Our living room PC just decided to "pay the piper"

Friday night, our living room PC died. This is what we use for watching TV, recorded videos and DVD’s. I was in the middle of some basic changes. I swapped out a problematic (wouldn’t eject all the time) DVD burner for a new one. Then I added a hard drive in one of those internal mobile rack things. Everything in this system is IDE. I’ve never had anything drastic like this happen when just swapping out a drive and adding another one before.

After adding the mobile rack drive, the system wouldn’t boot until after I pulled the drive from the system. I figured it was some sort of jumper issue, and I’d deal with it later. However, then I noticed the sound would no longer work. I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers several times, to no avail.

When that didn’t work, I backed up all of my important files over the network. Then I deleted the partition, repartitioned, formatted, and reinstalled Windows XP. I reloaded video and sound drivers. Still no sound. I decided maybe the BIOS had gotten messed up somehow. (system has onboard AC 97 sound) I downloaded the flash file from the Biostar website. After that, system wouldn’t boot at all.

I cleared the BIOS, then tried booting from floppy with flash file & flasher on disk. Now there was no video. I swapped in an old TNT2 video card, and then got video. However, after trying to flash numerous times, with the various flash files available on the manufacturer’s website for this board, it never flashes properly.

I guess as far as I’m concerned, the system is dead. I’m pretty sure the problem is the motherboard. Here are the system specs:

Biostar M7VIT Pro mboard
AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 2.08 GHz CPU 333 FSB
512 MB DDR 333 memory
ATI Radeon 9550 AGP 128 MB video with TV out

I’m going to toss the motherboard, because it is obviously messed up. I’m going to test the other 3 components, and see what I can get from them on eBay if they are in working condition. I’m guessing around $80.

Then it looks like I’m going to be hunting for either a new PC (if I find a really good deal),or else parts to build a new one.

Can anyone suggest a good case or case with decent power supply? Also, I’ll need a new motherboard, this time preferably with built in video. And a new CPU with heatsink & fan. I guess new memory, too.

I wasn’t really expecting to spend bucks on anything like this right now. I was hoping to get another year out of the system before upgrading it to an AM2 based system.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Power supply may have taken a crap due to the added hardware.

I think for those old boards you should only flash in dos mode, any flashing in windows may corrupt the bios. You may have only had an IRQ conflict, which conflicted with the sound. A cheap thing to try is to get a new bios chip off ebay, and flash it only in dos.

Were you able to get into the bios and change any of the settings?

If you get a new MB and want onboard video, then I suggest you read a lot of reviews to get a good one. Since your using this as a home video PC, then quality wise you’ll be better off with a PCIX-16 video card.

Also rarely do you get a quality power supply with a case combo. Definitly buy a quality one like Seasonic! they are more efficient and have real power rating. So for a relatively basic system you be fine with a 380W or 4##W PS (as long as you buy a quality unit).

Unless you killed it with stactic it should all be fixable. Seek help.