Area 51 - broken power-on switch?

Hello, I'm new here and - what else could it be - I seek help.
I got a grip on 2 Area 51 R1 machines, most probably 2009/2010 build (mod. D01X). With some new RAM and HDD, the watercooled i7 and the dual GTX 295 setup and their 'spinal spikes' they are quite impressive. However, they don't power-up. When connecting to mains a number of lights turn up and the ventilation flaps run thorugh some test cycle (I assume). Pressing the power button on one of them has no reaction at all; the second one lets the little chipset fan move for a split second, that's all.
The machines were used as multi-monitor drivers in a larger lab setup. Most probably the switches have gone through quite a few cycles.
Before I start dismanteling the beasts I'd like to now if somebody else has experienced such a problem and perhaps has a solution?
Thanks in advance.


Jan 9, 2013
D01X doesn't mean anything ... ... ....

The mthrbrd has its own pwr on button & reset button onboard, mini-red-buttons, bottom lower right near bottom sill. If you suspect the physical power on PCB board (located in the top assembly, grouped with external top USB2.0 ports), then disconnect the front panel header connector ('rainbow' / yellow header, extreme bottom right sill), then push the mini-red-pwr-on-button, does it stay powered up? If not, it isn't the external power on button or PCB. If it does stay powered on, shut down (hold mini-red button in for 5 seconds) > reconnect front panel connector to header > power up ... does it now shut off?, if so, the power on PCB board may have a bad diode or resistor & may need replaced (good luck finding one, google U637R)( Top I/O)

Symptom of bad power on PCB board is: system powers on for 5 seconds then shuts off
By-pass the PCB board: disconnect front panel connector & use onboard power on mini-red-button... if it stays afloat, powers on stays on then the PCB is bad

Otherwise, check your coin-cell battery for 2.6volts or better, replace it if it's low

Motherboard has an LED light that denotes when power is available (wall cord plugged in but system is off), make sure led is on ... make sure power supply 66pin black bulk connector is fully seated (disconnect then reconnect if need be), make sure all connectors are seated (24pin ATX / CPU 8pin etc)

Tip: take to repair shop or seek help from friend/co-worker
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finished the quest ... the problem are the GTX 480 (it is not a GTX 295 as per manual, I found out after extracting the lower ones of the dual card setup to get to the onboard power-on switch). 3 of the 4 cards shortcircuit their 12V power supply. After exchanging them against a single GTX 680 from the 'spare pool' the creatures get alive and everthing works fine. Drives and OS are the next steps.