Saturday morning, I woke up early and made the trip over to Micro Center again, this time to replace the motherboard. I got the same model, as it is working in Kathy's computer and I really didn't think it was the cause of the short. I get home and take the time to install it.
One thing that interested me was the fact that it really didn't seem like it took a whole lot of effort for me to unplug everything, remove the old motherboard, put the new motherboard in, and plug everything back in. It's been a while since I've done it, but I breezed right through it like a pro. Maybe it's time to put the other two servers in the boxes that await them...
Anyway, I booted it up, and the short was clearly gone, as I got the post screen. Windows began to boot up, but right as it was about to get to the part when it would tell me to Ctrl+Alt+Del to boot up, it immediately shut down, just like the first time when the motherboard shorted out.
I was afraid I had just tanked another $150 by blowing another motherboard, but to my surprise the computer successfully turned on again. But again, right at the Ctrl+Alt+Del screen, it shut down.
Thinking that I had an incompatible setting in the BIOS, I set out to change the BIOS settings. I had a surprise waiting for me at the "PC Health" screen, though. The tempurature of the processor? One hundred and three degrees.
I immediately turned the machine off, not wanting to burn the processor to oblivion, which has already happened to me once. I did some quick inspection of the processor, and decided it was high time to get a new heatsink/fan combo. Back to Micro Center yet again...
What annoyed me about the new combo I got was the fact that I had to place something underneath the motherboard to screw it into, instead of snapping it into place like the old one. But perhaps that was for the better, as when I booted it up the next time, I got a nice and frosty 29 degrees Celcius on the processor.
The computer has worked perfectly since. I have my memory back in the dual channel slots and am getting no crashes, no blue screens, no nothing. Best of all, the graphics are extremely impressive. The framerates I had Friday evening were still extremely fast, and I have decided to keep my display at max resolution, 1920 by 1440.
What sucked about this is that the unplanned upgrade sucked about $700 from my credit card, which translates to about one paycheck's worth of debt at a time when I'm really just wanting to get everything paid off again. With vacation and Christmas (WTF! Already?!) coming soon, I'm just about ready to call it quits on the break-even point coming this year. Seems there's always something to push that back.
Although there's still some hope. For instance, I can win big again at blackjack at the casino in Niagara Falls.