Help with the dredded dell

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by davefan6435, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. davefan6435 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #1
    Okay so I realize this is a mac forum but i thought you guys might be able to help me out with this issue. So i was driving around the other day and i saw 2 computers on the side of the road and thought i'd check them out. To my suprise they ended up being a Dell Dimension 8300 and a Sony Vaio VGC-RA825G. The computer i have not is like a 667mhz dell so i was very happy. Accoring to the persons neighbors there was "smoke damage" to the computers. When I brought the dell home I plugged it in and the power turned on, which I took as a good sign. I threw a hard drive in there and when I hook it up to my monitor nothing shows up. I'm going to test the video card to see if that might fix it. Any other suggestions you might have to get these computers running? What kind of damage can smoke do to a computer? Thanks for you help in advance
     
  2. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #2
    Well, if you smoke near your equipment (which I don't) all sorts of nasty crap can get in there and gunk stuff up, make componants overheat or break down over time.

    I'd say test the video card out, but also get canned air and blow the hell out of those two things, from top to bottom inside out. Also, you make want to check if the video card is plugged in correctly tto the main board and what not. Did the original owners keep the HD's?
     
  3. davefan6435 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #3
    yeah, when i picked them up there were no hard drives in either of them which doesn't suprise me. It leads me to believe that the origional owners might have known somewhat about what they were doing. Im not quite sure. Is there any other way to test the video cards w/o plugging them into another machine because they are too big to fit into my old crappy dell and the two cards wont match up in each others pci slots. by the way i dont think its referring to smoking cigarettes because it looks like the outside of the computers have soot on them. It could have been an electrical fire or something. Im really not sure. However if that would have been the case, then I dont think the computer would turn on.
     
  4. stefan15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Check your power supply unit's fan, and if feasible, just replace it. Look at the motherboard closely for any melted resistors, etc. Smoke itself shoudn't be much of an issue. Check out the CPU's heatsink, if it has a fan, then clean that, also you may want to remove the heatsink and thermal padding or grease, and reapply after cleaning with 99.9% alcohol (look up a guide if you haven't done this before).

    Run a diagnostic to make sure all ram slots are functioning (ie: CPU-Z), and check device manager to make sure all PCI slots are functioning properly. (EDIT: re: your video card, make sure everything checks out in device manager first, and reinstall drivers--thats the only real way to test without switching machines)

    Otherwise smoke shouldn't do too much damage to the machine, since you are replacing the hard drives and possibly the video card. After changing the PSU, I wouldn't be too worried about it.
     
  5. wPod macrumors 68000

    wPod

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #5
    either the motherboard overheated, including the processor, or the video card overheated (or some other damage aside from overheating) usually there will be some indication, such as beeping from the motherboard or blinking lights on the keyboard (different patterns of lights mean different problems) might also be ram related. the ram is either dead or not seated properly. for that matter might happen with the processor and video card. i would take them all off, dust them off (with compressed air, or such) then do then clean off the motherboard the same way and replace. just little ideas, might not do much.
     
  6. davefan6435 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #6
    thanks to everyones help i got the computer up and running. its a pleasure to use after my old computer. my only problem is when i try to switch my 16x internal dvd drive from my old computer into the secondary drive of the new dell it doesnt work. when i starty up it shoot me into dos mode and says the secondary drive isnt detected. but when i get into windows it detects it for a second but it doesnt show up in the my computer area. in fact the primary drive doesnt either. any suggestions? All im really trying to do is replace the existing dvd burner with my own newer burner. its a mad dog 16x dual layer burner if that helps at all. thanks again for all your help
     

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