Got this working and figured out so posting an update for anyone that might have similar symptoms.
The problem did in fact turn out to be related to the CMOS battery. It had come loose somehow and was keeping the system from powering up. Not sure how to state it or the technical explanation for it as I'm not a hardware guru but I assume/think it kept the board from getting power across it. Does that sound correct?
Anyway long story short once I tightened that up the system started running again. The battery is low however as the date/time is never remembered. So I'm going to get a new one.
If anyone out there has power trouble hopefully this throws out another thing you can test.
Don't be scared! I know it looks like a long post but I just wanted to be clear. I promise it's not as long as it looks!
About a week ago my computer wouldn't turn on. No power at all. Nothing came on. My heart sank and I began testing. PSU, power button, ram, cpu, harddrives, dvd drives, usb devices all of it. No power. I took it to the local guy this week to see if he could spot anything. He got it going but he had to tinker with it a good bit as well. I had to leave it with him. He said he islolated it down to a graphics card problem. The gold (copper?) strips on the bottom of the pcie or any card which slides into the mobo slot looked worn. The system is about 3 years old and it's always had the same 8800 GTX in it so I've not been taking it in and out. But he showed me the card and sure enough it did look worn.
So he had the system going this morning when I went to pick it up. I took it home inserted a new 9800 GTX+ and fired up the computer. Booted up just fine. I spent about 3 hours on it. Backing things up again just in case. Cleaning up things like uninstalling some programs that didn't need to be there, clean install of video card drivers, and I defragged the harddrives both in XP and a boot up defrag. During all of this of course I had to restart the computer several times when prompted to do so and I turned it completely off 3 times to connect 2 fans that still needed to be hooked back up and to watch it start (I had the side panel off) just to see that all was churning. It was. No problem with any of this. The final hour on the system I just caught up on some articles I wanted to read online and generally just messed around. Nothing hardware related.
Given the problems I had I wasn't ready to leave the system on while I was not around, so I turned it off when I left the house. I was gone about 5 hours. I get back, turn on the computer... and bang... back to square one, no power again at all.
Between the time when I turned it off and then came home to turn it back on there was only one thing that was different. The last thing I had not connected was my wireless keyboard. So the only change was that I inserted the small usb device that the key board uses. Right after I plugged this in is when I turned the computer on and got nothing.
I've plugged the computer in different outlets in different rooms and unplugged every thing in the back and unhooked the fans I reconnected and even used a different pc power cord. No luck, still no power.
Disheartened to say the least.
I'm going to take it back to the guy to try and find out what it was that allowed him to get it to power up for him but as its friday night I wanted to post and see if anyone could tell me something else maybe I could try and fix over the weekend. I've never taken anything to this computer guy before but a friend of mine said hes had good experiences with him and I thought he seemed to know his stuff after talking to him. So I don't think I got juked.
Two odd things though while I was working on it today when I restarted and powered it on and off that I didn't think were anything other than things that needed to be reset.
1) A couple of times when rebooting the windows checkdisk ran. It never found anything and the drive it was looking at was not the boot drive. It stopped doing this on it own but I used diskeeper to defrag/check the drives out when the system was nexted rebooted just to see if it found anything. It didn't.
2) A number of times I kept having to reset the time and date in XP. I did this without really thinking about it. It was wrong so I fixed it. I think the last time I turned the system on though it was correct when windows loaded.
As for the second one... could that indicate a bad or faulty CMOS battery? Can these things affect a system not getting power or powering up?
Sorry for the long post, hope someone gets this far Any one have any thoughts?