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Old 13.08.2007, 10:24
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Did we fry our desktop computer?

Hi all,
My husband and I were attempting to connect our PC (computer from the U.S.). Before setting it up, we carefully checked the switch on the back, and flipped it to 240. We then plugged the computer into a universal power strip (though I don't think it's a surge protector), along with a lamp, telephone, and fan.

Before we had a chance to connect the monitor or other components, or even turn on the computer, the lights went out. We quickly unplugged the power strip from the wall and prayed to the computer gods that we had not fried the computer. My husband said he heard a "click", but we're not sure if it was in the wall, the computer, or the power strip. I flipped the switch in the circuit box and the lights came back on, so everything seemed to be ok otherwise.

From the sounds of it, is it likely we've fried the computer, or is it possible we just had too much plugged into the power strip? I'm hoping it's the latter!

We thought we were doing everything right by switching the computer to 240, but blowing the circuit put a scare into us. Before attempting again, should we get a transformer for the computer?

Thanks for the advice -
ejml
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:31
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

get a new power supply unit - sounds like it has blown as it did not switch properly....
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:35
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

Almost all computers, if they are not like 5 years old, should be totally fine and not require a converter. If you switched it to 240V your computer should not be fried. The click was most likely from circuit box. Perhaps, try getting a surge protector for the computer and not plug everything into one power strip. If you are living in an old building or one that might not be wired 100% perfectly plugging all four of those things into one outlet might be a bit much for it to handle.

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Hi all,
My husband and I were attempting to connect our PC (computer from the U.S.). Before setting it up, we carefully checked the switch on the back, and flipped it to 240. We then plugged the computer into a universal power strip (though I don't think it's a surge protector), along with a lamp, telephone, and fan.

Before we had a chance to connect the monitor or other components, or even turn on the computer, the lights went out. We quickly unplugged the power strip from the wall and prayed to the computer gods that we had not fried the computer. My husband said he heard a "click", but we're not sure if it was in the wall, the computer, or the power strip. I flipped the switch in the circuit box and the lights came back on, so everything seemed to be ok otherwise.

From the sounds of it, is it likely we've fried the computer, or is it possible we just had too much plugged into the power strip? I'm hoping it's the latter!

We thought we were doing everything right by switching the computer to 240, but blowing the circuit put a scare into us. Before attempting again, should we get a transformer for the computer?

Thanks for the advice -
ejml
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:38
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

What about your monitor?
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:40
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

Good point.

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What about your monitor?
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:46
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

We didn't even get that far. We plugged the computer in (didn't turn it on), along with the phone and fan. Didn't get a chance to plug in the monitor, speakers, printer, etc. After the lights went out and we heard that "click", we pulled the plug on the whole operation until we could get some advice!
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:46
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

Where the lamp, phone or fan from the US? If so, I would expect that they would be more likely to have tripped the circuit. The lamp will just need a new bulb, though it as quite dramatic when you plug a 110v bulb into a 220v supply.

If it is the computer, you will only need a new power supply. The rest of the computer "should" be ok.
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:48
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

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Hi all,
My husband and I were attempting to connect our PC (computer from the U.S.). Before setting it up, we carefully checked the switch on the back, and flipped it to 240. We then plugged the computer into a universal power strip (though I don't think it's a surge protector), along with a lamp, telephone, and fan.
Have you tested the appliances you plugged in together with your computer?

The "click" you heard could also have been the internal fuse of your computer's power supply. I'd try all the appliances one after the other and in the end also the computer.

If the fuse blows again, you'll know which device it was. If it was the computer: getting a new power supply might be cheaper than buying a transformer. Apart from that: if the fuse inside the power supply blew, a transformer won't do any good anyway.

As somebody else already mentioned: be careful with the monitor, too - could be set to 110V as well.
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:51
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

if the monitor is a flatscreen, it should operate on 100-220 volts. If it is a CRT - pop.
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:54
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

It doesn't sound as if they blew a fuse (which is really easy to replace) It sounds like they tripped the circuit breaker. Fuses don't really click when they blow.

Also, for anything that was brought from the US. Any sort of power supply will have either an (Input: 100-240 V) (Input 110V) or (Input 240V). Option 1, perfect all you need is an adaptor so the US plug goes to European. Option 2, depending on what it is I would just replace it with something from here cause it'll be cheaper then buying a transformer. But I 100% think your computer is fine.
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:55
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

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if the monitor is a flatscreen, it should operate on 100-220 volts.
Unless it has one of those cheapo external power-bricks made in China that only do 110V which are getting more and more popular with some manufacturers.
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Old 13.08.2007, 10:56
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

the Swiss power breakers work really well actually (modern ones). I've tripped the ones in my house many times without a tingle.

If the PC causes the trip when it's the only thing plugged in and is set to 220v then I'd say it's not switching right or its shorting. New PSU is still my guess....
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:05
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

Thanks everyone, for your quick responses. I'm feeling relieved; sounds like replacing a power supply and a buying a proper surge protector are the way to go. And, we'll try plugging fewer things into the wall.

To answer an earlier question, the other items (phone, fan, lamp) are from Switzerland. They all work this morning, so we're good there. I'm quite certain the monitor is rated for both 110v and 220v, but we'll double check before plugging that in.

One note - here's where I really reveal my computer ineptitude: the power supply is just a cord with a plug on the end. There's nothing on the cord that looks like it would have a fuse in it; no transformer or brick as part of the cord as with my laptop. Does that mean that the fuse is in the actual grounded plug? Or is there something inside the computer we'll have to check out?

Thanks again to all for the useful advice!
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:08
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

the breakers function in place of fuses. If you blow the fuse in the PSU, I'd not try opening it (it'll actually state that very clearly on the PSU) and I would simply replace it (ATX PSU is cheap).

If you do open the PSU, please video it and put it on YouTube for our enjoyment
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:15
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

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One note - here's where I really reveal my computer ineptitude: the power supply is just a cord with a plug on the end. There's nothing on the cord that looks like it would have a fuse in it; no transformer or brick as part of the cord as with my laptop. Does that mean that the fuse is in the actual grounded plug? Or is there something inside the computer we'll have to check out?
If it's a desktop computer (which I presume it is) the power supply is inside the case.
Changing the power supply isn't the easiest thing to do if you aren't a PC enthusiast as you'll have to disconnect and reconnect the power cables for the mainboard and all the devices (hard disk, DVD etc.) inside. You might want to take the computer to a repair shop for that - but ask for a quote first.

dawiz
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:16
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

We will definitely not open anything, though you're right that YouTube video of such escapades would indeed make for good comedy.

Sounds like this is a relatively easy fix, and no damage done. Being new to 220V, we're a little nervous and just being very careful with the computer!

We'll give it another try, glad to hear that a P.C. meltdown is unlikely!
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:23
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

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If it's a desktop computer (which I presume it is) the power supply is inside the case.
Changing the power supply isn't the easiest thing to do if you aren't a PC enthusiast as you'll have to disconnect and reconnect the power cables for the mainboard and all the devices (hard disk, DVD etc.) inside. You might want to take the computer to a repair shop for that - but ask for a quote first.

dawiz
It is indeed a desktop. If that's what we need to do to replace the power supply, it's definitely going to an expert.

Should we try plugging in the computer again, and if it doesn't work, go the (internal) power supply replacement route?
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Old 13.08.2007, 11:27
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

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It is indeed a desktop. If that's what we need to do to replace the power supply, it's definitely going to an expert.

Should we try plugging in the computer again, and if it doesn't work, go the (internal) power supply replacement route?
that's what I'd do but I'm not sure how safe it is to plug the computer in again if the PS is still set to 110V internally (even though the indicator shows otherwise).
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Old 13.08.2007, 12:02
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Re: Did we fry our desktop computer?

Sorry to hear about your troubles with the computer.
I have to see someone this weekend anyway in Basel, so if you wish for me to stop in, I'll help you the best I can.
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Old 02.09.2007, 22:11
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Surge protector

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Perhaps, try getting a surge protector for the computer and not plug everything into one power strip.
Can anyone tell me how to say "surge protector" in French? Interdiscount was recommended to me as big electronics store, but I couldn't seem to find them. I could only find what appeared to be plug-in strips labelled "interrupteur". Maybe those were surge protectors and they're just a lot smaller here? They're too cheap to be surge protectors, I think...

Ben
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