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I have a Dell Inspiron Desktop PC, stock except for some extra RAM I had put in when I bought it. It is running Windows XP Pro. This morning I woke up to find it displaying the "Windows is shutting down" screen that had clearly been that way for a while. I assume it had decided to run a windows update. Seeing little other option, I pressed and held the power button until the machine shut down. Unfortunately, now the machine will not power back on at all!

When I push the power button, whether I hold it in for 5-15 seconds or not nothing happens. There is a green light that is on on the power supply in the back. I've tried unplugging it and plugging it back in but this doesn't help. In fact strangely, the green light remains on even if I remove the power cable.

Normally if I was unable to power a system like this on at all, I'd think the power supply is shot. However, before I turned the system off, the power supply and fan were working just fine.

What is the most likely issue here and what can I do to resolve it?

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I opened the case and found: * There is a light on on the motherboard * There is a light on in the back of the button that is supposed to power on the system. –  DrFredEdison Jan 22 '10 at 16:48
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I assume it had decided to run a windows update

I wouldn't assume it was caused by Windows Update unless I'd been sat there watching WU running just before it failed, and even then it isn't necessarily Windows Update.

This looks like a hardware problem, and it's hard to cause those with software.

The green light will stay on after unplugging the cable, for several seconds or maybe half a minute. That's normal. You see the same thing with phone chargers.

If your power supply had failed entirely, you'd still see the light, but not have the fan running.

The Most likely cause is that your motherboard has died.

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Had a dell tech by yesterday to fix this, and it was in fact the motherboard. –  DrFredEdison Jan 28 '10 at 19:18
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