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Brand new PSU has blown up


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#1
tomdrayson

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I just installed a brand new PSU bought from PC World (UK). I turned the switch on at the back of the PSU (not the power button at the front of my computer) and it just blew up - a massive spark, and a bang, and all the power went out in my house.
Obviously the PSU is dead, but I replaced it with another one from a working system (and I have also replaced the plug, because it's probably fused) and my PC won't turn on at all.
What the heck just happened? And more importantly, what damage has it done? The motherboard must to be dead, I hope that's all. My system had a Pentium 3.8GHz, 2x1GB RAM sticks, a 300GB & a 400GB HDD, and a Radeon X800 Pro - at a total cost of A LOT - could any of these be damaged?
I am very worried!

Thanks

Edited by tomdrayson, 14 July 2006 - 04:31 PM.

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#2
tomdrayson

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Ignore this post

Edited by tomdrayson, 14 July 2006 - 04:30 PM.

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#3
Neil Jones

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You did check the voltage setting on the back of the power supply before you plugged it in and pressed the switch? Quite a few PSUs are set to 110v instead of 230v (usually because they're imported, although people do like to play) and, well, one can guess what happens to the components when you feed it twice as much voltage as it was expecting...

When a PSU goes bang like this, it usually sends a huge surge down all the cables, so in theory anything that was plugged in at the time (board, drives and maybe graphics card) could have been wiped out.

As you now have no POST at all, strip the system down and take out the graphics card to see if it beeps at you (assuming the board doesn't have onboard graphics). Leave that out, remove the memory. Unplug everything else off the board (USB, front panel audio, front panel, IDE, SATA, etc) and use a screwdriver to short the front panel connector to get it to come on.

If you're now running it with absolutely nothing else plugged into the main board via the power supply connectors (remember the 4-pin 12v connector, the absence of which can also cause a computer not to POST) then one can say it is the board or the processor that's blown. Either way they can be replaced, but not unheard of for both of them to have been taken out together. Best to try the processor in another board that you know works. You'll know immediately whether the board or processor has gone in your machine.
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#4
tomdrayson

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Oh dear, you were right, there is a small switch on the PSU with the set voltage embossed either side of the switch (the voltage you are NOT using is hidden - if you see what I mean). And it was set to 110. It is difficult to read, and I would have thought it would be set to the correct voltage for the country it was being sold in - obviously not. What a stupid mistake. And infuriating at that.
I will resume testing tomorrow.
Thanks for your suggestions Neil
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#5
tomdrayson

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The motherboard is fried, I've bought a new one, but if I remember correctly, you can't replace the motherboard and continue with the same Windows installation, is that right?
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#6
Crater

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No you can't. Gotta whipe it for the new BIOS settings.

I have heard though that you can if you get the exact same model of motherboard? But thats an unsure thing there.
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#7
warriorscot

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If nothing has changed you replaced one board with another identical one then you can get away with it, if you switched it for something similar you might get away with just a repair install, if its a big change then you really need to reinstall.
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#8
Neil Jones

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The motherboard is fried, I've bought a new one, but if I remember correctly, you can't replace the motherboard and continue with the same Windows installation, is that right?


If you buy the exact same motherboard, yes you can. Windows will need reactivating though, but that's about it.

If you buy a new motherboard that has the same chipset as your current one then in theory it should still boot straight up, find a whole bunch of new devices, install the lot and want reactivation. However this isn't always the case.

However in other cases, a simple Windows repair off the XP CD is needed, otherwise it will just refuse to play with the new board.
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