Causes of Power Supply short circuiting

I have a custom built system and everything was working fine for a few months. Recently, I turned the system on, I heard two quick beeps and then saw sparks fly out of the back of the power supply.

I dismantled the entire system and rebuilt it from scratch with a new power supply.  I got the system to boot and I could even get into the bios (after resetting CMOS) but the machine wouldn’t boot into windows. The power supply blew again.

This was a very cheap PS, a Kyoto 420 W, but I didn’t want to risk putting a good one in and having that blow again.  The original power supply was the one that came with the case, again probably not a very good one, but it did last a few months

Here are some quick specs:

MOBO: Intel D845PEBT2
Socket 478 with 3.02 GHZ P4
Thermal Take Copper CPU fan TR2-M12
512 K DDR 266 SDRAM
SATA 200 GB Maxtor drive
Pioneer DVR 106 drive

Any ideas?
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J-A-LConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The power supply normally won't short circuit unless certain components inside fail.  Typically capacitors in the power supplies tend to dry up then arc, and short and or explode... causing other PC components to potentially die along with it.  The constant heat stress on lower quality parts can do this.

It's worth the money to buy a quality power supply with over-voltage and current protection to protect all your other components... like an Antec neopower 480W for example.

You may need to investigate the power "quality" at your location. This sounds like there may be problems with surges or a severe case of harmonics on your mains supply. A surge protector may be called for, perhaps even an UPS.
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