Today has not been good day for computers in our house. My main desktop computer has been slowly failing for a while. I thought the problem was simply that I hadn't reinstalled Windows for a while (a necessary evil) so when it got to the point where it would no longer boot without blue screening I bit the bullet and tried to re-install Windows. Windows would not install. Firstly it looks as if my hard disk has physically failed (the S.M.A.R.T. system is reporting that the disc is failing), but replacing the disk and Windows still won't install as it can't format or copy files to the disk. So I'm assuming the drive controller on the motherboard is also failing. So I need a new computer.
To get at the data on the second disk in my desktop I thought I'd make use of an older computer I have sitting around. Unfortunately it hasn't been booted in about 18 months and I think the build up of dust was enough that when I turned it on there was a nasty pop and a cloud of dust and smoke. While it will now turn on and run the fans there is no video output and no post beep noise.
So I guess that's two dead computers, quite an expensive afternoon! If anyone has any suggestions on which CPU/motherboard/graphics card etc. I should buy when rebuilding please do leave a comment.