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Computer died from lightning :( Help pls!

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by ebolamonkey3, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. ebolamonkey3

    ebolamonkey3 New Member

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    Hey guys, so my computer died last night after a lightning. It was plugged into a surge protector, and my house's power did not go out (lights went off for a second and came back on). The surge protector isn't broken, neither are other things plugged into it (monitors, printer...), but I cannot turn on the PC anymore :(

    So before I order new parts for everything, what do you guys think is the part that failed? I don't want to replace everything if I don't have to. Does a lightning strike usually take out the PSU, the mobo, or just everything?
     
  2. catnipkiller

    catnipkiller

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    do u have any older psu? try to jumper ur psu with a fan to see if it powers the fan.
     
  3. Delta6326

    Delta6326

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    not for sure but maybe try resetting the cmos(is this right name?) battery on the mb
     
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  4. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Step 1: "maybe you're lucky"
    Take out the CMOS battery, turn off the PSU (if possible) and push+hold the powerbutton for a couple of seconds.
    Put the battery back in and turn stuff on as normal.

    Step 2: "minimalism"
    Unplug all HDD's, opticals, and leave in one stick of RAM. Does the PC POST?
    Do fans start running? Do any LEDS burn on the MOBO?

    Step 3: "what spares do you have?"
    Any parts you can test with? Use them.
     
    ebolamonkey3 says thanks.
  5. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Time to break out the tools

    Hello,

    In short, the most likely failure is the PSU, assuming the PC won't power on at all.

    First, tell us if the PC powers on (any lights at all?).

    If it doesn't get ready to remove and test the PSU. If there is power, but nothing turns on, the solution is going to hurt...


    If there is no power; disconnect the power, and remove the PSU from the PC. Find the 20, 24, of 20+4 power connector for the motherboard. There should be a single green wire that goes into the connector. Jumper this wire to one of the black wires. Use either a length of wire, or ideally a resistor, as the jumper. Connect one fan (AND NOTHING ELSE!) to the PSU. Plug the power supply back into the wall and wait for the fan to spin up.

    If the fan spins up but is slow the PSU was damaged because its draw was too high; get a higher rated PSU. If the fan spins up to full speed the PSU needed to reset its over current protection; disconnect power and rebuild to confirm the PC now works. If the fan does not spin up the PSU is fried; you will need a new one which should likely be rated for more power than your current one is.


    More complete instructions can be googled. Consider "Convert ATX power supply into bench power supply" instructions as a good place to start.


    Once you've tried the PSU, the list of troublesome components gets harder to test without another rig. Try the PSU, then give us an idea of what happened so we can advise you on where to go from there.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
    ebolamonkey3 says thanks.
  6. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Knowing ebolamonkey3, he has raided the ATL microcenter and has alot of spares HAHA but anywho, Test psu first with the jump method but make sure its NOT hooked up in any way to your stuff. if that works then it would lead me to believe its the motherboard.
     
    ebolamonkey3 says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. n-ster

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    All advice till now is great, specially Thrackan's./ Just add the step of testing the PSU by itself with the green/black wire short + 1 fan
     
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  8. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    good one there
     
  9. thebluebumblebee

    thebluebumblebee

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  10. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    Here we go...
     
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  11. jpierce55

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    I have seen 2 computers die from lighting. In both cases the psu and mobo both died.
     
  12. thebluebumblebee

    thebluebumblebee

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    He has a very good PSU. I would expect it to protect the PC.
    From the X-series manual:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  13. trickson

    trickson OH, I have such a headache

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    No matter how good a PSU is a lightning strike can kill it fast ! My brother lost his computer when a strike hit the tree in the back yard ! Took the entire thing out . The use of a power strip is not going to protect you at all , Even a upc battery back would have a hard time protecting from this ! Thing is most likely your computer MB , PSU and maybe more is gone . Looks like you have your hands full . Good luck .
     
  14. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    I can't understand why the surge protector didn't serve its purpose here... what type was it?

    I've had 3 lightening incidents so far, and in all 3 cases the computers were switched off, and all were without surge protection.

    First one, the surge travelled through the phone line and literally broke the chip of my then internal modem in half. Wish I'd kept it... photos would be nice. The rest of the pc was ok. From there on I always removed the phone line from the socket...

    Second time, I was called for jury duty and turned off everything except the speakers. Later at night, only hubby was at home, he smelt burning plastic, entered my pc room to find black smoke oozing out of the sub-woofer... The rest of the pc was ok this time too. I had removed the phone line from the modem..

    Third time, during the night on one of the work pc's. This time everything went kaboom, not even the monitor worked. And with good reason - the pc's wall plug had turned black, smoky and popped an inch out of the wall.
     
  15. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Waits for Westom to post.......

    Because they are not lighting protectors. They are surge protectors. There is no such thing as a lighting protector.
     
  16. jpierce55

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    Lightning travels ~93000mph. What more can you say. It would really depend on how close to the pc's power line the strike hit. If it hit a reasonable distance away the power lines would slow it down, but if it was close...........
     
  17. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    The unpowered wall socket would turn black and pop an inch out of the wall, as once happened to me! :eek:
     
  18. overclocking101

    overclocking101

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    it probably was not a surge protector, but an outlet extension. a lot of them nowadays are not actually surge protectors though they mislead people into thinking they are. Also if it was a cheap one it wouldnt function right. sounds like the psu or cpu shit out to me.
     
  19. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Chances are your house has poor grounding. What kind of soil do you have? Is it like clay?

    This is true. I like to open mine up to make sure the fuse is still intact. If I don't see a fuse that crap gets returned. A few I got had fuses that were already blown! :eek:
     
  20. cheesy999

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    yes there is, and its found on 99% of tall buildings

    it's called a 'lightning rod'

    here's one in action

    [​IMG]
     
  21. westom

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    You may have a perfect example of what a protector does when too close to appliances. All power supplies contain superior protection. But a power strip protector can bypass that protection. Can, for example, take out a power controller.

    You have two choices. Keep replacing good parts on wild speculation until something works. Or spend a minute to learn what is defective before even disconnecting one wire. That means using a multimeter. A $17 tools so *complicated* as to be sold even to Kmart shoppers. One minute to get three digit numbers from six wires. Post them. Have a complete answer in the next reply that says what is and is not bad - without any speculation.

    Set the meter to 20 VDC. Attach the black lead to the chassis. Touch its red probe to a purple wire that connects the PSU to the motherboard. It should read about 5 volts (with the computer off but connected to AC mains). Post all three digits. Do same for the green and gray wires both before and when the power switch is pressed. And finally, monitor any one red, orange, and yellow wire as the power switch is pressed. What do those wires do?

    Next reply will answer definitively. May also say why something failed. Was it a surge? Or was it something else? If you only swap parts (shotgun), then you will not learn why failures happen. Not learn from the experience. Not learn how computers really work. Buy or borrow a meter. Have a solution immediately. Learn what caused a failure. Save time. And save money.
     
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  22. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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  23. cheesy999

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    i can think of one if the top of my head, its called q1 and here's a picture of it being hit by lighning

    [​IMG]

    i do see your point but it doesn't need to be a high rise, in england basically anything tall has one (eg churches, towers,any sort of building with more then 4 floors) therefore i can conclude that retrofitting one must not be that difficult at all (hint:anything metal and taller then his house would work - so flag poles etc)

    In other news my previous surge protector managed to melt all its internal components (didn't notice it at first but the light went out and when i took it apart everything had melted, this happened at about the same time smoke started coming out of my psu- just shows that not all are good if any work at all
     
  24. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Check for blown fuses before anything else.
     
  25. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    You do know lighting rods are not always effective. They divert a bulk of the energy but a lot of time they arch. Things like AC units get hit all the time. I've seen them blow right through the disconnect and fry a residential building. Just saying.

    Also thats a myth about the (anything metal higher then the house). If its not properly grounded then its not effective. Thats why lighting loves AC units lol
     

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