Within the past 2 months Iv'e had 3 computers Die
And I think they all are dead because the power supply is shot. I can't complain that much because they are indeed all 3 old machines.
A short (I hope) story to consider.
Back in May, I came home to hear all my UPSs beeping (I have a UPS on each computer, my home theater/TV system, even my garage door opener). Yet the house lights were still on! ???
A quick check on the LCD status display panel of my UPS showed the incoming voltage was 143VAC!!!! It should have been ~120VAC. A quick check with my multimeter confirmed, 142.8VAC and the 220VAC outlet in the garage was showing 285.6VAC. Not good - especially for things like air conditioning and refrigerator compressors.
I called the power company, told them I was a technician and what I had found and [happily] and they came right out - like in 15 minutes! The electrician checked the power entering my meter and confirmed what I had reported. This also established the problem was not on my end, but with theirs - thus affecting every home supplied by the common transformer, at least.
They expedited a bucket truck out to check the transformer on the pole. They determined the transformer "tap" was faulty. They had to kill power to the whole neighborhood and move the tap temporarily until they could replace the 30 year old transformer.
They moved to a functional tap and the setting was still a little too "hot" at 258VAC (129VAC single phase). But at least that was a safe level and all the UPS (and I) were happy.
About 2 weeks later they replaced the old transformer with a brand new one and now we are sitting at 120VAC. :)
Had I not had an UPS on my computer I probably would have fired up the computer and with the voltage being that hot, might have put too much strain on the PSU regulator circuits. This could have resulted in several unexplained failures of the electronics in my house (and all the neighbors' houses) too.
The LCD panel made troubleshooting a snap. It also allowed me to easily explain to the power company trouble desk what was going on so they sent someone out so quickly.
Since your 3 computers did not die at the exact same time (suggesting a single but severe power surge or spike), you might check your mains power. A UPS with a LCD display panel is great (and safe) for that. Otherwise, if handy with a multimeter, you can use that. And I recommend every home and every computer user have access to a AC Outlet Tester
to ensure your outlet is properly wired and grounded
. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, (like this one
for the UK) at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Wal-Mart. Use it to test all the outlets in the house and if a fault is shown, have it fixed by a qualified electrician.
It sure could just be a coincidence these failures happened so close together. If only 2 died, that is probably what I would have thought. But 3? ???