Optiplex 7010 Flashing Orange Amber Power Button

Problem

Dell Optiplex 7010 does not turn on or power up. Power light is flashing or blinks amber or orange.

Diagnosis

  • Power button is flashing orange;
  • Button pattern is slow. Three blinks, two blinks, repeat;
  • Holding the button in ceases the flashing, but the machine returns to this state when pushed again;
  • Removing power, allowing to discharge, reattaching power does not change a thing.

Solution

  • Remove the power;
  • Open the case;
  • Remove CD/DVD drive and HDD carrier to access the memory modules;
  • Remove the memory modules fully;
  • Re seat the memory modules;
  • Re assemble.

Root Cause

This was observed running Windows 10. The machine makes use of sleep mode.

This model was 2012-2019. Diagnostics are delivered by the Amber or Orange flashing power button: https://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukdhs1/sln284978/a-reference-guide-to-the-dell-optiplex-diagnostic-indicators?lang=en#Five

Decoding this can be found here with the Blinking Amber code: https://www.dell.com/support/article/uk/en/ukdhs1/sln284978/a-reference-guide-to-the-dell-optiplex-diagnostic-indicators?lang=en#Six

This was two, then three:
“2 blinks followed by a short pause, 3 blinks, long pause, then repeats” / “Bad motherboard, Memory or Processor” / “If you can assist to troubleshoot, narrow down the issue by reseating the memory and swapping a known good memory if available. If nothing works, replace the motherboard, memory or processor”

This appears to be a common issue – and the fix is well documented. Cause, unknown/transient, not cleared by power removal. It is unlikely that the RAM has cause caused the issue.

Background:

For my sins I operate a single Microsoft machine. It has to live outside. It’s purpose is simple and singular – controlling a stationary bike trainer and playing music through headphones for the duration. Trainer Road and Zwift (it has been retrofitted with a low profile reasonable specification graphics card to allow the latter). It speaks Ant+ and BT LE to the trainer, and collects power and heart rate data by the same protocols. It sleeps when not in use. I came back to it one day to find that pushing the power button did nothing.

Pushing the power button again, nothing. Holding it in until all the poor thing suffocated, no dice. Just the same. Inspection of the front / rear showed a distinct flashing pattern on the power button LED (which usually only indicates on, off or sleep).

This has been the first instance in a year, and is easily carried out. I should imagine this is as likely to be due to temperature fluctuations in the environment, as opposed to anything else. I am not concerned. However – yay – fix – and fix shared. Go team.

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