Why did the lights go out?

  Ian in Northampton 16:24 01 Jan 2014

OK, first question of two... Overnight, my son's PC died. Just wouldn't switch on this morning. Eliminating the bleeding obvious first (a blown fuse in the plug) I plugged it in using a spare kettle lead. There was an interesting flash at the socket, and the kettle lead died... Undeterred, I tried (probably stupidly) a different kettle lead. This time, I plunged the house into darkness - a main fuse had tripped. I'm assuming that, somehow, the power supply has developed some sort of bad fault, and needs replacing (and hopefully it hasn't taken the mobo with it). Anyone have any comments?

  wee eddie 16:53 01 Jan 2014

Did you not think of putting in a new Fuse.

You, almost certainly, have a "Short Circuit" somewhere. Open the side of the PC and see if you can see any burn marks where the flash occurred. There is probably a loose wire that is touching some other part of the PC, or some faulty insulation

  onthelimit1 17:29 01 Jan 2014

Must be a short in the primary coil of the PSU transformer. East enough to stick a new PSU in.

  wee eddie 18:41 01 Jan 2014

If you are blowing 13Amp fuses and the flash was at the socket.

Which socket was the flash at, where the cable joins the PC or the Mains Socket.

If it was the Mains Socket. Try that socket with some "low power" piece of kit to see if the fault lies there. If its still working, you can relax a little!

Never the less, replace the fuse in the "proper" cable, initially with a 5Amp fuse and try a different wall socket. If that blows, try a 13Amp fuse and try again.

If they have both blown, and considering your lack of experience, I would call in one of the local freelance Nerds. It might cost you, but at least you will be unlikely to burn the house down.

  woodchip 19:31 01 Jan 2014

PSU needs replacing, it may have taken out other hardware Motherboard and or CPU hard drive etc.

There are no transformers in Modern PSU's they only work with correct load on them, they are called switching PSU's

  woodchip 19:32 01 Jan 2014

PS do not take the PSU in bits there are still high volts in hardware even when turned off, enough to kill

  bumpkin 19:45 01 Jan 2014

As suggested, try something else in the wall socket if that is where the flash ocurred. Probably not the wall socket but let's eliminate that possibility first. If it is not the socket then you have a serious fault with you PSU and need to replace it, do not try it again using a 13A fuse it should not blow a 3A.

  Ian in Northampton 20:46 01 Jan 2014

Thanks guys. wee eddie: the flash was at the socket. In fact, it's a 4-way adapter, but everything else plugged in works fine. "considering your lack of experience" is a tad unfair: I know my way around PCs as well as many on this site, altho' I'm less proficient with hardware than software. Not sure how you formed that opinion? I'm not up for replacing the PSU myself, tho', so will indeed seek the help of a local nerd.

woodchip: good advice... :-)

bumpkin: see above. It's not the socket that's at fault. I'm intrigued to know what kind of fault can occur 'overnight' with a PSU, though, that would have such a devastating effect...

  bumpkin 21:29 01 Jan 2014

Seems like the PSU then, really is easy to replace in a desktop and not expensive.

  bumpkin 21:40 01 Jan 2014

"I'm intrigued to know what kind of fault can occur 'overnight' with a PSU, though, that would have such a devastating effect..."

They can fail at any time night or day without a seconds notice, your new years present from the computer god in the sky:-)

  wee eddie 21:55 01 Jan 2014

Ian: I did not intend to disrespect you but, from your description of your actions, I gathered the impression that a 2.1 in Practical Electronics was not the Degree you got at Uni.

When sparks are flying around and fuses being tripped a certain amount of caution is 'de rigeur'.

As has been intimated, it is probably the PSU but, there are a number of other possibilities and, it makes sense to examine all the simple solutions before deciding which one to accept.

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