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Dell GX270 Startup Problem

penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
Thanks: 25
Registered: 03-08-2007

Dell GX270 Startup Problem

I have just been given a Dell GX270 pc. It was given to me because it had what the previous owner called a power problem, so it was repaced by a new pc. It came to me without a hard disk because the previous owner had to protect the data on it. I dont want to go to the expense of a new hard disk only to find the pc requires an expensive repair. However, I should be able to get it most of the way through POST without that disk. I have disconnected the floppy and CD drives just to help the psu.
The symptoms of the fault are as follows. When I press the "on" button, the LED comes on but goes out almost immediately. If I repeat this several times, eventually the pc goes through POST, but complains that the last time it started there was a thermal problem. If I leave it running for a minute or so, then switch of and then back on, it starts up as it should. If I switch it off and leave it 10 minutes, then we are back to the start of this, i.e. I turn it on, it turns itself off, and so on until it starts up with the thermal problem message and so on.
Has anyone got any suggestions what I could try to isolate this problem either to the psu, or to the motherboard, or to whatever, please?
Thanks in advance
22 REPLIES
StickyMick
Grafter
Posts: 325
Registered: 29-11-2008

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Have you had a look inside to make sure it's all clean and tidy? i.e heatsinks and fans are not clogged with fluff, dust and muck.
Might be worth pulling a few of the components out and reseating them and checking all the connectors are fully home.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Try removing and reseating the heatsink as well. Use only the merest trace of thermal transfer paste. I found a PC at work yesterday had been originally assembled with a big dollop of paste, enough to make it stick to the heatsink and unseat the CPU when the heatsink was nudged.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

The first thing I would look at in a GX270 is the condition of all the capacitors - I had to replace the MOBO on mine because it packed up due to that problem. You need to look for any with signs of leaking or very domed tops.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

I wonder were the owner had it stored before. I have pc's stuck in the shed and get the same sort of error if I bring them in as it must be damp in the shed. If I put them near the boiler for a day then they work fine. It would be worth putting it close to a radiator for a day to remove any damp. Dell are funny with PSU's and often have their own make.
The other thing is to clear the cmos as they tend to have fits with that so take the battery out for 15 ins to ensure its cleared
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Hi,
Most Dell's have a row of Diagnostic lights on the back of the unit and the link below gives details about them and also other troubleshooting advice.
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx270/en/ug/solve.htm
Moderator
Moderator
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Registered: 14-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

We have no problems with the GX270s we use and we use quite a lot in a year.
Sorry, when I saw GX270 I couldn't resist...please forgive Embarrassed

Customer and Forum Moderator.

To argue with someone who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead - Thomas Paine
penneck
Rising Star
Posts: 730
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Sorry for delay, have been so busy.
Right. There is a row of 9-off 1800uF 6.3V capacitors tucked right in by the microP. 3 of them are showing signs of leaking and two are showing signs of bulging at the end. They seem to be a strange value so were difficult to source. Also, there isn't room to fit 9-off  1800uF but higher voltage, even if I had been able to find that variant. However, I have been able to identify a source of these 6.3V capacitors in China, and have purchased them. They should be here at approx 28th Dec, so will fit them when I have them. Hopefully that is the answer. Will let you know.
Merry Christmas
jnwright
Grafter
Posts: 281
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Historically, the GX270 did not have a very good reputation with regard to the capacitors used.  Read this page and have a look at these pictures.
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

To bring this up to date, I changed all 9 of those 1800uF capacitors, and the motherboard now works fine.  To test it further, I have moved (temporarily) a working hard disk across from another machine, and have tried to get that going. I had to run the Windows XP Pro CD to do some repairs (I guess because of the change of motherboard), but now XP comes back with not letting me do anything until I have registered XP with Microsoft. I dont want to do that as this is just a temporary transfer of the hard drive, and it will be going back to the original pc soon. However, while XP blocks me, I cannot access the web, and also I cannot find out my IP address to add to my router and Zone Alarm on other PCs. This was just done to test the process before I took my main PC apart (see next para).
The end plan is to take the hard disk out of my main PC (which only a Dell GX200 and is going to be scrapped), and use that as a permanent move. The GX200 is hard-wired to my Netgear Wireless Router. Presumably, if I move the hard disk to the GX270. and then replace the GX200 with the GX270, I will still have the problem of XP telling me to register it with Microsoft. The problem is - with no XP, and therefore no access to the web, how will I register it?
Also should I use the Product Key which came with the XP CD or the Product Key (also for XP Pro) that is stuck on the GX270?
Are there any other problems that I am likely to have - hardware problems, software problems, people from Microsoft bearing sticks to beat me with?
Thanks in advance
Regards
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Not clear on a couple of points is XP totally locked and wont let you do anything? Even if it finds you have changed your hardware it should let you activate via the internet. You dont make it clear if its asking to be activated due to hardware change or asking for a product key?
If the xp cd you have is a Dell cd and both pcs are Dells then both keys will probably work but use the key for the one you are going to use so it matches. If one doesnt work try the other I would guess both are OEM pc's and its a OEM cd which may not require activation.
The ip should be picked up by DHCP unless you have hardwired it so I dont see why you need to know it. Most routers will let you  view a list of DHCP clients and tell you the ip of the pc. If you cant reg via the internet you can do it over the phone. You shouldnt have any problems with MS just say you have had to put in a new disk if the ask
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Hi Samuria,
When the PC boots up, it goes through the "black screen with the Windows XP symbol on it", in the normal way,. When it gets to the point where it should display the desktop, it justs shows this message about XP needing to be activated with Microsoft before I can log on. This is the same whichever of the two Product Keys I have used. The problem is, to access the internet, I need to set up the wireless connection from the GX270 to my router. For this, I need to tell my router to allow the GX270 access to it - I have the access control turned on. This means that either I need my router to tell me it can see the GX270 so I can say accept it, or I need to know the GX270 IP address so I can load the GX270 connection manually. The router cannot see the GX270, and the PC wont let me in to ask for the IP address. I am assuming that if my router cannot detect the GX270, then the USB dongle (supplied from the same pc I borrowed the hard disk from) is not transmitting. I also assume the IP address is on the motherboard and not on this dongle. The pc I borrowed from is one that is accepted by my router.
I thought that if, on the old GX200, I formatted a floppy disk as an MS-DOS Startup Disk, and then booted the GX270 from the floppy, I would be able to get to a DOS window. All I end up with is a blank screen apart from the cursor. Nothing I type appears on the screen. I have checked the boot sequence - it is Diskette then CD-Drive and then hard drive.
Any thoughts, please?
Thanks
Community Veteran
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

You will have to connect via a network cable and then xp should find the internet. If you are using the dongle you know the MAC address as its should be written on it, I assume you are filtering via mac address not ip. Failing that its down to a quick phone call which it should give you on screen
penneck
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

The MAC Address is one of the allowed addresses on my router, but the router still cannot see it when it is attached to the GX270. It worked okay on the PC I borrowed it from.
I think the Microsoft XP load on the GX270 will have to be authorised by my telephoning Microsoft. I wont do that just yet because I dont want this hard disk on the GX270. I want to end up with the hard drive from this particular PC in the GX270, but as you may have noticed from another post, you are trying to guide me through the process of slipstreaming SP3 onto a Windows XP CD.
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Dell GX270 Startup Problem

Drivers for wireless networking chip on board installed?