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PSU on old machine went bang. Worth replacing?


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#1 Expert Novice

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 02:15 PM

Some time last year the power supply on my P4 equipped home built (not by me) PC went bang.

As I remember I had, probably rather foolishly connected the mains plug to the back of the machine while the other end was plugged into the wall with the power at the wall switched on. As I pushed the connector into the socket the was a loud crack and a large blue spark/flame exploded from the rear of the PSU. There may also have been smoke to add to the dramatic effect. Oh dear...

I went and bought my friends Dell which was handily for sale at the time and this has served my needs in the mean time so I put the old box away after removing the larger hard drive and sound card to put into the Dell.

Now a need for a second PC has arisen so I'm wondering if it might be worth trying a replacement PSU in the old machine. I'm no expert but from what I have read online installing a replacement would be fairly easy, more or less a reversal of the removal procedure but I wonder about the state of the P4 mother board. Is it possible to say if this might have been damaged in any way, or any other internal components for that matter.

Is it worth trying to resurect this machine? Any advice will be much appreciated.

Perhaps I should look into buying the laptop I keep promising myself.

Hey, maybe I'll do both!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:22 PM

I'm not a tech or an IT guy...but I would never bother with a system displaying previous electrical discharges :thumbsup:.

Life is enough of a gamble, I'd move on to something that would be a better value based on cost and expected/projected problems.

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#3 Eyesee

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:26 PM

I think you have run a real good chance of toasting the motherboard

Threat yourself and buy that laptop!
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#4 DickNervous

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 03:56 PM

Being someone who works on fixing computers on a daily basis I would say that the odds are actually decent that the rest of the computer is still good and just needs a new PSU. If you can find one you can use to test it that would be best. Or you could pick up one pretty cheaply and try it out.

#5 dc3

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 07:26 PM

At this point it's a craps shoot... what went up in smoke?

From what you are saying there's a good chance that what was damaged was the PSU. The PSU doesn't turn on normally until it is initialized by the motherboard, so there's a chance that the damage may have been localized to the PSU. Then again, there's the question of what was shorted that would produce such dramatic results.

Unfortunately, without installing another PSU there isn't any way to tell what the damage really is, unless there are obvious scorch marks on the motherboard. If you have another PSU that you can try, or have a friend that has one, that would be the way to go.

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#6 Expert Novice

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 10:40 PM

Hey, thanks for all the replies guys.

Sounds like it might be worth giving it a shot with a cheap second hand PSU. I don't have any others going spare so I'll keep an eye on Ebay and see what turns up.

The spark definitely came from the back of the PSU. I've had a good look on the mother board but can't see any obvious damage there so I think it's worth spending a little to find out.

The PSU in question was a Jeantech ATX unit saying 300w max output on the side. Presumably just about any other ATX unit of roughly the same power output would be a suitable replacement? would it matter if I used a 400 or 500w unit?

Is there anything I need to check regarding the connectors? I'm guessing they're all pretty standard and another ATX would have the same type attached

David

#7 dc3

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 10:54 PM

When it comes to PSUs, more power is always good.

One of the things that you should take into consideration is the type of connections you are currently using. The main connector that attaches to the motherboard will either be a twenty or twenty four pin connector. You can use a twenty four pin connector on a twenty pin motherboard, but not inversely. The other connectors are either molex or sata. Newer computers use the twenty four pin connector and sata connectors.

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#8 Expert Novice

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Posted 09 September 2010 - 12:24 AM

Thanks Dc3. That's very helpful.
I'll see about getting a replacement and try my luck.

Many thanks

David




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