When last we left our heroine, she was sans unnamed desktop PC and living off Holly, her HP laptop. The seller of the Ebay-purchased desktop had given her some things to try (a couple things to mess around with on the motherboard) but alas, no go.
Soooo, Mr. Seller Man mailed her a new case, with a new motherboard and a new power supply already installed, and she gained much Geek Cred (sadly not spendable at thinkgeek.com) by transferring the hard drive, CPU, heatsink (CPU fan), case fan, dvd drive, memory, and video card from the old case to the new one. And then she turned on the new PC.
And then she turned off the new PC and started to compose an e-mail to the seller which began "So, am I correct in assuming that smoke should not be billowing out of the case?"
But... she reaaaally didn't want to mail two computers back to Mr. Seller Man, nor did she want to lose any of her hard-won Geek Cred, so she examined the case and determined that the smoke (or rather, the smell of smoke by this point) had not come from any of the shiny important parts of the computer like the hard drive, the CPU, or the fans, so she tried turning it on again.
Mmm, smoke. But more importantly for our geeky detective, melted plastic! Ah-HA!
That would be the PC speaker wire. You know, that speaker whose entire function is to go "Beep!" when you turn the computer on? Yeah.
So our heroine detached it, removed the bits of melted plastic that had attached themselves to the adjacent power and reset button wires (and insulated those with spiffy clear duct tape), opened up the old case again and cannibalized the PC speaker from that, and hooray! The house did not burn down!
That was four days ago and it still hasn't.
The old case, containing motherboard, power supply, and not much else, is boxed up and ready to send back to Mr. Seller Man on his dime as soon as I care enough to do so (big box, holiday season, he said whenever, so yeah), and our heroine would like you to meet Eliza.
She is a little noisier after her brain transplant, thanks to the new larger power supply, but very shiny:
Also Mr. Seller Man (Bob to his friends) told me I was very resourceful (re: the melty burny deathwire), which almost makes up for the fact that he thought he needed to give me instructions on how to transfer memory from one box to the other.