Best Guess - CPU or Motherboard

  chub_tor 22:25 01 Jan 2010

Whenever She Who Must Be Obeyed goes into our attic she complains bitterly about "those boxes of computer junk that you are hoarding" and so my New Year Resolution is to do something about them. My chosen first project is to build a desktop so that I can play about with Linux.

I was given an old tower where the PSU had exploded with a large "pop" and where a replacement PSU has failed to let it boot up. Fans spin, hard drives and CD Drives whirr, but no beeps or other sign of life. It must be a dead CPU or motherboard (the latter has been physically examined but shows no signs of mechanical damage).

So any guesses anyone? The CPU is a Socket A Athlon and it uses DDR memory so I plan to buy parts off ebay just to try something out but which to buy first a CPU or a motherboard? All comments gratefully received.

  jamesd1981 22:54 01 Jan 2010

i would probably go for cpu aswell if the board shows no visible signs of damage do you not have or have access to another desktop in which you could test the suspected faulty cpu ?

  Devil Fish 22:58 01 Jan 2010

check the old psu for the smell of burning if you still have it it may have just been a simple failiure rather than an explosion the loud pop you refer to could have been a capacitor on the mobo going

in which case mobo could be first port of call

  User-312386 23:00 01 Jan 2010

Ok lets pretend(bear with me on this) that its only the PSU thats died. Does it have a graphics card or onboard? How many sticks of Ram are installed? Is there still a hard drive attached? If the answer is yes to any of this then remove them and see if you get any beeps from the mobo

  DieSse 00:27 02 Jan 2010

More often it's the motherboard that fails than the CPU - in fact over the years, after PSU "bangs", I can't remember a CPU ever failing - but a number of motherboards did, some witj similar synptoms to yours.

PS - not my system I hasten to add - those I've had to repair. Usual cause of PSU ills is simply low quality PSUs.

  chub_tor 12:11 02 Jan 2010

Just to answer some of your points....

I don't have access to another Socket A motherboard to test the CPU.

I did check the PSU by removing the casing and examining the board, not only was there a burnt out resistor inside the glass of the on board fuse was crazed over and blown.

The graphics card is fine, I have tested that in a different rig, also the DDR memory is fine and the hard drive is OK as I have put it in an external caddy and can see all its contents.

DieSse thanks for the experienced advice, you are "bang" on with the cheap power supply as it was the one that came with the case. I will search out a Socket A CPU and have a go.

  chub_tor 13:08 02 Jan 2010

No I'm not ignoring your advice, just a tad confused after all the festive celebrations, I shall of course search out a Socket A motherboard first!

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