Sigh. I've made a breakthrough. In a sense, it was a PEBKAC issue -_-.
Premise: After my PSU got hit by lightening (actually, it was just a lightening induced surge, which pushed the psu over the edge), I had no idea what had gone wrong in my system.
I changed out the PSU to the one I have currently, - and oh joy - it was just the PSU.
A few minutes later, I had reassembled the entire rig, but to my dismay, it seemed the card had been hit as well, and had only come up once during testing (ie, it was on its last breath).
It was from that time, that the problem emerged.
But last night, I discovered my fatal flaw..
I had done something, which had caused the card not to come up, and had subsequently characterized all GPU behavior in my system.Pin 3 of my connector, came loose from the connector (ie, the metal pin came out) - and I mistakenly put it back in the 4th empty hole of one of the molexes.... thats +5v!
Thats what was causing the short. It should have instead gone to the other molex's +12v.
ALLLL this time, I knew that statistically, it was just plain improbable that ALL the cards I had around the place (albeit, all bad) would start to behave in exactly the same manner (shorting upon being plugged in), but I just could not figure out what was wrong, till now, for I examined my connector over and over, its like it was hidden in plain view -_-. I could hit myself.
Thats for the consult gents - one of the pics gave me the slap I required.
Neither my 4770 nor 8800GTS are working, but I feel better having figured out what was amiss..Edited by Grim - 11/15/11 at 8:53am