Can ESD kill a PSU?

  Lucy_A 14:35 27 Sep 2003

Hi People,

to settle an urgument with some friends, can ESD cause a power supply to stop functioning permanently?

My side of the argument is that esd could kill almost any other component in a PC and render the machine inoperable but i dont think it can destroy the actual power supply?

any thoughts on this?

  Smiler 14:39 27 Sep 2003

Excuse my ignorance but what is ESD???????

  Lucy_A 14:40 27 Sep 2003

esd is electro-static damage

  Lucy_A 14:42 27 Sep 2003

lol i meant to say electro static discharge
im still half asleep

  -pops- 14:42 27 Sep 2003

ElectroStatic Discharge.

With the modern switching power supplies which rely on static sensitive semiconductors rather than the old transformer/rectifier systems, I would think it quite possible that damage could be caused in that way.

  Smiler 14:44 27 Sep 2003

Thanks for the explanation but being a silver surfer I'm more used to using words than acronims.

  Smiler 14:46 27 Sep 2003

Sorry acronyms

  Lucy_A 14:48 27 Sep 2003

if it was esd that caused the hypothetical pc to cease functioning would it be likey if every major component of the pc was dead

or would a more likely cause for that have been the power supply failing catastrophically and taking out the other components with a large voltages?

  -pops- 14:57 27 Sep 2003

PSU failure with over-voltage causing catastrophic destruction of the other machine components is known.

I have been told of a failure situation where the 12V was applied to the 3V circuitry resulting in the destruction of all semiconductors on the motherboard, including the CPU.

It is not only very high voltages that can take out semiconductors. Lower voltages at high current can equally cause failure.

  Lucy_A 15:05 27 Sep 2003

yes i myself have seen power supplies take out most of a PCs components

but i spose the what im really asking is -"is it likely that a single incident of ESD can render all the parts of a pc inoperable" meaning is it likely that this can result in all the drives ceasing to function along with memory cpu and the power supply?

  -pops- 15:14 27 Sep 2003

I would say yes, but unlikely.

Assuming we not not considering lightning strikes but just, say, friction static, one destroyed device may then malfunction in a different way (overcurrent, overvoltage) and the sequence than prograss like that. The initiating destroyed semiconductor could be anywhere in the system.

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