Lightning hit, desktop won't turn on

By vulgarism
Aug 30, 2010
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  1. Hello all, hopefully I can find some help here.

    Now, I know by the title, it sounds like a pretty easy answer, but it goes a little deeper; let me begin.

    So, I get a desktop that running well after my laptop ends up going on the fritz. I have the desktop for a total of about 10 days, and then this happens.

    Early one morning, three lightning bolts hit, maybe a total of five minutes. I was sleeping during it, so I didn't even know. It wasn't even supposed to storm or anything. I wake up, hit the power button, nothing. Try a few more times, nothing. Switch power cables, again.

    I call up my dad and tell him the computer isn't booting. He tells me he heard a pop in my room in the morning, but didn't thing much of it. I feel the modem and it's fairly warm. I take off the screw, pop it open, and find out a part inside blew up (the ISP guy said voltage regulator, I believe).

    I figure my motherboard is fried, as this did happen once before on an old Dell. The desktop and modem were connected through a surge protector, but the phone cord wasn't.

    This is where things get weird...

    Neither the phone cord, nor the ethernet cable had any burning or damage. No other devices plugged in were effected, including my phone, which is fine. I open up the computer, and there's no visible motherboard damage.

    I was figuring it was either a PSU or motherboard issue (duh) but I can't narrow it down. The PSU shouldn't be effected, since it was plugged into a surge protector and the modem was the only thing really damaged.

    I unfortunately don't have a way to test if the power supply is alright, as our only other desktop left is pretty old and I don't think it's power supply could sufficiently power the problematic desktop.

    I do know this problem is more of a 'test and narrow it down' type problem, but all I can do at this point is hope somebody has some advice.

    Thank you!!!
  2. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    The only way your really going to know if its the psu is to power the PC up with another known to be good one.

    You can however do one thing: Remove your PSU and fit it to the older desktop. Your older desktops PSU may not work with your newer one, but the newer one will happily power the older PC! ;)

    If your older PC works with the PSU you know the issue is elsewhere...
  3. vulgarism

    vulgarism Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ahhh, I didn't think of that. I'll try that and report back. Thank you for the response!
  4. vulgarism

    vulgarism Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright, I slapped the PSU into the older desktop, and it got power. I let it run for about 30 seconds (no monitor attached) and then shut it off, since that was 30 seconds longer than in the newer desktop. So, is it safe to say I need to replace the motherboard?
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    I think its a safe assumption, assuming your confident the psu is working exactly as it should in the older PC.

    Looks like a spike has taken your motherboard out via the ethernet port. I would seriously consider protecting the phone line into the router, and any ethernet ports seperate from the router.

    If its wireless it doesn't matter, but all our ethernet ports from the router are protected by surge protectors, as are all expensive electrical equipment and all computers. Even the laptops have surge protectors inline with the chargers.
  6. vulgarism

    vulgarism Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I'll start shopping around for a good replacement then, thank you!

    And yes, I really should. It happened once before, but this time was a bit more of a fluke. Last time, all the phones plugged in were junk, our DirecTV receivers were junk, along with our computer. You think I would learn by now...

    But again, thank you for the suggestion on trying the power supply on the older computer. I appreciate it!
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,378   +98

    I was the same, I never bothered with it until my mum had all her computers wiped out from one near strike. I decided it would be more worthwhile investing in some after that. lol. I replaced my mums router yesterday for the same reason, lightning strike trashed it through the phone line. Its all setup via the surge protector now though, its more an oversight on my part as I'd been asked to look at it ages ago but never got around to sorting it when I was visiting.

    I would let others confirm it first, before spending money. I'm fairly certain the motherboard is your problem, but its always worthwhile hearing from others as well.


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