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Old 10-04-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
XpressCS OP
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Fried motherboard Dell Inspiron 537S help?

Whelp.... Looks like the motherboard in my I537S took a big ol shit on me tonight. Computer wouldn't turn on, so I plugged it into a different outlet to try and see if it would turn on, the moment I hit the power button some of the circuits lit up like a Christmas tree.

Why would it have done this????

Secondly, is there anything I need to know when purchasing a replacement? Like will I have to re-install everything?
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Whelp.... Looks like the motherboard in my I537S took a big ol shit on me tonight. Computer wouldn't turn on, so I plugged it into a different outlet to try and see if it would turn on, the moment I hit the power button some of the circuits lit up like a Christmas tree.

Why would it have done this????

Secondly, is there anything I need to know when purchasing a replacement? Like will I have to re-install everything?
Don't order anything before you figure out what failed. For example, if your power supply failed, and fried the motherboard, it may well have fried everything else, too. Even if it didn't, there's little worse than installing the new part and finding out that you haven't fixed the problem yet.

Also, consider the cost of a newer computer versus parts on yours. I'm not familiar with this machine, nor your level of skill, but my experience is that motherboard replacement in most consumer/low-cost computers is uneconomical once you factor in down-time, testing, and the advantages a newer replacement machine carries.

As for your programs and data, do you have a backup? If not, do you have a second computer that you could connect your old hard disk to for testing purposes?
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:28 AM   #3
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It's going to cost you more to replace the motherboard than it is to buy a new computer with a new warranty.

If you're lucky all of your data is still intact on the hard drive.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:13 AM   #4
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Motherboard replacements for this thing run for about $35 for a refurbished or $50 for a new one, power supplies are about $30.

A new PC is not in the cards, unfortunately. I'd love to go out and get a new one, but fixing this one is my only option right now. And believe me, I'd rather spend the money on building a new PC rather than fixing something that is 4 years old, but it's not all that cost effective with the holidays starting to roll around again...

I'm trying to figure out how to test this power supply right now. It doesn't have a switch on the back, I plug it in and a green light on the back confirms it has been plugged in but no clue how to turn it on and start testing, or even how to test it. Any helpful links?
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Motherboard replacements for this thing run for about $35 for a refurbished or $50 for a new one, power supplies are about $30.

A new PC is not in the cards, unfortunately. I'd love to go out and get a new one, but fixing this one is my only option right now. And believe me, I'd rather spend the money on building a new PC rather than fixing something that is 4 years old, but it's not all that cost effective with the holidays starting to roll around again...

I'm trying to figure out how to test this power supply right now. It doesn't have a switch on the back, I plug it in and a green light on the back confirms it has been plugged in but no clue how to turn it on and start testing, or even how to test it. Any helpful links?
Those prices make the enterprise look more reasonable. Thanks for the information. I'm going to assume that you don't have anyone nearby with the same model of computer that you could borrow, nor access to any desktop computer that you could swap your drives into to test them. I'm also going to assume that everything is integrated onto the mobo on that computer.

WRT the power supply, does it have a list of the various line voltages that it supplies? Usually there's a sticker somewhere on it with the color code and such. If not, the internet will probably tell you what your pinouts are. From there it's pretty straightforward to test with a Volt-meter.

If your power supply works, plug in the hard drive and listen for spin-up and self-test. If it whirs and clicks quietly, the mechanical stuff is probably good. That doesn't tell us anything about the data onboard, however.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:48 AM   #6
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Those prices make the enterprise look more reasonable. Thanks for the information. I'm going to assume that you don't have anyone nearby with the same model of computer that you could borrow, nor access to any desktop computer that you could swap your drives into to test them. I'm also going to assume that everything is integrated onto the mobo on that computer.

WRT the power supply, does it have a list of the various line voltages that it supplies? Usually there's a sticker somewhere on it with the color code and such. If not, the internet will probably tell you what your pinouts are. From there it's pretty straightforward to test with a Volt-meter.

If your power supply works, plug in the hard drive and listen for spin-up and self-test. If it whirs and clicks quietly, the mechanical stuff is probably good. That doesn't tell us anything about the data onboard, however.

Good luck!
Don't have anyone nearby with the same PC as far as I am aware of. And yes, everything is integrated, can't even plug the HDD into my rocketfish dock to check to see if it's still in tact, some proprietary connectors on the back.

I have been searching for a while now on how to test this particular power supply, maybe you guys can help some?

Here is the model: DELTA DPS-250AB-28D

No apparent color coding or testing info on the side...

I can tell you this, it does smell like the blue smoke jars inside popped open, the thing wreaks of it

Update: Power supply definitely fried. Lots of char marks on some of the circuits, lots of dull solder marks from where it melted, I think I a new ps is in order...

Can dust bunnies cause these issues? I noticed the whole PS was covered with dust inside.
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:38 AM   #7
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Buy a new computer, move your files over to the new pc....
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Old 10-05-2013, 09:49 AM   #8
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Why can't you just measure the output of the pins with a meter? If you don't have the motherboard manual, the schematic is on the internet. Last week my desktop took a shit, wouldn't stay on more than 2 seconds at boot. Memory and power was good, must be the motherboard, right? Whoohoo, a new computer! Turned out to be the monitor.
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Old 10-05-2013, 10:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by XpressCS View Post
Don't have anyone nearby with the same PC as far as I am aware of. And yes, everything is integrated, can't even plug the HDD into my rocketfish dock to check to see if it's still in tact, some proprietary connectors on the back.
Sometimes those 'proprietary' connectors are just a coupler slid onto the standard SATA connector on the drive. Sometimes they are indeed proprietary.

Quote:
Update: Power supply definitely fried. Lots of char marks on some of the circuits, lots of dull solder marks from where it melted, I think I a new ps is in order...

Can dust bunnies cause these issues? I noticed the whole PS was covered with dust inside.
Well there you go. Char marks on circuits is a good indication that it's the PS that failed. Generally these power supplies fail due to overheating, so yes dust can do the job. OTOH, lots of these cheap power supplies just use low quality components and iffy quality control, so it might have nothing to do with the dust.

You might be lucky, and not need the new motherboard, but I would assume that both the PS and MLB (motherboard/Main Logic Board) are both shot and go from there. Frankly, I'd also assume that the hard disk is toast, and plan on reinstalling everything from scratch (and kissing all your data goodbye).

Again, there's no way of knowing about the hard disk until you can connect it to a known-good computer and take a look, so your data may or may not be there. But if you expect the worst, you might get a pleasant surprise.

Also, find yourself a way to back up your data, whether to local storage or via an internet provider (e.g. Crashplan, Mozybackup, Carbonite, etc.). Any way you do it, it's inexpensive and portable to the next machine you buy, so is a good investment.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:27 AM   #10
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Motherboard definitely got cooked, so unless I can figure out how to replace the individual component that got popped, then I'll have to get a new one.

The HDD itself has some funny connector on the back:



Ideas?

HDD doesn't smell fried, neither does anything else aside from the motherboard and the ps.
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Old 10-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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could you find a cheap barebones system to put your existing drives into? I hate the thought of putting money into the proprietary dell stuff and then not being able to use it for anything when you want to upgrade one part.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:51 PM   #12
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That's a SATA connector, and 5v rail... -_-
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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Yes, it means just one big pain in the ass for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by slackmeyer View Post
could you find a cheap barebones system to put your existing drives into? I hate the thought of putting money into the proprietary dell stuff and then not being able to use it for anything when you want to upgrade one part.
Not really a PC designed to be upgraded, just for the family to use. I know everybody wants to suggest for me to upgrade to something more capable, but that's not going to happen. I just need help repairing this PC:

Sofar, here is what I do know:

-Motherboard fried
-PS fried

Now I just need to go from there I suppose...
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:49 PM   #14
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If you don't have a Weird Stuff nearby....I have bought used computers on Craigslist cheap. The Asus motherboard I just replaced was $20 with the chip and still going 3 years later. Need to match your memory which can be a chore. You can find adequate running boxes for <$100. Fixing a Dell is throwing good money after bad.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:39 PM   #15
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Like I said, cheaper to get a new one (refurbished) http://www.overstock.com/Electronics...ml?searchidx=3

than to spend the money and time fixing the old one, especially if you don't know what you're doing.
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