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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have a problem with a Packard Bell PIII 550 computer. In the last six months it has blown three power supplies. The most recent also damaged the motherboard. Given the fact that three have blown can this have been caused by the motherboard itself? If so can someone please let me know where I can get some information on this.

Cheers
Garth
 

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Hi Qlder61,

It is unfortunate that you have had three power
supplies fail in such a short time. However it is
most unlikely to be a fault on the motherboard
which has led to this. ( the load side of the
power supply section )
The load side is usually fed through cicuitry
which regulates in a very careful way.

It is far more likely that the problem is in the
supply to the computer ( the mains feed ). This
could take the form of a poor connection in one
of the plugs, it could be a loose fitting where
the lead fits into the back of the computer. Or
maybe the group of sockets that people use to put
the leads from the Monitor, Modem, Printer, Desktop
and maybe Scanner, so they can plug it all into
one outlet, sometimes thats on the floor, by the
chair, it may get kicked around, that can cause
problems. If the feed to the computer gets brief
occasional 'spikey' or 'rough' connections that
would be enough to damage a power supply unit. A
power supply unit would probably cope with that
sort of thing if it was rare, but not for long if
it was a regular happening.

The previous postings are clearly inclined to
think the problem lies somewhere in the feed
to your system, i suggest you check what you can
or get someone to examine this side of things.

Electricity Supply problems of any severity are
fortunately quite rare, but if that is the case
then a surge protector would be the way to go.

Best of luck with it,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks John,

This PC has a surge protector although personally I don't think it is a particularly good one. The first power supply to go was during a blackout, it simply wouldn't restart once the power was restored. As I said before the second and third power supplies lasted only a short while before blowing. As another computer is on the same circuit I was just intrigued about whether or not the blackout caused more than just a power supply to blow on the problem machine.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Hi Qlder61,

It is not possible to give anything definate without
actually being there. I can see your reasons for
suspecting that there may be something affecting the
power supply.

When an electricity supply is unexpectedly cut off
this can very often be accompanied by a sharp rise
in voltage as the supply dissapears.

This might seem a bit illogical, but its only a brief
spike, like a bit of a kick, If this happens then it
could cause damage beyond the power supply, but this
would be unusual. You ought to discuss this with a
sevice engineer and show him the previous power
supplies and the damage to the motherboard. He would
be looking for something that may cause the
motherboard to draw more current than it should. It
is still more likely to be a problem with the feed
to the computer.

If the suspect motherboard still works then a service
engineer could probably see if it is drawing around
the correct current, sometimes the power supply wont
handle much more than a comfortable margin from its
rated capacity.

You're in Queensland ... yes? Thats a 240 volt supply
i think ... ?

If supply interruptions are a fact of life in your
area then some kind of surge protection should be on
your list. Dont confuse surge protection with UPS
uninterruptable power supplies, they often include
surge protection but the job of surge protection is
to suppress the spikes and kicks, Its those that do
the damage.

In answer to your question about the motherboard,
its possible, but only just. Get it checked out with
the other failed supply units, and include a covering
letter explaining your concerns and the reasons for
them. Ask around because others in your locality
may also have had equipment failures that have been
a result of an electricity power supply problem,
Very often a 'group approach' will result in a more
amenable attitude from a Utility.

Regards,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks John,

The information is just what I was after. Yes, I do live in sunny Queensland, it does have a 240V supply and our area is very much prone to surges.

Thanks again.
Garth
 
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