|"I removed the ram and put it in my wife's Dell and it purrs, so it's not ram related."|
You're fortunate that worked, because there's a definite chance it wouldn't have, and if it hadn't it wouldn't have proved the ram was no good. It's extremely rare for ram that was working fine to go "bad" spontaneously, and even if it did, if you have more than one module, the odds are extremley high against more than one going "bad" at the same time
See "Ram that works in another mboard....." above.
"...the fan on the psu still spins and nothing smells burnt."
Good, at least that's okay, and failing power supplies don't always smell burnt, but when they do, it's fairly certain they're fried.
"It has an Antec Smartpower 2.0 400 watt psu."
Excellent brand, but that's a minimal capacity. If you have a video card in a slot, which one is it? The reason I ask that is a frequent mistake people have made is installing a video card that requires the system have a PS with more capacity than the one already installed has - in that situation the PS is overloaded all the time the computer is running and eventually fails.
"The gigabyte mobo that's listed in my specs is a brand new mobo in my new machine.he mobo in the fizzed machine was a Gigabyte GA-K8NS-939"
Obviously, we prefer you specify the problem mboard or brand name system in your first post.
"Gigabyte GA-K8NS-939 (The Bad)
There isn't much to complain with regards to the design of the GA-K8NS-939. One of the issues the board suffered from was the DIMM slot design. Similar to the EpoX board, all four slots were positioned next to each other without breathing space. The compacted layout made it difficult to install some of the more exotic memory...."
Make sure the ram is properly seated.
And my usual....
A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.
See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
Open up your case and examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
If re-seating the ram doesn't help and the capacitors look fine, the most likely thing is STILL a defective power supply, and the only way you can confirm that for sure is to try a known working one. Do you have a friend you could borrow one from? You don't need to install it in your case for testing purposes - just prop it up on something beside the case and connect what you need to connect.
"I've been a carpenter for 36 years and my back is shot too, but i like to eat, so I keep going :)) "
Nearly 29 years since I got my ticket, that took 5 years due to one thing or the other, and I fiddled with carpentry helping my Dad before that occaisionally. I have no wife, kids, or debt, so I get by doing odd jobs.