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Computer Problem... help!
Old 08-25-2008, 02:33 PM   #1
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Computer Problem... help!

Hi,

We just had a short power outage and now I can't restart my desktop computer. It was plugged into a surge protector. I checked the power outlet, power cord, surge protector and they all work OK. The light on the computer power supply seems ON (though it seems dimmer than before). When I attempt to turn on the computer, nothing happens (the fan doesn't start, no lights come on). I checked the power connections inside the computer, everything looks fine.

I can think of only 2 possible problems. 1) the power supply fried or 2) the mother board fried.

I don't know much about the the inner working of computers, so I would appreciate any expert opinion from other board members. So what do you all think and where should I start?
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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It's the power supply if the fan and lights are not starting and the juice is not flowing. Once you replace that... you'll soon know whether or not there is damage to the motherboard.
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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It's the power supply if the fan and lights are not starting and the juice is not flowing. Once you replace that... you'll soon know whether or not there is damage to the motherboard.
Thanks. That's what I thought too. I am contemplating replacing the power supply as a first step (I think I can handle that myself), and actually I was thinking it could be a great time to upgrade it to a 500 or 600W power supply (right now it's 300W) because I would like to add a nice graphics card to my computer down the road (for gaming) and 300W is a bit small for most graphics cards I am looking at. I also want a quieter one too, the other one was annoyingly noisy. If that doesn't work, then I may have to change the mother board, but I don't know if I could undertake such repair myself.
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:29 PM   #4
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BFG makes some of the best power supplies out there. Plus, you get a lifetime warranty..........
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:41 PM   #5
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I was scared a few weeks ago. Surge through the house. Computer errors on POST, doesn't get any further... can only reboot by doing a hard reset using the button on the motherboard. Otherwise, surge strip is giving off power.

Turns out the surge strip did it's job and fried, but was still letting power through. New strip and everything is a-ok.

Also, for what it's worth, I've been very happy with my PSU:

SilverStone Strider 750w. It's a modular power supply, so you actually only plug in the cords you need. I have about half of mine full (video card needs an external power source, 1 dvd drive, four hard drives, some extra fans)


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Old 08-25-2008, 04:50 PM   #6
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Could be a motherboard. Some systems dont spin up any fans or lights until the mobo tells them to or you've got a solid connection. But its unlikely that the PS made it and the mobo didnt. If your PS fried, you might also have some damage to the drives.

If you were considering a bigger PS, might have a bad mobo and want a bigger graphics card, you might take a few minutes to consider just replacing the system. If you've got a windows license thats transferable, some companies are selling linux versions of their product for about $80-100 cheaper than the windows versions.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:21 PM   #7
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I bypassed the surge protector and plugged the computer directly into the wall outlet, still no luck.

I will investigate suggested PS to see if they are compatible with my system thanks.

I was also thinking about the possibility of replacing the whole system, but I can't bring myself to do it just yet. My computer is only 18 months old, that's why I really would like to try and repair it first. So first I'll change the PS and hope the mobo is OK... But if the mobo is bad, then I might return the new PS and get a new system... I am really ticked off.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:25 PM   #8
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There's a chance that the PSU took the brunt of the surge... like CFB said, it's a good possibility that your mobo is toast too, but it's worth a shot.

get a beefier surge protector while you're out!
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:28 PM   #9
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Make sure you check return policies. A lot of stores wont take a power supply back or at best will charge you a hefty restocking fee.

Just be careful with the PS. Unplug the machine for a couple of hours before you fiddle with it. Some of the cheaper ones expose enough parts to give you a hell of a shock and the big caps can store it up for quite a while after the plug is pulled.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:31 PM   #10
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Pc power and cooling, fotron, seasonic, silverstone, sparkle, antec and enermax are all pretty good. I've never tried a BFG except for the 9000

If you pay less than $80-90 its going to be a piece of crap. If you pay more than ~$150-175 you're getting ripped off!
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:34 PM   #11
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Good point about checking return policies, thanks.
Yeah I've noticed that the LED on the PS stays on for several minutes after unplugging it, so I will unplug the machine a few hours before fiddling with it.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:44 PM   #12
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I had an exposed DVR power supply make my hair stand on end once. It'd been unplugged for more than half an hour. Little tiny 75 watter too.

While you're at it, if you have a choice pick a supply thats "80+ rated". Many power supplies are extremely inefficient and waste as much as half or more of the transformed power into heat. Costs you more to run the box and theres more heat to blow out of the box. 80+ PS's are assured to be at least 80% efficient. Some of the better 80+ units can be 93-97% efficient. Over a couple of years of being turned on, you'll save the cost of the power supply.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:49 PM   #13
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151027

On sale, marked down from $140 to $99. 80+, four rails, lots of connectors.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:56 PM   #14
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If your PS fried, you might also have some damage to the drives.
Just to clarify, are you saying it could have damaged the hard drives, as in, I may not be able to recover my data? My data are doubly backed up on external drives, so I should be OK, but I was just wondering... If the damage could go beyond the mobo, then it's not even worth my time trying to repair it. I'd rather buy another cheap system.
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:00 PM   #15
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Possible.

It'd have to be a pretty good surge to blow a powerstrip, blow through a power supply and put something out on the 12v rail. But I've seen it happen. Theres usually a pretty good smell.

I had one take a surge and the power supply started leaking oil and really smelled bad. But it kept working so I put a plastic cup into the case to catch the dripping oil and kept using it for another six months.

I should have called a British computer company and told them that I'd found a way to make a computer leak oil. They'd have bought the unit in a heartbeat for a huge sum.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:57 PM   #16
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Pc power and cooling, fotron, seasonic, silverstone, sparkle, antec and enermax are all pretty good. I've never tried a BFG except for the 9000
I have the 9000...........
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:56 AM   #17
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Was your Surge Protector covered by any type of warranty? The fairly good ones are. Several years ago I lost a phone and a printer while plugged into a Tripp-Lite model. Called the company and was told to purchase a new comparable phone and printer and send them the receipts along with the date on the Tripp-lite along with a note about what happened. They sent me a check along with a couple of replacement parts for the Surge-Protector. I replaced the part in the surge-protector and all worked fine. I still have the second replacement part for the surge-protector.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #18
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Hello Firedreamer,
Sorry to hear about your puter. Hope you are able to fix it. Don't know if its a good time to bug you with this but I have sent you a couple of personal messages, would you please check them out.
Sorry for your bad luck once again,
Steve
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:36 PM   #19
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Looks like a pretty good deal if you're rethinking a replace vs repair...

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Dell desktop machine, dual core, 2gb ram, 250gb hard drive, delete the monitor and its $239. Throw in an ATI HD 2600 XT 256MB card and its $389.

Thats shipped with ubuntu linux, so you'd need your own windows OS license if you wanted to run that instead...
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:05 PM   #20
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The Ubuntu Linux is a pretty complete system on it's own. I have a dual boot (Vista/Ubuntu 8.04) setup on my desktop and ubuntu along with Open Office and GNUCash could replace a lot of home systems. Thinking of dumping VISTA on the Desktop and using Unbuntu solely.
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