You can tell a lot about the condition of your Dell E520 computer simply by looking at the lights on the front of the unit. The colour and condition of those lights can indicate a problem with the computer's hard drive, monitor and other components. Learning to read these lights and understand what they mean can save you a lot of time and make troubleshooting a lot easier and more effective.
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Unplug the Dell E520 and plug it back in. If the amber light stays on, try moving it to a different power outlet and using a different power cord.
Remove all peripheral devices from the E520, with the exception of the keyboard and mouse. A steady, amber power light can be caused by a malfunctioning piece of equipment. Turn on the computer on and wait for it to boot. If the computer boots with the peripherals removed, add back each peripheral one at a time, rebooting the computer after each device is added. Continue this process until you identify the malfunctioning device.
Shut down the Dell E520 and remove all devices from the back. Remove the retaining screws on the back of the tower and remove the computer case. Locate the memory modules on the motherboard and remove them one at a time. You should see small, white retaining clips on the motherboard -- these retaining clips hold the memory in place. Spread those clips apart, then lift up the memory module and set it aside. Remove all the memory modules, then add them back one at a time, restarting the computer after each one is added. Continue until you identify the malfunctioning memory, then replace it with a new module.
Remove any add-on cards for graphics controllers, networking and other purposes. Remove all the cards, then reinsert the cards one at a time until you find the bad card.
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