How to Troubleshoot a No Power Issue on your Dell Desktop

How to Troubleshoot a No Power Issue on your Dell Desktop



The following article contains information and Dell knowledge base article links to assist with troubleshooting a No Power situation on your Dell desktop.


Table of Contents:

  1. No Power Introduction
  2. No Power Troubleshooting
  3. Useful Links

No Power Introduction

No Power, in this case, can be defined as either the system not receiving any power from the power source or the power not being distributed in the system correctly. It may be more complicated to determine what is causing the No Power issue, but it is easy to identify. You may notice the following symptoms if you are experiencing a No Power issue:

  • No response from the power button (LED stays off)

  • The power button displays a blinking amber (orange) LED.

    (If the light is blinking a recognisable error code, please click the link to select the correct article to identify the error code.)

Note: If you believe your system may be experiencing a different issue than the one described above, please refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Resolve No Power, No POST, No Boot or No Video issues with your Dell Computer or if you want to learn more about how to isolate the issue based on the symptoms, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Dell PC does not turn on or boot into Windows.


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No Power - Troubleshooting

Note: These quick tips are intended to provide a direct path to common points of failure to quickly identify solutions. These tips are not meant to replace complete troubleshooting, but provide simplified steps. If these steps do not yield a point of failure, or do not apply to the symptoms being experienced, please refer to the links provided in this article. These steps are equally valid for both Desktop and All in One systems.

Before you begin a full investigation into the issue, turn off the power and check any of the following steps that are approriate to your system, before attempting to restart your PC:

  1. Check that all cables are secure in their connection (power and data cables) by re-plugging them, both externally and inside your system

  2. Ensure the wall outlet is working by trying another device on it first

  3. Bypass any battery back-up or power strip and connect the power cable directly to the wall outlet

  4. If there were any hardware or software changes just prior to the issue, reverse those changes and test again

  5. Remove any non-essential items connected to the system (printers, flash drives, external hard drives, etc.)

  6. Ensure that all removable media is removed from both the system and any printer left attached to the system (disks, cell phones, SD cards)

  7. Rule out an Issue with the PSU:

    1. If you have an older system, please check the Voltage selector switch on the PSU hasn't changed to the wrong Voltage (110v - 240v)

    2. If the system has an external PSU or AC adapter, please check the external status LEDs and if possible test with a known good substitute and a known good adapter cable. If the fault is with the adapter please confirm the status of the adapter cable on the known good device

    3. If your monitor is powering on and the power cable is appropriate to your PC, then swap the cable between your monitor and PC to rule out an issue with the cable or power socket

    4. Test an internal PSU (Power Supply Unit) if the BIST is available on PSU:

      1. Disconnect the power cord and wait at least 15 seconds before plugging it back in

      2. Press the BIST (Built In Self Test) button on the back of the PSU and check to see if the LED lights up for 3 seconds.

      3. If the LED is off, disconnect the power cord

      4. Unplug any internal power cables from the PSU to the motherboard and internal devices.

      5. Re-connect the power cord and try the BIST button again, did the result change? (If the light comes on it's possible something plugged to the motherboard is pulling the system down. If the LED is still off then the PSU is at fault.)

    5. Test the internal PSU if the BIST is not available on the PSU:

      • The easiest way to check the PSU is to swap it with the PSU from a similar working PC and see where the fault goes? (If the fault follows the PSU - it's the PSU. If the fault stays with the PC it's something internal to the PC.)

      • If no swap is available then you should go to the next step

Video (English Only)- Learn about Dell’s Built In Self-Test for power supplies, Closed Captions Available in Many Languages (2:57)

  1. If the PSU checks out OK or you are unable to troubleshoot it, then move on to troubleshooting the internal components of the PC:

    1. Unplug the Power Cord

    2. Disconnect the cables from an internal component (i.e. the Optical drive, the Storage drives, the memory, etc.)

    3. connect the power cord after disconnecting each component and test if the system powers on. (If it does you've identified the component / connection stopping the PSU from powering on. If it doesn't move on to the next component.)

Once you've completed these checks, It should give you a good idea if the fault is external to your PC, an issue with your PSU or is an issue internal to the PC itself. If the issue continues or is intermittent, please see the section below for links to more articles that will assist with troubleshooting further. If you have identified the faulty part then please contact us with your troubleshooting so we can resolve the issue or if out of warranty we can advise how much it would cost to resolve.


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Useful Links

The articles below are a guide to various desktop diagnostics LEDs and what they mean:

If your computer is getting power but still doesn't start up, then please check out the articles below for further help:

If you are looking to troubleshoot a Notebook system, then please check out the following link for further troubleshooting steps to identify your issue:

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If you require further assistance, please contact Technical Support

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Article ID: SLN285154

Last Date Modified: 10/08/2019 08:57 AM


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