Computer powers on when it wants to

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ant - Oct 24, 2008 at 10:00 PM
xpcman Posts 19530 Registration date Wednesday October 8, 2008 Status Contributor Last seen June 15, 2019 - Oct 25, 2008 at 04:41 AM
Hello, im new to this so please bear with me. i have a dell dimension 4500. while i was away at school, my jack ass roommates didnt pay their part of the light bill at the same time doubling their jack assedness by leaving my computer constantly on. so the power was cut off while my computer was running. after these events my computer still ran and still does, the only problem is that it powers on when it wants to. it starts up all or nothing. the only thing that tells me its getting power is the fact that the power button has a light in it and it always lights up, but i have to wait up to a week before the computer powers on. i have had situations where i couldnt wait due to homework and other needed documents being on this computer, so i switched what i think is the watt switch, it reads 125ww and 250ww, and it would resume power. from that i was under the belief that it is only the power supply. i simply dont want to waste money on something that isnt the problem.

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xpcman Posts 19530 Registration date Wednesday October 8, 2008 Status Contributor Last seen June 15, 2019 1,825
Oct 24, 2008 at 10:53 PM
That's the VOLT switch 220-250volts (for Europe and other parts of the world) and 110-125 volts for the US etc.

If you switched from 125 to 250 its a amazing the PC works at all.

If you switched from 250 to 125 (and your in Europe) it would burn out the power supply and/or computer.
ok, so since the computer still works without any issue, is it the power supply or can you say what it is?
xpcman Posts 19530 Registration date Wednesday October 8, 2008 Status Contributor Last seen June 15, 2019 1,825
Oct 24, 2008 at 11:21 PM
I would start with the power supply - Dell sometimes uses power supply boxes that are physically different sizes than "standard" units. So it might be difficult to find the right one. Are you thinking of replacing it yourself?

You had a power surge when the power was turned back on. This could have damaged the motherboard.


I have NEVER heard of someone waiting a week for a PC to turn-on.
before i start i first want to say thanks for the help, i did want to replace it myself to save some bread, unless thats not a good idea, i kinda got a lil attachment to this one so i want to at least try and save it! im in the market for a new pc (obviously), im actually thinking about gettin an apple, but ive been pc my whole life so most likely not. but im in chicago so we have tigerdirect and microcenter which are both pc outlet stores, sorry if im telling you stuff you already know (obviously again), but do you think i might be able to find a power supply that will fit there?

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xpcman Posts 19530 Registration date Wednesday October 8, 2008 Status Contributor Last seen June 15, 2019 1,825
Oct 25, 2008 at 04:41 AM
Just the right background info I need. You have a good chance of finding a part at either or both of those stores.
Better yet you might be able to take the power supply back if it doesn't fix your problem.

With any computer DIY job have to accept that you might just make things worse and waste your time and money. If this is your first time inside a PC the power supply might be the most complex thing to replace. Take a few pictures of the insides before you take the power supply out. Then unplug each of the power wires - one to each drive drive and 1or 2 to the MB.
The MB plugs have a latch that you must release first. If this is an old PC (386 or Pentium I or II) the MB power plug is split into 2 parts - remember the 2 plugs fit with the black wires together. Also take care to remember how the floppy drive plug works - it's very easy to jam that small plug back onto the wrong prongs. Then remove the whole box and take it with you when you go shopping.