Dell™ OptiPlex™ diagnostic LEDs/Indicators

NOTE: The diagnostic LEDs only serve as an indicator of the progress through the POST process. These LEDs do not indicate the problem that caused the POST routine to stop.

The diagnostic LEDs are located on the front of the chassis next to the power button. These diagnostic LEDs are only active and visible during the POST process. Once the operating system starts to load, they turn off and are no longer visible.

The system now includes pre-POST and POST LEDs in an attempt to help pinpointing a possible problem with the system easier and more accurate.

NOTE: The diagnostic lights will blink when the power button is amber or off, and will not blink when it is blue. This has no other significance.
Light Pattern Problem Description Troubleshooting Steps
Diagnostic LEDs Power Button LED
1,2,3,4 all OFF OFF The computer is either turned off or is not receiving power.
  • Re-seat the power cable in the power connector at the back of the computer and the electrical outlet.
  • Bypass power strips, power extension cables, and other power protection devices to verify that the computer turns on properly.
  • Ensure that any power strips being used are plugged into an electrical outlet and are turned on.
  • Ensure that the electrical outlet is working by testing it with another device, such as a lamp.
  • Ensure that the main power cable and front panel cable are securely connected to the system board.
3 ON OFF A possible system board failure has occurred. Unplug the computer. Allow one minute for the power to drain. Plug the computer into a working electrical outlet and press the power button.
1 AND 3 ON BLINKING AMBER A possible system board, power supply, or peripheral failure has occurred.
  • Power off computer, leaving the computer plugged in. Press and hold the power supply test button at the rear of the power supply unit. If the LED next to the switch illuminates, the problem may be with your system board.
  • If the LED next to the switch does not illuminate, disconnect all internal and external peripherals, and press and hold the power supply test button. If it illuminates, there could be a problem with a peripheral.
  • If the LED still does not illuminate, remove the PSU connections from the system board, then press and hold the power supply button. If it illuminates, there could be a problem with the system board.
  • If the LED still does not illuminate, the problem is with the power supply.
1,2,3 ON STEADY AMBER Memory modules are detected, but a memory power failure has occurred.
  • If two or more memory modules are installed, remove the modules, then re-install one module and re-start the computer. If the computer starts normally, continue to install additional memory modules (one at a time) until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error. If only one memory module is installed, try moving it to a different DIMM connector and re-start the computer.
  • If available, install verified working memory of the same type into your computer.
2 AND 3 ON STEADY AMBER A possible CPU or system board failure has occurred. Replace the CPU with a known good CPU. If the computer still fails to boot, inspect the CPU socket for damage.
2,3 AND 4 ON STEADY AMBER BIOS may be corrupt or missing. The computer hardware is operating normally but the BIOS may be corrupt or missing.
1 ON STEADY AMBER A possible system board failure has occurred. Remove all peripheral cards from the PCI and PCI-E slots and re-start the computer. If the computer boots, add the peripheral cards back one by one until you find the bad one.
1 AND 4 ON STEADY AMBER Power connector not installed properly. Re-seat the 2×2 power connector from the power supply unit.
2 ON STEADY AMBER Possible peripheral card or system board failure has occurred. Remove all peripheral cards from the PCI and PCI-E slots and re-start the computer. If the computer boots, add the peripheral cards back one by one until you find the bad one.
1 AND 2 ON STEADY AMBER A possible system board failure has occurred.
  • Disconnect all internal and external peripherals, and re-start the computer. If the computer boots, add the peripheral cards back one by one until you find the bad one.
  • If the problem persists, the system board is faulty.
1,2,3 ON STEADY AMBER A possible coin cell battery failure has occurred. Remove the coin cell battery for one minute, reinstall the battery, and restart.
ALL LED (1,2,3,4) OFF STEADY GREEN The computer is in a normal on condition. The diagnostic lights are not lit after the computer successfully boots to the operating system. Ensure that the display is connected and powered on.
3 ON STEADY GREEN A possible processor failure has occurred. Re-seat the processor.
3 AND 4 ON STEADY GREEN Memory modules are detected, but a memory failure has occurred.
  • If two or more memory modules are installed, remove the modules (see your service manual), then re-install one module (see your service manual) and re-start the computer. If the computer starts normally, continue to install additional memory modules (one at a time) until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
  • If available, install working memory of the same type into your computer.
2 AND 4 ON STEADY GREEN A possible graphics card failure has occurred.
  • Ensure that the display/monitor is plugged into a discrete graphic card.
  • Re-seat any installed graphics cards.
  • If available, install a working graphics card into your computer.
2 AND 3 ON STEADY GREEN A possible floppy drive or hard drive failure has occurred. Re-seat all power and data cables.
2,3,4 ON STEADY GREEN A possible USB failure has occurred Re-install all USB devices and check all cable connections.
1 ON STEADY GREEN No memory modules are detected.
  • If two or more memory modules are installed, remove the modules (see your service manual), then reinstall one module (see your service manual) and restart the computer. If the computer starts normally, continue to install additional memory modules (one at a time) until you have identified a faulty module or reinstalled all modules without error.
  • If available, install working memory of the same type into your computer.
2 AND 3 ON STEADY GREEN Memory modules are detected, but a memory configuration or compatibility error has occurred.
  • Ensure that no special requirements for memory module/connector placement exist.
  • Ensure that the memory you are using is supported by your computer.
1 AND 2 ON STEADY GREEN A possible expansion card failure has occurred.
  • Determine if a conflict exists by removing an expansion card (not a graphics card) and restarting the computer.
  • If the problem persists, reinstall the card you removed, then remove a different card and restart the computer.
  • Repeat this process for each expansion card installed. If the computer starts normally, troubleshoot the last card removed from the computer for resource conflicts.
1,2,3 ON STEADY GREEN A possible system board resource and/or hardware failure has occurred.
  • Clear CMOS.
  • Disconnect all internal and external peripherals, and restart the computer. If the computer boots, add the peripheral cards back one by one until you find the bad one.
  • If the problem persists, the system board / system board component is faulty.
ALL OFF BLINKING GREEN Some other failure has occurred.
  • Ensure that the display/monitor is plugged into a discrete graphic card.
  • Ensure that all hard drives and optical drive cables are properly connected to the system board.
  • If there is an error message on the screen identifying a problem with a device (such as the floppy drive or hard drive), check the device to make sure it is functioning properly.
  • If the operating system is attempting to boot from a device (such as the floppy drive or optical drive), check system setup to ensure the boot sequence is correct for the devices installed on your computer.
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