So, I yank out component after component to test and see what the fuck is broken. RAM's OK. Powersupply's OK. Videocard's OK. I reset the CMOS. The BIOS defaults to a 100MHz frontside bus for my CPU.
It's a Barton core Athlon XP and supposed to run off a 166MHz FSB. But apparently, I didn't hammer on Delete feverishly enough, because Windows starts booting instead of going into the BIOS Setup. And it boots all the way to the Welcome Screen.
What the fuck?
So, it works "fine" if I underclock my CPU to 1,100MHz. Holy fuck is 1,100MHz SLOW.
I reboot again, go into the BIOS Setup, set it to 166MHz FSB. Boom. Monitor turns itself off, IDE lights are on, nothing's happening.
OK, so how about 133MHz FSB? That's less fucking slow, somewhat. Windows starts loading. Boom! Blue Screen O' Death.
Hmm. That didn't make any sense. But this shit in general doesn't seem to be making much.
May as well try again.
And here I am typing this. 1,466MHz and it seems to be working OK. FFXI is updating in the background. 1,122/1,499 files to go! Yay. Only going to take ~1.5 hours.
So dying CPU or dying motherboard? I have several other Socket A chips. A 600MHz Duron (*shudder*), a 1.2GHz Thunderbird Athlon (I think the multiplier is unlocked so I could try running it with a 200MHz FSB and 4x multiplier), and a 1.46GHz Palomino Athlon XP (1700+) with half the cache of my possibly fucked Barton Athlon XP. I could try popping one of those in.
I can't trust this system now. I can run some CPU intensive programs and see if it crashes or the output ends up corrupt. Ugh. This is fucking aggravating.