first my sister's comp that i built 2 years ago died. no post, no beeps, nothing. the fans work, and the you can hear the drive spin, and the burner lights up, but no posts, no beeps, nothing. i was hoping it was just the videocard, but replacing it with a known good one had the same effect. i took out the 3 identical RAM modules and tested each one separately - same deal. no post, no beeps, nothing.
i think the board went, but im suspecting the PSU had something to do with it - theres a faint burnt smell if i come close to the PSU fan (though it still spins too).
second, one of my PCs which i call my ON DEMAND MEDIASERVER died also. it housed 7 of my totally "obsolete" drives (20,30,40 and 60GB drives that no one wants to buy at any price anymore), where i ripped my DVD favorites to (which is then networked to my HTPC). i was watching Blade when the picture just froze. I checked the computer, and like my sisters comp, no post, no beep, nothing. And like my sister's dead computer, the drives were spinning, the fans were working, and the burner indicator light was lit. i did smell some sort of burning right before it went, though no smoke or sparks were visible. i unplugged it and opened the case right away, but i didnt smell any trace of burnt anything in this PC. even the PSU didnt smell like anything either. Now i dunno what it was that i originally smelt (must be my brain frying...)
anyways, ive been thinking of upgrading my sister's computer for weeks now anyway, so the change was bound to happen. I built them a (then) fast 1.2GHz PIII system for almost next to nothing (and they really paid me next to nothing so it was fair). im feeling magnanimous, so im not just gonna fix the PC, but upgrade them for free to a P4 (either magnanimous, or just feeling guilty about the system i built crapping out. i build great systems, and this happens?? its my good reputation! riiiight - what reputation? )
i got a couple of 2GHz 400MHz-bus P4 chips, and i from canvassing online stores, the prices for intel-based mobos have gotten dirt cheap now. makes no sense to fix the dead mobo with the same P3 chipset, when for the same price i can get a much faster mobo, make a much faster system. maybe an 845 chipset, so i can still use the SDRAM from the P3 system. they only use the computer mainly for business (documents, spreadsheets, etc), and the occassional game play, and of course internet. no hardcore gaming or any memory or CPU intensive tasks. though their son WAS looking to play more games though, but a good videocard will take care of that. THAT was the main upgrade i was thinking before their PC died.
i was thinking of going with the cheapest dell system, but its gonna cost me more than $360. plus additional upgrades for more RAM, better videocard - it just raises the price even more. either that, or a simple $40 mobo upgrade. i got all the other pieces here with me anyway.
as for the ondemand mediaserver, i think im just gonna stay with the SAME OLD ANTIQUE chipset (read:440BX slot-based system). i found a decent mobo from overstock.com for cheap, and its an Asus (read:stable). plus it allows up to 1GB of SDRAM(actually a great mobo in its heyday). reason im staying with it is that i really dont want to waste the tualatin chip and the SDRAM that really still works. plus its not gonna do anything but be a networked DVD on-demand movie server sitting in a corner (no gaming, no internet, nothing), so anything more than what it is now is WAY overkill.
BAH! when it rains it pours...