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This is a discussion on No luck with computers lately..... within the RAM and Power Supply Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Within the past 2 months Iv'e had 3 computers Die And I think they all are dead because the power


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Old 11-02-2017, 07:24 AM   #1
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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.

My very old Dell Dimension 4700 I have another sitting around. So just for the heck of it I'm going to swap the power supply and see what happens.

2 Dell computers and one Gateway all the same problem. I guess its just wear and tear. Thank god for these Dell Optiplexs. They seem to go forever ;-)

The gateway at least had a triple core processor. It ran pretty good for being old for a while there.....
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:58 PM   #2
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It could also be a dirty power grid in your area. You could use a backup battery or a surge protector to help against bad power to the system.
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Old 11-03-2017, 04:50 AM   #3
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Check the motherboards and power supplies for domed electrolytic capacitors .. these are the first things to fail in computers and the more the PC is used the more chance that capacitors will die. They either overheat or lose their ability t hold charge resulting in ultimate failure. Even if they are not domed there is every reason to try replacing the capacitors with new of the same capacity & voltage. They are usually fairly cheap although quite often a PITA to remove and replace.
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
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? ???
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thank You all for your input. I'm starting to believe I lost all 3 because of that "area" socket I had it plugged into. I have since moved my computers to a separate room and am having no problems. I did switch the Dell dimension 4700 power supply with my other Dell Dimension 477 and it still would not work ;-( Down the line I may pick up a few power supplies and play around with them. We will see though because they are so old. Probably better off just buying at least Dell optiplexs for like 50 bucks lol

Thanks again. Was a strange period of time for me. Thank god they were 3 old machines.....whew...

Well the one Dell optiplex 745 I did replace the power supply and it fired right up.... The other 2 no such luck ;-(
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:44 AM   #6
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I still recommend the use a "good" UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulator) on all your computers. Understand backup power during a full power outage is just a minor bonus feature. The biggest advantage to a "good" UPS with AVR is the voltage regulation.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for that link Bill, I have been looking for one of those....and your story is terrific, I had that exact thing happen at a business 3 years ago.
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:58 PM   #8
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ok will do! Thank You! Yeah having 3 computers "even though they were old" all die within one week really sucks ;-(
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