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LIGHTNING SURGE


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#1 Chuckrox8

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 10:01 PM

I get a call today from my girlfriend telling me that he house has been struck by lightning. I actually was on the highway in my city earlier that day and there was lightning everywhere. Atlanta, Georgia btw. Anyway I get to her house and her irrigation water pipe has burst and water is flowing down her driveway by the gallon. I get to the computer in her house and I try to power it on. Nothing. The power light on the front will light up if connected to a power source. But I suppose that is running seperate of anything else. The fan in the power supply is running quietly. Also the light on the back of the power unit is lit on the back of the tower. When I press the power button there is 0 response from the motherboard/cpu. She had some important docs on her hard drive(backup please, what I tell everyone). Would the power surge have erased or damaged the HD maybe? This computer was connected to a surge protector that isn't too old. Belkin should owe her something. The modem for her DSL was also connected and that is just dead as a door nail now. There seems to be no physical damage on the computer or on the motherboard and cpu. Is the power supply dead? Or is it time to shop for another computer?

Also, the monitor was plugged into the same surge protector as was a printer and a pencil sharpener and they work fine. I realize that the circuits in the computer are very delicate and the modem was a POS but is there really anything to be done?

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#2 Wizdabest

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 10:17 PM

probably not if they got fried.

I somehow got lucky years ago and lost only the power supply.

#3 Chuckrox8

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Posted 13 August 2005 - 11:47 PM

is there anyway to run a diagnostics test on the MB and CPU without having to transplant everything?

#4 Leurgy

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 08:00 AM

The only way to diagnose is to pull everything and disconnect everything except the CPU, Ram and Video. Boot with just that and see if the Ram counts. Swap the power supply for a known good one and try that. Add components back one at a time and see if they have failed or prevent booting.

Belkin should owe her something.


If that is the Surge Protector you may not have any luck there. A very knowledgeable person once posted the following in another forum in a discussion about Surge Protecters. I saved the post but unfortunately didn't get the posters name.

As far as that insurance is concerned, think about this: manufacturers rate a surge protector's protection for the bare minimum that they KNOW it will protect against. There's no way that a surge lower than the rated protection will ever get through to your equipment. It's all physics. If it gets through, it HAS to be greater than the protection rating, one way or another. Well, they're not going to pay for anything that was damaged by a surge greater than the protector was rated to handle, so anything that was big enough to get through the protector would void the coverage.

What if it's defective, and fails to protect against a normal surge? Well, there's always some kind of LED or other type of light that gives an indication of whether or not the breaker is working. If that light isn't on, it's unusually dim, or it flashes, then there's something wrong with the breaker. Since the surge protector gives you a visual indication when it's not working properly, the manufacturer sure isn't going to pay for anything you were brave enough to plug into it.

In other words, there's really never a time when you can collect anything. Maybe once in a blue moon someone makes it through the system, but I've never known anyone who has actually succeeded. It basically just lets them put something attractive on the package.


Edited by Leurgy, 14 August 2005 - 08:01 AM.

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#5 Mr Alpha

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 09:34 AM

The lightning strike probably didn't go thrugh the surge protector at all. Modern power supply usually have some kind of protection, resulting in only a fried power supply, not a fried computer.

Lightening can, and often do, go thrugh network cables or phone/modem lines, which it sounds like happened in your case.
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#6 TEB

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 12:47 PM

The lightning strike probably didn't go thrugh the surge protector at all. Modern power supply usually have some kind of protection, resulting in only a fried power supply, not a fried computer.

Lightening can, and often do, go thrugh network cables or phone/modem lines, which it sounds like happened in your case.

ACtually thats completely false, lighting travels through hundreds of miles of air and atmosphere and as most of us know is very powerful. Its not going to be stopped even by some of the most modern surge protectors.

#7 Mr Alpha

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 02:23 PM

You are right, I was a bit inaccurate. Nothing can protect your computer from a direct lightning strike, but it is not the direct lightning strike that damages most of the electronic equipment, but power surges caused by the lightning strikes.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
Intel Core 2 Quad | XFX 780i SLI | 8GB Corsair | Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTX | Auzentech X-Fi Prelude| Logitech G15 | Logitech MX Revolution | LG Flatron L2000C | Logitech Z-5500 Digital

#8 TEB

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 02:37 PM

Yeh, i would do as luergy stated above.

The only way to diagnose is to pull everything and disconnect everything except the CPU, Ram and Video. Boot with just that and see if the Ram counts. Swap the power supply for a known good one and try that. Add components back one at a time and see if they have failed or prevent booting.


Edited by TEB, 14 August 2005 - 02:39 PM.


#9 Chuckrox8

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Posted 14 August 2005 - 10:44 PM

Tried a different power supply. Running bare mins nothing happened. No response from the CPU. I'm guessing that this computer is well on its way to the dumpster.

#10 Leurgy

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Posted 15 August 2005 - 10:25 AM

That sucks. I know that around here the Power company will sometimes compensate people in these situations, or your home insurance might. Don't be too quick to throw it out until you have investigated your options.

Good luck.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool





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