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Dell Dimension C521 motherboard

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August 17, 2010 2:41:27 PM

Hello all.

I have had a Dell Dimension C521 for about 5 years and it failed on my a few weeks back and have been struggling to get it to work again.

At first it was the PCI-e slot that failed of which through my research is a very common problem among C521 motherboards. So I got it running on the integrated graphics for a while, installed updates and restarted. This is where there was a problem. The power button remained amber (instead of going green) and the fans constantly purged. I opened the case an felt the integrated chip of which was extremely hot.

I turned the system off for about 2 days (CMOS battery out as well). I turned on the system and followed the on screen instructions about the CMOS and then it rebooted and gave diagnostic light 2 and 4. I read up about these lights and it means 'Integrated graphics failure'.

Knowing that this motherboard was no longer functional, I bought a used motherboard off of Ebay. I fitted the motherboard and all of the components (making sure I was earthed at all times) and made sure all of the connections and hardware were in place.

I switched on the Dell and it the motherboard purged the fans and remained amber but gave no diagnostic lights. I did more research on this to find that this was a major problem of which was a POST error. I contacted the seller who said that they were not offering any refunds for the product due to it being supposedly 'untested'. :sweat: 

Looking at other forums many people have advised to contact Dell about this.

Problem is, my Dell is out of warranty and Dell no longer build C521s or sell their spare parts such as motherboards.

So, here I am stuck with a non functional computer and was wondering whether anyone can help me by finding either a cheap C521 motherboard or a third party version of a C521 motherboard. If anything is there a C521 seller in the UK that sells Dell parts as I do not want to get rid of this system.

thanks for any help.

Regards,
Shozzy :) 
August 17, 2010 11:00:00 PM

thanks for the help but looking at the Dell Optiplex 740 motherboard, I can easily see that the USBs and sockets are different. This is why I was wondering whether there is a vendor that sells C521 parts/mobos that work. If not, the case will be sold on Ebay. :/ 
August 18, 2010 9:51:02 AM

Thanks for your help. I will have a look at the SSF mobos that you listed and see as to what modifications I will have to do to the case if I am to fit it.

Once again, Thanks :) 
December 20, 2011 12:51:20 AM

malmental, I'm also considering trying to reuse the C521 case and supply (along with my existing PCI-E card), but I'm wondering if the above Dell MB choices are the extent of the possibilities. I know it's a BTX case, possibly custom BTX, but is there any other classification of board, perhaps something on Newegg, that would fit, possibly even ones on the Intel side?
!