Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

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I have a big problem, and I'm posting to this group hoping you'll find
a tradeoff.

To sum up, wherever I go, and whatever computer components I touch
"burns". I have too much energy. On tuesday, I burned 4 HDDs, 2 memory
modules, a graphics card and a vacuum (ok, the last one is not
related). I just sit and start using the computers, and suddenly the
HDD starts making a strange noise, the computer freezes, and the HDD
crashes. As for the graphics card, it shows interferences and vertical
lines all over the screen now. The memory modules now give tons of
errors when tested with Memtest86. And the vacuum doesn't even work at
all. Also, I noticed that light bulbs burn one after the other (every
week I have to change 5-6 light bulbs, which is not normal).

This is not a problem of quality (the 4 HDDs are western Digital
raptors, the memory is Kingston, and the graphics card is Asus). This
is not a problem of tension variations because I use an APC electricity
stabilizer to have constant energy for all computers here. The
mentioned components burnt in a 2-day span.

I'm loosing much money, I need to know what I could do. Have you seen
this before?

Re: Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

People might take your post more seriously if you didn't call yourself "Bill

Assuming you are not just having a laugh, you could have a problem with
static electricity. The following should all be double-checked as I have a
suspicion I may just be repeating urban myths here, but ... I have heard
that me people can store much more static than average (up to 30,000 volts
IIRC) - I think it is something to do with having dry skin - and I believe
some employers test their staff's skin for this as they believe some people
cause industrial accidents through sparking fires. Do you often get small
shocks off metal banisters, car doors etc? If so you can take steps such as
not wearing nylon clothing or plastic shoes ... and maybe see your doctor
about getting a skin moisturiser or something.

Otherwise, maybe you are just careless or clumsy when handling electrical
components ... and the vacuum is probably a coincidence.



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Re: Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

I do get shocks with car doors and touching other people (sometimes).
How do you explain why so many light bulbs have burnt laterly in just a
few days?

Re: Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

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Sound's like static electricity is at least part of your problem then. Do
you ground yourself before handling computer components? (You should touch a
metal part of something plugged into the mains, such as the back-plate of a
computer case or underside of a fax machine - power can be turned off at the
wall when you do this, so long as item is plugged in and item's power cord
actually has an earth wire {some low-power items just have positive and
neutral}. Better still use an anti-static wrist-strap to keep yourself
constantly connected to the computer case or whatever, so that you stay
grounded when handling components. I know many PC maintenance guys do not
bother with earthing themselves, but maybe they do not have dry skin or
whatever it is that makes a person static-prone).

Don't know about the light bulbs though - as Jan suggests it could be a
problem with your household wiring. Or your run of misfortune with computer
components may have made you slightly paranoid so that you start to read too
much into coincidences?


Re: Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

As a side note, I haven't touched any of the computer components that
have failed. Also, all computers are protected against power surges.
Too me it's too much of a coincidence.

Re: Help - Computer components don't stand my energy

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This is not a problem with static electricity.

This is a problem with your AC voltage. Either get an
electrician to measure it for you, call your power company,
or both.

If the light bulbs look "extra bright", and burn out quickly,
the voltage is too high.

You mention you are using an APC device. Could you quote the
model number of the APC device ? We can look it up, and see
if it really has a stabilizer in it. Many cheap uninterruptable
power supplies, do _not_ stabilize the AC. What they do, is
switch to battery, if the power goes off. The APC 650 I am using,
for example, does not stabilize the output. If there is a
transient on my house wiring, it passes right through the APC 650
and into the computer.

The power supply in the computer is a regulating device. If
the AC voltage going into the supply increases, the increase
is not passed to the outputs. If the computer draws more
power (say when you start playing a game), the regulating feature
of the power supply means that the output voltages do not
drop with the extra load. The first feature is termed
"line regulation" and the second is termed "load regulation".
Basically, there should be a steady power output, up to the
point that the PSU is damaged for some reason.

If the AC entering the PSU rises and rises, eventually the
main filter capacitors will fail, with a very load "bang".
The filter capacitors have a maximum voltage printed on the
plastic sleeve that covers the capacitor, and once the
rectified AC voltage rises above that limit, the capacitor
is in danger of breaking down. If it does break down, a
transient could go to the outputs and damage the computer's
components. But the PSU should be ruined when this happens.

So, get your AC checked immediately. Or the damages will

I had an incident this summer with my power. After a thunder
and lightning storm, my lights went to half intensity. I think
one of the phases at the local substation was shorted to ground,
and the remaining phase, when it enters the transformer mounted
on a pole outside my house, goes to 1/2 voltage. It took the
power company about two hours to fix it, and I turned off the
main switch to my house until they were finished. Even the
traffic lights near my house were at half intensity. While low
voltage won't hurt the light bulbs, it is not good for
elextric motors.


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