you are suggesting. I went to the Dell support forums and it looks like this is a common problem with the Dell Dimension 8400. Other people were describing the exact symptoms that I was and it looks like a dead motherboard. Now to decide if it is worth replacing the motherboard and just get a new system.:sad:

[QUOTE=adkid;2221842]Other people were describing the exact symptoms that I was and it looks like a dead motherboard. Now to decide if it is worth replacing the motherboard and just get a new system.:sad:[/QUOTE]

Ouch@!!! thats gota hurt…I would first contact Dell and see if there isn’t some kinda recall on those motherboard. Otherwise if the MB is dead that what your left with is a CPU and HDD and Memory that you might be able to rcycle to use in a new MB. You might not be able to use the CPU but at least maybe the HDD and memory that will save you money for other upgrades.

Since it is a Dell, keep in mind that it is unlikely you’ll be able to reuse the case if you get a new motherboard - those I’ve seen have come in three flavours: Dell custom, BTX (which at least probably uses an ATX power supply), and designs that resemble ATX but aren’t…
Reusing the power supply, even if it has connectors that fit a new motherboard, would be hazardous since another game Dell has found amusing in the past is to use powersupplies with normal connectors, but a different pin out. Would be a bit annoying plugging it into a new motherboard and watching the magic smoke escape out of the chips!

I agree it sounds like a motherboard failure, if you buy new motherboard and case you should be able to rehome the bits that still work and should be ok, or take it to a local pc repair shop and get them to do it

Took it into the local repair shop because I couldn’t find a Dell OEM motherboard online anywhere. The tech said that he had seen a lot of these recently because of the power surges during the recent ice storm. He thought it was the power supply. Sure enough, he hooked it up to a new power supply and it booted up fine. The problem now is that it is a BTX case and will only take a BTX PSU. It will cost $75 for the replacement PSU and $20 for the install. I know I could have gotten an ATX PSU and filed away at the back panel of the case to fit it, but it seemed like a reasonable deal to let the shop take care of it. I guess it’s better than the motherboard being fried.

This happened even though I had a surge protector on the system. The tech at the shop mentioned that it would be better to have a battery back up or something like that. Is that true?

Yes a good quality UPS that conditions the power probably would have saved you. Most large organisations that are located in poor power supply areas use this method.