There was a thunderstorm on Sunday. We heard/saw lightening hit across the street and a subsequent pop came from somewhere in the back of our house. Since my computer was plugged into a surge protecter as well as turned off I thought nothing of it. When I went to start it later, it was completely dead. No fans, no lights, nada. I moved it from socket to socket tried different cords, then called Dell tech support. After an obnoxious two hours, half of which was painstaking troubleshooting steps I had already taken... we open up my computer and reseat everything with no luck. There IS a good sign... I THINK!! A green light on my motherboard shines steadily when the computer is plugged in. I'm hoping that my harddrives/ram/all of my information isn't fried. Does the light from the motherboard give any clues to what the problem may actually be. What are the chances that my computer is basically done for?

The signs don't bode well for your computer. It's quite likely that the power supply unit, motherboard, or both are damaged at the very least. It may well be that your hard drive is also damaged but you can rather easily find out by doing the following:

* Remove the hard drive from the system
* Change the drive jumper from 'Master' to 'Slave'
pop the drive into another computer as a secondary drive, copy your data across if possible and burn it to CD.

Of course, you may not have another PC there to use but adding it to a friend or work colleague's PC as a secondary drive is a handy and cheap way to do things. You can remove it once you've lifted your data files off it and backed them up to CD or DVD.

Your computer itself sounds very much like it needs to be inspected for damage by a technician, I'm afraid. I would certainly advise backing your data up off the hard drive before that happens. Technicians often have a horrible habit of formatting your hard drive and reloading Windows cleanly, and you'll lose all your data for sure if that happens ;)

Catweazle's steps will tell you how to salvage everything :)


ahh.. yeah it's your powersupply....

Ok listen up. Remove the case and look at the power supply.. see that button.. look really really close.. it might be a switch depending on the brand. just push or switch it..

That will/should reset the fuse inside the powersupply.

If that doesn't work. You need a new powersupply, and probably a new surge protector.

The green light means that you are getting some power through your powersuppy to the motherboad. and also means that your CMOS battery is good :)

Next time... do like my mom.. unplug the computer during a really bad thunderstorm ;) works like a charm.. we have it hooked up to 2 surge protectors but they don't always work


2 surge protectors do not always work. Think about it. If one blows, and there is still a charge, the electricity will still try to get to ground. If it finds a short, it will take it. BUt if one surge is blown, and the other is still good it is possible that the blown unit has taken out the path to ground, meaning that the second unit has no where to direct the electricity.

Of course, you are protecting modem lines and the cable modem too.

In the end though, lightning results when the atmosphere (which is a resister) is overcome by the sheer volume of charges stacked up in the atmosphere.

For a good writeup, see:


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