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Can a computer crash CAUSE the power supply to burn out?


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#1
eleanor

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My computer crashed while in Microsoft Registry Checker. I took it to be diagnosed and I was told that while they were trying to run the diagnosis, the computer got real hot and they smelled something burning. They said the power supply may have burnt out. I got a new computer but I took the old one back to get a second opinion. It doesn't start up at all now (probably because the power supply is burnt out!). Since the computer DID have power when I sent it for the diagnosis, and it seems to have come back in worse shape than when I took it in, I asked the manager if they would be willing to replace the power supply at no charge, especially since I forked out about $1000 for the diagnosis and the new computer. They are trying to tell me that the crash was the result of the power supply going bad and the power supply burn out was related to the crash. I am a little suspicious about this. I can understand if the power supply went bad and the computer overheated and THEN it crashed, but this isn't how it happened. The computer was NOT overheating when it crashed, only after I unhooked it, took it for repair and they had it running for diagnosis. Can you advise me on this.
Thanks,
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#2
Kemasa

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The problem is in proving what really happened. It might be that the first crash was because of the power supply and that the power supply was starting to fail and then completely failed, it does happen.

I am not sure of what you mean when you say that the computer got real hot and whether it was just the power supply or the whole machine. That seems strange. There might be a communication issue with respect to the overheating. If they let the machine get too hot, then that could place the blame on them.

When power supplies fail there can be a burning smell as the part is destroyed, but in general it does not heat up the whole machine or anything (the smell of burning resistors in the morning :-).

A power supply is typically fairly cheap, although better power supplies can be more expensive. I would think that they should have a used power supply and should be willing to do something, even if they don't have to, to keep a customer happy, but some businesses don't operate that way.

In summary, I without more information I don't think you can blame them for the failure. It might be that they did something wrong, but it could also just be that it had problems and failed when they had it. If you rented a car and the engine failed when you had it, would you think that you would be responsible for it if you were doing nothing wrong at all? You can expand on that to the mechanic being responsible when you bring a vehicle in with a problem. I know it is hard since you feel that the machine is not in the same condition as when you gave it to them. You might consider replacing the power supply yourself, as a learning experience or find another place to deal with.
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