Came back from vacation to find that my primary desktop computer (Dell Dimension E510) would not power up, and the light on the power button was blinking an amber color. And, as it turned out, the 1 year warranty had expired a month earlier. I tried unplugging the different devices, resetting internal connectors, but the problem would not go away. This has a happy ending, so in case you also run into a similar problem with your Dell system, read on ...
I researched the problem online, some folks suggested toggling the voltage selector on the back of the power supply (did not work for me), and then I called the technical support folks at Dell. After walking me through a few troubleshooting steps (disconnecting different internal cables, removing memory), the diagnosis came back as I would need a new power supply and motherboard. Being cheap, I decided to order the power supply first, to see if that would solve the problem, and order a new motherboard afterwards only if the new power supply did not fix the problem. Turned out that the new power supply worked great!
The Dell computers keep getting easier to take apart with every new system I buy, and this was no exception (this reminds me of ten years ago, when Macs were easier to take apart when compared to the PCs of that era). Replacing the power supply was very easy, four screws in the back and a tab at the bottom, reconnected the cables, and then the computer came back up right away.
Never had this type of failure on any computer I owned before, or with the computers I have used at work, so I am glad it was easy to fix and glad to have my machine back in working order. Just wish that it had been during the warranty period, and that one could order the replacement parts directly online from the Dell site, instead of having to call them in.
So, if you run into a similar problem, fear not. Have the technical support person walk you through the diagnostic over the phone, and, if the recommendation is the same, start by replacing just the power supply. Good luck!
Would you be willing to take pity on a pour soul who has the same computer and the same problem and tell me which power source your ordered and where you found the instructions? I'm dying here, I need my computer to work, all of my files are on it and my laptop just doesnt have all of the ones I need.
I also had the same problem and a generic power supply fixed it. Be sure to get a power supply that is at least 350 watts that has at least one SATA connector on it. Replacement was easy - taking no more than 10 minutes.
Interestingly, i recently encountered the exact same problem with my dell dimension 5150. And my warranty happens to have expired. Unfortunately I don't really know how to fix the problem. Any advice ?
I had the same problem, blinking amber light.
After pulling the battery it would boot, then randomly stop working/start blinking.
Pulled battery again and it would start working for a few boots, then stop again.
I replaced the motherboard battery (5$, radioshack) and it seemed to work for a bit then the same thing started happening again.
Found this site, bought an Antec earthwatts 500W, (~$100) replacement took 10 minutes, now it seems to be back in working order again.
I just got a Dell E510, blinking amber light of death, new PSU, check HDD, Memory, Processor, reseating every connector. Nothing.
Then, when I was starting to take it apart (to use the DVD drives on a new system) I notice that on one of the front USB ports had all four pins
twisted inside, it looked like if someone had twisted a memory stick inside the
port, cuz they were all twisted and touching eachother and touching the inner metal jacket of the port. As you may know, the on/off switch runs to
the motherboard with all the usb ports , earphones and mic jacks on a ribbon cable. So, when I disconnected the ribbon cable, I did not get the blinking amber ligth of death, istead I got the regular green light and the fans spinned for a sec. Since the power switch is not connected I could not turn the machine on. Then, I just tried to untwist the pins inside the port, making sure that they were not making contact with the inner metal part, and connected the ribbon cable to the motherboard, and what'd you know , the thing just turned on just like that!!!!
Every thing works now (with the exception of that USB port).
So there you have it, this is the least thing I could have checked.
I have noticed that down through all my reading of this amber led flashing problem on the net that not one person has used a multi meter to check the power supply for voltage . I would like to say that the only person that made any sense was Mr Pablo Fernicola in the above blog making it nice and simple . Now a multi meter is the most basic tool out there for helping to resolve problems have we forgotten the basics ???? . Pablo just did what made sense and did not go on and on with tecnical "wana be" stuff. From an old electronics expert in ireland well done Pablo.