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Solved Computer power supply went bang.......

February 16, 2013 at 22:11:41
Specs: Windows 7

I flicked the small red slide switch above the power cord at the back of the computer. Spose I've blown the power supply up now.

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✔ Best Answer
February 17, 2013 at 21:55:59

If the computer does not ever work again, you MAY be able to get the pictures IF the hard drive itself was not damaged. You can do this by removing the hard drive and either installing it as a second hard drive on another computer, or purchasing an external hard drive case, putting it in there, and plugging it in via a USB port. You will have to see if it is a SATA or PATA (IDE) drive in order to know which case to purchase or if it will be usable in some newer computers (without IDE channels).
The only way to know if the computer can work again, probably would be to replace the power supply. If there was another problem already and it is really old, this may not pay to spend the money on, especially if you may need to pay for someone to do the testing and/or repair. If you like a project and do not mind spending the time and some money and can do it yourself, it may be a good learning experience.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
February 16, 2013 at 23:41:15

Possibly. It might just be the power supply fuse. Hopefully you didn't damage the motherboard or any peripherals.

When governments outlaw guns only outlaw governments will have guns


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#2
February 17, 2013 at 03:01:12

Hi Karen, I would think the small red (slide?) switch you refer to, is for selecting the psu's input voltage, either 110 or 220 volts.

As Dave above suggests, you may be lucky and have only blown the psu fuse.

Generally this is accessible from inside the psu.

Please advise back on progress.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#3
February 17, 2013 at 04:48:24

Not every computer has this red switch - we need the make and model number.

Is this switch marked, if not its purpose should be in your computer manual?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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Related Solutions

#4
February 17, 2013 at 06:13:41

It does sound like the 110Volt/220Volt selector switch that you slid. Logically, if you are in the USA (110/120Volts) then putting it on 220Volts would make a lower output if any. If you heard a bang, then a capacitor or other internal component may have been damaged, so if you open it up and look for a replaceable fuse, also look for visible damage like a cylinder that is brown or has an irregular hole in it. If there is visible damage, do not bother looking for the fuse, just replace the power supply. If on the other hand, you live in another country that uses 220Volts as the standard, sliding the selector to 110Volts may also let a brief pulse of higher voltage through to the motherboard and other components before burning itself out. If high voltage did get through under either condition, you may be replacing other things, unfortunately.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
February 17, 2013 at 08:22:17

I guess I will be the one to ask WHY you flipped that red switch?

As fingers noted, if your local power is 230V and you switched it to 115V you effectively doubled all the DC voltages.

You may have damaged more than just the power supply.

Post the model of your computer for advice on weather it is worth fixing.


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#6
February 17, 2013 at 08:52:25

If you effectively doubled the input voltage (UK for example), the switched-mode regulators would attempt to maintain the output voltages at their correct levels. Although I doubt they would actually double, with the input way out of spec they might well rise considerably. In any event just doubling the input voltage in itself could have destroyed something. The bang makes me think that is most likely.

If you effectively halved the input voltage (USA for example) then the current drawn from the supply could have risen, so you might get away with a blown fuse. However, I generally regard "bangs" as a bad sign - it usually implies a more catastrophic event.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#7
February 17, 2013 at 21:06:34

Well thankyou everyone for your advice. I'm going to open it up and take a look tonight, see what the damage is. I only slid the red switch across, cause it wouldn't start up. I have grandchildren running round here sometimes, and thought just maybe one of them might have touched the back of the computer while it was just sitting round waiting for me to get on to it. I should have realized to unplug it anyway before fiddling.
It's a COMPUCON computer, old, but don't know the model. I only want to start it up again to get my pics, music, games off it.
No manual either.

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#8
February 17, 2013 at 21:55:59
✔ Best Answer

If the computer does not ever work again, you MAY be able to get the pictures IF the hard drive itself was not damaged. You can do this by removing the hard drive and either installing it as a second hard drive on another computer, or purchasing an external hard drive case, putting it in there, and plugging it in via a USB port. You will have to see if it is a SATA or PATA (IDE) drive in order to know which case to purchase or if it will be usable in some newer computers (without IDE channels).
The only way to know if the computer can work again, probably would be to replace the power supply. If there was another problem already and it is really old, this may not pay to spend the money on, especially if you may need to pay for someone to do the testing and/or repair. If you like a project and do not mind spending the time and some money and can do it yourself, it may be a good learning experience.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
February 17, 2013 at 22:52:50

I had a look inside the PSU. It's an ST-250GL. It looks to me like a round green component on the circuit board has been damaged.
The lead from the voltage switch that I flicked over originally, connects to it. Sounds like a good idea about the external hard drive case, though I may try to get a cheap old PSU first. If I could see a diagram for this circuit board, maybe I could replace the component (maybe a capacitor), or I may have to just take it out and replace it. I couldn't see any fuse, not sure where to look for that.
Thank you for all the comments and help, really appreciate it xxxxxxx

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#10
February 18, 2013 at 00:07:53

I'm just new to this site, but wanted to say thankyou for your time.

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#11
February 18, 2013 at 04:22:52

You need to be very careful when poking around inside a power supply. The capacitors store voltages for extended periods of time. you can be shocked or worse.

I recommend you not waste the money on another power supply. There is a good chance you damaged the motherboard.

Less likely the hard drive has been damaged.

I suggest you buy something like the adapter in the link below to connect your hard drive via USB to any computer.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...


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#12
February 18, 2013 at 07:54:03

I'm curious - if you come back, what is your domestic power supply voltage (or your country will tell us that)?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#13
February 18, 2013 at 11:44:07

I'm a little surprised that someone competent enough to solder new components in a PSU switches a switch at random without knowing what it does.

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#14
February 18, 2013 at 12:41:24

Everyone has to learn somewhere/some time. Some lessons are just more expensive than others. Hopefully the machine was beyond normal usage anyway and the information on the hard drive is recoverable.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#15
February 18, 2013 at 13:17:33

Just got get a new one.

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#16
February 18, 2013 at 15:25:32

Agreed.
I just threw one out yesterday since the replacement I put in last week solved the problem. It was not an expensive one and was past any possible warranty so once I was certain that it was bad, out it went (it would have gone out in two days, but I was being lazy).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
February 18, 2013 at 22:40:03

Yep, the power supply's going in the bin. I worked in an electronics factory a long time ago, just doing a bit of soldering. And as I was listening to you guys, and checking options on the internet, it all started to come back to me. I have absolutely no excuse for flipping that stupid voltage switch, hmmmm! I'm in Australia by the way, so I switched from 230 - 115. If I can't get a second hand psu, then I'll try pulling the hard drive out to get my info that way. Does anyone know the best, but cheapist place, to pick up an old psu?

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#18
February 19, 2013 at 07:36:11

Thanks for feedback - looks like voltage doubling was the issue.

Can't help with PSU (I'm in UK) and most folk on here are from the USA. Keep watching though, there are folk on these boards from Australia although finding one that is close enough to your vicinity might prove more tricky. Google.au might unearth something.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#19
February 19, 2013 at 07:59:45

I think you are going to waste some cash. I would bet the motherboard is damaged. At the very least, carefully examine the board for and bulging, leaking or otherwise damaged components. Some of the voltages are very low and doubling them for even an instant can damage them. The CPU could also be damaged.

If you still proceed I hope I am wrong.


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#20
February 19, 2013 at 08:16:24

Yep there is plenty of scope for mobo damage - if the main PSU chip shorted it might have even shoved AC through to the DC outputs. Still, you might be one of the lucky ones I guess.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#21
February 19, 2013 at 11:45:38

Hi Karen, if you have a local pc (or electronic) repair shop they probably have a box of second hand psu's..

Or a neighbour may have on old pc in their garage with a psu that fits.

I had not realised you colonials had electricity in the outback! :-)

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#22
February 19, 2013 at 22:59:41

I've chucked the PSU, and taken the HDD out now. It's a Seagate Barracuda Ultra ATA HDD. I'll let you all know how I go with the transfer of info to my laptop, when I accomplish this step.

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#23
February 20, 2013 at 07:07:17

You won't be able to transfer programs of-course but you should get your pictures, documents, videos etc across.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#24
February 20, 2013 at 10:39:28

If you feel this thread has run its course please mark a best answer/ solved.

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#25
February 21, 2013 at 00:07:11

I suggest you buy something like the adapter in the link below to connect your hard drive via USB to any computer. http://www.hqew.net

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#26
February 21, 2013 at 02:36:43

I bought an external HDD 1TB, took it to an IT expert along with my old HDD, and he's gonna transfer what he can. He did a quick test and said it was accessable so that's good news. I didn't opt for the external casing and adaptor, because I was told that once I hooked it up via USB, I wouldn't have been able to understand and access the information the way it used to be, and that it would be a lot of files and computer lingo. So, I gave up, and took it to the experts. What an amazing learning curve I've had, thank you xxx

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#27
February 21, 2013 at 05:39:09

You probably would have been able to figure it out, it is not that difficult, but if they are not charging you too much, it should be an easy safe way to handle it. It is good to hear that the drive appears to be working so you should be able to get your files back. Good luck.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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