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MrSpecialK
Copper

Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

I ordered 8 Optiplex 390's, fast track, in December.  Out of  these 8 and 3 replacements, I have had 4 failures.

The units failed to boot after about 3 to 7 days of burn in.  After escalation,  Dell Engineering said  "Until a permanent solution is provided, changing the BIOS setting for Power Management->Deep Sleep Control to “disable” may prevent this issue from occurring. "   When the tech came out to replace the motherboard, he said that he has never seen a system with this setting enabled.  And, it is true that the default is disabled.  (Dell replaced 3 units and the last one, they sent a tech to replace the board).  He had more to say, but I don't know if it was the straight story.  It doesn't make sense.  He said that with the setting enabled in the BIOS, the user must press the power button multiple times within a short time to effect a power on.  While this would explain the systems failure to boot, it does not explain why they would first work, then stop.  Or, that some of the units never quit.  Go figure.

Anyone else in the same fix?

31 Replies
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

I was also given the same data. I imagine they will fix this in a newer bios.

No POST after power applied -
Some systems may exhibit a no POST symptom, especially after being normally shutdown and allowed to idle in the hibernate or off power states. The symptom is a brief power up with a momentary blue power LED and a solid amber diag LED 3 followed by an immediate shut down. Engineering is aware of this issue and investigating a long term fix. A workaround is to restart the system and enter the Bios. Disable the Bios setting for Power Management -Deep Sleep Control. Save the change and exit the Bios.

No POST after being powered on for some time -
The symptom is that the system will immediately shut down when the power button is pressed. The diagnostic LED 3 may stay illuminated momentarily during the failure. There is a solid workaround which is to change the BIOS setting for Deep Sleep to disable. Obviously to do this you must get the system to boot. So, in order to boot the system, remove the AC power and press the test button on the power supply for several seconds. Re-attach the AC power and attempt to power on.  If this doesn’t work, you can remove the system lid, then remove the USBF1 connector from the motherboard (green connector near the PSU side of the motherboard). The system should POST with USBF1 removed. When the system does POST, hit F2 to enter the system setup menu, then find the deep sleep setting and set it to disable. Re-plug the USBF1 connector, and the issue should be cleared.

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MrSpecialK
Copper

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

Chris, your reply does accurately reflect the problems I experienced.  Thank you for the added information on how to get the system to boot.  The information had not been provide by support earlier.  It would have made things easier.  As I have now changed the BIOS settings, I don't expect a re-occurrence.

As a point of information, what is the function of the Deep Sleep settings?

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Jake24
Copper

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

I don't want to steer away from the main post but I think I have the same problem with a different unit. have an Inspiron 620 that is a month old and when restarting it does not turn on. Seems like it wants to start for 1 to 2 seconds and then just the white light on the power button and a small white _ on the screen. No Dell screen or even bios test info.

Is this going into hibernate mode as well?

Thanks

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

what is the function of the Deep Sleep settings?
* I do not know yet.

I don't want to steer away from the main post but I think I have the same problem with a different unit. have an Inspiron 620 that is a month old and when restarting it does not turn on. Seems like it wants to start for 1 to 2 seconds and then just the white light on the power button and a small white _ on the screen. No Dell screen or even bios test info. Is this going into hibernate mode as well?
* A white power LED says the PC is on. A yellow power LED would mean sleep/standby. Did your 620 come with a discreet video card? If yes, power the PC off, open the case cover and reseat the video card in the motherboard slot. Then reconnect all and power on.

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munibahmad
Copper

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

we purchased 5 optiplex 390. One of them has started the simmilar problem. It wont reach POST. After connecting the power cable it tries to power on for a sec and then turns off and keeps on doing the same without even touching it. LED 1 on motherboard is on continuously. The above mentioned both work around to get it to POST are not working for me. Please help.

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Webfred
Bronze

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

Hi Guys

There is definitely a problem with the Motherboard  on these Optiplex 390s purchased in Nov/Dec 2012.

I supplied 8 to a customer,  They were deployed in Jan 2012. I have had 2 fail this week with the problem that they will not reach post, on consecutive days . I have had the engineer out twice, once to fit a mother board, on the second occasion the motherboard and processor.

I have requested a recall to Dell as 25% of these 64 Bit machines with consecutive tag numbers have failed in a week, but at present they are playing hard ball.

My patience with tech support is growing thin as each failure is taking about  21/2  hrs of my time. Ie visit my client site, perform the diagnostics test  , lift the machine as the  client site is not perminently manned, return the machine. This is not the service level I expect from Dell. We all know that the replacement boards will be refurbished, and that Dell will claim the faulty kit from the supplier, so why don't they be proactive,

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MrSpecialK
Copper

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

What is your BIOS?  The upgraded BIOS that fixed my problem is A05.  Read the second post if you can't get it past post.  Another way to get it to boot I have observed, is to push the power button repeatedly, quickly, about 3 to 4 times.

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Webfred
Bronze

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

Thanks  Mr SpecialK

I don't have a machine here at present. Thankfully the last one was repaired today and I have  already returned it to site.

I am due back to site  next week and so will look at the original machines then.  As I have been creating merry hell I am suprised that none of the techs have got me to check the BIOS. They have had me on knees replacing parts and doing every thing else!!!! Smiley Happy

I will also keep in mind the power button trick, Thanks for the heads up.

I'm pretty disappointed with Dell Tech support though.  I  found the article below, seems they knew about this issue on 21st Feb 2012, Yet one month later they did not  have the sense to instruct me to upgrade the BIOS on the rest of the machines. They obviously enjoy wasted  unnecessary service calls

www.ccl-la.com/.../problems-with-the-dell-optiplex-390-systems

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speedstep
Diamond

Re: Dell Optiplex 390 SFF Failures; Mother Board or BIOS??

Bios A05 removes the Deep Sleep option.  If you have Bios A01 must update to A02 before updating to A05???

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