Ack! What is wrong with my computer?

Ok, I need some doper help here. Even opinions would be good, but if you have a factual answer that would be even better and that is why I am putting this here. Here is my sad story and the quiz at the end is what I should do next. The story:

A few weeks ago we had a bit of a windy day and I had a power sag and I don’t have a UPS even though I should etc. Computer rebooted and then in the following 30-40 retries got to varying stages of booting. Sometimes the Windows almost boots, sometimes I can get into CMOS sometimes it locks up before. I figure fried MB or CPU and I need to upgrade anyway as the Slot A 650 is getting old.
I order an unboxed AMD 1600 and a MSI KT6 DELTA-FIS2R KT600 MB through the mail at a decent price. I then bought a CPU fan since I didn’t have one. And got some DDR memory for it because all I had was SDRAM. It came, I plugged everything in and…nothing. Well not nothing, power came on and the fans spun, but nothing useful. I decided to start as simple as I could and work my way up adding components. Turned it on with just processor, memory, CPU and video card and it still did nothing, but then some of the electronics on the MB started blowing up and giving little wisps of smoke. So that was not good. I sent the MB back and just in case it was a bad MB I got a Soyo Dragon Ultra KT400 locally. Installing this board had no effect, but no smoke either. Perhaps the power supply is bad, thought I. I bought a new power supply and still nothing. Ok, there is still a chance that maybe the processor was bad, so I got a second one of those too. That doesn’t do anything either. Installed the memory in a different computer and it worked fine. Tried my video card (which is AGP) and also two PCI cards. Nothing. Pulled the CMOS battery then reinstalled, nothing. Took the whole kit and kaboodle out of the case and put it together on a towel, nothing.

Any ideas? One problem I have is that I don’t have a working Socket A computer to try the parts in to be sure everything is working (with the exception of the memory and PCI video cards). It was my understanding that the essential components to at least boot a computer past POST is a working MB, power supply, CPU, memory and video card. I have replaced each of these at least once. Now of course one bad part could be destroying the good parts or one of the new “good” parts could still be bad. I just was curious if the Dopers had any things to try before I return all the parts I bought and just buy a complete system.

Thank You.

One thing that pops into my head is to check and make sure the mb isn’t shorting out somehow. Make sure to compare the holes in the mb to the ones on your case. Sometimes what happens when you switch mb’s is that a riser that fit into your old mb is covered up by your new mb so that metal riser is touching part of your mb. Hope that explantion makes sense. Good luck.

Well, I’m surprised you kept the PS, but you have, so oh well. The best thing would be for the case to be grounding out your board, in which case you could check and fix that.

I’m thinking you should break out a multimeter and check your old PS though. It sounds to me like it killed your 1st mobo, and quite possibly the 2nd one you got there too. (Which would explain why replacing the PS now doesn’t work - it’s just too late).

The RAM and (sometimes) the CPU aren’t “needed” to get something on the screen. The last thing I can possibly think of is to check the wiring. I don’t think you can connect today’s PS and mobo the wrong way, but messing up some of the fan connectors or case switch cables might cause odd stuff to happen.

Thanks for the advice both of you, one of the things I tried was setting up the computer outside of the case to see if it was shorting. That didn’t work. I am goping to try to see if the first PS was bad and if so I will assume the 2nd MB is also dead now and replace it.

If anybody thinks of anything else to try let me know.

Is the CPU fan spinning at all ? Those boards have overheating protection built in and it will shut down if it detects overheating. I am assuming there are no beeps so that would tell me that it is a CPU or power issue. Recheck the CPU heatsink and insure that it is on correctly. Got this from Soyo