Exploding Computer!

  dogbreath1 15:25 07 Jun 07

Yesterday, my son booted his PC (XP SP2) and a large spark shot from the back and the thing died!

Power supply, I thought. So, removed the old power supply, bought a replacement and connected it up.

PRIOR to connecting the machine to the mains, there was an almighty explosion, leaving bits of glass and melted plastic all over his room!!

How could this have happened and has anyone witnessed or heard of this incredible phenomenon??

  IntoPCs 15:34 07 Jun 07

WOW! - never heard of anything like this happenning. I did have a power supply blow and it took the processor, motherboard, memory and graphics card with it, but they just ceased working they didn't explode!
Where did the glass com from?

  €dstowe 15:36 07 Jun 07

?Where was the glass from?

No glass in my computer, except the monitor - which could implode if it were a CRT, I suppose but, highly unlikely.

  arris 15:40 07 Jun 07

My brothers Compaq sparked at the back and it shut off. He first thought it was the fuse; he changed the fuse, but the computer exploded at the back when he tried to boot up again. Thinking it was the power supply, he bought a replacement power supply for 70-odd notes, (i think) and it's been ok eversince.

The moral of this story is: don't buy Compaq's and don't buy from PC World.

  birdface 15:41 07 Jun 07

It actually blew up while dissconected ,Never heard of anything like that before,[Maybe it was SpywareBlaster.] Oops not funny.If it had been connected to the switch wired wrongly I could see where that could cause problems,I don't suppose that it is still under guarantee .I suppose all you can do is get in touch with the maker and explain what happened,You never know ,they may swop it for a new one rather than get bad publicity.

  dogbreath1 15:52 07 Jun 07

Thanks all for the replies. The glass may in fact be solidified molten plastic as it were. But how the hell could this happen without a mains connection? Very weird!

The machine is about three years old, so I think it's time for a new one!



  Whaty 15:55 07 Jun 07

Is it possible to tell the source of the explosion or is it too badly damaged? By the source I mean was it an area of the motherboard around the CPU, a connector, or was it the new power supply or some other component?

I'm just really curious as I've never heard of anything like this before and can't understand what could cause an 'explosion', especially as it was disconnected from the mains.

I guess you were lucky it didn't happen whilst you was actually working inside the machine..!


  cruiser2 16:05 07 Jun 07

Try claiming on your household contents insurance.
You may be able to get some money owards a new PC.
Did you have a surge protector on the incoming power supply and ISP lead when the first incident occured.
How long had the PC been on when it happened?

  rabadubdub 16:08 07 Jun 07

You say the machine's about 3yrs old.. if it's under, it may still be under guarantee. Many systems are 3yr parts & labour.
Certainly if the initial fault was the cause, you may still have a case for compensation.


  amonra 16:18 07 Jun 07

Probably due to an electrolytic capacitor exploding. They can go off with quite "thump". They can remain charged for some time and can "cook" quietly until the pressure builds up to bursting point, then BANG !
If you can examine the unaffected parts of the M/B, have a look for swollen-top capacitors,(dome shaped) there may be a few left. It isn't worth the risk of more explosions, scrap the lot and start again.

  rodriguez 16:33 07 Jun 07

Power supplies contain capacitors - they store electricity, even when disconnected from the mains. If it shorted then it would still go up, but something must have caused it to short while it disconnected. This is why you shouldn't open the PSU or any other device such as a TV even when it's disconnected. Some of those capacitors in there are quite big. Also, could the little red switch at the back have got knocked from 230v to 110v? Probably unlikely as you usually need a screwdriver to do it, but it's worth making sure it can't get changed.

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