Now was the time to disassemble a bit the system to evaluate better possible damage by exposure to the elements or bad handling.
First stop, the PSU, since you cannot had a stable system if your PSU is in bad shape! So time to remove it from the system and see what we can see to confirm that suspected water damage.
And yes, as you can see, there is a clear mark of water damage on the case and grime on the motherboard, is a wonder that the machine was still in working condition when I first powered it on. Luckily, looks like I was able to pick up this computer before more water damage was produced and was just starting to corrode the chassis and rust was almost nonexistent yet.
But well, what about the PSU?
Nasty, right? I wouldn´t call it the worst thing I have seen, because... I probable can find a couple of random photos later that could compete again this. In any case was clear that this PSU didn´t receive any attention in a long long time, probably never after being sold.
And more evidence of water damage, when I removed the fan to clean it, probably was a good thing that I left this unit in dry storage initially, to give time to any humidity to evaporate, even if was not the intention...
And the fan, again, I have removed fans in worse condition than this one, but modern cheap brushless fans cannot handle half the abuse that this one has suffered and being still in working condition.
Now the same photo as before, but after the cleanup. A bit of a difference, right?
The other detail we can see here is that black spot in that insulating bit of the PSU case, meaning this PSU has seen a lot of action and probably wasn´t very well protected against power surges and similar events (we use 230v here). So I think what I´m lucky that the magic smoke is still secured inside of the PSU components, let´s hope it holds some more time.
Also to my fortune, looks like most the grime in the motherboard should come off with a lot of patience and care, as seem here in this quick test and compared with the first photo, more on that later!
Next chapter, the case! Before returning to work on the machine insides.
Bonus content: Just a random clip found when putting some order to my files that shows a hard disk being declared dead by the surface testing software.