A reference guide to the XPS Desktop Diagnostic Indicators


A reference guide to the XPS Desktop Diagnostic Indicators



Dell XPS Desktop systems have a long history of built in diagnostic indicators. These can be audible beeps, power buttons that display different states and colours, specific diagnostics LEDs or a combination of them all, in order to indicate at which point during the Power On Self Test (POST) a system is having issues.

The following article is a reference guide to the codes available on each model and what those codes actually mean. These change through the various models and years. These indicators are merely a starting point to narrow down any troubleshooting you will carry out to identify the cause of your current issue. You can use this as a starting point to narrow down the proper troubleshooting guide you will need or you can contact technical support for further help and they will be looking for these indicators as well.


Table of Contents:

  1. Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop Series (2007 to 2008)
  2. Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop series (2008 to 2015)
  3. Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop series (2015 to Present)
  4. XPS Desktop Audible Beep Codes
  5. Diagnostic Indicator Guides

Note: For all the tables below, please remember that the diagnostic LEDs only serve as an indicator of the progress through the POST process. These LEDs do not indicate the problem that caused the POST routine to stop.
Note: Please be aware that if your system completes POST without stopping on a particular error code and then gives a black screen, the most likely reason is that you are experiencing a No Boot issue and not a No POST issue at all.


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Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop series (2007 to 2008)

This series used power button LED states and a diagnostics LED pack on Towers and All in One (AIO) systems.

XPS Desktop 2007-2008

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.
LED Status System State Suggested Next Step
Off Off The computer is either turned off or is not receiving power Troubleshoot a No Power issue
Blinking Amber Blinking Amber The computer is receiving power, a device might be faulty or incorrectly installed Troubleshoot a No POST issue
Solid Amber Solid Amber The computer is in a fault condition including the power supply Troubleshoot a No POST issue
Blinking Blue Blinking Blue The computer is in Standby Press a key on the keyboard, move the mouse or press the power button to resume normal operation, if problem persists, listen for a beep code
Solid Blue Solid Blue The computer is on and working ok If the computer is not responding troubleshoot a No Boot/No Video issue

XPS 420's, 600's, 700's to 720's and A2010's to A2420's

Diag LED Status Light Pattern Problem Description Suggested Next Step
LED 1 LED off LED off LED off LED off The computer is in a normal
off state, or is possibly a pre-BIOS
failure has occurred. If the system
Boots the diagnostic LEDs will turn off
Reseat all power and data cables
N/A LED off LED off LED off LED 4 System is in recovery mode Contact Technical Support
LED 2 LED off LED off LED 3 LED off A possible Processor Failure has
occurred
Contact Technical Support
LED 3 LED off LED off LED 3 LED 4 Memory modules are detected, but a
memory failure has occurred
Troubleshoot the
Memory and Memory Slots
LED 4 LED off LED 2 LED off LED 4 A possible graphics failure has occurred Troubleshoot a No POST issue
LED 5 LED off LED 2 LED 3 LED off A possible FDD or HDD Failure has
occurred
Reseat all power and data cables
LED 6 LED off LED 2 LED 3 LED 4 A possible USB Failure has occurred Reinstall all USB devices and check
all USB cable connections
LED 7 LED 1 LED off LED off LED off No memory modules are detected Troubleshoot the
Memory and Memory Slots
LED 8 LED 1 LED off LED 3 LED off Memory modules are detected, but
a memory configuration or
compatibility error has occurred
Troubleshoot the
Memory and Memory Slots
N/A LED off LED 2 LED off LED off A possible expansion card failure
has occurred
Troubleshoot a No POST issue
N/A LED 1 LED off LED 3 LED 4 Other Pre-Video activity Troubleshoot a No POST issue
LED 9 LED 1 LED 2 LED off LED off System resource configuration in Process Troubleshoot a No POST issue
LED 10 LED 1 LED 2 LED 3 LED off Another failure has occurred Post
Video activity
Troubleshoot a No POST issue
N/A LED 1 LED 2 LED 3 LED 4 Handed off to Boot The POST sequence has ended
and the Boot startup has begun


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Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop series (2008 to 2015)

This series used power button LED states. The power button is located on the front of the chassis. You could identify these models by their flat black front face and side panels/lids.

XPS Desktop 2011-2014

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.
LED Status System State Suggested Next Step
Off Off The computer is either turned off or is not receiving power Troubleshoot a No Power issue
Blinking Amber Blinking Amber The computer is receiving power, a device might be faulty or incorrectly installed Troubleshoot a No POST issue
Solid Amber Solid Amber The computer is in standby Press a key on the keyboard, move the mouse or press the power button to resume normal operation, if problem persists, listen for a beep code
Solid White Solid White The computer is on and working ok If the computer is not responding troubleshoot a No Boot/No Video issue

XPS 430's to 360's, 730's, and 8300's to A2420's

Diagnostic Beep Codes
LED Status Beep Code Cause Suggested Resolution
Blinking Amber 1 BIOS ROM Checksum in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
Blinking Amber 2 No Memory Modules detected Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
Blinking Amber 3 Chipset Error
Time-of-day clock test failure
Gate A20 Failure
Super I/O chip Failure
Keyboard controller test failure
Contact Technical Support
Blinking Amber 4 RAM read/write error Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
Blinking Amber 5 Real Time Clock Failure Replace the CMOS Battery, Contact Technical Support if problem persists
Blinking Amber 6 Video BIOS test Failure Run the Dell Diagnostics
Blinking Amber 7 CPU Cache Test Failure Contact Technical Support


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Diagnostic LEDs for the XPS Desktop series (2015 to Present)

With the latest series, the diagnostics indicator Beeps have been removed from Tower systems, but remains in All In One (AIO) systems. Instead the Power Button state now gives a blink and colour shift pattern to indicate where its had a problem.

XPS 2014-Present

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.
Power Button LED Status Power State Description
Off Off S4 or S5 Power is Off. LED is blank.
Blinking Amber Blinking Amber - Initial State of LED at power up. Refer to the table below for Blinking Amber pattern diagnostic suggestions and possible failures.
Solid Amber Solid Amber - The second state of the LED at power up, indicates that the POWER_GOOD signal is active and it is probable that the power supply is fine.
Blinking White Blinking White S1 or S3 System is in a low power state, either S1 or S3. This does not indicate a fault condition.
Solid White Solid White S0 System is in S0 state. This is the normal power states of a functioning machine. The BIOS will turn the LED to this states to indicate it has started fetching op-codes.
Power LED Problem Description Suggested Resolution
2,1 Motherboard Failure Contact Technical Support
2,2 Motherboard: Power Supply Contact Technical Support
2,3 Motherboard: Memory or CPU Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
2,4 Bad Coin Cell Battery Replace the CMOS Battery and Contact Technical Support if issue persists
2,5 BIOS Checksum Failure Flash BIOS and contact Technical Support if issue persists
2,6 Bad CPU Contact Technical Support
2,7 Memory Failures Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
3,1 PCI Device or Video Subsystem failure Troubleshoot a No POST issue
3,2 Video Subsystem failure Troubleshoot a No POST issue
3,3 No Memory detected Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
3,4 Storage Subsystem failure Troubleshoot a No POST issue
3,5 Memory configuration or incompatible error Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
3,6 System board failure Troubleshoot a No POST issue
3,7 Possible Memory failure Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots


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XPS Desktop audible Beep codes

In addition to the various types of diagnostics LEDs, there are a number of audible beep codes across some of the models of these systems.

These codes are recognised across manufacturers and have remained the same for some time.

The key to these codes are displayed in the table below.

Note: Please click on the title of the section you want to open below, in order to see the contents.
Diagnostic Beep Codes
Code Cause Suggested Resolution
1 BIOS ROM Checksum in progress or failure Contact Technical Support
2 No Memory Modules detected Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
3 Chipset Error
Time-of-day clock test failure
Gate A20 Failure
Super I/O chip Failure
Keyboard controller test failure
Contact Technical Support
4 RAM read/write error Troubleshoot the Memory and Memory Slots
5 Real Time Clock Failure Replace the CMOS Battery, Contact Technical Support if problem persists
6 Video BIOS test Failure Run the Dell Diagnostics
7 CPU Cache Test Failure Contact Technical Support


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Diagnostic Indicator Guides


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Note:
If you are seeing a recognisable code, please follow the instructions and if you have to contact your local support - please make sure you have the code information to hand. The technician will need this information to help you further.

If you are seeing an unrecognisable code, one that isn't listed above - then please get in touch with your local support straight away.
If you require further assistance, please contact technical Support.
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Article ID: SLN304427

Last Date Modified: 05/14/2019 01:28 PM

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