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Dimension 8300 amber light, no diagnostic lights - dead mobo or psu? Help please!

Hi everyone,

   My desktop, a Dell Dimension 8300 P4-HT 2.8ghz died - I'd really appreciate some help to diagnose whether it's the power supply, motherboard, cpu, or all of the above.

   About a week back, I powered down everything and attempted to restart as normal. The system's LED glowed amber and would not turn green. On the back, the diagnostic lights are not lit at all. The system is receiving power (or at least the drives are), as I can operate my DVDRWs.

   POST never takes place. The front light remains amber. I opened it and made sure all the power cables were well seated. I'm fairly sure the PSU's fan is spinning, but am unsure how to go about repairing this system. I'd like to get it going again... The 8300 is the "clamshell" design (pain in the neck to work on), and I'm wondering how difficult it is to replace a motherboard in one of those beasts.

   The unit is well out of warranty, being bought in 12/2002 😉

Any and all help will be well appreciated (even though I'm waiting for my new Studio XPS 9000, I'd still like to revive that 8300... 🙂





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Re: Dimension 8300 amber light, no diagnostic lights - dead mobo or psu? Help please!

The Dell manual HERE 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

does not list the front panel power light codes.   There are beep codes listed (do you get any beeps when you attempt to power it on?).  Considering the age and technology of an 8300, to be blunt it's not worth $$ to fix.  Whatever you spend and you would still have an "old technology PC".   The motherboard, IF that is the problem,  is a Dell proprietary and only another Dell 8300 motherboard will work.

You can jumper the Green wire to a Black wire on the Power Supply's main power connector to the motherboard and see if the power supply turns on.  That doesn't tell you if all the voltages in the power supply are good, but it will tell you if it turns on.  The power supply is the "old style" with a 20 pin power connector and as there is no space for a power supply on/off switch on the rear panel it will also take a Dell replacement power supply.

The reference Dell manual also has info on replacing parts, including the power supply and motherboard.

Without any more diagnostic info (and the limited info in the Dell manual) it's going to be a guess as to what has failed and will take known good components to try, such as a power supply (first guess).  Again it gets down to costs VS practical issues.    

I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

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2 Bronze

Re: Dimension 8300 amber light, no diagnostic lights - dead mobo or psu? Help please!


Thank you. That's pretty much what I had concluded. The system never reaches the point when one expects to hear the speaker beep codes.


Could you please describe the jumpering you mentioned in a bit more detail? Thanks in advance!



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