My pc worked fine until my 2 year old son found the power switch for the power strip. He's a bit hyper and we couldn't get him to stop shutting it off while we were using the computer. Finanly, we gave up trying to get him to stop so we secured it inside a locked cabinet. We started having some minor problems with certain programs but nothing too much out of the ordinary for an outdated pc.
I don't know if that may be the cause of what happened next or a coinsidence. My husband was playing on the computer one day when he noticed a burning smell. Electrical burning to be specific. There was no smoke and the computer continued to run but just in case he shut it down. When he restarted it, he noticed that the fan wasn't turning. He cleaned it as best he could and it started working again. Unfortunately, he didn't tell me about all of this till it was too late.
It died, completely. No power, no smell, no nothing. Being strapped for cash we couldn't afford a whole new one or to repeat a bad experience taking it to a computer shop to be overcharged for an easy fix...again. So I researched online at work to find out what I needed and how to install it. keep in mind, I had never opened up the case before and I was scared of doing so without as much information as I could gather.
Okay, to make this long story a little shorter, here's a timeline of what happened next (my questions are at the end):
1) new powersupply installed
-I got led lights, nothing on the screen, and a loud beeping alarm
2) consulted a cousin and the IT chick at my job
-both agreed that it could be many things but chances are it was the motherboard
3) Installed a new motherboard
-gateway 440bx something or other
-it powered up. Bios worked but there was no OS.
-cdrom wouldn’t light up or open
-bios detected ram and the floppy drive but nothing else
4) called a friendly repair guy who offered me advise free of charge over the phone and he even came over to make sure that I had hooked everything up correctly
-no mistake on my part
-dead hdd, no spin or sound
5) got a new hdd
-bios wouldn’t detect it
-only whirred to life when the power supply cord was jiggled
-bad power supply?
6) exchanged the power supply
-same thing once and then nothing at all, no power on the 2nd reboot.
7) called repair dude
-unlikely but possible the case itself is dead
-I said “what!”
-he said “I know” then he lent me a spare case he had lying around.
-tada! We have power and a detected hdd but still no cdrom
-he lent me 2 cdroms drives
-yeah everything detected
8) set partition and formatted hdd
9) tried to install windows
-didn’t work the first couple times
-repair dude said to take out the smallest ram chip because it could be a bad one
-windows installed no problem
10) tried to install DSL software.
-locked up in the middle and wouldn’t restart setup after several reboots
-slowly windows started acting up, errors I didn’t get a chance to write down unfortunately
11) 2 days later
-same thing but windows was really slow to start
12) 1 week later
-windows gets frozen at the welcome flag screen
13) started it in safemode and ran scandisk
-no errors found but I didn’t know what other diagnostic tool to run so I tried to reinstall windows
-got stuck 60% through on 4 separate attempts
So here I am. Through out this process 4 brand new power supplies have been tried (there were a couple exchanges I left out), 1 case, 1 hdd, 3 cdroms, and 2 motherboards (he lent me one in case my new one was bad too but it wasn’t…so far). Right now, the working case & cdrom are borrowed until I can afford to by my own. The only things left I can imagine is either the remaining ram is bad or the processor. I haven’t gotten far enough to see about the sound and Ethernet cards but I’m assuming the graphics card is okay because I was able to load the drivers for it, change the resolution, and view test clips from the software.
Here’s my questions
Could either or both the processor and ram be bad? Which should I try to replace first?
It’s a Gateway motherboard in a Gateway case but it was working shortly in my old case which is not a Gateway. Do I have to buy a Gateway case of my own or can I just get any standard ATX case with power supply?
Any help would be much appreciated!