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Sudden Power Supply Death

 
 
Sundog1966
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      08-03-2003
I just had a power supply die on a machine. I was trading machines
around and noticed that a machine that I had turned off was warm
around the power supply fan area. At the tiem I thought it strange un
plugged the machine and moved on to another task. When I finished
that task a reconnected the machine intending to determine if the fan
was working and why it was heating up. About 15 seconds after
plugging it and and before I oculd turn it on I heard a loud pop and
saw brown smoke with a very acrid odour. I unl\plugged the unit
immediately. When I looked closer I saw a small silver object like a
metal tube was visible in the fan area.

Anyways I am going to get another PS and see if the machine was
damaged. I am hoping that since it was not turned on at the time that
there was no damage to any other components other then the power
supply.


Any comments on what went pop and why it did it when the machien was
turned off. My knowledge of power supply operations is limited so any
help from the electrical engineers would be of value.

I am wondering if it is possible for damage to components (mb,hd,
memory, cpu) etc to have occured even though the unit was switced off
at the time?

One other note I have this machien on a belkin UPS. Also a few weeks
ago a major transformer at Ontario Hydro blew in our area leaving us
without power for 30 minutes. My UPS kicked in and I was able to shut
down all the equipment and unplug everything before the power returned
but am wondering if there might have been a event surge that may have
contributed to this damage? From my understanding the UPS should have
blown if there was that kind of a problem.
 
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Tom MacIntyre
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      08-03-2003
On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 11:22:34 -0400, Sundog1966
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I just had a power supply die on a machine. I was trading machines
>around and noticed that a machine that I had turned off was warm
>around the power supply fan area. At the tiem I thought it strange un
>plugged the machine and moved on to another task. When I finished
>that task a reconnected the machine intending to determine if the fan
>was working and why it was heating up. About 15 seconds after
>plugging it and and before I oculd turn it on I heard a loud pop and
>saw brown smoke with a very acrid odour. I unl\plugged the unit
>immediately. When I looked closer I saw a small silver object like a
>metal tube was visible in the fan area.


Did it smell like fish? If so, it was a capacitor. If not, probably a
major semiconductor device.

>
>Anyways I am going to get another PS and see if the machine was
>damaged. I am hoping that since it was not turned on at the time that
>there was no damage to any other components other then the power
>supply.
>
>
>Any comments on what went pop and why it did it when the machien was
>turned off. My knowledge of power supply operations is limited so any
>help from the electrical engineers would be of value.
>
>I am wondering if it is possible for damage to components (mb,hd,
>memory, cpu) etc to have occured even though the unit was switced off
>at the time?


Yes, it's possible, but I'd think no in most cases.

Tom
 
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Sundog1966
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      08-03-2003
On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 15:38:54 GMT, Tom MacIntyre
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>On Sun, 03 Aug 2003 11:22:34 -0400, Sundog1966
><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>I just had a power supply die on a machine. I was trading machines
>>around and noticed that a machine that I had turned off was warm
>>around the power supply fan area. At the tiem I thought it strange un
>>plugged the machine and moved on to another task. When I finished
>>that task a reconnected the machine intending to determine if the fan
>>was working and why it was heating up. About 15 seconds after
>>plugging it and and before I oculd turn it on I heard a loud pop and
>>saw brown smoke with a very acrid odour. I unl\plugged the unit
>>immediately. When I looked closer I saw a small silver object like a
>>metal tube was visible in the fan area.

>
>Did it smell like fish? If so, it was a capacitor. If not, probably a
>major semiconductor device.

Now that you mention it that is exactly what is smells like, really
bad fish! The smoke was a grey / brown color and very thick but
brief, untill I turned it off.
>
>>
>>Anyways I am going to get another PS and see if the machine was
>>damaged. I am hoping that since it was not turned on at the time that
>>there was no damage to any other components other then the power
>>supply.
>>
>>
>>Any comments on what went pop and why it did it when the machien was
>>turned off. My knowledge of power supply operations is limited so any
>>help from the electrical engineers would be of value.
>>
>>I am wondering if it is possible for damage to components (mb,hd,
>>memory, cpu) etc to have occured even though the unit was switced off
>>at the time?

>
>Yes, it's possible, but I'd think no in most cases.
>
>Tom


 
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RussS
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      08-03-2003
Yup - blown capacitor


 
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Barry Watzman
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-04-2003
First comment, ATX computers are ALWAYS partially "on" unless they are
unplugged or turned off with the REAR switch on the power supply. So
your computer WAS, in fact, "on" (partially, but enough) at the time of
the failure, even though you thought it was "shut down"/"off".

Your symptoms suggest an extremely catastrophic failure mode that is
atypical. It's possible that the computer was damaged; it's possible
that it wasn't damaged. No way to be sure without trying it. In terms
of truly meaningful information, there really isn't much information here.

Similarly, there is not enough information available to know either
exactly what happened, or exactly why it happened. The anser to
virtually all of your questions, given the information available, is
"maybe". Maybe the transformer failure was a factor, maybe not, maybe
the UPS would have protected the PC, maybe not, etc.

Sorry I can't be of much more help.



Sundog1966 wrote:

> I just had a power supply die on a machine. I was trading machines
> around and noticed that a machine that I had turned off was warm
> around the power supply fan area. At the tiem I thought it strange un
> plugged the machine and moved on to another task. When I finished
> that task a reconnected the machine intending to determine if the fan
> was working and why it was heating up. About 15 seconds after
> plugging it and and before I oculd turn it on I heard a loud pop and
> saw brown smoke with a very acrid odour. I unl\plugged the unit
> immediately. When I looked closer I saw a small silver object like a
> metal tube was visible in the fan area.
>
> Anyways I am going to get another PS and see if the machine was
> damaged. I am hoping that since it was not turned on at the time that
> there was no damage to any other components other then the power
> supply.
>
>
> Any comments on what went pop and why it did it when the machien was
> turned off. My knowledge of power supply operations is limited so any
> help from the electrical engineers would be of value.
>
> I am wondering if it is possible for damage to components (mb,hd,
> memory, cpu) etc to have occured even though the unit was switced off
> at the time?
>
> One other note I have this machien on a belkin UPS. Also a few weeks
> ago a major transformer at Ontario Hydro blew in our area leaving us
> without power for 30 minutes. My UPS kicked in and I was able to shut
> down all the equipment and unplug everything before the power returned
> but am wondering if there might have been a event surge that may have
> contributed to this damage? From my understanding the UPS should have
> blown if there was that kind of a problem.


 
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