I accidentally addicted myself to computers when I thought I could build a pc from salvaged parts. I never did get it to do anything useful. It needed drivers and without a use able pc I could not get them.I needed a hard drive also. I had a couple around, but could not get any signs of life. I went to a thrift store to see what I could find. I set up a monitor, keyboard, mouse and tower. Lo and behold, it worked as is. Added a couple of speakers and went home with my $21 wonder. An old Gateway that I nicknamed the "Mad Cow." It was not great, but it worked. It was my first, and since I had no expectations, I was not disappointed. Then a customer gave me a computer he had retired. Built By Superior, a Builder of custom computers. It's old. I still like it. I won't part with it.
Several months ago I had a chance to buy 3 retired Dell 3100s for $15. I built up one to where it was a good machine for my son to use to digitize family photographs. More recently I've tried to build up another 3100 using parts from the third machine. No matter what, I cannot get it to boot up. I think I will now see if I can get the twin sister Superior from my customer. It too is retired to a closet.
There. That's a bit about me, and what little I've done with computers. I've learned there are only about 25 parts in the case and replacement is not usually too tough. I am in no way expert on the subject. It is for that reason I have sought out this forum. I have some questions to ask. I'm sure most of you will have answers. Please keep the answers simple that I may understand them.