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A friend of mines computer went bang when he plugged it in and smoke came out of it so he has decided to buy a new one. He has given me this old computer so I can use it for parts. Do you think anything will be usable like hardrive, memory, graphics card etc? If so what is the best way to test the parts? Thanks.
...such as leaky capacitors, burned out parts etc. Then dismantle the disk, memory, cards etc. and try them in a known working machine. You may find that it's only the power supply that's gone - if you're lucky!
I know its probably only the power supply but he is getting a new one anyway. If I am trying the hardrive in mine is it just a case of unplugging mine and plugging in the other one?
but a quick way of finding what still works is to risk a PSU and see what happens!!!!
Checking for sooty marks on the Mobo reduces the risk a shade, but if all appears normal..........go on, live dangerously!
At worst, you just ruined that PSU. At best it will all light up and prove that everything now is OK
Is there a particular PSU I need to get?
"Is there a particular PSU I need to get?"
Yes - one like the one that's in there. Which type it is depends on the age of the system - we can't tell from here.
Take it out - if there's NOT wires going to the switch on the front panel, then it's an ATX type. Take it to a local shop and ask for one the same.
A word or warning.
It MAY have damaged some of the parts badly enough for them to damage your system if you put them into it. Look very, very carefully for signs of damage on each part you remove - for soot marks, bubbles/splits in the components, etc.
But you may also be lucky and have yourself some useful extra parts. A lot of how useful depends on what they are - ie how old the computer is.
I have taken it apart and there seems to be no sign of damage to anything. I am going to buy a new case and rebuild it ' I have the technology!!' Is there a particular case I need? The motherboard seems quite small compared to mine and am I right in saying it will come with the power supply already in it?
Some cases come with a power supply and some don't you'll just have to read what they say on the website, usually the cheap ones come with a power supply but not all. But as DieSse has pointed out you are better taking it out and getting the same, almost all new cases and power supplies are ATX, if you buy a new case which is ATX and try to fit the motherboard and discover its an AT motherboard you've just wasted your money.
Most cases come with the power supply fitted. In the spec for the case look for the wattage rating - that will refer to the PSU, for example click here. You can also very cheaply buy a new power supply, for example click here, although you may wish to buy a better quality one. The probability is that it is the PSU that has failed, and the lack of sooty marks is no evidence that this isn't the case. Most computers built in the last 8 years or so will be either ATX or micro ATX. With very few exceptions the parts should fit into a new ATX case. If the motherboard is smaller than usual, with only 3 or less PCI card slots, then it is probably micro ATX. If you just want to use the hard drive in your computer, set it to "Slave", put it into your computer, reformat it and use it for file storage.
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