Stinky computer!


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Old 10-23-08, 03:54 PM
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Stinky computer!

I came home from work today and my computer is stinking, like a burnt plastic smell- kind of like when a transformer on a florescent light goes out. It also restarted itself at some point in time.

Does this sound like the power supply is going out? Thanks for the input.
 
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Old 10-23-08, 04:51 PM
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Well, just to update the situation... the computer died. I took it apart and opened up the power supply and it does indeed seem fried. There's a bit of black soot and crusty black wires next to a pair of tall cylindrical resistors or something.

So I'm guessing I'll just pick up a used power supply from someplace and replace it. Thanks anyway- seems like I can handle this one even though I don't know much this shouldn't be too hard.
 
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Old 10-23-08, 05:30 PM
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looks like you answered your own question, but yes you need a new power supply. they aren't that expensive, see if you can find one with a dual cooling fan they tend to last longer.

life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies
 
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Old 10-23-08, 08:25 PM
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Good tip, thanks Speedwrench! Beer 4U2
 
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Old 10-24-08, 03:38 AM
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There is a reason why the PS failed. The most common cause is dirt clogging the built-in fan in the power supply, but sometimes it's due to too much current somewhere down the line.

Take a close look at the power connector where it joins the motherboard. You may have worse problems if you see discoloration there. Also, make sure the CPU fan, RAM fan (if you have one) and any box fans are all operating properly.
 
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Old 10-26-08, 02:12 AM
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Now that I think about it, I have a sneaky suspicious that I shouldn't have plugged a tiny space heater into the power supply. DOH! I never put two and two together until the other day, but that's too much of a coincidence. It was only on for an hour or so, but I bet it was enough to damage the electronics. Never thought about how much the power supply was rated for and how much current the little fan runs on. The PS went out a day or two later.
 
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Old 10-26-08, 07:26 AM
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Almost every electrical device has a sticker or label near the power connections that tell you how much power the device draws, in watts. Always check the labels before you plug something in.

You'll be surprised at just how much power that little space heater draws.

Power strips are one of the things that are easily overloaded. They are commonly rated in amps, not watts. To convert amps to watts, multiply the amp rating by the voltage. A 15-amp power supply on a 120-volt circuit can handle 1800 watts. However, it's never a good idea to continuously load any power circuit to its capacity. To provide some built-in headroom, multiply total capacity in watts times 80% = 1440.
 
 

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