US desktop PC, loud bang when plugged in in the UK. Damage?

  Bobbyejones 15:04 15 Aug 2011

Hi There

I foolishly plugged in our HP Pavilion Desktop PC, that we bought in America, into our new home in the UK. Before I had a chance to press the power button a loud bang went off and smoke came out. The smoke smelt similar to the smell of a cap gun.

I was just wondering what has happened, whether it was the PSU / Fuse etc and whether this means the rest of the hardware inside has been fried.

If anyone has any idea how to fix this with a rough Idea on prices and if it is a take in to a store job or a DIY fix.

Thank you in advance

  spuds 15:19 15 Aug 2011

I think the first thing you need to do, is open the case and see if anything looks a little fried. By your description there could well be some evidence of something like this. Then come back to the forum for more advice.

Only open the case if you think that you a qualified to check the components inside, and make sure there is no power lead plug in the mains socket.

Also check to see if there are any labels regarding input voltage, 110v or 220v or adjustment for both?.

  northumbria61 15:22 15 Aug 2011

Different voltage ?

  Bobbyejones 15:23 15 Aug 2011

On the back of the case it reads

AC input 50/60hz 100-127V - 6.0A 200-240V - 3.0A

Also underneath the powercable socket on the back there is a red bar that can be slid from 230 to 115. If that is relevant.

  birdface 15:32 15 Aug 2011

Maybe you just blew the Fuse in the plug.

  Nontek 16:05 15 Aug 2011

there is a red bar that can be slid from 230 to 115. If that is relevant.

YES, very relevant! You should have changed that to the 230v Setting BEFORE plugging it in.

With luck it might only be the PSU blown, and will need to be replaced, not repaired!

  spuds 16:06 15 Aug 2011

Was it set on 230v for the UK power system. If the slider was set on 115v then that could be one of the problems. In which case it could be a fuse, and you might be lucky if ones in the circuit. Normally though you wouldn't have a smell you have described from just a blown fuse.

PSU's normally or should have a protection cut-out device, which again wouldn't activate, leaving a smell. Perhaps worth opening the case or checking for signs of burning?.

  Nontek 16:07 15 Aug 2011

Or, as buteman says - might only be the fuse in the wall-plug.

  Bobbyejones 16:49 15 Aug 2011

I've opened the case now and everything seems fine, no black or obvious signs of burning. Smell is still evident in the PSU.

So you guys reckon it could just be the PSU? Any ideas on the cost of one of those, I doubt I would be able to install it myself so I would have to take it into a store surely ?

  spuds 16:59 15 Aug 2011

PSU's are easy to obtain and fit (usually 4 screws). Price would depend on what you decide to buy, but I buy them for about £14.00 upwards delivered. Check or for price estimates.

If you buy from the local computer shop, they might fit for free (10/15 minute job). PC World would also supply and fit, perhaps while you wait, but they might charge a little extra.

  Diemmess 17:09 15 Aug 2011

You would be wise to take the tower in to a reliable repair shop. Probably the tower only, no need for keyboard, monitor and so on

They would be able to match the ruined Power Supply Unit, replace it and check there is no other damage. The cost of the new PSU is likely to be roughly from £20 and upwards, plus of course the repairer's time which could easily be the most expensive item.

If you would dare to do the replacement yourself it is very easy and lots of help available here, but DO make sure you have a new PSU which is compatible.

Physical size and correct plugs and wires must match, but power (wattage) should be at least that of the dud one.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts