Unusual Power Supply Failure

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by MF, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. MF

    MF Guest

    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
     
    MF, Feb 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. MF

    kony Guest

    On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "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
    >


    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.
     
    kony, Feb 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. MF

    «BONEHEAD>> Guest

    "kony" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "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
    > >

    >
    > 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
     
    «BONEHEAD>>, Feb 24, 2005
    #3
  4. MF

    Roby Guest

    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
     
    Roby, Feb 25, 2005
    #4
  5. MF

    MF Guest

    "Roby" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    MF, Feb 26, 2005
    #5
  6. MF

    MF Guest

    "Navin R. Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF" <>
    > 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
     
    MF, Feb 26, 2005
    #6
  7. MF

    MF Guest

    "«BONEHEAD>>" <> wrote in message
    news:lesTd.8712$...
    >

    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...:)
     
    MF, Feb 26, 2005
    #7
  8. MF

    MF Guest

    "kony" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "MF"
    > <> 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
     
    MF, Feb 26, 2005
    #8
  9. MF

    MF Guest

    "Rightard Whitey" <> wrote in message
    news:aGrTd.116066$...
    > 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
     
    MF, Feb 26, 2005
    #9
  10. MF

    AG Guest

    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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
     
    AG, Feb 26, 2005
    #10
  11. MF

    CLV3 Guest

    "MF" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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.
    >

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of system were you trying to power up with
    a 250 Watt?
     
    CLV3, Feb 26, 2005
    #11
  12. MF

    goorken Guest

    I myself had a catastrophic power supply failure on a new power
    supply. I had just shortly before built (this system) and was playing
    some game, probibally doom, when there was a pop and my machine went
    dead as last weeks fried fish,like it was wired for maximum smoke, on
    a sunday no less, thank gawd for warranty info,

    Rockster





    On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "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
    >
     
    goorken, Mar 5, 2005
    #12
  13. MF

    MF Guest

    see new post


    "goorken" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > I myself had a catastrophic power supply failure on a new power
    > supply. I had just shortly before built (this system) and was playing
    > some game, probibally doom, when there was a pop and my machine went
    > dead as last weeks fried fish,like it was wired for maximum smoke, on
    > a sunday no less, thank gawd for warranty info,
    >
    > Rockster
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 16:11:22 -0500, "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
    > >

    >
     
    MF, Mar 6, 2005
    #13
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