At the end of 2008, the power supply of a P4 system that I was using as a server failed quite violently. The short of it is that that our power went off, I went to shutdown the P4 system (it was running from a UPS), and found its containing room full of acrid smelling electrical smoke. After the power came back on, I carefully went to plug the system back in. The result of this was more smoke and copious amounts of sparks firing out the back of the apparently shot PSU.
Upon buying a new PSU, I was disappointed to find that the system did not start at all. The only sign of life was that the fans attempted to move slightly. No lights came on or even flickered. The new PSU was returned to the store.
I removed the 200GB harddrive from the system and was happy to find that it worked normally (in fact it is still in my computer now). I gave the 1GB stick of ram to my brother who still runs a rig feeding on DDR400 RAM. ...Now that would have been the end of the story, BUT very recently I was informed that this 1GB stick of ram did not work. This made sense - if the RAM did not work, the M/B would have seen no RAM and turned it self off.
Knowing that I had some DDR RAM lying around, I collected up the system and assembled it. The only thing is, I don't have a P4 compatible power supply - only an old 18 pin 140W (that I don't even know works). With this old PSU and a 256MB stick of RAM (that I also don't know works), I got exactly the same symptoms as when I used a new PSU and the old RAM.
Is there any point in getting this board tested (could be pricey), or buying a new P4 compatible PSU and some DDR RAM (will cost about 25 New Zealand Dollars)? Or should I just toss the thing? It would be really nice to have a working 478 pin machine as a server.
Most probably the motherboard died, check to see if it has any busted caps, the price of that old technology is probably pretty expensive by now, and you'd be better off tossing the thing and getting a bunch of cheap low end stuff which will outperform at a decently low price. If you can find a deal on the old stuff sure go for it but if the mobo is actually dead then just toss the whole thing you're just loosing your time.