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Unusual Power Supply Failure

 
 
MF
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      02-24-2005
POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and it
was gone.

It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.

Circumstances: kill switch turned off, hard drive being replaced. I've done
this many times, about twenty times on this computer alone (for tests and
upgrades, not twenty failed HDDs) with nary a snafu save lost screws.

Like a typical user, I can't remember _exactly_ when it happened, because
the act of turnning the kill switch back on and pushing the power button
were almost (not quite) simultaneous. Everything was connected properly, no
noise or visuals from anywhere else in the computer, and afterwards, no
visible scorch marks or other anomalies anywhere else in the computer. So
I'm about 99.25 percent sure that nothing shorted anywhere else.

But there's that other .75%. My experience with power supply failures has
been the standard: intermittent error and/or quiet death - the computer
simply doesn't turn on one day. Has anyone experienced these mini fireworks
sort of flameouts - and does anyone know the cause?

Thanks much!

Mike


 
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kony
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      02-24-2005
On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and it
>was gone.
>
>It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.
>
>Circumstances: kill switch turned off, hard drive being replaced. I've done
>this many times, about twenty times on this computer alone (for tests and
>upgrades, not twenty failed HDDs) with nary a snafu save lost screws.
>
>Like a typical user, I can't remember _exactly_ when it happened, because
>the act of turnning the kill switch back on and pushing the power button
>were almost (not quite) simultaneous. Everything was connected properly, no
>noise or visuals from anywhere else in the computer, and afterwards, no
>visible scorch marks or other anomalies anywhere else in the computer. So
>I'm about 99.25 percent sure that nothing shorted anywhere else.
>
>But there's that other .75%. My experience with power supply failures has
>been the standard: intermittent error and/or quiet death - the computer
>simply doesn't turn on one day. Has anyone experienced these mini fireworks
>sort of flameouts - and does anyone know the cause?
>
>Thanks much!
>
>Mike
>


I suspect something really was shorted. It "should" turn
off in such events but maybe was on it's last leg already
and that was enough to do it in... not exactly an
unstressful event.
 
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«BONEHEAD>>
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      02-24-2005

"kony" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and

it
> >was gone.
> >
> >It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.
> >
> >Circumstances: kill switch turned off, hard drive being replaced. I've

done
> >this many times, about twenty times on this computer alone (for tests

and
> >upgrades, not twenty failed HDDs) with nary a snafu save lost screws.
> >
> >Like a typical user, I can't remember _exactly_ when it happened, because
> >the act of turnning the kill switch back on and pushing the power button
> >were almost (not quite) simultaneous. Everything was connected properly,

no
> >noise or visuals from anywhere else in the computer, and afterwards, no
> >visible scorch marks or other anomalies anywhere else in the computer. So
> >I'm about 99.25 percent sure that nothing shorted anywhere else.
> >
> >But there's that other .75%. My experience with power supply failures

has
> >been the standard: intermittent error and/or quiet death - the computer
> >simply doesn't turn on one day. Has anyone experienced these mini

fireworks
> >sort of flameouts - and does anyone know the cause?
> >
> >Thanks much!
> >
> >Mike
> >

>
> I suspect something really was shorted. It "should" turn
> off in such events but maybe was on it's last leg already
> and that was enough to do it in... not exactly an
> unstressful event.


What??? No video ..

--
<B0N3H3@D>
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein


 
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Roby
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      02-25-2005
MF wrote:

> POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and it
> was gone.
>
> It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.
>
> Circumstances: kill switch turned off, hard drive being replaced. I've
> done
> this many times, about twenty times on this computer alone (for tests and
> upgrades, not twenty failed HDDs) with nary a snafu save lost screws.
>
> Like a typical user, I can't remember _exactly_ when it happened, because
> the act of turnning the kill switch back on and pushing the power button
> were almost (not quite) simultaneous. Everything was connected properly,
> no noise or visuals from anywhere else in the computer, and afterwards, no
> visible scorch marks or other anomalies anywhere else in the computer. So
> I'm about 99.25 percent sure that nothing shorted anywhere else.
>
> But there's that other .75%. My experience with power supply failures has
> been the standard: intermittent error and/or quiet death - the computer
> simply doesn't turn on one day. Has anyone experienced these mini
> fireworks sort of flameouts - and does anyone know the cause?
>
> Thanks much!
>
> Mike


A component failure may provide its own signal. The good news is that there
was apparently no damage to the connected loads. That's usually the case.

I had a power supply act up in a newly-built box. Abrupt reboots, lockups,
etc. It did this a few times and then came a bang and smoke. M/B and video
card were damaged; other cards, memory, HD survived. Fortunately, I had
purchased everything from the same vendor on one order, so there was very
little haggling to get the bad stuff replaced. And it happened before I
handed it off to my client.

It wasn't a Sparkle power supply. Interesting name though.

Roby
 
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MF
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      02-26-2005

"Roby" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> MF wrote:
>
> > POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and

it
> > was gone.
> > It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.

~~~~~~~~~~
> A component failure may provide its own signal. The good news is that

there
> was apparently no damage to the connected loads. That's usually the case.
>
> I had a power supply act up in a newly-built box. Abrupt reboots,

lockups,
> etc. It did this a few times and then came a bang and smoke. M/B and

video
> card were damaged; other cards, memory, HD survived. Fortunately, I had
> purchased everything from the same vendor on one order, so there was very
> little haggling to get the bad stuff replaced. And it happened before I
> handed it off to my client.
>
> It wasn't a Sparkle power supply. Interesting name though.
>
> Roby


Isn't it though? Should have been Sparkler. Or maybe Snap Crackle
Popper. I've seen a couple references to it on the net over the years as a
good cheapo brand. but i think in this case the adjective modifies the
adverb - or something like that.
Thnx!

Mike



 
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MF
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      02-26-2005

"Navin R. Johnson" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF" <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
> Not that unusual. The worst time for any piece of electronic equipment
> is when you power it up. Have you ever had a light bulb burn out while
> it's on? 99% of the time a light bulb will wait until the split second
> power is applied to flash and burn. I've been fixing computers for over
> 25 years and it's seldom that I get a call from a customer because their
> system popped and smoked while it was up and running. They usually start
> by saying, "When I turned my computer on this morning.......".
>
> Your P/S was 6 years old - old enough for capacitors to dry out and
> components to change their values. Also, it was only 250 watts but it
> went out in a blaze of glory. Bury it, get a brand new 500 watt P/S and
> get on with your life.......
>
> NRJ


Makes sense, and is what I was thinking. But it was unusual for me. What I
was curious about, whether others had encountered it enough to be a
reasonable guess. Both hard drives are okay, but haven't had
means/oppportunity to test anything else. Think I'll get a new
mobo/processor/memory along with the PS. The thing is getting a bit puny
for Win XP and '03, not to mention virtualization.

Thnx,

Mike


 
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MF
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      02-26-2005

"«BONEHEAD>>" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:lesTd.8712$(E-Mail Removed) m...
>

Bonehead wrote:

> What??? No video ..
>
> --
> <B0N3H3@D>
> "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert

Einstein

Nah, the fireball took out the monitor and desk...


 
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MF
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      02-26-2005
"kony" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

> On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and

it
> >was gone.

>
> I suspect something really was shorted. It "should" turn
> off in such events but maybe was on it's last leg already
> and that was enough to do it in... not exactly an
> unstressful event.


could be. But the absence of evidence during and after the toxic event
leads me to think - or hope, even though I'll probably junk the mobo - that
it didn't.

cheers,

Mike


 
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MF
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      02-26-2005

"Rightard Whitey" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:aGrTd.116066$(E-Mail Removed) m...
> MF wrote:
> > POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and

it
> > was gone.
> >

> A capacitor probably blew. Sometimes they will make a loud popping noise.


That;s what I was thinking, but it hadn't happened to me before so i didn't
know if i was thinking straight. Figured I would check on others'
experiences before I had four or five vodkas to consider the problem in an
altered state.::}

cheers

Mike



 
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AG
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      02-26-2005

"MF" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> POP, ZZZZZZT, SPARK and a tiny puff of smoke out the back of the PS and it
> was gone.
>
> It's a Sparkle, ATX, 250 Watt, a bit over 6 years old.
>
> Circumstances: kill switch turned off, hard drive being replaced. I've

done
> this many times, about twenty times on this computer alone (for tests and
> upgrades, not twenty failed HDDs) with nary a snafu save lost screws.
>
> Like a typical user, I can't remember _exactly_ when it happened, because
> the act of turnning the kill switch back on and pushing the power button
> were almost (not quite) simultaneous. Everything was connected properly,

no
> noise or visuals from anywhere else in the computer, and afterwards, no
> visible scorch marks or other anomalies anywhere else in the computer. So
> I'm about 99.25 percent sure that nothing shorted anywhere else.
>
> But there's that other .75%. My experience with power supply failures has
> been the standard: intermittent error and/or quiet death - the computer
> simply doesn't turn on one day. Has anyone experienced these mini

fireworks
> sort of flameouts - and does anyone know the cause?
>
> Thanks much!
>
> Mike


A year or so ago, I'm not sure exactly, Tom's Hardware did a power supply
shoot out and that was the symptom they got sometimes when they overloaded
one. They used a complicated series of resistors to overload them to see
whether they would give the rated power.

AG


 
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