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Dell XPS420 is producing awful sound

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  • Power Supplies
  • Dell
  • Components
Last response: in Components
January 12, 2011 11:30:33 PM

Hello, I have a Dell XPS420 that's never had problems.. until last night. (We hadn't turned it off.) At 3am, a whine (whirring sound) loud enough to wake my wife was coming from the box, and a yellow light was backlighting the power button. (I believe it's usually blue.) Dell has told me today it could be the (stock) power supply. Anyone ever hear of power supplies failing this way?

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a c 877 ) Power supply
January 12, 2011 11:49:30 PM

Yes if you are meaning that the PSU fan became loud.
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January 12, 2011 11:49:32 PM

When it comes to Dells, like Compaqs and E-machines, sure. They are usually cheap components. But an easy way to test it is to simply open up the cover, unless that voids your warranty. Sounds like you are probably beyond the warranty though.

Leave it connected with open case, power up, and find out what component is making all the racket. Sometimes it's just a loose wire that has slipped into one of the fan paths. Sometimes the big Dell CPU/case fan bracket comes loose and makes noise, or the fan slips in it just enough to cause noise. Could be the power supply fan is failing or failed. If you don't know where all these components are, or have difficulty getting into the case cause you lost your manual, then download it at Dell and try. Dell cases are...ehem...just that- Dell cases.

Around here at Tom's Hardware we usually build our own computers and carefully pick the components. You should try it sometime. Mucho more fun, and way better systems. :hello: 
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February 8, 2011 10:49:16 PM

studioman22, I want to thank you for your help.

Turns out, I've decided to abandon the XPS and buy a new system for our family's "main" PC. However, I have this question for you re: your closing comments:

With the (presumably good) memory, hard drive & DVD I have leftover from the Dell, how would I go about finding a compatible motherboard, processor & suitable video card that would fit into a third box I also have lying around (Antec TX635). Is there an easy-to-use site/way to determine if boards will fit in the case, and if components are compatible with each other?

(BTW, I did build my own computer several years ago - it's how I got the Antec, but the system seemed obsolete by the time I got around to finishing it. Kinda slow, really. Still works, though!)
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a b ) Power supply
February 9, 2011 12:45:04 AM

Well, the hard drive on an XPS 420 should be SATA, so that will be compatible with new motherboards. However, your best bet is to fix the dell for like $30 (if indeed the psu is the issue), then sell the dell for like $150 or so, then put that money toward a newer system.
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February 9, 2011 1:57:20 AM

floyd_l said:
With the (presumably good) memory, hard drive & DVD I have leftover from the Dell, how would I go about finding a compatible motherboard, processor & suitable video card that would fit into a third box I also have lying around (Antec TX635). Is there an easy-to-use site/way to determine if boards will fit in the case, and if components are compatible with each other?


Well you could do as shovenose suggests, but sounds like you already spent some bucks on a main puter, and want to stick with the rest of the Dell as a second system. Never hurts to have a spare too, when the bleeding edge decides to start cutting. ;) 

You could try and pull that Dell mobo/cpu/ram out, get a psu, and slam it all into the Antec case. I'd probably lose the Dell mobo if it were me, and find a cheap ATX mobo on ebay or something that'll take your cpu/ram. Git' er all done for $100 or so, is that kind of what you are thinking? New or used mobo is going to mean a cheap video card too. But hey, look at the bright side of things- you have a zillion to choose from inexpensively for a second system.

I do something similar- two systems- and what's great is the 65" Mitsu DLP TV I have has 4 HDMI inputs- so I run both puters into it and just switch sources on the remote. A little slutty, I know- but I've paid some dues... :sol: 
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