westom's Posts

westom's Posts

Power failures do not damage electronics.  That is a conclusion only from observation.   Power failure can be created by something that also causes damage.   That is conclusion based in how hardwar... See more...
Power failures do not damage electronics.  That is a conclusion only from observation.   Power failure can be created by something that also causes damage.   That is conclusion based in how hardware works. A paper clip test can report a PSU defective.  But it cannot report a PSU as good.  Normally a PSU provides massive protection from something that can damage appliances and can cause a blackout.  But something adjacent to that computer would have compromised (bypassed) that protection.  Therefore damage could be due to a transient connected directly into the motherboard by that protector. A simple procedure can identify what is defective long before even replacing one part.  Unfortunately others want you to shotgun - keep replacing good parts until something works. A best procedure using two minutes of labor can identify what is defective.  Something completely different should be installed so that a computer and all other appliances (furnace, dimmer switches, dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, clocks, refrigerator, LED & CFL bulbs, central air ... everything) is protected.
Forget the surge protector.  It only gets recommended when one has no idea what it does and what that anomaly is.  Potentially destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years.  It does not caus... See more...
Forget the surge protector.  It only gets recommended when one has no idea what it does and what that anomaly is.  Potentially destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years.  It does not cause an intermittent device crash.  It destroys hardware. Furthermore that protector on 120 volts will do nothing until voltage well exceed 330 volts.  How many other household appliances are being damaged by a well over 330 volt transient?    Move on to real world analysis. Drive or associate hardware is definitely failing intermittently.  It is not a software problem.  But this is the nature of an intermittent.  That defect exists constantly.  But only causes failures intermittently.  That is what diagnostics are for and why Dell provides comprehensive hardware diagnostics for all internal  components. (Other manufacturers have them but will not provide them). Another diagnostic tool is heat.  Heat does not create damage.  Heat can make a constantly defective part temporarily act defective constantly.  Best is to operate that computer in a 100 degree F room.  Or use a hairdryer on highest heat to selectively heat components.  Then execute that comprehensive diagnostic.  If some interface chip, cable, or disk drive is defective, this is your best option  for identifying it.
View numbers.  How does a 2 cm part inside that protector 'block' a surge that three miles of sky could not?  It doesn't.  How does its hundreds of joules absorb a surge that can be hundreds of thous... See more...
View numbers.  How does a 2 cm part inside that protector 'block' a surge that three miles of sky could not?  It doesn't.  How does its hundreds of joules absorb a surge that can be hundreds of thousands of joules?  It doesn't.  An adjacent protector can only 'block' or 'absorb' a surge.  These near zero protectors often fail on a first surge. Protector failure means protector parts disconnect from a surge as fast as possible. It leaves a surge still connected to an appliance. Is that effective protection?  Of course not. Protection means a surge current does not enter a building.  Then that current need not hunt for earth ground destructively via appliances.   Effective protector remains functional for decades and after many direct lightning strikes.  No one knows a surge exists.  Therefore the many, who only know what advertising says, would not recommend this superior and effective solution.  They need to see a protector fail to know a surge existed. Any protector that fails on a surge is grossly undersized, obscenely profitable, does not claim to protect from destructive surges (hundreds of thousands of joules), and typically only claims to absorb near zero (hundreds or a thousand) joules.  Worse, those near zero protectors have also created fires.  Numbers say why. Ineffective protectors (with near zero joules numbers) fail on a first surge.  Effective protectors remain functional after many direct lightning strikes and for decades.  Effective solution answers this question: where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate?  That protector remains functional after many surges.  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. 'One shot' and obscenely overpriced protectors do not have and will not discuss facts and numbers - are ineffective. If one properly installed a proven solution, then he did not even know a surge existed.  Would not have computer or protector damage. Lightning rods are earthed to protect a structure.  Protectors are earthed to protect appliances.  Neither must fail on any surge.
Surge protection starts when the footings are poured.  It is called Ufer ground.  Then the entire point is surrounded by a single point earth ground.  This is key since protection is not defined by t... See more...
Surge protection starts when the footings are poured.  It is called Ufer ground.  Then the entire point is surrounded by a single point earth ground.  This is key since protection is not defined by the protector.  Protection is defined by the single point earth ground.  Cost for best protection is trivial when installed with the footings.
You had protector adjacent to appliances and so far from earth ground as to be all but completely disconnected.  So protection inside electronics may have been compromised.  You made damage easier. ... See more...
You had protector adjacent to appliances and so far from earth ground as to be all but completely disconnected.  So protection inside electronics may have been compromised.  You made damage easier. But first, remember how electricity works.  If a surge entered on any one port, that same current had to be outgoing - at the same time - via some other port.  If that current was incoming on any one utility wire, then at the same time, that current was flowing into earth via some other path.  What was that incoming and outgoing path?  If one does not exist, then no surge existed. Most common path is incoming on AC main.  A common outgoing path is outgoing via DSL (since all DSL must already have effective protection installed for free).  Damage is often on an outgoing path (to DSL); not on the incoming path. View some numbers.  How does a 2 cm part inside that protector 'block' a surge that three miles of sky could not?  It doesn't.  How does its hundreds of joules absorb a surge that can be hundreds of thousands of joules?  It doesn't.  But an adjacent protector can only 'block' or 'absorb' a surge.  Suspect a sham yet? Same applies to hardware protection provided by a UPS.  It does not exist once we include spec numbers. Protection means a surge current does not enter a building.  Then that current need not hunt for earth ground destructively via appliances.  How were direct lightning strikes made irrelevant over 100 years ago?  'Whole house' protection.  That costs maybe $1 per protected appliance.  And is virtually unknown to a majority only educated by advertising.  And who forget that a surge needs both an incoming and outgoing path.  Those memory lapses are how $3 power strips with ten cent protector parts sell at obscene $25 and $90 prices to naive customers.  To customers who even forgot what was taught in elementary school science (ie Ben Franklin's lightning rod). A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.   DSL is already required to have that effective protection.  Did hearsay, wild speculation, and advertising also forget to mention that?  I believe you have some installations and wiring corrections to perform.
Address unknowns and popular urban myths. First, surges (that typically destroy hardware) occur maybe once every seven years. You do not describe a surge.  Apparently you have some basic electr... See more...
Address unknowns and popular urban myths. First, surges (that typically destroy hardware) occur maybe once every seven years. You do not describe a surge.  Apparently you have some basic electrical defects.  For example, that protector on one plug could have even caused death of fish on another circuit.  But since an actual defect was never identified, then almost nothing unique to your situation can be posted. We can note some well understood principles relevant to your situation.  For example, a protector adjacent to a computer and not properly connected to an earthing electrode can make computer damage easier. In your case, apparently that power strip protector had further defects.  Apparently because only speculation blamed that power strip. Second, your computer behavior centers around a power controller. It decides when to power on, power off, and even when the CPU is permitted to operate.  No log entries are possible since an OS does not operate when its CPU is not even permitted (by a power controller) to operate. Power controller may order a PSU on, dislike what it sees, and power off in seconds.  That is what a controller is suppose to do.  Nobody can say anything more without some hard numbers. Third, if any appliance causes incandescent bulbs to change intensity, then a wiring problem is obvious.  In most cases, that is due to poor workmanship (ie wire nut improperly installed).  In rare cases, that is reporting a serious human safety issue.  Never ignore those last four words. Fourth, power problems clearly do not 'fry' a CPU.  It might fry other parts.  But definitely not a CPU.   Making conclusions only from speculation is a contributing factor to your failures.  You did not even identify why that power strip caused an outage.  Only assumed its removal solved a problem.  That is not a computer saavy issue.  That is a problem traceable to how layman make conclusions by not using proper thought processes.  You did not identify reasons for failure.  So power problems have always remained.  A major layman thinking mistake is to assume no problem exists because things work or symptoms are not apparent.  You did not identify why that power strip caused outages.  So the problem most likely remains even when symptoms do not exist. Fifth, zero reasons exist to believe a "beefy CPU tower" provides 'clean' power.  I will assume that is really a UPS.  Normal and ideal power for a computer is when incandescent bulbs dim to 40% intensity or double in brightness.  So a UPS does nothing useful there.  Especially since all computers convert cleanest power to 'dirtiest in the building'.  Then computers use superior filters, regulators, and galvanic isolation to convert intentionally made 'dirtiest' power into rock stable, cleanest, low DC voltages. That robust nature of all computers is why UPS power (when in battery backup mode) is routinely so 'dirty'.  It need not be 'clean' because all electronics are so robust.  Do not power motorized appliances from a UPS.  That power can be so 'dirty' as to be potentially harmful to motorized appliances.  Same 'dirt' is ideal for electronics. Your AC main voltages must vary by tens of volts.  Or hundreds of volts for a laptop.  Then internal computer voltages do not even vary by one tenth volt.  Because best power 'cleaners' are already inside every computer. UPS has one function.  Created temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data can be saved.  UPS does nothing to protect hardware; only protects data.  Ignore advertising myths, wild speculation, and intentional lies that say otherwise.  Or do what layman are always suppose to do - learn from numbers.  And ignore subjective recommendations.  Believing subjective claims or making conclusions from them is a major layman mistake. Sixth, stop sacrificing computers as it a problem is solved when a computer magically starts working.  You have electrical problems.  Ignore any recommendation that does not include numbers.  If you do not spend $5 or $14 on a meter and then learn how to use it using layman simple directions, then you must get an electrician in ASAP.  Those symptoms can be reporting defects that can even result in fire.  Obviously a first problem is a lack of someone who can think through what is otherwise a simple problem.  What should be layman simple decisions were ignored.  Worse, speculation has been promoted as a conclusion. Again, do not ignore what should be obvious.  That defect or defects were never identified by facts.  Instead, only speculation was used.   So a serious human safety issue probably has existed all along.  Somebody must start hunting for the problem; not curing symptoms. As a side note - manufacturers of better computers provide comprehensive hardware diagnostics for free.  Those exist so that strange, intermittent, or problematic failures are identified in minutes.  Without speculation.  You should download and operate Dell diagnostics when hardware is still good.  So that you know how to execute them, what constitutes good hardware, and to better appreciate a difference between speculation and hard facts. Ask to learn how to identify your problem.  Since defects must always be identified long before any solution is implemented.  Only useful answers come with numbers; ignore all others.  Or get an electrician ASAP.  Stop curing symptoms - a common layman mistake.  First identify and then fix the defect. As noted up top, we can only provide principles since facts (especially numbers) unique to your venue are not provided.
No more, so-called surge protectors. An adjacent protector must somehow block or absorb a surge.  Read its specification numbers.  How many joules does it claim to absorb?  Hundred... See more...
No more, so-called surge protectors. An adjacent protector must somehow block or absorb a surge.  Read its specification numbers.  How many joules does it claim to absorb?  Hundreds?  A thousand?  Destructive surges are hundreds of thousands of joules.  Protection was near zero.  But just enough above zero that most will naively recommend it for protection. Read numbers on a UPS.  Even tinier.  But again, only hearsay recommends a UPS for protection. A  completely different device - unfortunately called a surge protector - has been the proven solution for over 100 years.  That means hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate outside the building.  Then everything is protected (including those near zero power strip and UPS protectors).  This proven solution also costs about $1 per protected appliance - tens of times less money. Any recommendation that ignores numbers is best called junk science.   A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.  That means a well proven 'whole house' protector connects low impedance (ie less than 10 feet) to  single point earth ground.  No protector does protection (successfully block or absorb destructively surges).  Protectors either connect hundreds of thousands of joules low impedance (hardwire without any sharp bends) to earth.  Or protector does nothing useful. For over 100 years, protection was always about connecting hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly to earth. Adjacent protectors (or UPS) are only for tiny surges made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. Direct lightning strikes should cause no damage - even to the 'whole house' protector.  As it standard in all facilities that must not have damage.  Well understood and demonstrated for over 100 years.  And not provided by any 'magic' and many times more expensive plug-in solution.
I replaced something and it works.  That proves that something was defective?  Of course not. When you replaced it, you disconnected the AC power cord.  That may have cleared the safety lockout fun... See more...
I replaced something and it works.  That proves that something was defective?  Of course not. When you replaced it, you disconnected the AC power cord.  That may have cleared the safety lockout function.  You shotgunned.  Shotgunning can only suggest suspects or only cures symptoms.  Did you replace a defective supply or did you simply clear the safety lockout function? BTW that  APC recommendation may even make future computer damage easier - has a history of compromising more robust protection that is routinely found in all computers.  If the recommendation is valid, then he also provided manufacturer specification numbers that justify that recommendation.  He cannot.  APC does not provide numbers that claim that protection.
You may be ready to learn what an adjacent protector really does.  It can simply give a surge more paths to earth destructively via an adjacent computer.  It does not claim to protect from the other ... See more...
You may be ready to learn what an adjacent protector really does.  It can simply give a surge more paths to earth destructively via an adjacent computer.  It does not claim to protect from the other and destructive type of surge.  Anyone can see this by reading its specification numbers.  Most assume 'surge protector' must mean 'surge protection'.  The assumption ignores many completely different devices all called surge protectors. Disk drives protect themselves by working just fine after a surge.  All electronics contain a degree of surge protection.  Best protection for a computer is inside its power supply.  That adjacent protector can compromise (bypass) that protection.  Something completely different (called a 'whole house' protector) would have provided protection you desired. Only using speculation, that disk drive has been damaged.  Hardware diagnostic is clearly a best suggestion.
Failure may be due to overstress traceable to the event weeks ago.  But more likely, it is due to the most common reason for failures - manufacturing defects. CMOS error implies a defect in the CMO... See more...
Failure may be due to overstress traceable to the event weeks ago.  But more likely, it is due to the most common reason for failures - manufacturing defects. CMOS error implies a defect in the CMOS memory.  Reseting that memory (not just removing its battery)  may reset CMOS to those default settings.  If that does not clear a CMOS error, then the memory chip has a defect that cannot be repaired. BTW, adjacent surge protectors do not claim to protect from destructive surges (ie lightning).  Read its specification numbers.  Worse, plug-in protectors can sometimes compromise the superior protection already inside electronic appliances.  A completly different device (unfortunately called a surge protector) is required.  And is effective because it is so far from the computer and so close to earth ground. Even that adjacent protector needs protection only made possible by one 'whole house' protector. For a surge to have damaged that memory, the surge has an incoming path but no outgoing path.  No outgoing path means a surges would not damage that part.  However you must connect a surge to earth BEFORE it can enter a building.  Otherwise you have no effective protection (ie that power strip protector).  
Surge protection means you know where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate.  A 540 joule protector is near zero.  Typically protects from surges that do not overwhelm protection already inside ... See more...
Surge protection means you know where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate.  A 540 joule protector is near zero.  Typically protects from surges that do not overwhelm protection already inside the laptop.  So where do hundreds of thousands of joules get harmlessly absorbed?  In earth ground.  Two completely different type devices are both called surge protectors.  An undersized protector has no low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth.  Another completely different device has that dedicated wire connection to an earth ground electrode.  And then everything in the house is protected.  And then a surge is not inside destructively hunting for earth via a laptop or any other appliance.  A minimally sized 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps.  So that hundreds of thousands of joules are connected to and therefore dissipate harmlessly in earth.  Even that 540 joules protector would be protected by an earthed 'whole house' protector.
Surge protectors adjacent to electronics do not claim protection (read its numeric specs).  Have a history of compromising superior protection already inside computers.  Effective protectors are loca... See more...
Surge protectors adjacent to electronics do not claim protection (read its numeric specs).  Have a history of compromising superior protection already inside computers.  Effective protectors are located within feet of earth ground.  And increase protection by being separated from electronics.  Once a surge is permitted anywhere inside the house, then it goes hunting for earth via appliances - powered on or off.  A surge selects which appliance(s) it will destroy to obtain earth. Every appliance suffers an incoming surge.  But only the one or few selected to be damaged also have same current outgoing on some other conductor.  Anything that would block a surge, well, where does it claim any protection in its specs?  It doesn't. Fan is spinning like crazy if the CPU has not executed; did not throttle back that fan.  CPU cannot execute until permitted by a power controller.  Is the power controller locking the CPU?  Or has the CPU failed?  Cannot say from information provided.  However, I would expect that failure to be reported as a "BIOS did not execute" failure or as a blinking yellow light on the power switch.