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Old December 9, 2012, 04:31 PM
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Default Need some quick assurance before I order replacement part

My friend has an old IBM ThinkCentre M51 which runs on an Intel P4. He said the computer wouldn't turn on anymore, so I decided to pick it up and check it out for him. Automatically I thought PSU before I even touched it. So I tried booting it up for the first time and it actually turned on and everything was normal. I got to the Windows XP loading screen and the computer shut off. By the way, the computer smells like crap when it's turned on. Kind of like a burnt plastic smell? I don't know... I've fried a couple of floppy disk drives in my day but it didn't smell like that. Smell comes from the entire computer, but I think it mainly comes from the power supply.

When I give the PSU power, the computer automatically turns on, the PSU fan will spin for a split second and the computer will turn off again. It will continue in this loop forever until I disconnect power. Anyways, I stuck with my theory and popped my own working power supply in it but the exact same thing happens. While it's looping like this, the I don't smell the smell. SO, I'm guessing the smell really did come from the power supply, because it was only there for the time that the computer stayed on for a few minutes. The fan in the psu probably pushed it into my face...

The only thing I can think of is a dead motherboard. Possibly the CPU but most likely not.

I found the same oem motherboard on ebay for about 30 bucks but I want to see if you guys agree that the motherboard is causing the problem first before I order.

Thanks for reading.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:33 PM
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While writing this, I thought of something. Maybe the power button is stuck? Which explains why the computer automatically turns on when I give it power, and turns off right away. And then the loop of course. So I disconnected the power switch from the motherboard but and gave the computer power but the computer still turns on by itself and loops.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Unfortunately without parts on hand to swap in/out any diagnosis is going to be an educated guess. It's up to you/him, but if it were mine, I wouldn't be expending any money on trying to repair it. If anything I'd check kijiji where I'll bet you'd be able to find a full P4 tower for a little over $100.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:46 PM
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save your whits, time and friends money get another tower ...look at dell's lease end sells and pickup next generation unit

or locale small computer shop
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaptCrunch View Post
save your whits, time and friends money get another laptop ...look at dell's lease end sells and pickup next generation unit
It's not a laptop, it's a tower.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:52 PM
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your quick steve i noticed after i clicked

yip its a boat ancor M51
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:56 PM
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If its cheap enough and u want to gamble...I'd say the motherboard....did u look for any dead caps or burn marks ? Its all worth a try
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:10 PM
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I would swamp in some RAM that you know is good if you have some spare running around just to eliminate that possibility, or if you can get Memtest 86 to run. Thats easy enough to check if you got some extra RAM.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:28 PM
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I don't think it's the RAM. Pretty sure it doesn't even turn on long enough to check for RAM. That being said, I tried running each stick individually and same problem. If it were me, I'd just but a working P4 tower for $100 as well. But this guy is old and only uses it to surf the web so he doesn't want to spend any more than he needs to. I think I'll take the gamble and go for the motherboard. Thanks for the responses guys. Still open for more opinions.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:35 PM
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I have a complete P4 system built with OK parts I'd send you for $50 total. It's built with decent parts, not branded. ASUS P4P8X, P4 NW 533MHz FSB 2.8GHz, 4X512MB (for 2GB) PC2700, Nvidia 6200 AGP, SIlverstone Etasis 300W PSU and a 40GB HD with XP already on it. I keep it for when my PC is dead, but I can spare it for someone with a need and not much $$$.
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