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Question

Desktop computer not starting up

by jabackf / July 20, 2013 3:56 AM PDT

So I have this old refurbished Dell desktop computer that I've had in my closet for about a year because the thing quit booting up. It's not my primary computer anyway so I haven't been too concerned with fixing it, but my kids are getting old enough to start learning how to use a computer so I thought I would try to get it running for them.

It was a refurbished computer that was given to me as a gift. It ran fine for the first year or so that I had it, then it started giving me start up problems. I would hit the power button and hear the fans kick on, but the monitor wouldn't receive any signal and the computer wouldn't boot. I found that if I left it on for awhile then it would usually boot after sitting like this for about 15 minutes.

After a couple months of this it stopped booting completely. You can hear it running when you hit the power, but the boot process won't get far enough to start sending video to the monitor. Now if I let it sit then after about ten minutes the fan will begin to speed up to insanely high speeds. It gets really loud and the power button won't shut it down so I have to unplug it.

What could be going on here?

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All Answers

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Answer
It's a classic symptom. Google this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2013 4:31 AM PDT

BAD CAPS

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Perfect!
by jabackf / July 20, 2013 6:07 AM PDT

I did some searching like you suggested. Bad capacitors seem to be a very common problem for this particular Dell model (Optiplex GX280). The symptoms are spot on as well. I wonder why I never ran across this when I was researching the problem way back when it first began!

Sounds like a fairly bad diagnosis. I opened the thing up and had a look at the caps. None of them are leaking or discolored on top, but a few appear to be bulging just slightly. It's kind of hard to tell though. I've never soldered a new cap on a mobo and I don't know if I'm up for attempting it. Sounds like a lot of effort for an old, secondary computer. What kind of caps would I need to buy if I did want to try it? How about buying a new mobo instead? I don't see a model number on the mobo so I'm unsure of what one I would have to look at. I'm a novice computer tech at best so I apologize for the dumb questions Grin

Thanks for the reply!

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Good to see you did the research. NOW!!!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 20, 2013 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Perfect!

Now any deformation and we call it bad. There are some that will write "it doesn't look that bad, just a little bulge" but if you know this area ANY hint of any deformation and you replace all of the make in the board.

It's not a dumb question. Just a common one so I save myself time with asking folk to dig in a little.
Bob

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