A customer calls, saying his computer won’t start… no beeps, no messages on the screen, just the usual lights at the front of the box.
I take a look, and soon start removing components to try to isolate the problem. I eventually narrow it down to either the CPU or the motherboard… The MOBO has no bulging capacitors, so there is nothing obvious.
I have to take the PC back to the office for more investigation.
I try a different CPU, but no luck.
I put the original CPU back, and suddenly It all starts working again.
It works for about 1 hour, then suddenly stops working again.
I swap motherboards (although XP will probably struggle with the different MOBO’s.
After removing the old ga-8ie800 MOBO and celeron 2.2GHz CPU, I happen to glance at the MOBO while I hold the heatsink, and I see that the edge of the MOBO is not straight.
A closer look shows that the CPU and (quite large) heatsink are very close to one edge of the MOBO. It becomes obvious that the pressure of the heatsink on the quite small CPU has started to push the cpu socket “through” the mobo… causing the board around this area to warp out of its usual flat shape.
Looking under the mobo shows 2 slight scorch marks. One under the CPU, and one under a transistor.
I’d say, as the board started to warp, something electrical started to lose contact, and other components tried to compensate (and started overheating).
It also explains why it worked for an hour… I must have left the heatsing off for long enough, so that the mobo shape started to re-flatten.
Anyway, I replace the MOBO and CPU, and reinstall windows (can’t do a repair install, as he doesn’t have the original win2000 CDs).
I restore the original data, and soon everything is back to normal again.