06 March 2012

PC goes boom

First life called, so I was taking this weekend off anyway.  Plans of an expensive week, fun in the sun and all that goes with that.

Then my PC went boom.  At first it decided to blow the circuit breaker.  Now it doesn't even do that.

4 years ago (can it be that long?) it was a great PC.  Now it is Ok, but creaks and groans in LFR.  Oh well, off to the PC doctor.  Hopefully the stay will be short and sweet, nothing too terminal.

But that next post with facts and figures might wait just a little longer.  And someone may as well move into my Northrend epic gem & nightmare tear markets while I'm more AFK than I had intended.

4 comments:

  1. Hi, I was reading your blog when I noticed you mentioned that your PC was blowing the circuit breaker?

    I'm currently studying to be an apprentice Electrician, and if your house is wired properly then it is HIGHLY unlikely that your PC alone could trip a circuit breaker. If you could answer a few questions, I might be able to see if your PC is the problem or not.

    1. Have you tried plugging the PC into a different outlet in your home, one that is on a different circuit breaker?

    2. Do you have anything else plugged into an outlet on the same circuit as your PC that uses a lot of power?(A modern TV, for example)

    3. Do any other electrical devices cause the circuit breaker to trip?(Try a few different devices like a TV, hairdryer, or even a friends PC/Laptop)

    4. How old is your home? Do you have any other electrical problems(such as breakers tripping)?

    The average PC does not use a lot of energy, and assuming the circuit breaker isn't overloaded(e.g, 4 Plasma screens running in your Living room at once), your PC should not draw enough power to trip the breaker. There are a few possible problems:

    A. Your PC really did draw to much power(or to be technical, too much current), in which case your computer would probably have suffered severe damage before the breaker would trip(I think PC's have a built in safety device, but I don't know for sure).

    B. Your circuit breaker is ground fault protected, which basically means the circuit will trip if it detects power going somewhere it shouldn't. This could mean something in your PC is loose or malfunctioning, check for nicks and frays on any cords connected to your computer.

    C. Your circuit breaker is Arc-Fault protected(AFCI), which means it has a special device designed to detect short circuits from improper wiring(two nicks in a wire touching, for example). Although it is supposed to only detect bad short circuits, some devices can trick the AFCI into thinking they are a short circuit. This is a common problem with bathroom fans because they generate relatively harmless short circuits from dust build up. Try giving the inside of your computer a cleaning(read up on it if you don't already know how) to remove dust.

    D. There is a problem with the way your house is wired. Most likely you would notice problems with other devices as well.

    If you've already sent your PC to a doctor, then they will probably be able to tell if it was your PC or not. The two biggest killers of a PC(or anything electronic) are dust and vibrations. You said your PC was creaking and groaning during raids, did you mean that your fan was whirling noticeably louder then normal? If that is the case, your CPU is overheating and the fan is having trouble keeping it cool. Most likely your computer is clogged with dust and just needs a simple cleaning.

    Hope you can get back in game soon.

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  2. Wow. Thanks for the advice. This really deserves a post of it's own.

    I am currently renting a room, and I already suspect the wiring is not entirely up to code.

    My PC is already at the doctor, and will be there for a week. I also picked up a video card for an even older PC so I might have a vain hope of running stuff in the meantime.

    Creaking and groaning means roughly 10 fps on Ultraxian LFR. I did have a problem with an exhaust fan earlier, but tweaked it so it no longer was noisy. The CPU and video card fans were fine.

    I changed power sockets and power cable, confirming with other devices that the socket is fine, the cabling is fine, and the PC is dead.

    About 6 months ago I pulled the cover off and attacked it with a vacuum cleaner, but did not open the power supply.

    When I pulled the cover off last night, there was too much dust on the CPU's heatsinks, and an excessive amount of dust inside the power supply itself.

    I went looking for a replaceable fuse, having fixed two different computers that way before (even if it was an Amiga 500 and a 286 - Many WoW players won't ever have seen either of these ancient devices). No luck. I also vacuumed away the worst of the dust.

    I am not entirely without a PC, being a hoarder of second hand junk, with a couple of netbooks as well.

    It is still painful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I feel your pain :)
    Month ago I did rebuild my pc and being not very good with technical things, it took a few days to get everything running. Oh the agony!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Taking care of those nightmare tears for you :D

    ReplyDelete

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