Dimension XPS D266 Front panel power switch has no effect.

Discussion in 'Dell' started by NeoPhyte.Rep, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte.Rep Guest

    I've had a Dell Dimension XPS D266 sitting around idle for a while. I
    just got it set up on my desk again, but after plugging it and the CRT
    into a surge protector, the surge protector into the wall, and
    switching on the surge protector, pushing the front panel power switch
    has no effect. None of the fans come on or anything else to indicate
    the power is getting to any of the components.

    Any suggestions?
    NeoPhyte.Rep, Jun 7, 2009
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  2. NeoPhyte.Rep

    vbDavidC Guest


    There should not be a good reason for it not turning it on but that
    being said my thoughts are:

    1. Connectors/wires going from power button to motherboard are
    disconnected. My experience with Dell desktops would think this is
    not the problem but you never know. I've had some generic cases that
    the front cover can easily be pulled off and the wires to the
    motherboard get pulled off.

    2. Power supply - Power supplies can go out and diagnosing them is
    easy if you have another power supply you can test with. That being
    said though earlier Dell's used a non-standard power supply. At some
    point they switched to standard supplies but I am not sure when that
    was. I recall having a 133MHz Dell desktop that I thought I could use
    the case and power supply for a newer motherboard I wanted to put in
    but that did not work. You should be able to google that model and
    'power supply to check...I did a quick check in a non-Dell forum and
    it shows that it is non-standard. I would double-check that.
    vbDavidC, Jun 7, 2009
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  3. Hi!
    Check and change the CR2032 clock battery if it's been sitting without
    power for any length of time over two years.

    Beyond that, it would be looking pretty grim for the power supply.
    Dell did not use a standard ATX supply in those systems. The good news
    is that replacements are available. I've seen a StarTech.com
    replacement power supply with the Dell proprietary pinout.

    Don't know how good or bad it is, as I've never lost a Dell power

    William R. Walsh, Jun 8, 2009
  4. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    Is the CR2032 the silver disk towards the back of the motherboard?

    What does it have to do with power up?

    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jun 9, 2009
  5. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Keith Guest

    Stupid question perhaps -but is there a switch on the power supply in the
    back of the case?
    Keith, Jun 27, 2009
  6. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    The only stupid question is the one that is not asked, but would have
    led to the solution.

    Regretfully, in this case, the answer is there is a voltage switch
    that is set to 115V, but no power switch or circuit breaker visible on
    the outside of the cabinet or accessible anywhere around the power
    supply enclosure inside the cabinet.

    Thank you for making sure I covered that possibility. I've always
    said the first question should be, "Is it plugged in?"
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jun 28, 2009
  7. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Bob Villa Guest

    The other dumb question is...the CRT comes on and the surge strip is
    Bob Villa, Jun 29, 2009
  8. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Ben Myers Guest


    CRT is OK.
    Power strip is OK.


    failed power supply
    failed motherboard
    failed teeny-tiny circuit board with on-off momentary switch
    disconnected or poorly connected cable from front panel to motherboard
    dead CR2032 battery

    Things to do:

    Remove plastic front panel and inspect circuit board with on-off push button
    Disconnect hard drive and floppy drive data and power cables, remove all
    cards except video card, and see if computer powers up.
    Remove CR2032 3v battery and check it for corrosion. Also inspect
    motherboard for battery corrosion. Replace battery.


    The power supply has a connector that LOOKS like a standard ATX power
    connector, but it is not. Dell used the same physical connector, but it
    is wired differently, as is the motherboard itself. You cannot use a
    standard ATX power supply as a replacement. It must be a power supply
    that comes from a Dell Pentium II or Pentium III system.


    Unless you have information with monetary or sentimental value on the
    hard drive, it is probably not worth the time and effort to repair,
    unless you can get the parts for free. And to get valuable data from
    the drive, you can always attach it to another system... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jun 29, 2009
  9. Hi!
    Most likely yes. It should be in a kind of rounded holder, and will
    have printing on it to identify both the maker and the battery type.
    You may need a flashlight to see it clearly.
    There is a very small portion of the motherboard that is powered up at
    all times. This circuit is typically part of a component known as the
    LPCIO. The battery usually keeps the time and date running while the
    computer is shut down (and in later models, only when the computer is

    However, the LPCIO may also control power on. If it's not getting any
    power from the battery, it may not be able to deliver the startup
    command to get the system running.

    The battery is about $3, so it's well worth giving it a try.

    William R. Walsh, Jun 29, 2009
  10. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    Yes, the CRT powers on and reports "No Sync Detected".
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jun 29, 2009
  11. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    Well, the battery was only $1.99 for four at Big Lots!, but it wasn't
    the solution. I sure wish I could understand what could fail while a
    cpu is sitting unplugged. I moved it a couple of times to arrange the
    furniture, but didn't plug it in until I wanted to try restoring the
    boot record on the original drive. I was so hoping to make this my
    first Linux installation.

    I guess I'll have to get another machine, because I'm really not into
    getting all the test equipment I might need to find the failure. Just
    in case, though, does anyone know of a group, website(s), book(s) or
    magazine(s) that show how to set up a bench for hardware trouble
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 5, 2009
  12. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Ben Myers Guest

    The good news is that you can use the batteries in other desktop
    computers. Also, 4 for $1.99 is a great price.

    Another posting suggests that the mechanical on-off switch may be
    broken. If that is not the problem, and there appears to be no other
    quick fix, you are 1000% right. The XPS D266 is simply too old to spend
    more time and money... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 6, 2009
  13. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    As previously noted by Ben Myers, the XPS D266 has a "teeny-tiny
    circuit board with on-off momentary switch" behind the front panel.
    I've had the front panel off and tried that switch directly and
    nothing happened. I would think something like that would not fail
    from lying idle.
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 6, 2009
  14. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    I did use one of those batteries in our current primary machine. Who
    knows if that fixed the problem my wife reported as a bad battery

    I'm still interested in knowing what a good computer trouble shooting
    workbench looks like.
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 6, 2009
  15. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Ben Myers Guest

    Some things for the trouble-shooting bench:

    1. POST (Power On Self Test) card to give digital readout of POST codes
    emitted by motherboard BIOS.
    2. Spare parts to be used to determine which components in a system have
    failed. Spares include a standard ATX12v P4-class power supply with
    20-pin connector, same with 24-pin connector, maybe an old AT-style
    power supply, extra PCI, AGP and PCI-Express graphics cards, extra LGA
    775 and Socket 478 CPUs. Older CPUs rarely needed any more.
    3. Diagnostic software to test memory and hard drives.
    4. Gut feel and experience.
    5. Philips head and flat-head screwdrivers.
    6. Pliers and small cutting tool.
    7. Thermal paste.
    8. A whole laundry list of SOFTWARE troubleshooting tools for Windows.
    9. A contemporary live Linux distro to serve as a quick overall hardware
    test. if it boots, the hardware is pretty good. I now use Ubuntu 9.10

    Not a complete list... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 6, 2009
  16. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    Thanks, Ben. Looks like a good beginning.

    I still wonder what the bench all these tools lay on looks like.
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 7, 2009
  17. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    I thought the phrase was "a stack of bibles", but then I'm atheist and
    bibles don't help. I just harrumph and start at square one or step
    zero again.
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 7, 2009
  18. NeoPhyte.Rep

    Ben Myers Guest

    It's a pretty messy bench. I forgot to add:

    10. Working SVGA monitor, preferably 17" or larger. LCD is nice, but
    not mandatory.
    11. DVI-SVGA adapter.
    12. USB and PS/2 keyboards and mice.
    13. PS/2->AT keyboard adapter for those rare old systems that show up
    now and then.

    A six-pack can substitute for a bible, Koran, Torah or any other
    religious book needed to find the proper incantations needed to get a
    balky computer running again... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 8, 2009
  19. Hi!
    It's not the being unplugged that causes the problem. Nearly all of
    the components are at rest and stay that way, with no stress on any of
    them other than what the surrounding environment presents.

    When the system is plugged in, however, power goes surging into the
    power supply, charging up the filter capacitors. The system may even
    blink on for a short period of time (most early and some later ATX
    systems do this). This all happens very quickly, and push a weak-kneed
    part over the edge.
    The good news is that you should be able to do this pretty cheaply.
    Lots and lots of very nice computers are coming out of businesses
    these days, and some even have a balance of the factory warranty left!

    eBay is a good place to start looking. Some sellers that I've had very
    good results with include epcsales and liquisinc. You can sometimes
    get a very good system for around $50-75.

    William R. Walsh, Jul 8, 2009
  20. NeoPhyte.Rep

    NeoPhyte_Rep Guest

    I'm ham-fisted enough that a hammer would REALLY NOT be a help. I do
    want to solve the problem; it's usually a learning experience.
    NeoPhyte_Rep, Jul 8, 2009
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