got everything set up, installed barry's old video card, plugged it in.... motherboard powers up but the monitor gets no signal. and the hard drive doesn't seem to be spinning up.
installed barry's new video card... same result.
brought computer upstairs to try different monitor... same result.
played around with cables, swapping etc... same result.
thought "maybe new hard drive is defective." opened old/current computer to remove its primary hard drive. but the damn thing is screwed in (with phillips screws) on both sides and the hard drive cage, which is supposed to swing out, will not swing out. spend at least 30mins, maybe even an hour, trying desperately to unscrew the screws before giving up on that mission.
plugged new hard drive into power supply of current computer: it seems to power up.
plugged new hard drive back into new computer... it won't spin up and monitor shows nothing.
so... possible scenarios:
1. i hooked something up wrong
2. new hard drive is defective
3. both barry's video cards are defective
4. something else is defective (motherboard?)
5. new power supply is defective or insufficiently powered (it's 350W)
i suppose tomorrow i might be going out to buy a new power supply... though maybe first i will run more tests. i'm giving up for tonight.