TechSpot

Blew up my mother-in-law's PC

By RaND6M
Jul 30, 2007
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  1. Ok, lets start with the *****ic thing I did...
    After changing around a few bits and pieces in the PC, i flipped the little red switch on the PSU from 230V to 115V. Yes, a very stupid thing to do, although my only defence is that I felt round the back of the PC and flipped what I thought was the isolation switch that I was told was back there somewhere...

    Anyway, I saw a small blue flash, and now the PC simply will not turn on or show any signs of power. Initially I thought it was going to be the PSU that had blown or a fuse in the PSU or something, so I tried another PSU, and the PC still shows no signs of life at all.

    I dismantled the PC to look for signs of damage or burning inside, and found nothing. Upon close inspection of the motherboard, I noticed a single capacitor with a domed top near to where the PSU plugs into the motherboard. All other capacitors are perfectly flat.

    How likely is it that this is the cause of the complete lack of power? The computer is rather old anyway and its just a case of figuring out if its worth fixing, or buying a new PC.

    Many thanks.

    Will
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 4,265   +41

    Older pc's are even more prone to not work with something broken on the motherboard. If you got some type of charge through the board, it could have damaged something that's not visible even at all. If you tried a new psu, sounds like the pc is trash, as far as the motherboard anyway.
  3. RaND6M

    RaND6M TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok.
    Is it possible that the capacitor is the only thing that blew? Or are my hopes completely .. well, hopeless? (assuming of course that the capacitor is faulty)
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,668   +879

    Thunderbolts and Lightening, Very, Very, Frightening.....

    Queen, from "Night at the Opera". The cap that blew is probably a filter (AC ripple) if it's right next to the power attachment. But, it's a capacitor, not a fuse and you need to determine whether (as Smash points out), anything beyond the cap blew as well. The only way to determine that would be to replace the cap. It's an issue of time of overvoltage exposure. The capacitors electrolyte would boil, hence the explosion, but a solid state junction would just disintegrate. I should add that this would probably occur sooner rather than later.

    I should point out that I envy you the opportunity of inflicting a computer "repair" on your mother-in-law.
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