replacing Dell Dimension 4550 motherboard and possibly case/powersupply

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Mals, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Mals

    Mals Guest

    I have a Dell Dimension 4550, with 2.53GHz P4 CPU and 512MB of DDR 300
    RAM. During a recent storm, it appears that my motherboard has been
    knocked out.

    On calling the tech support, they helped me diagnose that the MoBo has
    gone bad because the computer does not POST (no beep indicating Power
    On Self Test).

    I worry that the Power Supply and/or the display card may also have
    gone bad.

    One approach that I am planning on is that I get a non-Dell MoBo with
    display and also a case with Powersupply. Dell's MoBo is quite
    expensive for it offers me, and then I do not know if other pieces are

    If somebody here can advise what I should do, that would be very

    As of now, I am planning to get the ASUS "P4R800-V Deluxe" RADEON 9100
    IGP from Newegg (
    And perhaps an ANTEC case.

    Thank you!
    Mals, Jul 15, 2004
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  2. Hello,

    Is your Dimension currently still under warranty? If so, we have seen
    Dell fix/replace hardware in similar circumstances in the past.

    Regarding the power supply, we feel that if it still runs (fan spins) you
    most likely will not have any problems with it. Regardless, power supplies
    are inexpensive and you can find a replacement on places like Ebay.

    Regarding the video card, do you have another PC to test the card in?
    Again, video cards are fairly inexpensive (especially those that were
    standard in the 4550) unless you had some "very" high end option installed
    in your machine.

    Did you have the machine hooked to a surge protector or UPS. Some
    manufacturers offer an insurance policy ($$$ protection warranty) if your
    machine is fried while hooked to their equipment. Also, you might consider
    checking into your home owners/renter's insurance as well.

    If you decide to replace the Motherboard, it should be a fairly simple swap
    as I think they use a standard format.

    Best of luck and let us know which way you decide to go and how it works out

    Technical Support Team

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  3. if you go with a non dell motherboard and power supply you may have these
    issues: the front panel connector is non standard which means you will not
    be able to use the power and reset switches on the front of your computer.
    as such, be sure to get a power supply that has a on/off toggle switch on it
    so you can power on/off your system (and set the bios to power on when power
    is restored).

    i would suggest that you first just buy a replacement power supply from dell
    (about $30) and try it. if that doesn't help you have up to 30 days to
    return it. secondly, you can try to obtain a replacement dell dimension
    4550 motherboard on ebay but i don't see any currently listed. you can test
    your other components in another system to build your confidence that the
    problem is just motherboard itself. and you can even disconnect everything
    (cd, hard drive, etc) and try to boot the machine again... see if you get
    further along in the post process, then add components back starting with
    the floppy and try to boot from a bootable disk... keep adding things until
    you find the component that makes the system hang... i am thinking hard
    drive may be the problem..

    let us know how it works out.
    Christopher Muto, Jul 15, 2004
  4. Mals

    Matt Guest

    These will help if you replace the motherboard and keep the case:
    Matt, Jul 15, 2004
  5. Mals

    Ben Myers Guest

    There is some risk that flashing a motherboard BIOS will turn out badly. I've
    flashed thousands of times, so for me the risk is just about nil. For someone
    who has never done it before, the risk is higher, but still small.

    No joke, some things to bear in mind when flashing, a BIOS or otherwise.

    1. Never flash during a thunderstorm. Loss of electrical power will spoil the
    flash operation.
    2. If you see trucks from the local electrical company or other utility company
    outside, or you see people up in cherry-pickers snipping and sawing branches
    from trees, wait until they go away before flashing. Same reason. Loss of
    electrical power.

    Modern flash BIOS chips are designed to withstand a large number of flash
    operations before failing, i.e. not responding properly to a flash update. Say
    100,000, for sake of discussion, but check specs available from the manufacturer
    of the chip. Keep in mind that EVERY version of Windows since Windows 95
    flashes the BIOS every time you boot the system. Why? The Plug-and-Play
    information is kept in flash memory. Windows updates this information every
    time you boot the system, whether it needs to or not! In other words, Windows
    does not check to see if the current PnP info is different from what is stored
    in flash. If it is unchanged, there is no need to update it. But Windows does
    it mindlessly anyway, just like a lot of other brain-dead elements of Windows.
    (Several years ago, a large number of early Pentium PnP motherboards ended up
    with flash memory failures. Since then, the predicted life of a flash chip is

    Now, another posting listed out all the corrections, updates, and improvements
    in the BIOS since the version built into the system. Ask if any of those
    changes apply to the work you do with the system. If so, flash away in good
    health. If not, the reasons for flashing are dubious... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 15, 2004
  6. Mals

    Mals Guest

    Thank you all for helping me figure this out.
    Mals, Jul 17, 2004
  7. Mals

    Matt Guest

    Matt, Jul 30, 2004
  8. Mals

    Mals Guest

    I bought an ANTEC quiet case and an ASUS MoBo.
    Reused everything else from the Dell system.

    It is working. Thanks to all of you for helping me out!
    Mals, Aug 8, 2004
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