I opened the side of the computer and spotted a capacitor with a domed top. It should be flat. Maybe the board is bad because I just can get the OS to cooperate at all. Where can you buy old motherboards that have been checked out ? ...... Alan
Bad capacitors can cause all kind of weird problems and erratic behaviour.
If you really want to have that computer up and running, you could look for an old, checked out motherboards at ebay, etc. or you might consider having those bad capacitors replaced.
I did just that with this computers K7T motherboard. It had ten faulty capacitors. Several of them had actually blown, they had burst open and leaked.
I took the motherboard out and a computer repair shop replaced bad caps. It was less than an hours work for an experienced technician.
But it would be a good idea to check your power supply too.
In my case, also the PSU was faulty, it had two blown capacitors. Faulty power supply can damage other components, and it was probably the reason for damaged capacitors and RAM.