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Thread: Power Surge

  1. #1
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    Angry Power Surge

    Doesn't this one send shivers up your spine??? My Dell tower took a power hit. Mind you there were two surge suppressors on it too. Saw smoke in our office, starting yanking plugs. I had my printer, monitor and router in same suppressor and they're fine, go figure. I trouble shot with Dell, but this time the tech really wasn't helpful at all. I had called to see if by chance the power supply had a reset button or fuses inside that may have blown.

    My question to everyone is this: is there anyone out there with similar experience? I can replace the power supply for $60 but how good are the chances that motherboard and everything else is cooked? I see no evidence of anything being fried (nothing black, nothing melted) but I don't want to start wasting money if this oh so expensive model is done for. Also anyone think hard drive might be OK?

    Any advice gladly accepted. Biggest kicker is insurance adjuster is telling us they won't cover any of the things we lost. UGH.

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    Member Spyware Fighter zep516's Avatar
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    two surge suppressors on it too
    There's one problem, never connect 2 Surge protectors together they will interfere with each other and stop them from doing there job. I would replace the power supply and take it from there.

    Connecting 2 surge suppressors together is NOT a good idea - they way
    they work, they'll setup a loop and can actually get each other to
    explode or burn out. Surge protectors work by shorting out the power
    when there is a large enough surge / spike. The first surge protector
    cutting in will set up harmonics which will cause the second one to cut
    in too - but a few ms later.

    See here [oclug] UPS and Surge Protector

    zep516

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    Member MrDarn's Avatar
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    I agree with zep here.

    Dell machines are so common, if the part you buy does not work, stick it on ebay, and at least you'll get some of the cost back.

    My experience is the power pack normally takes the hit, but like you say, you never know how far it travelled. If the power pack don't fix it, I'd give it up there.

    One other thought, does the surge protector not come with some kind of guarantee you can claim off? i know some models do in the UK...
    Always remember you're unique.


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    I'm guessing a no on surge suppressor guarantee. I just got off the phone with Dell rep and they're telling me I can return the power supply if it doesn't fix the problem. I have lifetime tech support for the computer, maybe this is helping for the capability of returning. I was not aware of the looping issue either. Thanks for the heads up. I'm ordering the power supply and will see what happens. Hopefully that's all that's wrong. Thanks for the comments

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    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    Quite often, particularly with lightning strikes, the overload gets in via the broadband connection cable. I've seen routers reduced to molten plastic and computers reduced to smoking wrecks. In those cases, the PSU was bypassed, but still destroyed. One guy actually watched it happen and said that the massive voltage jumped 3 feet, bypassing the thermistor and lighting up the room which was in total darkness at the time.

    Personally, I wouldn't trust any machine that's suffered that sort of hit. Best advice is to junk the machine and start afresh. Something that seems to be OK now will fail very quickly.

    I would add to that, change your insurer!!

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    arraknid,
    you've been so helpful in the past. I'm the one who had a power failure and lost my operating system - same machine. How pitiful. Been scared to use the Dell ever since. I've been in the office looking over the surge protector. Can't find a company name on it other than power taps and this thing has to be fried as it stinks and I hear something rattling in it. My brand new flat panel monitor is working great and so is my HP all in one as well as my verizon modem. All were in the same surge protector. That protector is working fine. It was the first one that the second was connected to that is well done. The hit we took was basically a brown out then full power then brown out condition. We heard a fire call for a transformer fire down the road about 10 minutes before this happened. The real kicker though is our upstairs TV getting blasted and that was also in a surge protector. I think I need to just keep everything unplugged and use it as I need it. My insurance agent is running up the chain of command at New York Central Mutual arguing the coverage. They're saying they sent amendments out to all the policy holders and agents years ago stating they would no longer cover "electronics". He saying bull, we've got nothing in the customer's paperwork from you. So we'll see how this all plays out. What's paining me is that this Dell was bought with all the bells and whistles and it has been such a reliable computer. The poor thing has suffered at the hands of CENTRAL HUDSON GAS & ELECTRIC. THEY ARE THE COMPANY WHO TAKES NO BLAME FOR POWER FLUCTUATIONS, ETC. We lost our central air at our business last year from a power surge. It blew the exterior breaker for the unit (as in fried) - I heard a humming then crackling noise coming from the breaker box and as I was investigating it blew the 200 amp main breaker. Had that breaker not blown it would have burned my business to the ground. The company I use took 3 months to pay us, but at least they paid. Thank you PEERLESS INSURANCE.

    Since Dell said I can return the power supply, I'm going to try that as I'd like to see if my hard drive is OK. Thinking I might just get something built for me that I can use the existing hard drive for. Don't know yet. Thanks for your input. Right now I've been using my HP notebook and have it attached to my monitor. I've just got to find my software that does invoicing for hubby's landscape business and I'll have everything that was on the Dell.

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    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    As your problem was caused by a 'standard' voltage surge, you may be OK replacing the PSU. Then you can begin to test the rest. Good luck.

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    thanks---- I think now that the smoke I saw was coming from that surge protector. I remember it being very hot. Maybe I'll get a pleasant surprise that the power supply took it all. Will try to post after I get the PS installed.

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    Moderator Forum Moderator arraknid's Avatar
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    You could try running the HD as an external drive. Caddies are pretty cheap and will connect to your laptop via USB. At least you'll know whether your data is intact.

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    What is a caddy (besides someone to carry my golf clubs LOL) a unit that you fasten the HD into then USB comes out of it to my laptop?

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