I have a PC from my parents, it wont start up properly anymore.
System Information: (Built by me March 2007)
Mobo: MSI K9N Neo
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 EE 4200+ (2.2GHz)
RAM: 4x1GB Transcend JetRAM DDR2800
HDD: 250GB Seagate
VGA: Sapphire ATI X1650XT
PSU: Generic 400W
OS: Windows Vista
1. When I arrive to check on it, I start it up, POST, login screen, desktop, loading tray applications, then freeze. PC is non responsive.
2. I hard reboot it and then I get as far as the login, freeze.
3. I hard reboot again but this time it only gets as far as half way through POST before freezing.
Now to me this looks like an overheating problem, I open the case, and yes there is an infestation of dust bunnies. I mean there is a whole colony in there, friends, family, extended family, you name it they were there for the party.
Anyway, I took the PC back to my place and gave it a good blast with the air compressor and all dust bunnies were thoroughly evicted.
So now I disassemble the PC and replace the thermal pads under the Northbridge and massive amount of stock AMD thermal paste with a thin layer of Arctic Silver 5.
The system boots up again, but the same issue arises, increasingly frequent freezes.
So on closer inspection there is a bulging capacitor just under the CPU. Could this be the problem? Is increasingly frequent system hangs a symptom of capacitor failure?
Now are there any more suggestions for testing if the mobo is on it's way out/dead?
Do I just call it a day and celebrate the fact that this PC was even able to see it's 5th birthday?
Thanks for your responses.