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Smoke test

So, I took the machine I got at the dump. I plugged in RAM and a video card, hooked it up to my second monitor, plugged it in, and hit the power button.

The CD drive ejects randomly. Nothing on the monitor, CPU fan isn't running. I'm just noticing a hint of a smell when I hear a pff and white smoke starts coming out of both ends of the power supply. The smell increases sharply.


I shut the thing down quickly and pull out the parts I added. I don't know if I damaged them or not; I hope not. (The monitor, at least, works just as badly as it did before.) Then I start removing the other parts--52x CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, associated cables, modem, network card.

Finally, I grab a flathead screwdriver and lever the heatsink clip off, then start trying to get the lever up. The heatsink comes off (too easily? can't tell) and I pull up the lever and extract the CPU.

The CPU has an "AMD Athlon" logo on it. I spot a model number and search for a site to interpret it. Here's what I found:

ArchitectureModel/CPU ClockPackagingCore VoltageMax TempL2 CacheFSB Clock
Athlon (.18 µm)1.3 GHzCPGA1.75 Volts95° C256 KB266 MHz

Translation for the non-technical: a pretty nice chip, approximately 1.5 Moore cycles (~2 years) old. (The most interesting number is the 1.3GHz, but the 256 KB of L2 means it's a midrange chip for that speed, and the 266 MHz front-side bus is pretty nice too.)

I don't know if it's damaged; there aren't any scorch marks, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'll at least need some new heat-conducting goop. I'll also need a new power supply; I offered to give the system to my brother if he's willing to risk his power supply, but he didn't bite. More computer for me (or my sister), I guess.

So...that's the state of things. Not immediately usable, but nor is it a waste of space.


( Read 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 27th, 2004 10:30 pm (UTC)
Sounds like the PSU bit the dust. Might have a faulty motherboard too. (Or, at least now!)

Might get some useful ram or the proc out of it. But the cdrom is worth the effort, eh?
Nov. 27th, 2004 10:43 pm (UTC)
Well, the system already had its RAM stripped out. (I tested with some spare sticks of PC-133 I had lying around.) I'm hoping the mobo will work with a new power supply. If not, maybe the CPU will work on the mobo for my Duron 800. And if that's fried too...well, I get a CD drive out of it, right?
( Read 2 comments — Leave a comment )