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The spray on the MB should not be a problem - unless it was plugged in when you did it. Yes, you should be able to put in a new Dell motherboard. As long as the processor is of the same class, the Dell license should work fine. However, you may need to download new drivers for the machine to run.
If you really want to check the power supply, I would suggest you buy a tester. They are fairly cheap: $10-50. You want to be sure that your board is getting the right power at the right places. 12 V to the fan is fine. However, 3.3 v or 1.5 v?
It sounds like you have done a fairly good test of the motherboard. I've definitely seen bad Dell motherboards with the light on with/without a bad power supply.
If you have another case (an ATX), I would buy an Asus or other motherboard and put your equipment in it. The cost of a Dell motherboard is excessive. Of course, you will have license problems with XP.
If both motherboards are LGA775 socket, then the next concern is whether or not the case is capable of having the new motherboard installed into it. Disconnect all power cables to all dv drives or cd drives and hard drives. Disconnect all ribbons from drives to the mother board. If you can get to all of the screws that hold the motherboard into the case, you get away without removing drives. Once you've got the motherboard then you can disconnect the power cable from the motherboard. Remove the memory chips, disconnect the sound cable from the old motherboard. install the memory chips onto the new mobo, Connect the power cable to the new mobo, then install the new mobo into the case. Replace the ribbons from the drives to the mobo, replace the power cables to the drives and reinstall the sound cable to the cd or dv drive. You should be done now.
I would recommend that you do in fact purchase a new motherboard, it is the heart of your computer and salvaging it from a prebuilt will not work out well for you, usually there is a restriction in the bios only allowing certain hardware to work with it.
As for the size, if you go with a decent case that is specified as ATX, it will work for this motherboard, it may be a micro ATX motherboard but an ATX case from someone such as Lian Li will work for both.
If you want some advice on a good computer build give us a price range, what you are trying to do on the computer, and whether or not you need a monitor, keyboard, or any other periphials.
You can also check out sites like hardforum.com or tomshardware.com they both have very active forums that have specific topics where people can post these requests to get advice from a bunch of different people.
you can put in any new micro-atx motherboard no problem. I can be 100% sure if the case is Atx full size- best way to check is to see how many pci expansion slots are available at the back of the case. Any Atx case can hold micro-atx mobo's but a micro atx case wont hold atx mobo.
The T2824 uses a microATX motherboard, any manufacturer supporting a Celeron (Intel) CPU will be ok - therefore, I would think any motherboard of that size will fit the case. There seems to have been a lot of problems with this model and the mobos. Putting $280+ into an exact replacement wouldn't appeal to me. Especially when $60-80 will get the job done!
You will want to make sure that the rear plate on the case is of standard size to fit the new mobo however.
To cross-reference the current mobo, there should be some stamped markings on the board. Usually they are located (either) around the edge, or near the middle. Cross that using Google - you should easily find a replacement.
If you already have a NEW POWER SUPPLY, I would get another MoBo and install it carefully. You can fire up the new MoBo out of the case with the processor and RAM just to see if it comes on. If it does, then install it.
Also Barbados, MoBos don't burn suddenly. It is usually power shorts or mishaps that burn MoBos, so you want to be careful with your power source. If you have a UPS, use it as you work with your PC.
It is possible that it will work on a new motherboard as long as the cables connects it to the motherboard matches. On your new mobo you should see pins for for usb and sound to plug to the mobo..most new cases have this though so you shouldnt really need it. However if you want to reuse your case to take advantage of the chip it should fit.
Typacally with a dell they have a prepritary mobo plate that slids into the case but if the mobo is directly screwed to the case and you can take the mobo connector panel off the case then yes you can. If the mobo is on the plate then more than likely no unless ya get the same mobo from ebay or the like :-(