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Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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I was trying to upgrade my Dell Optiplex 960 MT's CPU, but after I dropped the new processor in, wired everything back up and pressed the power button, the 2,3,4 LED's began blinking immediately, and the power button was solid amber.

I tried putting the original processor back in, but got the same results.  

The LED indicators light up immediately when the power button is pressed.  Nothing shows on the monitor at all.  Pressing F2 does nothing, as the fault is detected immediately, before any commands can be received to go into setup at all. 

I saw two possibilities when looking up the LED indicator codes, with one saying "no BIOS". I've never heard of such a thing, but I found the BIOS reset jumper on the motherboard and jumped it. Nothing changed.

The other possibility was that the motherboard had somehow gone bad.  I have no idea how that could have happened, as I hadn't done anything to the motherboard.  But after a few days of having it nag at me, I found a replacement motherboard (0Y958C) and ordered it up.

I was all excited when it arrived yesterday, and set about taking the original motherboard out, and installing the new one, and installing the new processor along the way.  

It was a pretty quick job, and before long I was ready to press the power button again, fully anticipating the machine coming back to life.  However, once again I saw the 2,3,4 LED's light up again and the power button show a solid amber.

Again, I tried putting the original CPU back in, but still the 2,3,4 LED's lit up as soon as I pressed the power button.

I'm totally stumped here.

Why would this happen with two different motherboards (both 0Y958C's).

Any idea how to get the BIOS to be recognized again.....?

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7- Thorium

RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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Do you know that the new CPU is actually compatible with this motherboard? Just because it fits in the socket doesn't mean BIOS supports it.

You can try this:

  1. Power off, unplug
  2. Press/hold power button for !5 sec
  3. Remove motherboard battery
  4. Press/hold power button for ~30 sec
  5. Reinstall old CPU, if not installed
  6. Reinstall battery
  7. Close up and try to boot with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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Interestingly enough, I had tried pulling the power cord and pressing the power button earlier.

This time, though, after I drained the power, holding the power button for 30 seconds after removing the CMOS battery, I forgot to put the CMOS battery back in.  

The computer powered up, so I shut it down and plugged the monitor in.  It indicated I needed to setup the BIOS again, as expected.

But since it powered up without the CMOS battery, I was curious and put the new CPU back in.  It powered up with the new CPU, as well.

So, I'm out of the woods with that one....

Thanks for the help...!

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4 Replies
7- Thorium

RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

Jump to solution

Do you know that the new CPU is actually compatible with this motherboard? Just because it fits in the socket doesn't mean BIOS supports it.

You can try this:

  1. Power off, unplug
  2. Press/hold power button for !5 sec
  3. Remove motherboard battery
  4. Press/hold power button for ~30 sec
  5. Reinstall old CPU, if not installed
  6. Reinstall battery
  7. Close up and try to boot with only mouse, monitor and keyboard attached

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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Yes, this motherboard supports the new CPU.

The CPU is a Core 2 Duo 3.33Ghz.

Dell Optiplex 960's were sold with this motherboard / CPU combination.

The computer this CPU came out of was a Dell Optiplex 960.

The chipset on the motherboard is an intel Q45 chipset. You can go to   bit.ly/17UORrS yourself and verify this if you'd like. 

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RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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Interestingly enough, I had tried pulling the power cord and pressing the power button earlier.

This time, though, after I drained the power, holding the power button for 30 seconds after removing the CMOS battery, I forgot to put the CMOS battery back in.  

The computer powered up, so I shut it down and plugged the monitor in.  It indicated I needed to setup the BIOS again, as expected.

But since it powered up without the CMOS battery, I was curious and put the new CPU back in.  It powered up with the new CPU, as well.

So, I'm out of the woods with that one....

Thanks for the help...!

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7- Thorium

RE: Dell 960 reports "no bios" - LED 2,3,4 blinking and Amber power button

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Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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