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Author: Subject: Problems starting Dell PC - Any advice?
John P

posted on 29/9/20 at 04:21 PM Reply With Quote
Problems starting Dell PC - Any advice?

Hi,

I have a Dell Optiplex 755 which came from my daughter’s company where it had been used as a CAD station.

It has a Core 2 Duo CPU with 8GB RAM and although quite old does everything I need.

Recently I have been having an issue on start up. When I press the power button the fan immediately starts but a few seconds later goes silent and then sometimes the computer boots up whilst on others the diagnostic lights flash a few times (too quickly to record) and then it switches off. Curiously it then re-tries and after a few attempts it normally succeeds in starting but not always.

On those occasions I have to force it to start by pressing and holding the power button or even turning the whole thing off and on again at the wall socket.

It was suggested this could be the power switch itself but when I spoke to a parts supplier he thought it very unlikely and suggested it may be a mother board issue.

Once running everything seems fine and, providing I don’t shut it down, there’s no real problem. I have never had any error or warning messages.

Any suggestions?

John.

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coyoteboy

posted on 29/9/20 at 05:18 PM Reply With Quote
FWIW I use one of these as my CNC machine controller running linuxcnc and it always does the on-off-on cycle, but always starts afterwards

No idea why. My other machines only do this when a bios processor setting is incorrect, and they throttle themselves back and restart. This one does it every time.





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Jaymaxi

posted on 29/9/20 at 08:18 PM Reply With Quote
Have you looked to see if there's any dell forum online as what's happening with yours could be on others, might be a good time to copy work files and maybe software if poss, I use a couple of these for work usually robust but I wouldn't connect to internet. One wouldn't start in cold weather, it was the paste under the processor chip had dried and needed replacing, worth a look? , John
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Jaymaxi

posted on 29/9/20 at 08:32 PM Reply With Quote
Also try disconnecting as many drives etc as you can and try startup, cd,s, usb's maybe monitor, something might not be booting and causing start to abort, I had this as well in the past it turned out to be the power supply,it's a shame your having trouble as I wouldn't have anything else for work, John
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MikeR

posted on 30/9/20 at 08:25 AM Reply With Quote
I'd be tempted to also give the case a good hoover out. I can't imagine dust is the problem but it will help. I'd then double check the RAM, cables are all seated correctly.

I'd then be on the dell forums checking out what others have done.

(could it be the bios battery is flat if its an old machine? usually a cr2032 type thing - i've had similar before)

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Irony

posted on 30/9/20 at 08:44 AM Reply With Quote
Many many IT professionals it seems to me just 'run home to mummy' when they don't know what is wrong. It's the motherboard they say. Or my personal favourite 'we need to reinstall windows'.

If your running a 2 Core Duo then your machine is really really old now. So old in fact you often see them going free etc. I know my business has a stash of them in the attic!!! To that mind it is not worth spending money. Your problem could be many things, power supply, switches or the Bios.

Personally I just would not shut it down. Problem solved. Just put it to sleep and leave it.

Electrical items always blow at the power on stage. Think about light bulbs, they never blow when your sitting there, always when you flick the switch. I never shut my machines down. Everyone laughs at me and tells me I'm wrong. I run a design studio with 6 computers and I never shut my machines down. You may laugh but in 15 years I have had ZERO hardware issues.

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gremlin1234

posted on 30/9/20 at 08:55 AM Reply With Quote
miker suggested the bios battery, and I think that could be right
https://www.dell.com/support/article/en-uk/sln320444/dell-computer-restarts-automatically-after-disconnecting-or-replacing-the-rtc-or-cmos-battery?lan g=en

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joneh

posted on 30/9/20 at 09:18 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
I'd be tempted to also give the case a good hoover out. I can't imagine dust is the problem but it will help. I'd then double check the RAM, cables are all seated correctly.

I'd then be on the dell forums checking out what others have done.

(could it be the bios battery is flat if its an old machine? usually a cr2032 type thing - i've had similar before)


^ That's exactly what I'd do before spending cash plus back up everything you want to keep.

If the above doesn't work, try re-seating and reconnecting everything in case something has wiggled loose. Then maybe try a different power supply. I wouldn't go further than that on an old machine.

I realise there might be an irony to that as I'm rebuilding my XFlow!

[Edited on 30/9/20 by joneh]

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MikeR

posted on 30/9/20 at 10:10 AM Reply With Quote
Xflows have years of life left in them......

And they're not old or past it.


Mike
(Serial xflow collector)

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joneh

posted on 30/9/20 at 10:23 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
Xflows have years of life left in them......

And they're not old or past it.


Mike
(Serial xflow collector)


I hope so! I'm not changing now and also have a considerable collection of spares.

Although I was unlucky enough to own one of the blocks with over sized cam journals and those bearings run out yonks ago.

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BenB

posted on 30/9/20 at 09:40 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
Xflows have years of life left in them......

And they're not old or past it.


Mike
(Serial xflow collector)


Old PCs and xflows are very different.
Old PCs just wee CMOS caustic battery juice or electrolytic capacitor sauce all over themselves.
Xflows marrinade themselves, the neighbours, the road etc etc in old engine oil and therefore last forever...

The nice thing about Xflows is the pretty "oil slick" rainbows on the road when it rains....

That and the smell is quite something.

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Irony

posted on 30/9/20 at 10:06 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BenB
quote:
Originally posted by MikeR
Xflows have years of life left in them......

And they're not old or past it.


Mike
(Serial xflow collector)


Old PCs and xflows are very different.
Old PCs just wee CMOS caustic battery juice or electrolytic capacitor sauce all over themselves.
Xflows marrinade themselves, the neighbours, the road etc etc in old engine oil and therefore last forever...

The nice thing about Xflows is the pretty "oil slick" rainbows on the road when it rains....

That and the smell is quite something.


You are sadly mis-informed. That is not a simple 'oil-slick' or what infidels might call 'a oil leak'. Shudder! That is a high-tech anti corrosion system. My Rover V8 has the same system. It also keeps my garage floor from rusting......honestly some people.

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HowardB

posted on 1/10/20 at 07:00 AM Reply With Quote
Dell bios has a fan sense, it can call for a restart if the fan fails.
A good clean out will help





Howard

Fisher Fury was 2000 Zetec - now a 1600 (it Lives again and goes zoom)

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steve m

posted on 1/10/20 at 07:19 AM Reply With Quote
"You are sadly mis-informed. That is not a simple 'oil-slick' or what infidels might call 'a oil leak'. Shudder! That is a high-tech anti corrosion system. My Rover V8 has the same system. It also keeps my garage floor from rusting......honestly some people."

I used to worry if one of my xflows didn't leak oil, as it probably didn't have any left in the engine
Also, bizarrely my garage floor never rusted either, nor did the chassis

Back to the PC problem, i always blow out the dust with the compressor, and have in the past even had to take the cooling fins of to access all the fins,
as they have been that clogged

I dont know were all this crap/dust comes from, as my house is hermetically sealed, and wifey is a cleaning freak





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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David Jenkins

posted on 1/10/20 at 12:58 PM Reply With Quote
What you could do is download a Linux ISO image from here and put it onto a CD-ROM or USB-stick. If you can boot from that and generally do stuff after it has started then there's probably not a lot wrong with the basic hardware of your PC. Note that you don't need a lot of Linux knowledge to do this - it's just a windows system and easy to follow if you're used to MS Windows.

Booting from CD-ROM or USB stick won't overwrite your existing operating system - unless you tell it to!

One thing that might be screwing you up is the hard drive - mine went dippy a couple of months ago, and I played with all sorts of things before I finally localised it. None of the symptoms suggested that the HD was on its way out, but all worked perfectly after it was replaced.

[Edited on 1/10/20 by David Jenkins]





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coyoteboy

posted on 2/10/20 at 10:36 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irony
Electrical items always blow at the power on stage. Think about light bulbs, they never blow when your sitting there, always when you flick the switch. I never shut my machines down. Everyone laughs at me and tells me I'm wrong. I run a design studio with 6 computers and I never shut my machines down. You may laugh but in 15 years I have had ZERO hardware issues.


Sort of. The bulb fails because of slow evaporation of the element over time, it "failed" ages ago, it was just hanging on because operating current is lower than the surge at power on. Most of the time these days it's the electrolytic caps that dry out, which they do progressively with on-time. And usually the system will run fine even with duff caps until you power it off as yous say. But putting it to sleep is pretty much the same as powering it off (next to zero output power still has the same power-on surge that trips things out. There's a bunch of studies that show that hard drives fail more often when power cycled regularly, but that's in enterprise use, not home use, and compared to always-on server drives which are different beasts.

I leave my work machines running because IT push updates and cock it up when I restart it, I've had water cooler pump failure and mobo cap dry-out on the work machines at the 5 year mark. My home machines shut down and never fail.

Generally speaking though, Dell machines use stupid custom PSUs and form factors internally (because Dell) and you have to find a Dell part rather than drop in a generic PSU.

[Edited on 2/10/20 by coyoteboy]





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