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Old 12-18-2009, 12:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need help, PSU blew up

Okay, so the 7 year old 300W PSU on my parents custom PC just blew out the other day. The computer had mysteriously turned itself off, so I pressed the power button and got nothing. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, and tried the power button again. That's when she went BOOM! There was a LITTLE bit of smoke, and a bad smell, but I unplugged everything before it got worse. Whew! Not sure why it died -- I've kept the dust blown out of it all these years -- maybe just cause it's been used 12+ hours every day since 2002.

Anyway, I have a newer 250W PSU that I'm going to plug in temporarily just to get some files off their hard drive, but my question is:
Is there a chance that the old PSU might have surged the motherboard or HDD when it blew? And if so, would it be risky to boot the system? (Risky as in starting a fire! )

Would love your input as always!
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

One of the capacitors on the PSU might have blown, I don't think that harmed your board in any way.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

IMO, I would remove the hard drive and try it in another computer first.

At least you can back up data before trying another psu.

I wouldn't use the 250 watt psu just yet...

What are the components of this pc?

It may be worth buying a seasonic 300 or 350 watt off of newegg since, they have longer warranties and are known to be reputable.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

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Originally Posted by Ste View Post
IMO, I would remove the hard drive and try it in another computer first.
At least you can back up data before trying another psu.
I wouldn't use the 250 watt psu just yet...
What are the components of this pc?
It may be worth buying a seasonic 300 or 350 watt off of newegg since, they have longer warranties and are known to be reputable.

How would I get the files off the hard drive after putting it in another computer? Doesn't it have to be formatted before Windows will recognize it? (I've never swapped an already-used hard drive before, so I'm not sure what to do.)



The computer has an IBM mobo (with USB 1.0... so fast! ) 1.5Ghz Pentium 4 CPU, 256mb RAM (8mb for onboard video), 40gb HDD, 1 DVD-ROM, 1 CD-RW that's burned out. There was an 80GB Maxtor HDD in it for awhile, but it went corrupt so I went back to the original 40GB.
The machine is so old and slow, I'm considering building a new one for them with Windows 7. So it may not be worth spending money on a new PSU. (Unless it can also be used when I build the new system.)
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

Yea, I would just build a new PC if you have the money.

a Hard drive that was already in another PC does not have to be formatted.

All you do is plug it in and it should show up as an extra drive within my computer.

You can browse through it, like any other folder so long as its FAT/FAT32 or NTFS.
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

Thanks Ste,

I tried swapping the hard drive with another computer and it worked. I backed up everything then put the hard drive back in the old computer, and fired it up with the new 250W PSU. (Which I found for $5 at Goodwill several years ago, haha!) Everything seems to be okay. That should hold it until I build a new system.

Quick question though: If I have to swap hard drives like that again, and need to reconfigure the jumpers for some reason, (say if I only have a slave position available) will that affect any data on the hard drive?
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Old 12-20-2009, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

Reconfiguring jumpers does not effect data.

And I would suggest replacing the 250 watt PSU soon.

With a more reputable brand, with a longer warranty.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

What brands would you recommend? I've never been PSU shopping before.
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Old 12-20-2009, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

There is a power supply guide linked in my signature.

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Old 12-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help, PSU blew up

I must be blind, lol!

Thank you so much.
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