Relationship advice

Discussion in 'Techie Discussion' started by Big G, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    ...of a different kind this time :p , my sister's PC is sick and i'm looking at it for her. Always good to do family favours, cash them in later on.

    Spec as follows:

    eMachines Celeron 2.6 GHz (socket), 256 MB RAM, 80 GB disk, Windows XP, integrated video/sound, motherboard has an Intel chipset. Not a stellar spec, but it does her for internet, email and iTunes just perfectly.

    Basically, nothing works at all. The PSU appears to "trip" into a safe mode - so the PC does not even boot up, no power at all. I unplugged all the devices and left only the motherboard power connections. I remove the plug, plug it back in and get the same "bunk" noise of something tripping in the PSU (the fan spins a couple of times).

    Sounded like a dodgy PSU, so I took the PC to my place and tried my known working spare - same problem. My dad then took a look and hung a multimeter off the voltage rails (he's an electronic engineer) which essentially showed nothing at all.

    Two PSUs tried, so it was time to perhaps presume that there was something on the mobo that was cooked. I removed the board for close inspection, and there was a distinct "bubble" and brown "burn" mark on the intel chipset - my dad had seen this before. I then find out that the room the PC was in was having all the wallpaper removed via a steaming tool - doesn't sound good does it?

    Looks like the mobo is dead. What are the chances that something else was fried?

    What are the options now? New motherboard presumably. Can anyone recommend a suitable replacement?

    I've been out of the PC upgrade game a while, but the board would need integrated audio/video/LAN. Another problem is this PC doesn't have XP discs per sé, but recovery disks - any chances that there may be problems (mobo driver problems for example) if the motherboard is different to the original spec?

    Options/musings/opinions and thoughts welcome.
  2. Kryten

    Kryten Old Cow. Moderator

    Right, the motherboard is certainly a saturday morning fry up - it's difficult to say about the rest of the hardware. Steam is a bugger, it gets everywhere. Contrary to many peoples thoughts, I'd happily soak electrical components in steam or water and expect them to work afterwards after drying out entirely - but most of the kit in PC's is full of capacitors which may or may not be shoving some form of charge around that particular part.

    So it's gonna be a game what else is fried. I'd say the cpu and ram will be fine - graphics cards, sound cards, hdd's I'd be unsure about and would test them on a PSU you'd not mind losing.
    I'd also avoid using that PSU, certainly.

    Now, slapping in a new motherboard, assuming everything else works fine, you're recovery disks are entirely useless, as is the license attached to the computer.
    Bearing in mind the situation I'd be happy COUGH COUGH but this is up to you entirely. MS might even understand if you give them a bell - I've had keys given to me over the phone with a full explanation of the problem but of course you're gonna need installation media.

    Guessing the motherboard will be a socket 478 - if you're looking for a like for like replacement, spec isn't gonna be too much of a problem I'm guessing. But with the onboard stuff, maybe the ASRock P4I65G - retails for around 30 quid. Nothing special, but it seems you don't need it to be. Of course if time isn't an issue, it might be wise to look around ebay and see what crops up. You might even find a slightly better mobo & cpu combination for that money.

    But *please* see if you can check the individual components elsewhere - it's a shame to waste hardware that could be working, as it would be a shame to plug in something that is still moisture damaged for it to blow the new kit too.

    I can get replacement s478 processors should you need one - from the same spec up to p4 3ghz, unfortunately motherboards are a little harder to come by - most the stuff I deal with is entirely proprietary.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Chilly

    Chilly Balls of steel

    dump her
  4. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    Cheers all.

    For the price of a basic base unit, I don't fancy buying a board and for it not to work, only to replace more parts. Might be a handy excuse to get something new, she was talking of a laptop anyway.
  5. Kryten

    Kryten Old Cow. Moderator

    Fair play, sounds like a good bet to me. Especially with lappy prices being rather favourable at the moment. Rather less hassle anyway.
  6. SheepCow

    SheepCow Bringer of Code Staff member Moderator

    And you get to steal all the spare (working) components and use them yourself
  7. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

  8. dysfunction

    dysfunction FH is my second home

    Depends on the memory type and if there is space for it and space for the HD...
  9. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    Well... in terms of spare slots and space, i've obviously checked that :)

    edit: Oh.. on the new box? Yes of course, although would be very strange for it not to have more than one ram slot, or space for another HD (i'll just make room :D )
  10. dysfunction

    dysfunction FH is my second home

    They may have two ram slots but both may be used up if they have 2 x 128mb ram boards.

    May be worth asking the seller...
  11. Big G

    Big G Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.

    Good point dys, thanks for that.
  12. Malecheon

    Malecheon Fledgling Freddie

    Been out of the hardware game for a while, but do you not also have to make sure the memory speeds match ?
  13. Kryten

    Kryten Old Cow. Moderator

    You can mix and match memory speeds to suit - but naturally both sticks will only run at the speed of the lower specced module.
  14. Malecheon

    Malecheon Fledgling Freddie

    Ah, ok, cool, thanks for clearing that up. Will bear that in mind when I next need a memory upgrade.
  15. Jonty

    Jonty Fledgling Freddie

    Hi Malecheon

    Kryten is spot on that you can usually mix and match memory sizes and speeds without any problems (although performance will be somewhat sub-optimal).

    One more tip for you: always put the RAM with largest capacity in the first slot in your motherboard (usually the RAM slots are numbered, so just check your motherboard or the manual). This just helps to ensure the best performance should anything go awry (sometimes, albeit rarely, only the memory in the first RAM slot is recognised when using mismatched pairs of RAM).

    Kind regards
  16. MYstIC G

    MYstIC G Official Licensed Lump of Coal™ Distributor Staff member Moderator FH Subscriber

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