I purchased a Dell Dimension 9100 desktop almost 10 years ago and it has served a variety of purposes in a variety of different incarnations. I just keep resurrecting it from periods of death and corruption and now have a bit of an affinity for keeping it alive. Due to its numerous resurrections, I have named it Phoenix.
A few years ago, it became so corrupt that, not only did it stop working properly, but it also started losing data. It was at that time that I purchased a new dektop. Rather than recyle the Dell, however, I endeavoured to build a media server out of it so that I could use it to serve up all of our media throughout the house. To do this, I replaced the hard drives, added some RAM and installed Windows Home Server 2003 on it. It was glorious. Within a few days, I was able to turn a seemingly dead computer into a powerful media server that not only served media throughout the house but served as an external web server and media streamer.
Over time, Microsoft announced a replacement to the software (Windows Home Server 2011) and I upgraded to a new system to run the new more powerful upgrade. My Dell server still worked, however, so I decided to use it as the backup to my new WHS 2011 system.
A few months ago, it just stopped working. It wouldn’t turn on, it wouldn’t light up…nothing.
I opened the case up and noticed that the motherboard light was still on so; holding out some hope, I decided to replace the power supply to see if that was the issue (I had read that Dell power supplies are prone to burning out – HERE and HERE). If the new power supply didn’t fix the problem I would have to move on to trying a new mother board.
Here is a video I created as I removed the power supply from the case.
Now I just have to order a new power supply, reinstall, and see if I can resurrect this unit yet again.
Dell Dimension 9100 Motherboard schematic