I am desperate. And stubborn. So when I found a gutted Presario desktop at our dump, I jumped for it. Normally, I just don't bring home used electronics, but a gleaming 2.5 Ghz Celeron caught my eye.
I ran home and turned it on.
Computers are not meant to be left in the rain, especially with one side of their case open to collect the drops. In truth, all of my issues could be due to water damage. But I am stubborn and I refuse to believe that I must pay to junk an already junked computer.
I do know a little more than a bit about computers- enough to know that plugging in wet circuit boards that carry 250 watts is a death wish. I thus waited patiently for several hours while my new find dried in front of a fan. I am 99% sure that there was not a drop anywhere.
So when I went to plug in the beast for the first time, I did it as-is. It WAS scrapped so there was no hdd, no RAM, just a processor, Bestec psu, motherboard, and a floppy drive (no one loves floppy disks anymore...).
It was quite anticlimactic. Nothing happened. The psu turned its one green light on, so I know there was power getting to it, but no fan, no motherboard light, and no friendly beep. I pushed the power button. A lot. Still nothing.
More importantly, there was no BIOS screen; if I understand correctly, even without a hdd or RAM, there should have been some BIOS version.
So I did a bit of research, and eliminated a few things. As it stands now, this is what I have:
-Bestec ATX-250-12Z that DOES work when green is shorted to black. The motherboard is ATX so shorting the psu is the only way to manually get power out of the psu. When I did this, the CPU fan spun and the psu fan did likewise, but these are hardwired connections on the motherboard, not the board actually doing something
-a gleaming 2.5Ghz Celeron processor that has just been cleaned with a rubbing alcohol. I also checked the socket- it was free of water
-newly installed CMOS/BIOS battery; i.e. BIOS has been cleared and the right battery at the right voltage is clicked in.
-no hdd, but when tested with one it made no difference
-no RAM, but when tested with 512M it made no difference
-a mysterious motherboard with no scorches, chips, dings, scratches, or other wear. There are service tags (long void) but I couldn't find a marking on the brand.
Note that the unit was not tested with the new CMOS battery AND the RAM/hdd- this is my next check (it involves taking apart the computer I am currently typing on).
As a final clue, when I plug the psu into just the wall and the motherboard (I DID plug in both connectors), there is an infinitesimally small crackling. There is no smoke or steam or smell of any sort. It might just be a candy wrapper in my room. BUT it seemed to come from the piezo speaker. Before when I said 99% sure it was dry, the piezo speaker is the only 1% that cannot be fully checked (water can get inside). Even so, BIOS should load or at least the motherboard's light should come on.
I understand this is a tough question, but I really think that this hunk of metal still has a bit of life. Thank you for responding with whatever help you can give.