Dead PC (?Fried M/Board)

  HIT any key 12:31 24 Apr 2008

I have a 5 year old custom tower PC and last night it froze solid and is now as dead as a dead thing.

I am almost certain that it is a MB problem but will describe the symptoms in case anyone has any thoughts.

It was working normally and I left it for a while. When I came back to it the screen was showing the normal desktop but KB & mouse were completely dead.

I did the 4 second Power off routine followed, after a few seconds, by a power on. This had worked on one previous occasion about 1 month ago.

This time the power light and fans come on but no keyboard lights and there is no connection with the screen (the normal BIOS startup display does not appear). There is an ASUS display panel (which does nothing meaningful but normally lights up) and this is also dead. The disk access light does come on for a short while but there is no sound of any attempt to boot up. I have replaced the USB keyboard with a PS2 one and the IR mouse with a bog standard one - with no effect. My feeling is that, because it does not even get to the BIOS startup, it is too early to be a disk problem. Does anyone disagree?

I also have some questions about where to go from here but will add these as an append.

  amonra 12:35 24 Apr 2008

Your comment "KB and mouse were dead" indicates to me a power supply fault ? I would suggest you swop the PS for starters and see what happens.

  HIT any key 12:51 24 Apr 2008

While this 2.8Ghz system with 1mb of RAMBUS memory is more than powerful enough for anything I do, (Email, Browsing, document processing, some limited JPG editing), it is 5 Years old and the concern must be that a repair will only tide me over until the next thing goes wrong.

I am running XP Professional but I have a full, genuine sealed copy of Vista Ultimate that I have never got round to installing (because Sound & Video cards needed an upgrade). Anyway, XP was doing all I needed.

Apart from Processor and memory, the main investment in my current system is 2 large (350Gb & 500Gb) IDE 7200 rpm hard drives and IDE DVD reader + IDE DVD RW.

OK, If I were to go for a new system, here are some specific questions :-

- New systems seem to be SATA. Is there normally any ability to run my existing IDE hard drives? and/or my existing DVD drives?

- Because my XP system was a full copy, I should be able to transfer it when scrapping my old PC? Is it possible to buy a PC without an OS? If not then is it possible to buy it with Linux? and is this cheaper?

- On WinXP I have redirected 'MyDocuments' and all data references to a separate partition to simplify backup & restore. I have heard that this is not so easy on Vista as it tries more to control how you do things? is this correct?

- I have seen that some suppliers (like Dell) offer 2 disks with a 'dual disk system'. Is this some sort of raid that makes regular backup less critical (at least for recovery from physical errors)?

Any advice on recommended direction would be welcome. I used to be quite up with this 5 years ago but I am now well out of date.

  HIT any key 12:54 24 Apr 2008

Yes, I guess it could be. There is some power getting through to drive the fans and power lights but that does not mean the power to the MB is OK.

Any idea how I could determine that before spending money on a new PS.

  HIT any key 13:52 24 Apr 2008

particularly to my second part.

  Ditch999 14:31 24 Apr 2008

click here

Or get hold of an PSU tester

  HIT any key 14:40 24 Apr 2008

Thanks - that is helpful. The earlier parts are obviously OK because that hasn't changed and I know some power is getting through but the second part on testing the MB output is very helpful.

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