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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so here's the deal.

I have a Dell from about 2004. My onboard sound card went "dead" a few months back. Whenever I tried to play anything through the speakers, Windows insisted that there were no drivers installed, although I had updated the drivers multiple times to make sure they were up-to-date. This didn't bother me too much b/c I had USB Sennheiser headphones with their own soundcard built in, so I didn't use my speakers too much and relied on the headphones.

Then (and this is more recently), the USB ports went. Nothing I plugged into them was detected by my PC. The funny thing is, however, that when I plugged my MS Zune into one of the USB ports, it lit up as if it recognized a connection and began to charge. My PC, of course, didn't pick up the device or start the Zune software up, which it normally would. Now, a couple of weeks after all this, it looks like my ethernet port is dead.

So, my USB ports, ethernet port, and soundcard are all not being recognized/not functioning. When I check the device manager, there are no exclamation points next to anything - EXCEPT for the ethernet. When I plug in a network cable, I see a light over the ethernet port in the pack of my PC, so I dont think it's "dead" per se - just not being recognized. Of course, at this point I can't even connect to the internet to d/l new drivers (I'm on a different computer right now), but I'm past the point where I believe these could all be isolated issues. My question is, is it the PSU or the motherboard? How can I tell?

I don't have any problems booting my PC, and I don't THINK there are any temperature problems, but again, I can't tell for sure. Nothing feels TOO hot to the touch. I reinstalled Windows about a week ago, hoping that might solve some or all of my issues, but it didn't. However, my fan does sound like it's going at full speed even when I'm not doing anything on the computer, so I guess it could be a temperature problem. I just don't know how I can know for sure, and I don't want to invest time and/or money in a potential solution if I haven't pinpointed the exact problem.

What would you do from here? It's getting desperate.

Thanks a ton in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks very much for the input. Actually away for the holidays so I'm not near the computer, but I'll be sure to check when I'm home. The other thing is that it's a compact desktop, which makes it a pain to replace some components.
 

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Yea that the model with the bad capacitor issues.
It's a proprietary Dell board you'll need to get the service tag number and go to the Dell support site to get the motherboard part number, then google or search Ebay using the number they can be had for anywhere from about $40 to $100 depending on the board number.
 

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Piece of cake, take pictures if needed or use masking tape as flag around wires to mark where they went. The Dell support site www.dell.com/support will be of some help with the service manual, enter your service tag number and click on manuals on the left hand column.

You'll also need some thermal paste for the CPU, clean off the old with the highest percentage alcohol you can find at the pharmacy, I use a coffee filter as a wiper.
reapply according to the instructions here> http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods.html
 
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