Power loss killed my power supply?

March 10, 2009 at 11:21:28
Specs: Windows XP
I probably don't want to hear the answer, but my apt. lost power suddenly (yeah, no ups) and I immediately turned off the surge protector the computer was plugged in to. An hour later power came back on but the computer would not power up. When I remove the plug the battery light on the computer blinks so i know it is at least recognizing that power is getting to it. Holding the power button in for 5 or ten seconds doesn't help, it's dead except for that battery light if I remove the plug.
Is my power supply toast? About 18 months old in a rebuilt E-machine.

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March 10, 2009 at 11:47:43
EMachines are known for lousy cheap PSUs so it is no wonder.

Most power outages are accompanied by a power surge. That may be what did the PSU in. Don't buy an exact replacement. I believe emachines used standard ATX PSUs. Buy a brand name unit of at least equal Wattage rating.

BTW, a UPS may not have helped. Depends on how good the unit is. A good surge protector might be a better choice.

As I already implied, it doesn't take much to kill a Bestec PSU.

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March 10, 2009 at 11:53:46
Thanks! Figured as much, knew what I was getting when I got the machine; my surge protector is about a year old, which if I remember right puts it on about its last legs anyway. Appreciate the PSU advice, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to go the straight replacement route, that confirms it.

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March 10, 2009 at 11:58:31
If a surge protector is subjected to the maximum voltage it is designed to clamp it is then probably ruined and ineffective in the future as a surge protector. I have read that in the manufacturer's literature at some point so take it for what it is worth.

Try newegg.com for a new PSU. Newegg sells in the USA and have a Canadian site.

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March 10, 2009 at 12:15:25
"When I remove the plug the battery light on the computer blinks"

If you have a desktop computer you don't have a battery led.
You may have an led for a network adapter that still blinks when it is still connected to a router or a modem.

If you DO have a laptop, the mboard or something connected to it is probably damaged.

"Is my power supply toast? About 18 months old in a rebuilt E-machine."

I'm assuming that indicates you have a desktop computer.

If the power failure was caused by a lightning strike, that can do damage even if you are using anti-surge/power spike protection.
By the way, you have to haveEVERYTHING that connects to your computer using such protection - including everything that plugs into AC that plugs into the computer, directly or via a power adapter,AND the cable that connects to the internet, because you can get power surges or spikesfrom ANY of those sources.
If it still has a BESTEC PS, which often comes in emachines cases, it's even more likely.

If it is a BESTEC PS
- there was a successful class action suit in the US against emachines because of problems caused mostly by these PSs
- they have reputation for failing more often than average, and they are also more likely than most PSs to damage something else while failing , often the mboard
- I recommend you DO NOT try to use the computer until the PS fails completely if it hasn't already done so - in that case, the mboard may still be okay now, but it might not be if you do that
- DO NOT replace it with another BESTEC PS!
In most cases you can use any decent standard sized ATX PS that has the same wattage capacity or greater. If you are still using the emachines case, if you tell me the emachines model number I can comfirm that.

Failing power supplies are common and can cause your symptoms.
Check your PS.
They often partially work, fans and hard drives may spin, leds may come on, yet you get no video and the mboard will not boot all the way.
See response 4 in this:

Try a known working PS with this mboard if you can, rather than taking a chance and buying one new, because if the mboard has been damaged the system will STILL not boot.
You can buy used emachines mboards on the web - there's usually nothing wrong with the other components - but you may want to get or build another system instead that may already have a PS.

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March 10, 2009 at 12:46:37
"If a surge protector is subjected to the maximum voltage it is designed to clamp it is then probably ruined and ineffective in the future as a surge protector."

It won't necessarily protect you from damage caused by a lightning strike near you, or on the power grid close enough to you, or on the grid your internet connection cable is connected to. The only sure thing in that situation is to unplug everything that connects to AC that plugs into your computer, and the cable that connects you to the internet.

Better surge protectors have an led that lights up to indicate whether the protection is still working, and have a warranty against damage caused when the protector failed to do it's job, and a few - e.g. Tripplite - will replace the protector free if it failed to protect you or if an led indicates the protection is no longer working.

Any warranty against damage caused is only really useful as a probable indication the quality of the product is good enough they're willing to offer it. You have to have abide by all the qualifications........
- EVERYTHING connected to the computer must be protected
- if you use more than one device, probably all of them have to be the same brand
- if there is any extension cord between the device and the wall, and probably between any device plugged into the protection device and a device, the warranty is void.
- there is a time limit within which you must submit a claim
- you have to send the protection device(s) and anything damaged you want to make a claim for to some place at your own shipping expense, or have them examined by someone locally that they accept as qualified, in order to actually get the money to for what was damaged.

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March 10, 2009 at 22:58:28
Be prepared to replace the motherboard as well because Bestec failures usually have already killed the motherboard if the system is totally dead. The CPU, RAM and all other components are usually not affected.

WinSimple Software

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