Computer Help forum


My Dell Optiplex GX520 will not boot.

by sacloner / February 10, 2013 5:35 PM PST

My Dell Optiplex GX520 will not boot. The power switch light stays a steady amber light and will not turn on my machine. I made some upgrades about a year ago which includes new 1TB hard drive, bumped RAM up to 2GB and installed Windows 7 OEM. I have tried every troubleshooting step that I could find. Even installed a new battery. Still nothing. The stand-by LED light on motherboard won't even come back on. I'm at wits end. I can't afford to buy a new
machine at this point. Can someone PLEASE help?

Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: My Dell Optiplex GX520 will not boot.
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: My Dell Optiplex GX520 will not boot.
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
If the standby power LED
by Jimmy Greystone / February 10, 2013 11:47 PM PST

If the standby power LED isn't on, then either it burned out and you can test that voltage is getting to the motherboard with a multimeter, or more likely, the motherboard has died.

Collapse -
My Dell Optiplex GX520...
by sacloner / February 11, 2013 1:33 AM PST

Wow. Not what I Needed to hear. So how do I test for voltage to motherboard? I have also read that it could be a bad power supply but I couldn't find one on the Dell websight for small form factor.

Collapse -
If the PSU were bad
by Jimmy Greystone / February 11, 2013 2:03 AM PST

If the PSU were bad, you'd have a flashing amber LED, not solid. Solid tends to mean there's some kind of issue with the motherboard, or possibly the CPU, like the CPU not executing the BIOS microcode needed to kickstart the POST process.

As for testing, one way is to stick the probes down the proper holes on the main ATX power rail, make sure the voltages are correct. You can find a pin mapping on wikipedia or several other sites. Some motherboards also have specific test points.

You can also try the age old method of disconnecting everything not needed for POST, and seeing if that changes things. It's not inconceivable that you just have a bad RAM module; unlikely, but not inconceivable. So disconnect the HDD, ODD, remove all but one RAM module, and see if that alters the symptoms. You can also try moving each RAM module to the different slots, individually, and testing each time. My money would be on the motherboard or CPU however.

Collapse -
This looks to be a "BTX" model.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 2:16 AM PST
Collapse -
Look into...
by Willy / February 11, 2013 3:29 AM PST

If this is the "small form PC" then do the following:

If the PSU has any LEDs on itself, check the status(not frt. panel) and using the manual what they refer to, LED sequence. If not present, then with AC removed, open case and reset all power cables and main PSU cable itself at mtrbd.. Assure all is OK and then return AC cord and try to power-ON. If it works, great. If not, does it do the same? Then with cover still off, inspect the mtrbd. for "bad caps", google for examples use bad caps as keywords. It needn't be a real bad cap, minor damage is very common and prevents the PC from booting up. If not the problem, then you're left thinking the PSU is bad, then reduce the load to the PC, disconnect all drives and see if that gets further. Bad caps it just too common on small form PCs and if this is dated PC, it's showing it age due to wear&tear.

Since, you know now how to access the innards of the PC, please note if you buy another PSU be sure its the same type. Dell provides on the PSU itself some decal/sticker and thus model#, use that to find replacement. Basically, you want a physical match to it fits and hopefully it larger wattage unit as well. if cost is a considerable, then that's up to you to decide.

if you plan to toss the PC, then remove HD and mount in an ext. USB case or inside another PC as 2nd HD so you can retrieve any data. Of course, you jerry-rig the PSU with one found elsewhere and reconnect outside of case to get things done(just a thought).

tada ------Willy Happy

Collapse -
by Willy / February 11, 2013 3:30 AM PST
Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Big screens for the big game

Still looking for the best TV deals ahead of Sunday's game? Here are our top three big screen picks.