Vek, actually I'm not sure I understand completely -- why a lower wattage power source? I've never had a problem with that one before, although I don't usually run so hot as that. I don't plan to keep it on a chain of surge protectors, now that I realize I left them alone like that. I might need an extension cord for a while, but... Is there a more general concern about the wattage? I don't understand all of it completely, but it also looks like the specs on the 9800 GT card even call for slightly more amperage than the Earthwatts is labeled at. 12V@25A on the Earthwatts against 12V@26A required -- although as I said, a year and a half without any other problem.
Reading around on this gets difficult... It sounds like if any one part is hurt, the whole thing won't work. But once it doesn't work, who knows which one. You need a duplicate of the lot to plug parts into... If there's not enough power, you don't get functionality. You might get fans with a weak power supply, but I don't even have that. I just have a spark. It knows someone is knocking, but it can't be bothered. The blue light is supposed to come on when the fans are working, but I think there's more to it than that.
But if the graphics card is shot it may not start at all either, and same again for the CPU? Is that right?
(I sort of understand the CPU being totally necessary, but graphics?)
Then I found a warning that if it's the CPU, the motherboard is at risk every time you hit the power button to try anything.
So I could start disconnecting parts to test all but the CPU, but blow the motherboard testing it. Although if the CPU is gone, that costs more and it's already tearing everything out to change it.
Some say taking out a stick of RAM can solve everything and others say RAM will survive almost anything. Shrug.
Myeh.... I still think you're right Vek, I may as well start with the power. Although, I think I need a substantial power source just to test the video card. I've never had trouble with it, but maybe a surge built up and did in the PSU. And if it did eat a surge but saved the rest, I'll say good PSU.
Just crossing my fingers it's not more than one bad link.