So my media PC died. The core of my entertainment center is a Shuttle XPC i8600 (3.2GHz P4 HT) running Meedio under Windows XP. It’s great. It’s my main DVD player and it lets me sit on the couch with my IR remote and browse ripped DVDs and HD streams and watch them with ease, all amid surround sound goodness. Well, it did, until it died.
It seemed it had to be either the motherboard, the memory, or the CPU. I pulled each of the two DIMMs that make up its 1GB of RAM in turn and the unit still wouldn’t work. I gambled that the motheboard was the cause and ordered a replacement from Shuttle ($138 + shipping). Got up at 4:30 this morning and started breaking down the system to do the swap. The end result? Up and running once more. The culprit? Have a look – two bulged capacitors and a smoked IC. A sad way to go….
More pics of the swap process can be found here, for those interested.
As a footnote, sadly Yahoo! bought Meedio and dumbed it down and turned it into Yahoo! Go for TV. Grumble.
UPDATE: The replacement motherboard died, as well, just a few months later! Oddly I decided to roll the dice once more and buy yet another replacement motherboard from Shuttle. When it arrived, I found additional heatsinks on various components in the vicinity of the failure and a different capacitor arrangement. It’s been running fine for some time since, though it’s now in use as an XP / Windows 7 machine in the basement computer room, running primarily as as retro emulation machine.