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Posted on 1999-01-03
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I was installing a tape drive.  Things weren't going well.  I had shut computer off about 5-10 times, but on last time I didn't.  Iunfortunately touched one of the power cabels to metal, saw spark and since then computer does nothing.  Am I scr...
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Question by:markh88
9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:kayton
ID: 1132404
Sometimes you get lucky and just the power supply gets cooked.  Try replacing just the power supply and cross your fingers!  
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1132405
The power supplys in PCs are usually short circuit tolerant.  Generally it will just shut down without damaging anything.
I presume you have disconnected it from the electrical power source by now.........?
If not, maybe it will reset itself when you do.
If it's gone, they're not too expensive. ($20-$30)
Good luck
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:Stevie_emwsys
ID: 1132406
Look to see if there is an internal fuse in the PSU that has just bit the big one before you look at new PSUs'.
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Author Comment

by:markh88
ID: 1132407
Thanks for all your help.  I went to office this morning, and decided to take one more try at turning machine on.  I got lucky, it worked!

Is it possible that the power supply had a certain amount of time before it resets?

Anyway it appears that the problem is solved.  A lesson learned, shut off machine before making any adjustments.

markh88
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by:rmarotta
ID: 1132408
Was that the first time it was switched on since the sparks?
Ralph
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Author Comment

by:markh88
ID: 1132409
Ralph,

I turned it on multiple times that night, but it did nothing.  It did work the first time I turned it on the next morning.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1132410
Hmmmmm,
You might get lucky and not have any further problems.
I suggest you backup anything important that you may want to keep though, just in case......
Did you get your tape drive working okay?
Ralph
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Accepted Solution

by:
ZenMaster earned 400 total points
ID: 1132411
(This is an answer to what happened; if it's not the answer you are looking for, reject it...)

What happened is that you didn't 'fry' your supply (thankfully, yourself either!), but there are capacitors in the power supply.  They store charges and dispense them when they reach a certain charge.  If they get a jolt, like from the spark you saw, they won't take a charge for a while.  They do reset after a rest period, though...  (I'm not an electrician, but I had this happen to me some time ago, and an electrician explained it to me this way).
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1132412
Actually, that "answer" is not very accurate.
Capacitors do store voltage, but that voltage leaks off when power is removed.
The PC's power supply has capacitors in it, but a capacitor would be discharged when shorted. (returning it to the state it was in before power is applied to it)
I don't think anyone can definitely "answer" why it went to work without examining the computer.

Ralph
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