IT Access Point

PSA: Dell Uses Duplicate Part Numbers

Lesson learned.  Apparently Model Number on Dell parts don't tell the whole story.

Dell Power Supplies side-by-side

I had a problem with a Dell Precision 690 where the the tower would power up, but I would get no video.  I tried everything: different monitors, both analog and digital (DVI); different video cards; different video cards in a different slot (PCI instead of PCI-E).   Same result...

I made the $35 investment to get a digital power supply tester from Best Buy, which works rather well, might I add.  However, in this instance, I was unable to successfully test the power supply.

Long story short, I got the model number of the Dell PSU and started my eBay trek.  I found the auction that matched model numbers and specs.  Within 2 days, I had the replacement PSU.  I got down to business installing.

I noticed the new one had full-length cables coming out of it, rather than the jumpers from the original, but I chalked that up to a new design.  Besides, this one said it was compatible with the Dell Precision 690.

My logic is rock solid, right?


When I powered up (or tried to power up the system) with the new PSU installed, even less happened.  Nothing...nadda...

I opened the case back up and double-checked my wiring and everything looked right.  I then noticed that the Dell Model Number on the label was different from the one I had ordered...

"Great," I thought.

Now I am going to have to fidget with an RMA and a claim on eBay and I am going to have to again, find the right part.

Dell 750W Power Supplies

Dell Power Supply Labels

Luckily, the folks that ran the auction, had a phone number.  I was set on the fact that they sent me the wrong power supply.  I even looked at the auction and it said H750P-00.  The one I held in my hands said N750P-00.

The very pleasant and helpful attendant informed me that this is not the part number to pay attention to.  The other label, yes, the one that doesn't say ANYTHING about part number, that typically begins with a "CN-" is the one to watch and order from.

More bad news: they didn't have a compatible PSU.  Now I have to look elsewhere...

Moral of the story --> The Dell Part Numbers to order from are the "CN-" and then the 6 digits.

Who the heck comes up with the bright idea to use duplicate part numbers anyway?  And why on earth wouldn't 2 seemingly IDENTICAL PSU's be interchangeable???  Ahhh...the persistent struggles of an IT professional.

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Editor of IT Access Point
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