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PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

Model is Dell Dimension 8400
OS in none ( I wiped the hard drive )
Power light is amber which means hardware failure if I remember correctly

I failed to dual-boot XP and Ubuntu (it would boot straight to ubuntu so I made both partitions bootable at which point my PC froze and would not do anything including power off so I had to pull the plug after ten minutes. I plugged it in and turned it on at which the power light turns amber and the monitor says it is in power save mode and it will not wake up. I have hooked up another desktop and the monitor works fine. I tried to get it to boot an OS install disk but the tray sits idle. I have had this PC since I was little and do not want to give it up. Later I will be trying to swap video cards to see if it is a video card failure as well as do a boot with only minimum components to see if i can at least get into the BIOS

Any and all help is appreciated

Apologies if i sound clueless I am 18 and learning as much as i can about computers, they are my passion and soon to be my life's work

Sincerely, timothy.quick.us.il

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5 Replies
8 Krypton

RE: PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

What color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on rear of the tower when power light is amber but PC doesn't boot?

And is it a solid or blinking amber power button?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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RE: PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

Sorry for the late reply, I don't have much internet access.

The lights in the back are OFF (a,b,c, & d)

The power light is SOLID amber

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8 Krypton

RE: PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

If all 4 LEDs are off, this could be a power problem or a pre-boot (motherboard) problem.

If you're using a power strip, surge protector or uninterruptable power supply, remove those and connect PC directly to working outlet.

If that doesn't help, the manual says:

If power light is steady amber - device may be malfunctioning.

  1. Remove and then reinstall memory modules
  2. Remove and then reinstall PCI cards
  3. Remove and then reinstall graphics card

Be sure to read the Safety Instructions before working inside the case. And after you reseat everything, remove motherboard battery and press/hold power button for ~30 sec. Then reinstall the battery, close the case and see if it boots now.

If it still doesn't boot, it's possible the power supply failed. Try this, but only if you're careful and comfortable doing this:

  1. Power off, unplug and press/hold power button for ~15 sec.
  2. Open case and disconnect power supply connector from motherboard (see manual)
  3. Use a bent paper clip or short wire to "jump" the hole at the green wire in the connector to the hole in the corrector for a black wire. (Do not cut or remove any wires from the connector.)
  4. Plug PC in and see if fans and hard drive spin up. If not, possible power supply failure
  5. Then disconnect PC from wall and remove your jump wire and reconnect PSU to motherboard

If fans and hard drive spin up with the jumper, you may have to strip it down to bare essentials to see if you can identify a part that's failed.

Otherwise, you may have to take it to a reliable PC shop, but only you can decide how much time and money to invest in this old system... 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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RE: PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

I eventually got it to power on and I got XP running but now it won't boot again sometimes it will and about half of the time when it doesn't the fans go crazy. I think I am going to salvage what I can and recycle it. My cherished childhood PC will be missed. I thank you for your help but I guess it's time to say goodbye. But before I get rid of it any last advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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8 Krypton

RE: PC Turns On and Goes Straight To Power Save Mode

When was last time you replaced the motherboard battery? CR2032 3-volt lithium ion battery, ~US$2.00.

My D8400 won't boot and fans go crazy when that battery dies, and it's a cheap thing to try if you're so connected to yours.

And you could consider a new PSU, but only you can decide how much time/money to put into such an old system vs something new.

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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