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When I turn on my computer, the light flashes orange randomly instead of going to green, the fan doesn't run and the computer never comes on. It worked fine yesterday with no problem, what could be the problem? I switched out the power cord to see if it that was the problem but still same results.

asked Jul 21 '11 at 19:03

delldummy's gravatar image


That's not the case fan... it SOOOOUNDS like it's coming from there but trust me ... OK So if you're hearing a clicking sound and it's turning off it's the chip fan. Depending on your make they run about 20-30$ I replaced one on a Dell Optiplex I have and it took less than 5 minutes (after opening the case).

answered Jul 21 '11 at 20:43

zerocool898's gravatar image


Quality Thermal Grease will cost about the same as the CPU fan.

(Jul 22 '11 at 03:09) r0bErT4u r0bErT4u's gravatar image

as you say the fan does not come on then it could be a fan error i have had a problem like this before and it was the fact that the fan was not connected correctly and was not correctly mounted... Check the fan...

answered Jul 21 '11 at 19:15

chcnorris29's gravatar image


Couple of things you can try. I'm not sure if it's the power supply yet as you're getting some power due to the flashing orange light. I would try disconnect various components from the motherboard and see if it the power supply itself at least powers on (remove hard drive, ram, optical drives, graphics card, etc.). Have you changed anything recently (past couple days, weeks, month?).

answered Jul 21 '11 at 19:09

tarrant64's gravatar image


DELL computers had a bad batch with capacitors popping/mushrooming (see pictures below). I stopped counting how many motherboards I replaced. Good Luck!

alt text alt text

answered Jul 21 '11 at 20:27

r0bErT4u's gravatar image



This is true - it's only a certain model/year that was affected though.

Delldummy - what model Dell is it? Optiplex? I believe the majority of the issues were with optiplex.

(Jul 21 '11 at 20:34) tarrant64 tarrant64's gravatar image

It's a Optiplex :-(

What should I do? Chunk it?

(Jul 21 '11 at 20:56) delldummy delldummy's gravatar image

wow, omg man.

(Jul 22 '11 at 07:52) d4ni3e d4ni3e's gravatar image

see if you have the motherboard touching the metal.

If the fan start and stop its an power supply problem, if they don't evan start is the problem of power supply too. i had some troubles like this when i dismounted my old computer.

answered Jul 21 '11 at 19:08

d4ni3e's gravatar image


edited Jul 21 '11 at 19:10

OK so there are a couple things. We have in the computer world what's called "POST" codes. So do you hear any weird beeps? If so can you describe them, quick? short? two? three?

If not then I would think it's a couple things ... since it's not getting into the BIOS to start the boot it could be a processor fan or a chip that's overheated. Have you let it sit for a bit and then tried to start her back up? If so did it stay on?

If it stays on after cooling off a bit then the chip fan is certainly to blame. If it's not turning on at all you could have a bad board (motherboard) or your chip is at fault.

If you're savvy and she's still not turning on then try opening it up cleaning out the gunk, reset the chip and fan and then try. If that doesn't bring it up you may want to try looking into swapping out the board.

How old of a machine is it?

answered Jul 21 '11 at 19:25

zerocool898's gravatar image


edited Jul 21 '11 at 19:26

I opened up the tower and disconnected and reconnected the hard drive, cd and checked to make sure nothing had come loose. I cleaned all the dust that had collected. Still nothing changed.

It is making a faint clicking noise. A couple a days ago when I turned it on the fan was extremely loud so I turned it off and restarted it but it didn['t give me anyy problems until today when it wouldn't start up.

Is it more expensive to repair it or to replace it?

(Jul 21 '11 at 19:42) delldummy delldummy's gravatar image

Where is the clicking noise coming from? I would disconnect everything except the cpu, memory, and power supply and see if you get anything.

Is the fan the CPU fan, power supply fan, or case fan? It sounds like this could very well just be a bad power supply (which is cheap to replace).

What kind of computer, how old is it? Whether or not it's cheaper to replace than repair is up to you.

(Jul 21 '11 at 20:02) tarrant64 tarrant64's gravatar image

I am not real savy in regards to the guts of a computer so I am not sure to the type of fan it is (you can see it from the back side of the tower. The clicks seems to coinside with the fan trying to spin.

The computer is 5 years old and has a 80GB memory. It is a Dell

(Jul 21 '11 at 20:12) delldummy delldummy's gravatar image

5 years? Not bad!

Looks like a case fan. These are fairly cheap to replace, but you'd need to figure out the size and what fits.

Anyways, I'm still leaning on it being a power supply. Could be a bad motherboard though too - if that's the case you just buy a new PC.

(Jul 21 '11 at 20:30) tarrant64 tarrant64's gravatar image

Thanks for helping me!

(Jul 21 '11 at 21:05) delldummy delldummy's gravatar image

Amber power light indicates hardware failure. Depending on the Dell model of Optiplex you have there also was a fan recall you may be covered in.

Contact Dell Technical Support at 1-800-822-8965.

answered Jul 21 '11 at 20:45

zerocool898's gravatar image


AND FYI with Dell::

Amber power light indicates hardware failure.

Solid yellow

The Dell Diagnostics is running a test, or a device on the system board may be faulty or incorrectly installed.

If the Dell Diagnostics is running, allow the testing to complete.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified.

If the computer does not boot, contact Dell for technical assistance.

Blinking yellow

A power supply or system board failure has occurred.

Check the diagnostic lights to see if the specific problem is identified. Also, see "Power Problems."

answered Jul 21 '11 at 20:45

zerocool898's gravatar image


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Asked: Jul 21 '11 at 19:03

Seen: 2,774 times

Last updated: Jul 22 '11 at 07:52