I'm not sure if this old motherboard works. Can / Should I give it a second chance?
August 8, 2004 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Can I give an older motherboard a second chance? The long story is inside.

Last year my friend called up and told me, “My computer won't turn on. Fix it.” I assumed it was the power supply and replaced it with a working one I had lying around. The computer powered up for about 5 seconds, then – poof, the power supply was dead. (I tried it later on a different machine) We were both in a time crunch so I replaced her power supply and motherboard/chip and sent her on her way.

The other day I found her old motherboard; a PCChips M817 (same as this) complete with an original Athlon 1000 1 Ghz. The heatsink is still with us but the CPU fan seems to have gotten lost. I would like to turn this into a cheap third computer with parts I have sitting around.

Before I order another heatsink/fan – is it worth it? I do not know if there was a grounding problem in the old case, could that have killed the original PS? Is there a way I can test this without killing another? I do not have any electronic testing equipment. Thanks!
posted by dual_action to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
PSUs die. PSUs are cheap. The worst that'll happen if you try to build a box out of a mothballed motherboard is that it won't work, and you'll be in for another hundred bucks or so to replace it.

That said, a PC-CHIPS mobo isn't worth anything, and I wouldn't use one to build a box I would actually have to trust to work.
posted by majick at 3:05 PM on August 8, 2004

Cheap and nasty power supplies that blow up have a tendency to put way too much voltage on their outputs. That means you can blow up other stuff that's connected too.

I wouldn't try this experiment with anything but the motherboard and CPU connected to the PSU.
posted by shepd at 11:17 PM on August 8, 2004

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