GBZ1998
1 Copper

Inspiron 3646, Power LED blinking

Hello all,

I have a Dell Inspiron 3646 that will not POST anymore, when the power button is pressed, the power LED starts blinking amber in the following pattern: 2x blink, pause, 3x blink, long pause, repeat.

If a monitor is attached, no output is displayed, the system will not respond to keypresses if a keyboard is attached.

I have already tried to remove the CMOS battery and putting the jumper in the "Clear CMOS" position, and left it like that overnight, unfortunately to no avail.

I have found the following page listing blink patterns for this system: A reference guide to the Inspiron Desktop Diagnostic Indicators

Unfortunately the particular blink pattern I am getting is not listed on this page, so any information about this particular pattern, or other suggestions, are highly appreciated.

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7 Plutonium

Re: Inspiron 3646 Power LED Blinking

Like you, and I have access to other documents, I do not find anything on your specific error codes.  However, I would suspect that ultimately the motherboard is the problem.   What did you do prior to this?  Update the BIOS? Have a power failure?, etc.

To be blunt, considering the age of the PC and that it is an entry level system, I wouldn't consider repairing it.

 



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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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Inspiron 3646 Power LED Blinking

 

Blinking amber power button LED =
* Stuck in an S3 power state
* The motherboard cannot start initialization
* Possible power problem. Ensure the power cable is connected to the motherboard and CPU

Open the case cover, power the PC on. If it has one, does the motherboard flea light turn on? Does the PSU have an internal fan? If yes and turned on, is this fan spinning? Consider disconnecting the power cable from the PC, opening it up and disconnecting/reconnecting every card, cable, etc. Perhaps something is not fully seated.

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GBZ1998
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 3646 Power LED Blinking

Hi fireberd,

This system was handed down to me because of this problem, so I don't know what was done prior to me receiving it, as far as I know no attempt was made to update the BIOS.

Agree with you on the age of the machine, it's mostly the small form factor that makes it interesting to me to attempt to fix it.

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GBZ1998
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 3646 Power LED Blinking

Hi Chris M,

This particular model does not have any LEDs on the motherboard, it has no internal PSU (it uses the same external adapter used by Dell Latitude laptops, currently using it with a DA130PE1-00, I have also tried another one to rule out this particular adapter).

There is a fan on the CPU that will start spinning when the system is turned on. For what it's worth, if I remove the RAM, the blink code changes to 2x blink, pause, repeat, which seems to be the correct code if no memory is detected.

Pretty much the only cables attached to the motherboard are those for the front panel and a SATA connector for the DVD drive, I have tried reconnecting all of them, unfortunately to no avail.

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Inspiron 3646 Power LED Blinking

 

Apologies, thinking of other Inspiron Desktop. Agreed, multiple AC adapters tested, same issue, most likely a motherboard fault. At a minimum, I would replace the CMOS battery and retest.

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