Skip to comments.Q: about possible power surge or outage & how my computer reacted ( vanity )
Posted on 06/20/2011 6:49:37 PM PDT by sushiman
Last night , during a distant thunder and lightning storm , we either lost power for a split second ( all lights in my room were off ) , or there was a minor surge of power . What happened was the computer shut down ( I was watching a DVD ) - black screen and no audio , but the on/off switch was still green , and the fans were spinning at supersonic speed - meaning the PC was still on ! The only way I could get the computer back on fully was to re-boot . Has anyone heard of this sort of thing happening ? It know it doesn't make sense but this is what happened . Any thoughts , comments appreciated .
Looks normal to me. That’s why I have a UPS. APC seems to be a good brand.
Sometimes, after a power interruption, the system board and the power supply don’t sync up properly.
You should get a UPS. Even a low-end APC should be sufficient.
Only all the time.
I bought a UPS years ago (and buy a new one every 4 years or so).
You are VERY lucky you didn’t get your PC fried by the surge.
Well, okay, completely shutting down would be more normal.
Desktops I’ve had in the past just completely shut off which is why I am baffled . This desktop is just over a year old BTW .
Dittos to the UPS advice. All you need is enough back-up power to allow you to do a graceful shutdown when the power goes out.
Kind of off topic, but several years ago, we had a weird power blip where the lights dimmed - but the flourescents went off and wouldn’t restart....it was called a “brownout”. It fried our fridge, and the power company bought us a brand new one.
Do you guys shut the backup off (like I do) when you're doing a total shutdown for a day or a month?
I ask, because just last week I got the indicator that the backup cell was near death, so I spent the 50 bucks for a new one.
+1 on the UPS. It doubles as a surge supressor, and will keep your computer on long enough to shut it down orderly if you lose power.
We have a hard and fast rule in our house that at the first sign of a thunderstorm the computer gets turned off, and the DSL modem gets unplugged from the phone line.
Back in the dial-up days, my sister in law must have gone through a dozen modem cards because she refused to unplug the phone line during storms.
I always leave the UPS on.
I leave it on.
Thanks guys.....I’m changing procedure beginning now.
the reasoning I got into the habit of total shutoff was that turning off my APC also easily shut off the monitor....
I have a UPS that holds things together until the 20Kw generator kicks in.
If the power for part of the computer drops below where it could run but the rest of the computer stays up strange things can happen. For example if the memory loses power but the CPU's doesn't drop low enough to force it to reset you will continue running with corrupted memory. If I don't have the computer on a UPS, when the power drops enough to make the lights flicker I'll reboot just in case.
Power surges can do strange things.
After a power surge about a year ago, I was unable to turn on my PC at all. Hubby took it to the computer shop; it turned out the video card was fried. I’d always had Nvidia... now I have Radeon... I see no difference whatsoever.
Thanks to all for the replies . The computer is , thankfully , working fine , and I will look into some sort of surge protector . Here in the mountains of Kumamoto , we get a ton of thunder & lightning storms during the year , and often experience outages and once in a while a surge or spike . Last summer our cable internet modem got fried .
I would go for the UPS. They're not that expensive.
Surge protectors are funny things. They mostly work by shunting power spikes to ground. So now the spike is on your ground wire. Not really a good thing.
Look into a surge suppressor to cover your entire house. They’re cheap enough (considering the possible/likely) damage. Probably still under $100.
It’s the size of a circuit breaker and is installed in the circuit breaker box.
Talk to someone at an electrical supply company about them.
Once you’ve had a power surge, replace your surge protectors. They don’t work well once they’ve stopped a big power surge.
Actually, we have been having short power outages outside Houston. Sometimes I have to reboot to reconnect to the Internet and sometimes not. Twice, I had to remove the battery and unplug the computer to get it to reboot. Pain in the you know what!
My HP - just a year old - never shut down completely . As I said , the on/off switch was still green , and the fans were running super fast for some reason . Hence , my reboot .
If power is lost, a function inside a PSU must tell the power controller. Power controller then stops the CPU. And powers off PSU. Your machine did not. For example, if the supply was purchased only using dollar and watts, then the function that informs a power controller may be defective or not even exist. They are selling that supply to computer assemblers who never learned how a computer works.
Once power returned less than a second later, power controller could not restart (reboot) the CPU. So a CPU could not throttle down fans; could not execute.
Your failure can be explained by above or by other reasons. But everyone implies hardware defective when purchased.
Brownouts and blackouts are not surges. Many only know from the junk science provided by advertising. Therefore many assume a blackout is also a surge. A near zero voltage also a massive voltage? Never was. But advertising is sufficient to be an expert.
Same applies to the UPS. It does not protect from surges. Does not even claim to protect from surges. See its specification numbers. But a UPS is recommended for surge protection only because power went off.
Brownouts can be harmful to motorized appliances - as one demonstrated. Same brownouts are ideal power to all electronics. Or electronics do a simple and normal power off. But if your power supply fails to inform its power controller of that brownout, then your computer stops working. And will not be rebooted by the controller when power is restored.