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Dell Dimension – Flashing orange power light

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 April 2007416 Comments

If you have a Dell Dimension and experience the dreaded orange flashing light, there are normally ways to verify what is causing it to occur. I spoke to a Dell technician and he informed me on the Dell Dimension 5100 there are status lights right next to the front USB ports. The numbers are fairly faint so you have to look really good.

However, when I gave the tech the numbers on this computer I was working on, he seemed to be reading from a script and when I asked him what does code 2 and 4 mean he said the SATA cable is not connected – he was wrong.

Let me give you a little background into this computer. I’m working on it for a client. The main symptoms is that as soon as the unit receives power, the indicator light on the power button immediately starts to flash orange. I was unable to turn the computer on. I replaced the power supply and the orange light flashed constantly, again. I then disconnected everything except for the power supply, and CPU. I was hoping to at least get the unit to turn in then I could go from there by plugging each component back in one by one. I eventually came to the conclusion that the motherboard was bad.

I spoke to the client and she still had warranty with Dell. She called Dell and then the Dell tech called me. We spoke like I mentioned earlier, and eventually I was able to convince him that it was a motherboard problem.

Dell shipped the motherboard out next day air and I received it just before lunch.

As I was tearing down the Dimension what do I find?

You see that nasty corrosion? I don’t know what the hell that is but it isn’t dust. I tried blowing it off with a compressed can of air but was unsuccessful.

For reasons beyond me that was the only area of the motherboard that had that build up. Everywhere else was spotless.

So in conclusion, if you experience the dreaded blinking orange power light, make sure to check your motherboard for blown capacitors as well as something like the above pictures show.

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416 Responses to “Dell Dimension – Flashing orange power light”

  1. Reigna says:

    my dreaded orange blinking light was fixed by removing the power button. This is a Dell Optiplex 330 and had the usb’s next to the power button. one of the usb’s got broken and has been surging for a while if you tried to used the one next to it. the other usb eventually failed and now that power button started blinking orange. removed button and plugged it. computer works fine. need new button.

  2. Powerslave says:

    IT is also due to a shorted or bad SATA port. I have one, that does the same thing. If I unplug the secondary SATA cable, the unit boots fine. If the thing happens to boot with the SATA port plugged in, I get a BSOD in Windows, the IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL. If I remove the SATA cable out, it’s ok…

  3. Powerslave says:

    That was not the problem! With the light blinking, I pulled my 1Gbit Eithernet adapter card, and the machine booted! Check for bad PCI cards too!!! The SATA thing must have been a coincidence… I just fixed mine by pulling the bad PCI card!

  4. I relish, cause I found exactly what I was having a look for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  5. John Barton says:

    I had the blinking power button problem. There was a build up of dust which blocked the ingress of air to the main fan. As soon as I vacuumed the area I had no more trouble. I thought it maybe a safety thing that won’t let the computer start unless it has a good air supply.

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