View Full Version : HELP!!! "Pop!" Goes my computer!

22-08-2004, 21:36:37
I keep my PC unplugged in the back to avoid having my boys pushing the "on" button repeatedly.

I went to plug it in (the female end into the male tower plugs) and there was a very disconcerting pop/snap! sound and the smell of burnt something or other.

I am hoping that at the worst this was the power processor or a fuse or something that can be replaced without undue expense or injury to what is on the hard drive......?
Anyone have any ideas? Or did about a grand just go up in smoke, along with everything on my PC?

I'd like to take it in (if it turns out it wasn't just the cord or something...which I haven't been able to establish as I have just the one) but I want to make sure I sound like I have an inkling of what the problem is, in case they think they can gouge me for a bunch of unnecessary repairs.

Should I take the cover off and look (long past warranty) for something I can fix, or is this going to be complicated?

Any advice greatly appreciated...luckily my folks just upgraded so I'll take their ancient tower home and use it in the interim.

22-08-2004, 21:54:47
How much experience with computer innards do you have?

I'd take the cover off and try plugging it in using the power cord from your parent's old machine. If it powers up- look quickly at and listen for the fans, first at the fan on the processor. If that fan isn't running then turn off the computer right away.

It could be a problem as simple as a fan or maybe the powersupply. Your hard drive is probably okay. How much things will cost depends...is this a Compac or HP?

22-08-2004, 21:56:54
I'll have to go get another cord...they have their old cord on the new PC.

22-08-2004, 21:58:12
I've taken covers off to add memory, BTW.

22-08-2004, 22:01:49
Something blew.

If it's under warranty, call HP and see what they can do for you.

Otherwise, take it to a local shop so they can figure out what went boom.

22-08-2004, 22:02:59
In my recent case, a faulty capacitor on the motherboard blew, destroying my motherboard, CPU, and video card.

All were replaced for free under warranty.

22-08-2004, 22:03:51
I have several, too bad you aren't closer.

Even easier, try your cord on their old machine before you go buy a new one

22-08-2004, 22:09:20
Yes...will do...
Are there replaceable fuses in PC towers? If it's that simple, I could do it myself...

22-08-2004, 22:20:53
On a similar note there was a lightning storm the other day and lightning seemed to go off just above our house. The windows shook and my monitor turned itself off. I could smell that hot plastic electricity smell coming from my PC immediately afterwards. Oddly it seems to work fine now.

I wonder how long it will last.

Sir Penguin
22-08-2004, 22:22:10
No, there aren't fuses. If you're lucky, it might just be the power supply, which will only cost you $50.

What you could do is open up the computer, aim a bright light inside it, gather the family, and spend an hour looking for charred pits in the circuit boards and electric components. Open up the power supply and do the same thing, just don't let the kids poke their fingers around in it. Hopefully, there will be a broken circuit in the power supply.


23-08-2004, 00:38:54
I assume the power supply should/would be whatever unit is directly attached to the plug inset?

I'm using my folk's PC at my house now...I'm already resigning myself to having it as a long term replacement if need be...it's about half the PC my other one was, unfortunately.

23-08-2004, 00:41:30
Yup, the metal box with the power cord going in, all the pretty colored wires coming out and with warning signs on it.

Sir Penguin
23-08-2004, 02:18:25
Don't worry about the warning signs, they're just there so that the company won't be responsible if you electrocute yourself.


23-08-2004, 02:49:32
There was a "capacitor scandal" a couple years back, where somebody stole an incomplete formula from a Japanese capacitor maker. The stolen capacitors went into motherboards from a few companies, and when people began to compare notes, a gag was put on the website listing the faulty boards.

As for power supplies, I'm thinking of becoming an Antec pitch man. :)

23-08-2004, 13:08:06
Yeah but depending on his HP model he may have to use one of theirs to fit.

23-08-2004, 13:16:55

I suppose this means no CM turns for awhile.

23-08-2004, 15:47:24
Yes, unfortunately...my temp pc is a Gateway vintage model with 4Gig memory and a 266 processor...it can barely run itself, let alone anything else.

23-08-2004, 15:48:16
I'm bringing mine to my dad and he's going to take it to the repair shop for me...and maybe I'll get lucky and he'll pick up the tab, too.
:) Could be a week or so...sorry!

23-08-2004, 15:50:06
I'm winning that badly, huh? Got to fake a hardware problem.

23-08-2004, 16:04:20
what ever SP says I wouldnt recommend dismantling the powersupply.

If the power supply isnt providing power its fucked and taking it apart wont help as its not fixable. If it is supplying power the problem is elsewhere.

When you turn it on does anything happen at all? HDs spin up? Fans turn on? any little blinky lights?

Another thing to check is the powersupply fan - if thats not turning the supply is probably blown.

23-08-2004, 16:53:29
OK...opened it up here at work with a painter who knows computers. No visible scorching anywhere (yay!). We did notice that I had probably disconnected my processor fan last time I added memory, which has most likely slowed down performance.

I'm going to call Compusa and see if they have an equivalent power supply. If so, I'll add it myself and see if that was the probelm.

It is completely dead...nothing happens when you plug it in.

23-08-2004, 17:08:52
You disconnnected the processor fan? Shit... you're lucky it worked at all!

23-08-2004, 17:28:00
He's been wondering what the orange glow through the grill was.

23-08-2004, 19:50:46
well at least it would have kept his room warm

23-08-2004, 21:18:14
Yeah...I'll look at the silver lining and assume that $40 (power supply plus shipping from surplus web site) is a godsend in that it helped me discover bad fan connection, thus probably saving me the whole kit and kaboodle.