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Old 29.11.2011, 12:49
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Fried my computer - is there hope?

So, I decided it was time to finally hook up our old computer for the munchkins to use so (a) they don't take mine away from me and (b) they don't break mine.

Spent all morning locating parts, bought a new mouse as the old one has been scavenged for some other use, found all the adapters/converters, only to have the thing POP, smoke and burn when turning on the power supply because dumb me forgot to move the voltage switch from 115 to 230.

Is all hope gone? I mean, it isn't too tragic, not in terms of possible lost data and all, but I hate that I did that dumb mistake. The dust from all the cables must have clouded my brain Does anyone think a nice, cheap new power supply will do the trick and is it worth the trouble trying?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 29.11.2011, 12:58
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

give it a go, nothing to loose, but i suspect its due for the bin.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:01
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

Thanks for asking that question. My old machine sounded like it blew a fuse a while ago and has been dead since. Can you replace a fuse in a computer?
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:07
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

just change the power supply, everything else will be fine.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:09
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

Only the PSU will probably need replacing, I'd the power suply from your other PC and hook it up to the old on to check so you don't waste money buying a new PSU and then it doesn't work. Worst case scenario is that you fried the mother board too, in which case you might as well build a new one from scratch.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:13
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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Only the PSU will probably need replacing, I'd the power suply from your other PC and hook it up to the old on to check so you don't waste money buying a new PSU and then it doesn't work. Worst case scenario is that you fried the mother board too, in which case you might as well build a new one from scratch.

hmm, not sure I am up to taking the PSU one out of my lifeline, working computer - especially given my recent history! But, I will at least open up the old box and look inside. Vacuum it out too, at least. Boy, it has been some time since I opened up a computer - hope I remember where those magic buttons on this Dell are And if I am feeling brave, I will try the swap!
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:19
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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hmm, not sure I am up to taking the PSU one out of my lifeline, working computer - especially given my recent history! But, I will at least open up the old box and look inside. Vacuum it out too, at least. Boy, it has been some time since I opened up a computer - hope I remember where those magic buttons on this Dell are And if I am feeling brave, I will try the swap!
You don't need to completely swap it, just open the old one, detach the power supply cable from the MO and Hard Disk etc, then just supply the MO on the old PC with the PSU still attached to the new PC (make sure all the PSU cables are removed from the new PC though) and hit the power button, if the fan runs then it's still good.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:19
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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Only the PSU will probably need replacing, I'd the power suply from your other PC and hook it up to the old on to check so you don't waste money buying a new PSU and then it doesn't work. Worst case scenario is that you fried the mother board too, in which case you might as well build a new one from scratch.

Don't even bother from scratch if it's more than 4 years old, a lot of bits won't fit. Just get them the cheapest netbook you can find, they're hitting rock bottom prices nowadays and they can mess with it anywhere, not just the lounge/bedroom.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:27
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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You don't need to completely swap it, just open the old one, detach the power supply cable from the MO and Hard Disk etc, then just supply the MO on the old PC with the PSU still attached to the new PC (make sure all the PSU cables are removed from the new PC though) and hit the power button, if the fan runs then it's still good.
Wow! Thanks - maybe I will try that, I have the old one open ...now I just have to figure out all the other parts! There are a lot of cables running around there

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Don't even bother from scratch if it's more than 4 years old, a lot of bits won't fit. Just get them the cheapest netbook you can find, they're hitting rock bottom prices nowadays and they can mess with it anywhere, not just the lounge/bedroom.

Well, we have a netbook, but somehow I still like working on a desktop. Or maybe I am just trying to use up all those bits and bobs - speakers, monitor, etc.. Probably best thing to do is to finally recycle the thing. Maybe it just took me frying it to finally get me to part with the thing!
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:27
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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Don't even bother from scratch if it's more than 4 years old, a lot of bits won't fit. Just get them the cheapest netbook you can find, they're hitting rock bottom prices nowadays and they can mess with it anywhere, not just the lounge/bedroom.
That's no fun How are the kids gonna learn anything about the ins and outs of building a computer
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:51
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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You don't need to completely swap it, just open the old one, detach the power supply cable from the MO and Hard Disk etc, then just supply the MO on the old PC with the PSU still attached to the new PC (make sure all the PSU cables are removed from the new PC though) and hit the power button, if the fan runs then it's still good.

Well, I opened up this computer (and hopefully put it back together correctly!) but this 2008 era Gateway doesn't seem to be compatible with the 2002 era Dell PSU connector pin thingies...so I gave up, closed things up and hope it is all plugged back in again correctly (I think I only unplugged 2 things, and one at a time to compare). At least this computer is working again, and I think the fan is running! So, now I think I either drag the computer into a shop and try it out there, or give up and send it on to its eternal resting place.

Thanks again for all your help!

UPDATE:

I have ordered a new Dell power supply from eBay.de, of course, they wouldn't ship to Switzerland, so I have to wait for my BIL to forward it to me! I will let you know how it turns out. At least the power supply so far only cost me 11€!

Last edited by drmom; 29.11.2011 at 14:14. Reason: update
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:57
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

Don't vacuum the inside of your computer! Vacuums can generate enough static electricity (even on mildly conducting parts like hoses and brushes) to ruin the innards of your computer.

Your '02 comp probably uses a standard ATX power supply, whereas your newer comp probably uses some upgraded form, like ATX 12V. If you know anyone that has a spare to lend, they're really easy to swap out- just unplug (from everything, don't forget!) & unscrew and they come right out, reverse the order and you've installed the newer one. Barring that, you could find a used one for an inexpensive price on the web. Good Luck!
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:15
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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That's no fun How are the kids gonna learn anything about the ins and outs of building a computer
Heh, true enough, but I find opening up laptops much more fun - so many tiny screws and every model is different, and as the PC Tower is long past it's due death as a home computer format, they may as well learn on the netbook...
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:32
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

You can get a new PSY at Steg for CHF 29.90, why order one from Germany?

Tom
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:35
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

because I found the same Dell version on eBay for 6€ and I can just get it when we go at Christmas and procrastinate this project some more :-)
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:48
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

one thing you can try and find out whether any of the MB or memory is blown is by look at all the chips on the board to see whether there is a "dent" on it and also, whether that chip smell. That is the classic sign of whether the board has been fried or not.
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Old 29.11.2011, 19:39
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Re: Fried my computer - is there hope?

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Don't vacuum the inside of your computer! Vacuums can generate enough static electricity (even on mildly conducting parts like hoses and brushes) to ruin the innards of your computer.
Try a can of compressed air instead (can get them at office supply stores) to blow it out. Do it outside but be careful of the static anyway (touch something metal before taking off the side-panel.

I think most power supplies have their own fuse, so hopefully the new one you bought will fix the problem for you!

Good luck!
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