Do I need a PSU or Motherboard?

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Apr 3, 2010

I have a Dell Vostro 220mt, and in about April last year I started having trouble turning on the system, if I plugged it in and pressed the power button, the power light would glow Amber and nothing would happen, no fans spinning etc. However, I eventually found that by waiting one or two minutes after plugging it in before pressing the power button, it would turn on fine. But then near the end of 2012, I found the time I had to wait was slowly increasing, so I unplugged everything from the back and it booted fine, and eventually I narrowed it down to the Ethernet cable stopping the boot. But then in December, the computer started failing to boot even with everything unplugged from the back, and the time I had to wait before pressing the power button was now about 5 minutes. But just yesterday, I was completely unable to turn it on, no matter how long I waited, it would either have a solid amber light, or it would flash amber for less than a second after I press the power button. Something else I noticed was that sometimes the light on the PSU would go out. So I unplugged it for an hour, and plugged it back in and left it overnight, then this morning when I pressed the power button I managed to make it boot.

I tried removing all PCIe cards and USB deviced etc, but it made no difference. So I need to know if I need a new Power supply or a new motherboard, I would try with another Power supply, but I don't have one.

Any help would be much appreciated,

P.S. The specs are:
Ram - 1x 2GB DDR2 800MHz
1x 152MB DDR2 800MHz (Two Slots)

HDD - 1TB Western Digital WD1001fals - 403AA0 (Music, Games etc.)
160GB ST3160816AS (OS Drive)

Networking - Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller

CPU - Intel Pentium E5200 Dual Core 2.5GHz

Chipset - Intel® G45 Express Chipset

Operating System - OEM Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit
Ubuntu 12.10

PSU - 300W, 115/230VAC 50/60Hz

Graphics - Nvidia GT420 (Overclocked)

Sound - Trust SC-5100 5.1 Surround Sound Card
With the process being that it has been degrading over time I would lean towards a bios chip failure on the motherboard. If the MB is under warranty from Dell then I would contact them and see about either them fixing it or replacing it.
If it's not under warranty then you have to decide if you want to get a replacement.

If you can test the power supply then that would help eliminate it as the problem. There is a way to test the psu and it's called the paper clip test.
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