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Power-on button takes a long time to work after PSU is turned on

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May 14, 2013 7:41:56 PM

Hey everyone.

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 (only the computer, without the voltage regulator) 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.
May 14, 2013 7:55:19 PM

I'm thinking it's your voltage regulator that is the issue here. I might venture off hand that a capacitor (or more than one) is going bad. There are a few different designs for regulators so it's anyone's guess as to what exactly is wrong with it. Have you tried the computer straight from the UPS, without the regulator involved? Is that even possible with your power?
May 14, 2013 8:01:02 PM

C12Friedman said:
I'm thinking it's your voltage regulator that is the issue here. I might venture off hand that a capacitor (or more than one) is going bad. There are a few different designs for regulators so it's anyone's guess as to what exactly is wrong with it. Have you tried the computer straight from the UPS, without the regulator involved? Is that even possible with your power?


I've already tested the system with the UPS and without the voltage regulator. Same results.

I've just edited my original post to clarify that.

Thank you.
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May 15, 2013 7:06:45 PM
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Okay, now I'm thinking the problem may be with the VRM on the motherboard. Look at the capacitors on the motherboard, see if any are swollen or leaking which may indicate it (they) cannot hold it's (their) charge
June 1, 2013 5:29:19 PM

Never mind. I gave up trying to solve it. I've bought a new machine and everything is just fine.

Thanks anyway.
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