1 Copper

XPS 8900, no memory detected, mobo gone?

I took out one RAM module from my XPS to see what type it was, reinserted it, turned on my PC and it wouldn't power on. I noticed a very putrid odor and turned off my PC immediately. I noticed that the RAM module that I took out was not fully inserted - one edge was not fully connected.

I firmly inserted the RAM module back inside, tried to turn on my PC, but I got 3 amber blinking lights, a pause, and then three amber blinking lights again. According to the diagnostic guide, this means there is some sort of memory failure:

No Memory detected

I checked again and found that there was damage to the motherboard.


I ran my finger across the black stuff and it smells the same as when I tried to turn on my PC previously.

Can this be repaired? And why did this happen? All I did was take a RAM module out...

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2 Replies
7 Thorium

Re: XPS 8900, no memory detected, mobo gone?

Chances of getting repaired are slim and none.

Thus motherboard replacement will be required.

I see used boards on e-bay, if you want to chance one of those.  Do a search on e-bay for XPS 8900 motherboard.  Otherwise it may be time for a new/current technology PC.  



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.

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7 Thorium

Re: XPS 8900, no memory detected, mobo gone?

Did you only have that one RAM module installed in this PC?

@fireberd is probably right the motherboard is gone, and probably that RAM module too, but you can try resetting BIOS to see if you can clear that error code:

  1. Power off and unplug
  2. Press/hold power button for ~15 sec
  3. Open case and remove motherboard battery
  4. Press/hold power button for ~30 sec
  5. Remove all RAM modules
  6. Carefully reinstall one RAM module in the 2nd slot from the CPU, preferably not the RAM module that got fried
  7. Carefully reinstall the battery, right-side-up!
  8. Close up and see if it boots now with only mouse, monitor and keyboard connected

Hard lesson learned here about working inside a PC. So in the future, use something like the free CPU-z app to see the specs for RAM, motherboard, etc inside your PC, without mucking around inside. :Idea:


   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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