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Penz2k7
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Dimension 8400 Power Button

We have a Dimension 8400 at my office that stopped working a month ago.  The ONLY way to power it up (using the power button) is to open the case and remove the battery (I know, makes no sense to me either)  Have replaced the power supply and get the same result.  Today we replaced the motherboard and still have the same result.  My question is, do these power buttons actually go bad?  Or is there some setting somewhere that turns this off and somehow removing the motherboard's battery resets it for the next time you power it on.  Once on it works fine, but if you shut it down you are forced to remove the battery again.


Message Edited by Penz2k7 on 05-02-2007 01:16 PM
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14 Replies
shesagordie
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Penz2k7

Have you tried replacing the front control panel and ribbon cable?

These are proprietary items and if you are not under warranty, they can be obtained from Dell Spare Parts.

Bev.





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Penz2k7
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

That was going to be our next step, but after replacing a power supply and a motherboard I wanted to see if anyone out there had any other thoughts on this problem.  Thanks for your response.
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shesagordie
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Penz2k7

Check out the ribbon cable from the motherboard to the front panel first.

Bev.




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RoHe
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Sure the battery on the motherboard is good?

Ron

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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Penz2k7
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Yeah.  We have replaced the battery in the "original" motherboard, and I can only assume the new motherboard actually came with a new battery.  Correct me if I'm wrong though, isn't the battery on the motherboard "mostly" used for maintaining the time and date?  Either way though, I can't see how the battery would cause the issue I have, nor do I understand how that "resets" the system and allows me to only boot up once.
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RoHe
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Battery on motherboard powers NVRAM which holds the info about installed hardware, eg type/size of hard drive, amount of RAM, etc, in addition to keeping the clock/calendar running.

So when you remove the battery, you reset all BIOS settings to factory defaults which apparently allows the system to boot properly. If you have a battery you know is good, put it into the new motherboard. It's reasonable to assume the new board came with a good battery, but one never knows.

I suppose it's also possible you have a short circuit in the power switch which is draining the battery when the system is off just enough to scramble the NVRAM settings.

Do as Bev suggested and check the wiring to the button and maybe see if you can buy a replacement.

Ron

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

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Penz2k7
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

We did replace the battery with a brand new one.  And today I ordered a new power button assembly.  Thanks for the responses.  Hopefully this will fix the issue.
 
By the way, is it easy to get to that power button?  We were looking into it the other day and it looked like a pain to begin with.  Not a "tool less" job like changing anything else.
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shesagordie
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

Penz2k7

Oh, it's a pain alright.

The power button and circuit board is one unit. Dell has not published a guide to remove the front panel and control panel of the Dimension 8400, but you can use the guide, <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

here, it's for an Optiplex GX50 Small Mini Tower, but the procedures are the same.

Bev.






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Penz2k7
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Re: Dimension 8400 Power Button

OK, I'm back.  So just a quick run down of what has been done to this pc.  We have replaced the power supply, motherboard, power button (and cable) and tried 3 different batteries on the motherboard.  We are still not able to restart this machine after it is shutdown.  The only way to restart is to remove the battery.  I have run out of possible causes here.  So I guess my question is, is there any chance this could be a software problem or a BIOS problem?  I've replaced all except for hard drive and cd rom.  By the way, we tested the usb ports in front to make sure it wasn't the cable that connected those ports to the motherboard and that worked fine as well.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 
 
Edit: Reason I ask about it being software related is due to the fact that during my research I saw something about it being possible to "turn off" the power button on Dell Servers, not sure if on a workstation.


Message Edited by Penz2k7 on 05-02-2007 01:19 PM
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