Change the power supply in a Dell Dimension computer system when the power supply fails or when upgrading or adding components that require more power. Replacement power supplies can be obtained from Dell or third party manufacturers that produce the same or higher outputs than the standard power supply that came with the Dell Dimension. Many new upgrade components such as high-end graphics cards require more power than what the standard power supply can provide.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Anti-static wrist strap
- Screwdriver set
- Nylon cable ties
Back up any files on the Dell Dimension prior to changing the power supply if possible.
Power down the computer if it is running and remove the power cord.
Disconnect all components and peripherals from the computer.
Remove the Dell Dimension case cover and connect the anti-static wrist strap to the metal frame and to one wrist.
Disconnect the power supply connectors from the hard drive and optical drive by grasping each one by the edges and pulling straight out. Use a slight rocking motion if necessary to gently work the plugs out of the socket.
Disconnect the power supply leads from the motherboard by squeezing in on the locking tab that holds the connectors to the socket. Pull the power supply leads straight up and out of the socket. Disconnect any other leads coming from the power supply.
Remove the screws that hold the power supply in place from the back of the computer. Remove any internal brackets that hold the power supply in place inside the computer. Pull the power supply out of the computer and transfer any brackets to the new power supply.
Install the new power supply into the Dell Dimension in the same orientation that the old one was installed. Secure the power supply in place with the screws and brackets.
Connect each of the power leads to the drives and motherboard in the same places that the old power supply was connected.
Wrap nylon cable ties around loose bunches of cables to bunch them together, being careful to leave plenty of slack and not to tighten the cable ties very much.
Tips and warnings
- Take a digital picture of the inside of the computer prior to removing the power supply to reference when connecting the new power supply to the various components.
- Replace the power supply with a higher wattage power supply to increase the capacity of the system for upgraded components such as a new video card or an additional hard drive.
- It is normal for a power supply unit to have extra power leads. These do not need to be plugged into anything.
- Every power supply connection is keyed to prevent installing the lead in the wrong direction. Never force a power supply connection as this may be an indication of the connector being put on backward.
- Many components inside the Dell Dimension are sensitive to electrostatic discharge and proper precautions should be taken to eliminate static.
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