2 Graphics cards (no clue what kind the stickers have flaked off)
2 Sticks of what I assume to be 2GB ddr2 ram
AMD Phenom CPU
Asus M3A32 MVP Mother Board
a sound card (Again no clue on what kind)
If you need any other information feel free to ask. Also sorry for the long back story just felt it was to give any and all information.
What troubleshooting did you try?
I'm not entirely sure lol
When you say you started up the drive in your own PC, did you actually boot into your friend's OS from your PC, or did you boot into your own OS and could simply see her drive in file manager from there?
Do you currently hear a beep right after powering up indicating it posts? If not, double check to make sure the RAM is firmly seated with a firm press down and eyeball the tabs that secure the RAM to make sure they're all even (if one is sticking out a little more than the others, that's an indication the RAM isn't fully seated). Can you hear the hard drive winding up if you put your ear right next to it?
If the motherboard is posting, I'd want to do two things, access the bios to look at the boot order (I think this usually involves pressing delete right after powering on, but the key might vary - once there, can see a specific model of drive listed in boot order or is the information more generic?) and then boot to a live linux OS (I used to use knoppix, but now you might be as well off running ubuntu in live mode) either from an optical drive, or if it doesn't have one, from a USB drive. Your mission is find out whether or not you can still access the boot drive and its contents.
It is possible the drive, even though you could see it in your computer, has been corrupted since or further, either the OS files or the formatting or the boot sector. It's been a while since I've dealt with that kind of issue, so I can't give you step by step, but this is where I'd start to try and feel out what I was working with. 8-10 years is a long life for a hard drive, I'd recommend replacing it as the boot drive soon even if it isn't dead yet. Once it's fully dead, good luck recovering a windows key and other important files. If it's still accessible, I'd get the OS key asap (google windows key finder, go to magical jelly bean link).
To answer your questions fortunz, form what I understand the computer would overheat and shut down then when it started back up it would have an error message saying it overheated. Now that is my understanding of it I have not experienced it myself since I've never got the thing to start. I boot the os from her hard drive when I plugged it into my computer, and the mobo does't have a speaker to let me know if something is wrong. Ether it didn't come with one or the guy who built it didn't put it in.
ASUS EZFlash 2 (Which comes on that mobo) tutorial:
i anticipate that when you cleaned everything you removed mobo from its position. if that is the case make sure your not grounding out the mobo at any point. im certain ypu did that already.
remove as many components as you can like graphics cards. networking cards, all drives except you target harddrive and media. it is preferred to use onboard graphics. if the problem persists consider removing the harddrive and use a bootable linux dvd or usb. at this point we have ignored the cmos clock and battery issue in hopes that the problem has fixed itself.
seeing as you have access to the bios try to reflash it to ensure it is the most updated and not corrupted.
good luck buddy i hope i didnt post what you have already done.