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Windows 7: Lightning struck my comp, what to do?

24 May 2010   #1
Ocek

Windows 7 Home Premium 32
 
 
Lightning struck my comp, what to do?

Just as the topic says; insanly bad luck! But what do I do now? When i plug the comp back in and press start you can actually hear the comp buzzing but it wont start or blink or anything. Luckily this i my old comp that I rarely use so there is no insurance or anything and i'd say it's really worthless by todays standards but is there someway I can 'save' my HDD or get it back working by fixing a new part or something?

(2.0ghz, 1gig RAM 128MB grapics, Win XP)

Thanks!


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24 May 2010   #2
Jonathan_King

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

You can try pulling out the hard drive and sticking it in a different machine.

Hopefully all the lightning fried was your power supply. There's a good chance your mobo is fried too though.

Cross your fingers, and hope the hard drive is fine.
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24 May 2010   #3
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

You might be able to save the HDD's. Unless it was a direct strike, a large surge will normally take out the PSU first. Not to say it doesn't damage the drives, but you may be able to take them to another machine and recover the data that is on them.

If you have another PSU around the house, try hooking that up to the machine. It might work, or it might not if your motherboard is fried as well.

If the drives are still usable, you may not want to use them for an OS or critical data anymore. They may not be reliable. If you don't have a surge protector, it might be time to pick one up.
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24 May 2010   #4
Adrian

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ocek View Post
Just as the topic says; insanly bad luck! But what do I do now? When i plug the comp back in and press start you can actually hear the comp
Thanks!
Unlucky there. Depending on if you had surge protection there are several possibilities to chase down. But if its the HDD you are trying to get data from your best bet is to install it in a working PC. Depending on the age of the HDD will determine the connection.
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24 May 2010   #5
westom

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ocek View Post
When i plug the comp back in and press start you can actually hear the comp buzzing but it wont start or blink or anything.

If no facts exist, then others will recommend swapping parts until something works. That creates confusion, can create further problems, and spends money replacing perfectly good parts.

Or you can disconnect and swap nothing. Take a few measurements with a multimeter (one minute), post those numbers, and then have answers that say what you actually have.

First learn (using numbers and the meter) what is or is not defective. Then consider disconnecting a wire or replacing a part. Without those numbers, the few who seriously know this stuff cannot post a reply.

A multimeter can be borrowed from a friend. Or bought in most any store that also sells hammers - typically for about the same prices as a hammer. These meters are so ubiquitous as to be sold even in Kmart. A best price is usually Wal-Mart - about $18.

Simply set the meter to 20 VDC. Follow wires from the supply to a nylon connector on the motherboard. Push the probe into the connector to touch the purple wire. That should measure about 5 volts. Record that number to three digits.

Measure the green wire both before and when the power switch is pressed. That upper and dropping voltage recorded. Do same for the gray wire. That increasing voltage recorded both before and when the power switch is pressed. That rising voltage will typically be one second delayed.

And finally, record the voltage on any one red, orange, and yellow wire as and after the power switch is pressed.

These numbers will report definitively a long list of components throughout the machine. If posted, you will also learn simple concepts of a computer power on. No numbers means a reply can only be wild speculation. Get a 3.5 digit multimeter.
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24 May 2010   #6
CarlTR6

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

I can tell you from experience that even when you replace the parts that show up defective now, others can and will fail down the road - depending on the intensity of the strike. You need to check every component. Good luck and please keep us updated.
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24 May 2010   #7
fishnbanjo

Vista 64 Ultimate, Windows 7 64 Ultimate, Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

One thing I'd try and that would be totally disconnect everything from the PC except, CRT, video card, keyboard and mouse and try to boot it from there. As has been said generally the PSU and Mobo get fried but if the PC was shut down and on a good power strip then it might not be totally lost.

If you get nothing doing this and your drives are IDE and you don't have IDE interface in another PC you can always try an external IDE drive enclosure with USB interface and see if the data is accessible.
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24 May 2010   #8
Ocek

Windows 7 Home Premium 32
 
 

Wow, i really appreciate you guyes fast replies! As I said before my comp isn't really worth spending any money on it since it is used less then 1 day a week. Anyway i'll try taking out the HDD and hooking it up to another comp. Any risk of getting a jolt or spark while doing this? Furthermore the parts are not worth anything comparing to todays standards, guess i'll just throw it away. To bad on a great comp that never faild me in over 7 years! (Yes, it was insane when i bought it back then!)
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24 May 2010   #9
Win7User512

Windows 7 x64 / Same
 
 

I was incredibly lucky once. Lightning hit when I had my laptop plugged in. Thankfully the only component that was fried was the ethernet port. A PCM card gave me back an ethernet connection.

I wish you the best.
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24 May 2010   #10
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ocek View Post
Wow, i really appreciate you guyes fast replies! As I said before my comp isn't really worth spending any money on it since it is used less then 1 day a week. Anyway i'll try taking out the HDD and hooking it up to another comp. Any risk of getting a jolt or spark while doing this? Furthermore the parts are not worth anything comparing to todays standards, guess i'll just throw it away. To bad on a great comp that never faild me in over 7 years! (Yes, it was insane when i bought it back then!)
Now I know that it is closing the barn door after the cows got out but---in the future, the only safe protection, without spending a small fortune, is to disconnect your computer when a lightning storm is brewing.

Some of the people have evidently not lived thru and lived in an area of severe lightning storms.

Some, but still not complete, protection can be obtained by asking your local licensed electrician for his recommendations. Good lightning protection is not cheap and even amongst the experts you will find different recommendations. I forget all of the names of true quality equipment in this area but Siemens is one of them.

Then after doing that, you need a good UPS--mainly to buffer you between that surge coming down the power line. Still power cords can pickup an unbelievably strong surge pulse. Without going into a long dissertation, if you have an older licensed electrician around, ask him for his advice and experiences.

Personally, I would salvage the data from the drive in the old computer and then use the relic for a doorstop or boat anchor.
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 Lightning struck my comp, what to do?




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