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Flashing orange light on power button of Dell Dimension 5150

Jan 15, 2009 1:53AM PST


I have a Dell Dimension 5150. I recently put a new hard drive in and the computer worked flawlessly.

Later, I purchased more RAM. When I installed the RAM and plugged the computer back in, there was a SLOW flashing orange light coming from the power button. I did some research and read something about USB pins. I inspected everything and they looked fine. I switched my USB connections to different USB inputs. The orange flash went away and the computer then turned on and worked flawlessly.

Last week, I put a new DVD burner in. After I installed it and then plugged the computer back in, I was met with another SLOW flashing orange light. After doing more research, I popped out the CMOS battery. When I plugged the computer back in, there was no flashing orange light and the computer power up for a few days and worked flawlessly.

I turned the computer off and now it won?t turn back on. When there is no CMOS battery, there is no orange flash and the computer won?t turn on. When I put two different CMOS batteries in (the old one and one from another computer), I am now met with a very FAST flashing orange light.

I have examined the mother board for corrosion and don?t seen any.

What should I try next?

Thanks for any help you can provide.


Discussion is locked

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Dell and common issues
Jan 15, 2009 7:29AM PST

Is there any LED lights on PC? most common cause for this issue is a power supply or motherboard. Also the new hardware may operating at different wattage then the system board can handle cause the PC not to boot. i would remove HDD, Meida bay, Memory, Floppy drive (one at a time till PC turns on) till pc turns on or give an error code look on the back of front for diagnostic LED flashing or solid at all times.

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Jan 17, 2009 5:18AM PST

Are the CMOS batteries your swapping for the same type of battery (usually say something like 3023 on the top of 'em)? If not that would explain the fast blink. From first guess though I would say go get yourself a new power supply, would be around 100 bucks or so for a decent one, would probably fix the issue, you just might not have the power output for all the new gear. But look at your power supply (PSU) it should have a wattage output somewhere on the label, if it's a stock Dell one, then it's probably low since Dell likes to make it hard for someone to upgrade themselves, I would find one around 400 watts, would be plenty of power for the whole unit.

just my 2 cents.

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Jan 19, 2009 12:18AM PST

I'm not sure about the exact type of CMOS battery. I am at work now. I put in another CMOS from a third machine and the computer has been running fine rightnow. Thanks!

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First thing to do is check your system this case
Jan 19, 2009 2:38AM PST

they confirm my suspicion that the FLASHING AMBER LIGHT is a troubleshooting indicator.

Solid amber

The Dell Diagnostics is running a test, or a device on the system board may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

If the Dell Diagnostics is running, allow the testing to complete.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

If the computer does not boot, contact Dell for technical assistance (see your computer Owner's Manual for information about how to contact Dell).

Blinking amber

A power supply or system board failure has occurred.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. Also, see "Power Problems" in your computer Owner's Manual.

Glad to hear you got it resolved.


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Quick Fix 90% successful.
Dec 13, 2013 5:51AM PST

I've fixed a few of these problems with a little known trick.

1. Unplug the computer power from the rear of computer.
2. Hold the power button ON
3. Plug the power back in while holding the power button on.
4. Release and hit the power button again.
5 Works almost every time.

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(NT) Are the flashing lights addressed in the system manual ?
Jan 18, 2009 1:39AM PST
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I have the same computer and had the same problem
Apr 1, 2012 2:17PM PDT

I ended up having to tear it completely apart cpu and all and rebuilt it to get it to work again. For whatever reason it worked but it dont always i just couldnt think of anything else to try so i said what the hell. Later i upgraded the ram from 1 GB 800mhz DDR2 to 4GB. I already had 1GB so i just got 3X1GB chips but i bought 533mhz ddr2 instead of 800. The system specs say DDR2-533 but you can use 800mhz cause the 800FSB. Once i took the 800mhz chip from DIMM slot 1 and put a 533 there instead the flashing lights stopped all together. It shuts down and restarts like its suppose now and never crashes and flashes anymore. I read a lot of this issue being a problem with faulty control boards in the front of the tower causing it. I was convinced thats what it was but since the ram change im thinking now maybe many of these towers are having hardware compatibility issues even tho it does work but its not working right. Check all the hardware in the PC and try to put it within specs to see if it fixes the problem. The video card your using and even cheap thermal compound could be part of the problem also. Keep messing with it you will figure it out. When i got this PC it was from a friend that was throwing it away cause it was acting up so much. I just messed with it once in awhile when i got a chance and finally got to the point now where It runs like a new PC again.