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BrianH_00
1 Copper

XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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I’m getting the blinking amber power supply light on my XPS 720 Red (1KW) more often, and it’s now taking about 1 hr following a complete shutdown (red button on Vista) before I can cold start my computer again (i.e., I get the green light vice the blinking amber light).  The symptoms indicate there is a thermostat somewhere in my system?

I’ve researched this problem on Google and here, and found a few similar instances.  In one case, a Dell technician replaced the power supply twice and the motherboard once, but the thread didn’t indicate if the problem was finally solved.  Dell manuals indicate a power supply problem, a motherboard problem (I hope not), or perhaps too many things plugged into the surge suppressor (don't think so, since it usually works fine once started).

 My computer is now 13 months old – 1 month after the warranty expired!  The problem 1st surfaced when my computer was brand new.  After about 1 month of operation, I started getting the blinking amber light on the power supply after switching on the surge suppressor, where everything (monitor, router, printer, etc.) is plugged into.  The timing between computer-off to computer-on got longer and longer until the blinking amber light persisted for about 2 hrs.

I opened up the case and noticed the copper bullet-tipped protrusions on the power supply were deformed, as if crushed or crimped by a tool.  I think my power supply was refurbished.  I jiggled all the connectors and pushed down on all the expansion cards, and noted significant reseating of the nVidia Ultra 8800 video card on one corner.

I plugged everything back in, and my computer started right away, giving me the green light on the power supply ON button.  From that point on til about 6 months ago, everything worked fine.  When the blinking amber light appeared the 2nd time, reseating the video card did not solve the problem, but it went away by just waiting a few hours.

About 2 weeks ago, the blinking amber light resurfaced, with the shutdown wait interval growing from about 15 minutes to about 1 – 2 hrs.  I opened the case and reseated the video card and jiggled all the power connectors.  Again, the computer started up the 1st time, but this was also after being off overnight.  It wouldn’t start again until about 1 hr of cooldown.

My room is cooler now that it has been in the past, so environment is not the issue.  I'm not losing the time and date, so I assume the button battery is ok.

Am I facing imminent failure of my computer, or is it just a thermostat that I wasn’t aware of this past year during normal on-off intervals?  Are one of my chips overheating, or do I have a thermo-expansion/contraction problem on one the components?  How hard is it to change the power supply (I know it's non-standard with 2 connectors)?

XPS 720 Red (1 KW power supply)
Quad Core Q6600, 8MB L2, 2.4 GHz
Window Vista Home Premium
4GB DDR2 SDRAM
768 nVidia 8800 Ultra
500 GB Seagate 7200rpm SATA
Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer

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fireberd
6 Indium

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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"Educated" guess is that the power supply is the problem.  One thing to try, the next time it fails to power on, disconnect the power supply AC power cord for about 1 minute and then plug back in.  There is a "crowbar" circuit in the power supply (basically an electronic fuse) and if it trips you need to remove the AC power input to the power supply for a short period for the crowbar circuit to reset.  Generally, if the crowbar trips there is no power supply output at all but it's still worth a try.  (If the crowbar circuit is tripping it indicates an internal power supply problem).

Ultimately, you are going to have to get another power supply as a first step in troubleshooting (the power supply is less expensive than a motherboard).  Looking at your system specs (they are similar to my home built PC with a Q6600) you probably can get by with a 550watt power supply for testing (and maybe even for use).  Buy one somewhere that has a liberal return policy so you can return it, if it's not the power supply.

I am using a 550 watt in my home built and it is not being overloaded.  My home built has an Intel Motherboard, Q6600, 6 GB RAM, Vista Home Premium 64 bit, NVIDIA 8600GT, SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Platinum EX sound card, 500GB and 750GB SATA drives and two SATA optical drives.



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

13 Replies
fireberd
6 Indium

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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"Educated" guess is that the power supply is the problem.  One thing to try, the next time it fails to power on, disconnect the power supply AC power cord for about 1 minute and then plug back in.  There is a "crowbar" circuit in the power supply (basically an electronic fuse) and if it trips you need to remove the AC power input to the power supply for a short period for the crowbar circuit to reset.  Generally, if the crowbar trips there is no power supply output at all but it's still worth a try.  (If the crowbar circuit is tripping it indicates an internal power supply problem).

Ultimately, you are going to have to get another power supply as a first step in troubleshooting (the power supply is less expensive than a motherboard).  Looking at your system specs (they are similar to my home built PC with a Q6600) you probably can get by with a 550watt power supply for testing (and maybe even for use).  Buy one somewhere that has a liberal return policy so you can return it, if it's not the power supply.

I am using a 550 watt in my home built and it is not being overloaded.  My home built has an Intel Motherboard, Q6600, 6 GB RAM, Vista Home Premium 64 bit, NVIDIA 8600GT, SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Platinum EX sound card, 500GB and 750GB SATA drives and two SATA optical drives.



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

BrianH_00
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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Thanks for the crowbar try fireberd, but that didn't work. 

I think you answered my question anyway.  Getting a new power supply makes sense.  It was just wishful thinking that nothing was wrong with my computer.

I have one more question then - How hard is it to replace the power supply?  I can replace a hard drive, but this isn't my day job.  I know I'll have to look under the hood myself to see if I can handle it.  It's just that the XPS 720 is a monster to lug around.

Thanks

P.S. Sorry for all the junk that precedes my original post.  This was my 1st message.  I knew I should have converted to text first.

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fireberd
6 Indium

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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Usually, the power supply isn't hard, just that you have all the cables to contend with.  The is a copy of the Dell manual preloaded on your PC, but if you can't find it or deleted it, HERE

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

is the Dell manual and it details how to replace the power supply.



I am not a Dell Employee

Dell forum member since 2002

Dell Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS ROG Z170, i7 6700K CPU

Windows 10 64 bit Pro and Windows 10 Insider Program Beta Versions. SSD drives. Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 4.1 Recordng Studio Software.

Dell S2719dgf Monitor

Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

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BrianH_00
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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Just to follow up, I replaced the power supply and that apparently solved the problem.  My computer has been working fine for about a week now. 

The refurbished power supply from Dell only took 2 days to arrive.  It had a Version A05 on the label, and my old one said A04.  Looking though the rear grill of the new power supply, I couldn't see the fan anymore.  I assume it was relocated forward to blow air out instead of the air out, and it seems to run quieter.

It took me about 2 hours to do the job, working slow and deliberate, including some cleaning of dust in the enclosure and front lower fan.  All 4 memory modules had to come out in order to remove the hard drive fan.  There were 10 cables to keep track of and remember the routing, but it was doable without much difficulty.  If I had to do this again, it would probably take me only an hour.

Thanks for the help.

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vlhooligan
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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Thanks for your initial post,suffering the exact same problem with my p.c. Order gone in for new p.s.u. and expecting it today. Local shop had p.c. for 2 weeks and never sussed out the problem until i walked into workshop and tried to start it. Main reason for taking it to shop was i didn`t fancy doing job myself and thought they would know better.

Thanks again for your very descriptive post,hopefully i`ll get mine sorted.

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herib1rd
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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i am aswell suffering from the same problem, well at least we are not alone Smiley Wink

after various support calls, i am no recieving a new psu and mb, on my expenses of course, since the problem of course started after the waranty was over.

lets see if this will keep the 720 alive, other it wont have a bright future...

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zkaudio
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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I have had the EXACT same problems with the 700kw psu... I am on motherboard number 2 and psu number 2.  It just started happening again.  I've never let the blinking light keep blinking.  I always unplug the power cable, but like you say, it has to be unplugged for like 1 hour minimum to boot.  I get a blinking amber light.  I just renewed my dell warranty and am coming to grips with the fact that this computer may just eat through motherboards... I could have bought a new studio xps with i7 for 250 more than the 2 year warranty cost me... not sure i made a good decision yet!

 

Will follow up after the dell tech leaves today.

 


System specs are as follows:

XPS 720

Q6600 NEVER OC'd

2x2gb 1066 corsair dominator + 2x1gb corsair dominator, 6gb total @ 1066mhz via epp/sli option

striped raid system drives

4870 radeon gfx card

m-audio delta 192

 

 

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rjdvickster
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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Wow sounds all too familiar.
I am on MOBO #2 and PS #2 myself.

First time MOBO was replaced, worked well for a year (Oddly enough 1 month after warentee was over).
Replaced PS that time, worked well for about two weeks and back to teh same old thing.

Not sure what to do here, screaming at Dell propably wont get me anywhere, never does.

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BrianH_00
1 Copper

Re: XPS 720 1KW power supply blinking amber light?

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You replaced the power supply and it didn't help?  Maybe it's just bad luck with 2 in a row.  My refurbished replacement from Dell has been working fine for 9 months now.  Alternatively, you could solder in new capacitors via this website

http://www.aplusperfect.com/articles/fix-dell-cx305n-power-supply

I'm just not into that kind of thing unless I have to.

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