Used PC outside for over a year, now mobo isn't POSTing

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
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1,202
So for a about a year and a half, I've had an old PC, just the mobo/vid card and hdd all laying out on top of a piece of cardboard, inside of a shed with no climate control. So it's been exposed to fluctuations in humidity/temperature. I've just been using it to play fitness videos, and have it hooked up to an old TV.

Today it just shut off suddenly in the middle of a video, and I've only been able to get it to POST once since. The other 20 times I tried, the fans just barely spun up for a second. I've tried a different CPU in it, a different PSU, and I've removed all RAM and the GPU. I get the same result regardless.

So, my question is, do you think using it outside has damaged it? Or do you think it's unrelated? It is about 11 years old after all. All the caps look fine though. Any suggestions on how to revive it?

Here is a large pic of it, I think it looks fine.

http://i1301.photobucket.com/albums/ag109/Ben_of_Appalachia/IMG_0348_zpsdc132e4c.jpg~original
 

Betaboy1983

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 31, 2008
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1,264
Well... I had a computer that the PSU went out with a cloud of smoke, I grabbed another PSU and it would 'turn on' but no beeps, post, nothing. swapped everything out and it was all the same. I thought it was junk so I decided to use it as a teaching tool for my 3 year old son and just let him play with it. For awhile he was yanking out RAM, seeing if it would fit in the PCI slots and so on... Well, I showed him how to put it all back together and explained what all the parts did and he loved every second.

Just for fun I plugged it back in and pushed the power button and heard BEEP. I grabbed a monitor and the damn thing worked and I still use it to this day for my Linux machine. Dual core AMD, Nivida 8800GTX, 4 gig of DDR2 that didn't go to waste.

Not much help, feel free to abuse it a little and see what happens! lol For instance, maybe pry out the CPU with the locking lever half engaged to try and scrape/clear out any possible corrosion or something.. Same with the ram and so on. It looks clean but.... Just my two pennies anyway.
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 23, 2013
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Thanks, I might try that with the CPU. I guess it's possible there's some corrosion in places I'm not seeing. Might use a t-shirt + credit card + alcohol on my RAM slots like I do with my NES.
 

CaptNumbNutz

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
22,643
I would say its a combination of moisture and static. Dissassemble everything including resetting the CPU in the socket.

Let it chill for a few days in a proper environment. Maybe it will suddenly boot. I've had a few boards do that with similar experiences as what Betaboy1983 mentioned. If it does suddenly spring to life, throw it in some crap-tastic case with a fan or two and call it good. It wouldn't even need side panels, just a fan and a top cover to prevent condensation build up and a metal chassis for proper grounding.
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,202
Doesn't the PSU provide proper grounding though? I thought cardboard was generally safe to place motherboards on. Maybe not for an extended period of time?
 

The Mac

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
4,492
The case acts like a faraday cage and shields atmospheric charge to some extent.

Leaving it sitting out on cardboard may allow it to be subject to magnetic disturbances, sun spots, and other random RF events.
 
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