Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for August 1st, 2007

But it’s FREE

Posted by Trixter on August 1, 2007

In sympathy to my financial plight, and possibly as a birthday present (I’m 36 today, whoopidy-doo), a coworker donated an Athlon 64 rig to me so that Sam could have a fast enough machine to run voice recognition software so he could email his family. (Sam has processing delays akin to autism and has trouble typing quickly.) I received a case, power supply, unknown Athlon 64 CPU hidden under a giant Zalman heatsink, motherboard, and RAM — which is more than powerful enough for voice recognition. All I need to do is add some spare hard drives lying around and it’s functional. It was a very generous donation.

It also doesn’t work.

It won’t POST, other than the fans spinning up; that’s it. No beeps, nothing. So, here begins the shopping list I’ve had to purchase in order to troubleshoot the thing:

  • 20-to-24-pin power supply adapter: $4

…because the PSU was 20-pin and the motherboard was 24-pin. No change in operation. Now we test the power supply itself:

  • Power supply tester for ATX 2.0 power supplies: $20

…confirmed that the power supply is functional. Moving on:

  • Motherboard POST code display and PCI power testing board: $26 (cheap!)

…which I’m still waiting to arrive in the mail. This will let me see any POST codes as well as making sure power is going through the motherboard and hitting the PCI slots. If it starts to POST but stops, then probably the CPU is bad. If it never POSTS a single code, the motherboard is bad. Either way, this “free” gift has cost a minimum of $50, with at least another $80 (CPU or motherboard, whichever I find is bad).

Still, the thought was nice. And heck, getting an Athlon 64 rig for free $50 $130 is a great deal.

I’m not down or anything, I just find the situation ironic (and, by proxy, funny).

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