I have a Windows XP Optiplex GX280 desktop computer that recently had something go wrong when a power surge struck our house. I've taken off the side, and I've got no clue what's wrong. Nothing appears wrong, except for it being a little dusty. When I have the botton towards me, and the front to my right, I see a green light inside about half way up that is on. But when I press the power button, nothing happens.

Does anyone know what might be wrong / resources I could use to help figure out the problem?

  • Sounds like the power supply is dead. I would replace that first. If its under warranty pull the hdd, duplicate the hdd, put it back and send it to Dell.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 28 '13 at 0:16
  • I think the motherboard manuals might be VERY useful - you can find them here dell.com/support/Manuals/us/en/19/product/optiplex-gx280
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jun 28 '13 at 0:19
  • Thank you. That's very helpful. And a side note: I just took out the BIOS battery, and found it was very low. Could that also be part of the problem? Jun 28 '13 at 0:31
  • battery would not have any effect. I know that model well, put that P4 computer out to pasture. Its the power supply, and you will not be able to use a standard power supply with it. The position of the power plug not standard, so you would to get a used dell ps... or cut a hole in the back plate :)
    – Logman
    Jun 28 '13 at 0:35
  • Alrighty, thanks. It is emitting a weird frequency noise. I'll work on getting a new one. Jun 28 '13 at 0:37

The GX280, especially if you have the SFF version, is notorious for overheating and power supply issues.

Check your motherboard carefully for burst capacitors. If you find any, the capacitors would need to be replaced by someone competent in motherboard repair, or the entire motherboard would need to be replaced (it's easy to do on the SFF system, almost as though they planned for this issue) - but the issue will likely recur if you're using the SFF version of this system.

enter image description here

If no burst caps, consider yourself lucky, and the next culprit is likely a power supply failure. Especially if the power button has an amber light - that means it's failed. You'll probably need a Dell-specific power supply for this one (you definitely do for the SFF version).

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