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I have a four-year-old Dell Inspiron 530 desktop with onboard video and recently it started to show this weird behavior (sorry, it’s a long post…).

The computer is connected to a voltage regulator, which is connected directly to the mains.

=> First scenario (happens often, due to the occasional use of the computer):

The computer and the voltage regulator have been turned off for four hours. I turn the voltage regulator on. The PSU LED lights up. The power button LED stays off. I push the power button and nothing happens. Ten minutes later, I push the power button again. Nothing happens. Thirty minutes after the second try, I push the power button again. The power button LED lights up (blue) and the computer starts up normally, showing no sign of problem.

=> Second scenario:

The computer and the voltage regulator have been turned off for thirty minutes. I turn the voltage regulator on. The PSU LED lights up. The power button LED stays off. I push the power button and nothing happens. Ten minutes later, I push the power button again, the power button LED lights up (blue) and the computer starts up normally, showing no sign of problem.

=> Third scenario:

The computer has been turned on for a while. I turn the computer off but keep the voltage regulator on. The PSU LED stays on (green), the power button LED turns off. The problem doesn’t occur at all: the computer starts up normally whenever I touch the power button.

=> Fourth scenario:

The computer has been turned on for a while. I turn both the computer and the voltage regulator off. A few seconds later, the PSU LED turns off. Two minutes later, I turn the voltage regulator on again. The PSU LED lights up. The power button LED stays off. The problem doesn’t occur at all: the computer starts up normally whenever I touch the power button.

I moved the computer to another room in order to use a UPS which is there, and the system behaved the same way.

The hardware is pretty much original (the same parts supplied by Dell when I bought the computer), except for the memory, which had to be changed a year ago, due to failure on one module (changed both modules at the same time, for the sake of precaution).

During daily use, the system doesn’t freeze/lock-up/hang/stop responding. I’ve run memory tests (MemTest86+) for hours and no error was found.

I can post the full system configuration (Dell components with part numbers) if needed.

Thanks for any help.

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Might be problem with Mainboard or PSU .. –  matzone May 15 '13 at 3:04
    
You sure this isn't a problem with the voltage regulator? –  Ramhound May 15 '13 at 3:15
    
Its probably a lot older than 4 years. I used to have one of these, and there was an issue with the nvidia card they came with. Apparently it also just stopped working with a memory error right after I gave it away. The PSU is a seriously inflexible piece of junk so I'd try swapping it out anyway, just to see if that fixes it. –  Journeyman Geek May 15 '13 at 4:55

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