Need some serious help/advice

fatboytyler

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Some of my family had a house fire about roughly 3 weeks ago and I am now attempting to salvage their PC. It's a Dell Inspiron 600 (I think). Has an i3, 4 GB of Hynix ram, 1 TB WD Blue, and all the other normal pieces.

The room it resided in was pretty much untouched by fire/heat, but smoke and water got in there bad. The PC was apparently on when the smoke made it in there judging by the extent of the soot that made its way inside the heat sink and PSU.

The HDD has been cleaned and fully functional atm.

The CPU was actually quite clean and I think will be fine.

The RAM had a layer of soot on it, but I have cleaned it and I feel like it will still work.

The DVD Drive should be fine since its sealed and nothing got inside.

The motherboard has a good layer of soot on it, so I am attempting to clean it, but nothing appears to be obviously burned out.

The front I/O panels I think will be fine, but just stink to the high heavens.

The PSU is my biggest concern. I have completely disassembled it and un-soldered the LED and plug Positive and Negative wires from the PSU board to completely remove it. I believe it would work, but it would likely take 30-40 hours AT LEAST to clean it up.

The next concern is the CPU heat sink. I could get it cleaned, but it would be a huge pain to get the carbon particles out from in between the fins.


I want to ask first off, has anyone delved into this territory of salvaging PCs from fires before? And do you all think I should just buy a new PSU and mount in it as well has buy a cheaper 15-20 dollar aftermarket cooler for it?

Sorry for the long post, just trying to get everything I've done so far down.


EDIT: Or should I just scratch this project and sell off the confirmed working pieces?
 

echonite

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It sounds like you aren't even sure if half of the parts work or not.

What you should do first is if you have a spare computer around, or can get one somehow, then swap known good parts with the questionable ones and find out what does work. If the computer was on and was doused in smoke and water, then I have a feeling little if anything will work. If the computer were off at the time, then it would have a better chance. Computer parts are very touchy and it doesn't take much for them to fry, and many times you cant even visually tell if there was a short that toasted it. A simple static shock on a dry day is enough to brick an entire computer.

Its really hard to say what should be done when you don't know what works. For all you know, you might need to get a brand new computer. It boils down to how much time you are willing to spend cleaning parts for the high possibility they might not even work.
 

fatboytyler

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HDD is fully tested and has been working for over 12 hours straight now. There's no reason why the optical drive wouldn't work, but I will still test asap. RAM appears clean, but I am also testing it later. I would test out the CPU, but its strange because it has the pins on the motherboard rather than the CPU so I have no compatible motherboard to test it on.
 

echonite

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Not strange at all. That's the sign of an Intel CPU. They use what they call a Line Grid Aray (LGA) as opposed to the AMD style of the pins on the CPU and their "Zero Insertion Force" (ZIF) sockets. The idea is that you are less likely to bend a pin on the motherboard ans more likely to bend a pin on a CPU, which is very true as i bent a pin on an AMD CPU the other day...
 

fatboytyler

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If I'm not mistaken both my Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs had pins on the CPU and not the motherboard? Or am I hallucinating this?
 

echonite

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You are indeed seeing the effects of psychedelic substances. Intel has been using LGA since second generation Pentium 4, the LGA775.
 

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