Should I put a new power supply in my old XPS R400?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by George Earl, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. George Earl

    George Earl Guest

    I think maybe the power supply in my 6 1/2 year old Dimension XPS
    R400(!) is going (see 'Symptoms' below).

    I checked PC Power & Cooling and they recommend their Silencer 360
    (310W, 350W peak) for which they want $79 + S/H.

    My question: Being that everything else in the PC appears to be
    working just fine, would you spring for the power supply or would you
    put the money toward a new PC instead?

    Also, in this PC I have two hard drives, a CD-ROM drive, a DVD writer,
    a Zip drive, a Matrox G450 video card that has a cooling fan, and a
    1GHz processor upgrade that also has a cooling fan. Do you think the
    Silencer 360 mentioned above is enough to power all of this?

    Symptoms: When I started my PC this afternoon it took three tries on
    the power button. The first two times not much happened. The third
    time it started to fire up, then for a couple of seconds there was a
    lot of blinking of lights on the power switch, the CD-ROM drive and
    the DVD writer and clatter from the CD-ROM drive and the DVD writer as
    they tried to spin up, then the PC dropped into the normal boot up
    procedure. Since it has been up I have seen no symptoms or problems. I
    recently pulled the front faceplate and thoroughly vacuumed where the
    power button hits the power switch, so I don't think dirt back there
    is the problem (though I kind of hope it is but I'm not ready to shut
    down the PC to find out till I've thoroughly backed up and imaged).

    Thoughts?


    George
     
    George Earl, Aug 3, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. George Earl

    larry Guest

    First I would make sure that the ps fits inside the case. I tried to
    replace a ps in and older dell dimension and it was a very tight fit.
    It looked like it would fit when I measured it, but it was a just a
    hair wider. I did eventually get it to work however, but I had to cut
    some metal from the case. I think that dell purposely makes some of
    their stuff nonstandard so that it cannot be repaired.

    And I would shop around for a cheaper ps. Don't need anything fancy.
    You should be able to get a new decent one for around 30-40 dollars.

    Larry
     
    larry, Aug 3, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. i wonder if you happen to have disks in the cd and or dvd drives... the
    system attempts to identify the type of media in those removable drive upon
    startup and looks to see if it is perhaps bootable media... wasting lots of
    time. i don't think that the components you described are too taxing for
    the standard power supply, and the standard one from dell is far less
    expensive (and it is a proprietary power supply by the way - a standard atx
    unit will not work). they are on ebay for cheap (under $20 delivered) and
    are the same for the txxx, rxxx, vxxx series dimension machines.
    also, here are dell's notes on replacing the power supply should it come to
    that...
    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dkhan/rr11.htm?c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 3, 2005
    #3
  4. George Earl

    Yeff Guest

    New PC. My regular box is a 2.8GHz computer that I built myself. The
    graphics card started failing so I RMA'd it back to Asus this morning.
    While waiting for it to come back I pulled out my Dell T450 to tide me
    over. What's surprised is how much of a difference a more powerful CPU can
    be while just doing the online basics (email, web and news). It's just a
    much more pleasant experience when there's some power under the hood, even
    if you're not a gamer.
     
    Yeff, Aug 3, 2005
    #4
  5. George Earl

    George Earl Guest

    Update . . .

    Thanks to all who responded so far. I've pretty much decided to go
    with a new Dimension 9100, but that is another thread.

    Meanwhile, this morning I popped open the case and removed the front
    bezel of my XPS R400 and I thoroughly vacuumed the inside. Then I
    tried to power up by pushing directly on the small power button on the
    chassis that the front bezel power button pushes against. I gave it
    the usual push. The fans all started up and the drives started their
    usual clatter for a second or so and then everything stopped. Next I
    pressed on the power button on the chassis again and held it in for a
    couple of seconds. The fans all started again and the drives started
    their clatter again and the PC continued to boot up and so far it
    appears to be operating normally.

    I don't hear any unusual sounds from the drives, nor do I get any
    error messages . . .

    My question: Does this sound like a power supply that is dying? A bad
    power-on switch? Something else?

    Thanks!



    George
     
    George Earl, Aug 7, 2005
    #5
  6. George Earl

    Ben Myers Guest

    Could well be a defective power switch or a defective plastic push button on the
    front bezel. If you are in the area of Fitchburg, MA, you are welcome to come
    to my warehouse and take away a replacement front bezel and power switch for a
    buck apiece... Ben Myers
     
    Ben Myers, Aug 8, 2005
    #6
  7. George Earl

    S.Lewis Guest



    Buy a $20 or less go/no-go power supply tester at a local vendor or off the
    web.......that'll tell you conclusively if it's the PS.


    Stew
     
    S.Lewis, Aug 8, 2005
    #7
  8. they work on these non standard power supplies?

     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 8, 2005
    #8
  9. as ben said it could be a bad switch, but i have also seen this behavior
    from bad power supplies as well as from system that had defective drives in
    them. one thing you could try it to disconnect all the perpherials, and all
    the internal drives and see how it behaves with just power supply and
    motherboard... if it stays on then shut off and add one drive in and replete
    untill you find the culprit... if it has the same behavior when powered on
    with just hte motherboard and powersupply then i suggest swaping out the
    power supply.
     
    Christopher Muto, Aug 8, 2005
    #9
  10. George Earl

    S.Lewis Guest


    Chris,

    Yep, via the P1/20-pin connector. The older Dell beige boxes as well as the
    Dell grays with standard ATX. The proprietary P2/6-pin connect is luckily
    not involved in testing.

    I've used this typical model:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=102759&_LOC=US

    Obviously, these are now worthless on the newest BTX/24-pins......

    Just something else for me to buy soon...


    Stew
     
    S.Lewis, Aug 8, 2005
    #10
  11. George Earl

    George Earl Guest

    Ha, that's a nice offer after I spent about an hour on the phone with
    two chaps from India, one of whom decided I needed the whole front
    bezel just to get the flat-ribbon power switch that attaches to the
    motherboard and against which the power button on the bezel presses.
    This guy gave me an official Dell part number which I could find
    nowhere on Dell's site. I had already thoroughly cleaned the bunch of
    levers on the back of the bezel that connect the two power switches
    but that didn't help.

    This evening I removed and reseated the power switch connector at the
    motherboard and after that the PC started right up like old times. I
    don't know if that was a fluke or if there was tarnish or corrosion on
    the pins. I'll find out tomorrow evening when I try to start it up
    again.

    At any rate this story has a happy ending because I have a brand new
    9100 on its way. The XPS R400 lasted me 6 1/2 solid years, but it's
    time for an upgrade.

    Thanks for your response.


    George
     
    George Earl, Aug 9, 2005
    #11
  12. George Earl

    George Earl Guest

    This evening I removed and reseated the power switch connector at the
    motherboard and after that the PC started right up like old times. I
    don't know if that was a fluke or if there was tarnish or corrosion on
    the pins. I'll find out tomorrow evening when I try to start it up
    again.

    At any rate this story has a happy ending because I have a brand new
    9100 on its way. The XPS R400 lasted me 6 1/2 solid years, but it's
    time for an upgrade.

    Thanks for your response.


    George
     
    George Earl, Aug 9, 2005
    #12
  13. George Earl

    George Earl Guest

    This evening I removed and reseated the power switch connector at the
    motherboard and after that the PC started right up like old times. I
    don't know if that was a fluke or if there was tarnish or corrosion on
    the pins. I'll find out tomorrow evening when I try to start it up
    again.

    At any rate this story has a happy ending because I have a brand new
    9100 on its way. The XPS R400 lasted me 6 1/2 solid years, but it's
    time for an upgrade.

    Thanks for your response.


    George
     
    George Earl, Aug 9, 2005
    #13
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.