Is my machine dead?

OK, so I bought a machine off of e-bay for $70, shipping included.

Dell Optiplex GX110 (Win 2K, Pentium III 600).

It’s a slimline machine. I bought it as a Win 2K tester.

It powers on, but generates no video signal at all. Started with onboard VGA, but I also tried a PCI card. Opening it up and watching it power up, it’s clear the MOBO has power, and I’m about 90% sure I hear the hard drive starting (though it’s quite quiet).

There was no beeping of any kind during power up - I’m not even sure it has a speaker (could be - the forward part of the machine is buried under the HD and power supply. I plugged a speaker to the external jack and still got nothing.

Notably though, the ginormous heat sink/fan on the CPU had been jarred loose during shipping. It was held to the CPU by a ~0.7 x 0.7cm piece of thermal two-sided tape, which was not enough to withstand the jostling of a ~2 ounce, 2" x 2" x 2" sink/fan combo cube thingie.

I could send it back to the seller, but since I only paid $70, it’d hardly be worth the effort and shipping. I’d love to get it to work if possible.

Is it possible I fried the CPU by having it turned on for ~30 seconds without the heat sink attached? I touched the thermal surface of the CPU and it was HOT! (maybe 180 Fahrenheit?) Is there any other easily testable possible solution here? I don’t see any obvious DIP switched on the MOBO. I’ve reseated all the other connections.

Oh gurus of the antiquated hardware, share your wisdom with me…

Oh, and a follow up.

If it’s likely that the CPU is at fault (would the above symptoms describe a dead CPU?), how difficult/expensive would it be to replace?

The original is a Pentium III 600 Mhz, with one of those little zero-insertion force levers that makes it easy to pop in and out (physically).

But I don’t know how tricky it is to identify the right replacement CPU, how hard to locate (i.e. would CompUSA have it, or would I have to mail order?), if I’m likely to hose it with static electricity, etc… I’m not concerned about the actual speed of it - anything over 500 Mhz is good enough for what I want to do with it.

The symptoms you describe could indicate a dead CPU, but could also simply indicate a motherboard that needs a BIOS reset. There will probably be a jumper that you can set to force a BIOS reset. If you didn’t get motherboard documentation with the computer, you might be able to find this info on the Net; if not, the jumper setting might be labeled CMOS or CCMOS on the motherboard.

If you need to shop for a CPU, start with the motherboard documentation – it should tell you what range of CPUs work with the board. You’ll probably have to find a Pentium 3 on e-bay, but I doubt it wil be difficult to find. Last year, I had to go to e-bay to replace my wife’s Athlon 1800+. That’s a more recent chip than the P3, but no regular suppliers stocked the Athlon. I have no idea how much it would cost.

CPUs that use zero-insertion force levers are very simple to install – once you get the chip, it’s doubtful you’ll have any problems installing it. Just make sure the heatsink is properly attached before power up on the new chip.

You shoulda asked here – I ended up throwing three socket A athlons away, when I couldn’t get rid of them on ebay!

You shoulda asked here – I ended up throwing three socket A athlons away, when I couldn’t get rid of them on ebay![/quote]

I don’t think the QT3 forum rules allow us to ask here unfortunately, otherwise I’d be begging for ancient mobos.

Yep dead cpu, or the a dead BIOS (prolly cpu). Might want to check the BIOS battery as well. If your memory were bad and everything else was OK, you’d still get a video signal and beeping. But not so with a dead cpu or BIOS.
I’m not sure if any if these would work but they may (and they’re cheap): http://www.pricewatch.com/prc.aspx?i=3&a=278633 They’re P3 700 MHz’s.

Yes most early processors will be burned up quickly with no heat/sync fan running. Even the slightest heat damage in the wrong place will kill a cpu.

You can find guides for your computer here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx110/ens/index.htm

After reading through the data - it looks like the (you said chip not slot processor right?) I’d probably go with this one here: http://www.starmicro.net/detail.aspx?ID=85

Make sure you have some good thermal grease. Arctic Silver 3 is my favorite.

Oh, the horror! You want an ancient mobo? I just threw away the motherboard and sound board and all the harness wiring for Mortal Kombat II – the actual arcade game. And the decals, etc.

1994 cost: $2,900
2006 cost: $0.99 +$15 shipping on ebay

I actually bought it locally for $70. Or, rather, I got the cabinet for $70 to put Mame into, and got the working game for free!

Arctic Silver is overrated – for an old P3 that you’re not overclocking, heck, you could probably use vegemite (which works almost as well as toothpaste!)

Correct me if I am wrong, but if you power up a motherboard WITHOUT any cards, CPU, or RAM, it should give you error beeps.

If it’s award, or phoenix (P3 600 sounds like 1998?) you can probably dig up some codes.

beeps are good because it implies motherboard works. there is a priority to the beeps thought - you’d find turning it on gives you 3 Beeps which means no RAM, and only after you insert ram it beeps 5 times which means no video, and so on.

problem with old hardware like that is it probably sits in a dusty garage somewhere. I have a few Athlon xp’s, cyrix chips, etc, but it just isn’t worth time to dig out and sell for a minimal gain on ebay (if someone came to my garage they can pick up that junk from me hehe it’s called cleaning.)

I hate artic silver with a passion - putting electrically conductive or inductive stuff next to those video card and motherboard traces is bad! all for a minimal, or non-existing gain in performance.

more cost effective to spend the $10 in some cardboard and duct tape and build a duct.

more cost effective to spend the $10 in some cardboard and duct tape and build a duct

wouldn’t do you much good if the heat can’t effectively pass from the processor to the heat sync.

Well, I ordered a new CPU - will post if it works.

Hahaha. Very puny. :-)