When I went to boot up an old computer which had sat dormant since I moved in April, nothing happened. No lights, no whirring, nothing. I assumed it was a bad power supply, and left it for another day. Over the weekend my boyfriend got sick of seeing it out, guts exposed to the world, and threw a new power supply in it. Still no life. Then he pulled out everything but the motherboard, and it booted! Or at least, as much as a computer with just a motherboard can.
As he added each component in one by one, the culprit became clear without even having to power up the machine:
Not seeing it? Here, let me get a little closer:
This is, or was, my video card. A reasonably nice (at the time) 7600 GT. The most remarkable thing is that this is not the first time I've seen this happen to this particular card. In fact, it's the third. Two other friends of mine have had theirs blow capacitors as well. And a google search for "exploding capacitors 7600" brings up tons of results.
Goodbye, video card. We have these in a number of the computers in the house, including my main machine. I wonder how long it will be until the next one goes.