A few weeks ago my PC started booting in the morning only as far as a solid amber/orange light
See short video of this sequence here:
(Text description of the start-stop-start on the video is included also further below).
The last couple days it is more difficult to coax the machine to start up completely. And the self-restarting has has stopped.
All 3 fans plus graphics card are turning. Orange Amber light on motherboard stays on solid before during and after. I have replaced the CMOS battery, reseated it and checked its voltage with a multimeter before reseating it again.
What seems to work erratically to start the PC is to let it run partially started with solid Amber power light for a few minutes. Then hold power button to stop. And press power again to--eventually--star up fully( white power light).
Win7 X 64
Description of video:
Dell Studio XPS 435mt. Turns itself off and back on a second time, but still fails to boot.
00:01 I press power button. System makes some fan noises, but shows orange light of death on the power button.
00:11 After ~10 seconds, system turns itself off. Fans stop, power button light goes off.
00:14 About 2 seconds later, with no additional input from me, the system turns on again. Like the first time, fans and drives make noise; same orange light on power button.
00:45 After about 30 seconds, I hold down the power button to turn off the PC.
00:55 I press the power button. This time the PC starts normally.
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Thanks for reaching out to us.
Have you tried any troubleshooting so far? Were there any hardware or software changes made on the system recently?? Any power surge issues??
Try to remove the memories and install then one by one and test the machine. During those few seconds is the power button light solid amber or flashing amber??
Are you able to eject the dvd tray?? How about the green light on the PSU?
Anticipating your reply.
Thanks for your reply. I can answer a some of your questions, but I am away from the machine until after the first of the year.
What I have tried:
I added a USB 3.0 card to the machine sometime after the initial problem appeared--as shown in the video--but before the situation worsened to the current state. I thought the card might be part of the problem, so this week, I pulled it out, but the problem was the same.
I also tried unplugging the CPU fan from the motherboard. The boot behavior was the same in all cases: before unplugging, unplugged, plugged in again. (Obviously the fan didn't spin when unplugged, but same in other ways.)
I haven't tried reseating the RAM sticks, but I will when I return home.
The power light has been solid amber. Never seen a blinking one. I think the DVD drive will open and close--but I will confirm when I get home.
I don't remember seeing an LED on the PSU, of any color. I replaced the stock PSU, long before any of this started, with a Thermaltake--don't recall the model number--so that may explain not having the expected LED on the power supply. Again, I will check and report back next week.
Thanks again for the help and suggestions.
More troubleshooting results:
Both DVD drives do eject and close during solid amber power button.
I removed all RAM sticks and replaced one at a time, and swapping.first RAM module into second slot. PC starts same as documented in the video. Solid orange on mobo and on power button, plus odd self-shutdown and restart behavior. No changes from previous report.
I tried a few more shut downs and starts but cannot now get the machine to boot.
I did notice a red LED blink once on the graphics card just as the machine powers on.
To rule out at least most of the hardware, strip the PC of all components not required for it to boot. Leave 1 stick of RAM, take out the graphics card, etc.
Clear the CMOS and check for BIOS updates. Also, you could try taking out the CMOS battery and with the PC unplugged, hold the power button for 30 seconds to totally clear the CMOS and any residual memory.
Here is information about amber lights:
|Power LED State||Description|
|Off||Computer is Powered Off or in Hibernate or Suspend to Disk (S4) mode.|
|Solid Amber||This is a system fault error condition indicating only the +5VSB rail on the power supply is working correctly.|
|Blinking Amber||Computer is receiving electrical power from the AC Adapter. A device might be malfunctioning or incorrectly installed. Refer to the Amber Blinking Pattern table below for more information.|
|Solid White||Computer is in normal state (S0).|
|Blinking White||Computer is in a low power state, either S1 or S3. This does not indicate a fault condition.|
|Amber LED Pattern||Problem Description||Suggested Resolution|
|1||System board: BIOS, ROM failure||Reset the BIOS to Default Settings. If problem persists, contact Dell Technical Support|
|2||No memory/RAM detected|
|3||System board, Chipset Error, Clock failure, Gate A20 failure, Super I/O Failure, Keyboard controller failure|
|5||CMOS battery failure|
|6||Video card/chip failure|
I tried the steps suggested by dfthgddb, but the computer start up behavior is the same in all cases. After power is removed, the computer starts, shows solid amber light on power button for about 5 seconds, shuts off for about two seconds, then powers on again by itself. Solid orange power button light, but no further progress in booting. No beeps or blinks.
I left one stick of RAM and removed the video card then tried a few variations:
With the one (boot) HDD and optical drives connected, then with them all disconnected.
Before and after unplugging and reseating all motherboard connectors, fans, PSU connector, USB, etc.
With and without the CMOS battery installed.
What does this indicate? (That the problem is not with the video card, RAM, connectors, drives, etc?) What else should I try? Is solid amber power light indicates power supply problems, is there a way to test the PSU?
Thanks to dfthgddb and Dell-Hema for the suggestions so far.