TechSpot

Lightning vs. Internet

By Minijenni
Aug 26, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. Hi! Tonight we had a freak storm, one clap of thunder, and a lightning strike somewhere nearby. We had no chance to shut off our computers before this happened. There was a quick bright blip near both towers, which are in different rooms of the house. Both are connected to the same modem via cables. The wi-fi signal was not affected, but both desktop computers are now disconnected from the Internet. Mine gives a message that there is no Ethernet Connection available and to check the cable or plug one on; the other machine has a similar but less specific message. Nothing else is wrong with either machine.

    We are not sure if the cables are fried, or if there is a part inside the modem that is fried, or if the ethernet cards in both machines are fried. There was no smell or anything indicating electrical type damage to either machine. This happened to us a while back and literally fried the internal parts of my computer, and it had to be replaced. It happened again when lightning struck a tree in our yard and fried the outside equipment (wi-fi was down then), but the indoor equipment was fine. This is the third time we have been affected by lightning (we have powerful surge suppressor a now),and I am hoping the problem is not in the machines themselves.

    My question is this: Is it more likely that the problem now is in the cables, the modem, or the machines themselves? What kind of repairs are we looking at having to do if it is the machines?
     
  2. Minijenni

    Minijenni TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Specifically, my computer states that a network cable is not properly plugged in or may be broken. Also, I should note that all USB ports are functional. Also, the machines never lost power themselves. It was more like a split second brownout than anything.
     
  3. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 164   +34

    Least likely is just the computers damaged. If nothing else was damaged then it's a safe bet the surge came through the ethernet cables.

    The ethernet cables aren't likely to be damaged either. Electronics tends to be more sensitive than wiring.

    Whether it's just the modem or the modem and the computers is trickier to guess. Ideally you want to plug another computer in via ethernet and check but I guess you don't have a laptop or an old desktop to try.

    I wouldn't worry about the computer side if everything else in the systems is working well. PCI, PCI-E and USB ethernet interfaces are available for very cheap and work independently of any motherboard ethernet chip that may be damaged.
     
  4. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    "My question is this: Is it more likely that the problem now is in the cables, the modem, or the machines themselves?"

    Is there a router?
     
  5. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves TS Booster Posts: 164   +34

    A modem with wi-fi? Has such a thing ever been made?
     
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...