Hi,I have a Dell Inspiron 518, won\'t boot, blue led come on & off over &amp


Jan 15, 2012
I've tried everything, Processor good, memory good, HDD good, so I believe the MoBo is the culprit, but am not sure, my questions are:
1.- How can I test the MoBo
2.-If I replace the MoBo(G33M foxconn), how do I instal my windows(I have original recovery CD) using my old Hdd? I don't wanna loose my old data, what can I do gentlemen?
You are kinda hosed at the moment.

How did you ensure that all of your parts is good? What tests did you do on the processor, RAM, HD, and all that stuff?

If you replace the motherboard with the exact same kind, you won't have to reinstall Windows. It must be the exact same kind not a similar kind. Any old thing from Foxconn isn't good enough. If it is a G33M then the new one must also be that. If it is a special kind of G33M then the new one must also be the same special kind.

If you get some kind other than the same kind again, you will have serious difficulties. Windows will crash with a BSOD every time you try to load Windows. You would never be able to login and attempt to save any of your data to CDs or anything like that.

If you had a bootable CD created from a different computer that loaded an old version of DOS or something and you had a new 2nd hard drive connected, you would be able to copy files from the old C drive to the new second drive you connected, so you could save data that way without losing any of it.

However, you likely won't be able to use the original recovery CD if you do get a different motherboard. It is most likely going to try to bring you back to the setup you originally had (IE tailored to the first kind of motherboard) so if you had a new motherboard and the recovery CDs it would likely only cause you to get lots of BSODs even in the best case.

If you get a new motherboard, you would need to buy an OS upgrade CD (even if it is to the exact same kind of OS you already had) so you can install windows again fresh with it.

This would wipe all the data off the hard drive most likely if you are doing a custom install (IE using a bootable CD), so you probably don't want to do this until you work something out to backup your data first.

As I mentioned before, a boot disk that drops you to DOS and a second hard drive can work for something like this. You could also install Ubuntu on the new hard drive and transfer files that way using a GUI if you want. Ubuntu has a slightly steep learning curve, but it may be worth doing so you can use a GUI to transfer files rather than the command line. The cost of Ubuntu is $0 which is nice.

Anyway, lets not put the cart before the horse here.

I will re-iterate that stuff later if necessary.

Right now, I would like the best list of the maker/model/age of all your hardware items and the best description you can give me about the problems you are having. It is possible you can just fix what the problem is even without a new motherboard and I would like to try going along that path at least for a little while before you go getting a new motherboard.
1. Pull everything from the PC except MB, Power supply (PSU) and processor. Does it POST ? Yes then add components 1 at a time until it doesn't. No -- then it's either PSU, CPU or MB. You've replaced the CPU. That leaves PSU and MB. Replace the PSU first -- it's cheaper and more liely to be the problem (though it coudl be either).
2. Windows is installed on the HD. When you swap MBs you'll keep your current hard disk. When you install a new MB using a copy of windows on an existing disk then win7 will ask you to verify/re validate the copy of windows. It takes a few minutes, is easy. I've done it several on different PCs with original Sony and HP installs.

Note: When you replace the MB you can either pay a fortune for a Dell tatooed MB or buy any MB you want. If you buy a non-dell MB then your exsiting Dell recovery media will not boot. Instead you need to create a backup image of your system on an external usb hard drive. Win7 will create one for you (search help). If you hard disk fails you install a new (empty) harddrive and then boot the PC off a windows recovery CD (windows will create one for you) and then use the disk image to restore your system.

Hi Raiddinn, you give usually give great advice, but this could be clearer.

If the windows install has the drivers for the MB being installed then you literally have to do nothing to get windows working with the new MB. If the windows install doesn't have the right drivers (and typically it doesn't) then you need to load the drivers that came with the MB according to the directions that came with the MB. Chipset drivers, audio drivers, etc. People upgrade computers all the time. "... Windows will crash with a BSOD every time you try to load Windows. You would never be able to login ..." no, windows will work fine as long as the drivers are loaded.
If I take my hard drive out of my computer and put it in my wife's computer, it will BSOD over and over and over and over.

If I put her hard drive in my computer and tried to boot to it, it would BSOD over and over and over.

Our motherboards aren't close to the same and the Windows installs aren't compatible with each other.

You cannot unload the drivers for the motherboard. You would have to get successfully into Windows to delete the drivers for these things which won't happen.

Go ahead and try it.

It works for me, I do this. Just load the drivers you need. For example here is an article installing a new MB. http://computershopper.com/components/howto/install-a-new-motherboard-cpu

You'll note step 5: "Then, assuming you aren't reinstalling Windows, boot for the first time. Windows will need to install drivers for the motherboard, most of which it can and will do automatically, though you might need the CD that came with your board."

Hi, OP, The title of the thread says blinking blue light. The power light on Dells is a diagnostic tool. Here's a snip from your manual.. http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xlob/dtg/en/en_dtg.pdf

Note the: "If the power light is blinking amber, the computer is receiving electrical
power, but an internal power problem may exist."

The power button light located on the front of the computer illuminates and
blinks or remains solid to indicate different states:
• If the power light is blue and the computer is not responding, see the
Service Manual for your computer.
NOTE: On certain systems the power light is green.
• If the power light is blinking blue, the computer is in standby mode. Press
a key on the keyboard, move the mouse, or press the power button to
resume normal operation.
NOTE: On certain systems the power light is green.
• If the power light is off, the computer is either turned off or is not
receiving power.
– Reseat the power cable into both the power connector on the back of
the computer and the electrical outlet.
– If the computer is plugged into a power strip, ensure that the power
strip is plugged into an electrical outlet and that the power strip is
turned on.
Dell Support
Use this support utility for self-support information, software
updates, and health scans of your computing environment.
power button
274 Troubleshooting
– Replace power protection devices, power strips, and power extension
cables with similar products in known working condition to verify that
the computer turns on properly.
– Ensure that the electrical outlet is working by testing it with another
device, such as a lamp.
– Ensure that the main power cable and front panel cable are securely
connected to the system board (see the Service Manual for your
• If the power light is blinking amber, the computer is receiving electrical
power, but an internal power problem may exist.
– Ensure that the voltage selection switch is set to match the AC power
at your location, if applicable.
– Ensure that the processor power cable is securely connected to the
system board (see the Service Manual for your computer).
• If the power light is steady amber, a device may be malfunctioning or
incorrectly installed.
– Remove and then reinstall the memory modules (see the
documentation shipped with your computer).
– Remove and then reinstall any cards (see the documentation shipped
with your computer).
• Eliminate interference. Some possible causes of interference are:
– Power, keyboard, and mouse extension cables
– Too many devices on a power strip
– Multiple power strips connected to the same electrical outlet
Diagnostic Lights for Desktop Computers
Some desktop computers have lights labeled with numbers on the front
panel. When the computer starts normally, the lights flash, and then turn off.
If the computer malfunctions, the sequence of the lights can be used to help
identify the problem.

BSOD after replacing motherboard

into google. You will get almost 17 million results.

At the very minimum you will need the Windows CD that came with the computer. If you don't have the Windows CD, then you will have some problems.

I don't know that the recovery CDs will be good enough for this purpose. They may be, or they may not. I don't have any such CDs, so I can't really test it.

I guess the OP can see if he has a repair option with these recovery disks he has. I would be interested to see if he can get it to work.

Reinstalling Windows is definitely the always works go to fix for this, though.


Jan 15, 2012
Went to a friend's house and tried all my hardware on his computer, everything was ok, bought new PSU, tried new HDD nothing, as soon as I conect the machine to the wall outlet it turn on by itself, blue power led on, and blue HDD activity on, then they go off, and on and off...
Hi, re: 'as soon as I conect the machine to the wall outlet it turn on by itself''
there is a connector from the power-on switch to the MB. Remove it. See if you get the same symptoms when you plug the pc back in.

The power switch is an intermittent switch. Maybe it has failed rather than the MB.

Also check this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-post-boot-video-problems <-- edit look especially at breadboarding if you've already swapped all parts into another pc and they all worked.
Ok take me through this one more time.

You did a lot of different trouble shooting steps that aren't adequately described that I would really like to hear about so I can better assist you.

You took parts out of your computer and put them in someone else's computer. Explain each thing that happened in detail. It would be nice if you could list their hardware specs too while you are at it. Your own specs would be nice too.


Jan 15, 2012
Dell Inspiron 518, processor Yorkfield Q8200 2.33 Ghz,4GB of RAM( 4X1GB), 800, CL6 Dimension, MoBo DG33M-04(foxconn), no video card or anything else, my friend built his own system so I couldn't tell his hardware specs. I put both systems side by side, took my 4 memory sticks and put'em on his, turn PC on, booted with no problem, same thing with my processor, put it in the socket and worked just fine. Bought a new HDD turned PC on with recovery disk in cd player and PC booted but after a couple of minutes went off, after that every time I tried to turn it on it started(you can see the fans spinning and the HDD activity light blinking blue, using my old HDD of course) and then suddenly the computer goes off, I need to desconect it from the wall otherwise it will restart again and again...I'll try that breadboarding thing tomorrow and will keep U updated...
Are you sure you pushed the RAM back in far enough? I have seen that problem before. You might want to pull the cable out of the wall, pull the battery out, push the RAM hard to make sure it is all the way in, and after 30 min put the RAM back in.

That may fix that part.