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lightning damage

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by fritoking, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. fritoking

    fritoking

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    could a lightning strike kill the cpu as well as the power supply and mobo?...just purchased a used board from a reputable seller and cannot get the system to post...reset bios... re-seated all components..nothing..wont even power up or spin up....any ideas? i dont have another lga 775 cpu to test with.....
     
  2. Kreij

    Kreij Senior Monkey Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, lightning could damage any components in the system.
     
  3. fritoking

    fritoking

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    ive had it kill mobos and psu's...but never a cpu....
     
  4. ZenEffect New Member

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    if you rma, acts of god are not covered. be sure to say it "just died"
     
  5. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    god made everything, so everything that happens to your hardware is an act of god !! :p

    never had any lightning damage to my components, just once loss of power
     
  6. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    I had my pc mysteriously not shutting down since a power shortage due to a lightning storm. Its just a case of bad luck I guess.
     
  7. AphexDreamer

    AphexDreamer

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    I've had my NIC in an HP Desktop die from lightning so it can happen but I don't think to a CPU or PSU robably your MB if anything.
     
  8. Champ

    Champ

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    When I can visibly see lightning and feel the ground shake, I unplug my shit. Hardware cost too much for God to take it from you :laugh:
     
  9. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    Especially if you re like me, sticking with my old shit! :laugh:
     
  10. mATrIxLord New Member

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    me too.... always when there is a storm coming up i unplug everything, even my internet....
     
  11. Triprift

    Triprift

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    Me too then again i am a wuss when i comes to them things. :D
     
  12. Mr McC

    Mr McC

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    One of my builds wasn't in use for a few weeks when I was away. When I returned the power supply was fried. I hadn't unplugged it from the wall and I don't know whether lightning from a summer storm or a surge along the cables was responsible, but I invested in a surge/lightning protection extension with various sockets after that, it only cost about €20, which is cheaper than a new psu.
     
  13. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If there's a lot of lightning around, I unplug everything and read a book. Sometimes I like the analog internet.
     
  14. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Yeah I have nightmares of my Mac getting zapped while Im backing up my time-consumingly organized and edited 100GB music collection accumulated over the years. Of course a fire could be just as bad. I need to get another drive for a third copy and store at work or something. I guess a hard drive is the least likely component to get damaged by lightening or power surge but still.
     
  15. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    I got a nice upgrade from a 386 to a 486 thanks to a lightning strike. Went through a surge protector that was turned off. The system simply would not post.

    After I got the new system, I insisted on getting all the damaged good back. Turned out the memory and CPU were still good. My guess is the static scrambled the BIOS on the motherboard.

    So... my opinion is that the first likely thing (and the most sensitive to static) would be the BIOS, can you replace the chip?

    ps - you can test the PSU by shorting pins with a wire or paperclip, can give more detail if you need.
     
  16. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Ouch. Though less damage it turned out than I would've thought.
     
  17. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    I lost 3 computers to lightening.

    The first time I was still a teenager just moving out from home, and I didn't know anything about pc's except how to turn it on and game on it. I think it was a 486... or a Pentium I...

    I do remember opening it to see what had happened inside. Part of the 56K modem card (the black chip) was broken in half. I knew it was the modem because that was were the phone wire went in lol. The pc didn't boot at all even with modem removed.

    The second time happened in 1998 when I was still using a 56K internal modem. I was on jury duty and spent 2 weeks away from home. Now jury duty here means they choose you by ballot in court, and if you get chosen you're immediately whisked to a hotel. You can't go home at all, only phone relatives to prepare you a luggage bag to be picked up by a driver.
    So I didn't see it happening, but in my husband's words there was a very loud clap of thunder. Some 10 minutes later he started smelling plastic burning, and it was from my pc room... And when he went in he saw plumes of smoke coming out from the subwoofer's vents (I had a cheapo 2.1 system then).
    I remember my dad calling and telling me he'd be buying me a new pc so I hadn't bothered about losing that Pentium II since I got a Pentium IV instead :D

    The third time was at work I think it was 1999, we were using a Pentium III but with DSL external modem.
    My dad forgot the modem plugged in (we always take care to unplug them since we learnt the hard way!)
    No one was there at the time either, but the following morning the wall socket powering the pc was literally blown out of the wall (and we got stone walls here) and for 3 inches all around it the wall was covered in black soot. Not even the monitor when plugged in alone would power up on standby. We reported the incident to our insurance company, and we didn't worry much since the pc was covered by policy. They requested that we hand over the computer and all peripherals, together with the original receipt of purchase which was for €1400. And also the receipt of what we spent for a basic new pc which was around €1200 (stuff was insanely expensive here 11 years ago!)
    2 years later, we received a cheque for €60.
    Seriously, no typo there.
     
  18. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    There was no visible damage! I lost a phone answering machine too. The only physical damage I saw was in a ground fault outlet in my basement, some signs of arcing (that was toast as well). That's it.

    And one other story, my uncles house in VT apparently had lightning travel under the basement floor, blew a chunks of concrete up with enough force to put a gash in a floor stud, there was a divet in the floor about 4" deep and 8" across, concrete peices all over and a fuse box with black marks next to incoming leads. Lucky no fire.
     
  19. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    Damn, that's quite the depreciation.

    Oops, double post, sorry.
     
  20. westom

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    Lightning is electricity - incoming to everything. But it is electricity. Without some other outgoing path, lightning causes no damage.

    If lightning was incoming via AC to the power supply, then what was the outgoing path? Only some semiconductor or other part in that path is damaged. Actually, power supplies already have massive protection. Surges typically bypass the power supply to find a connection to earth via some other component.

    A plug-in protector gives that surge a path that bypasses the supply. Then may get to earth via motherboard and modem.

    CPU and memory have incoming paths. And no outgoing path. Therefore are not damaged. But if a path through motherboard was via the CPU power supply, then CPU would act defective.

    Modems are most often damaged because humans let a surge enter the building via AC electric. All telephone and cable wires already have effective protection installed where those wires enter the building. That means a surge inside a building finds an excellent (and destructive) outgoing path to earth via modem using a telephone or cable wire. The always required incoming and outgoing path defined.

    To have surge damage, the semiconductors must be in a path that is incoming from the cloud and outgoing to earth. Without both the incoming and outgoing path, then a semiconductor is not damaged.
     

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