lightning strike - should the components be reused

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)

the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....

i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
for people who cant do without a computer........

what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
applications.....
thanks for any and all replies

relloman
relloman
16 answers Last reply
More about lightning strike components reused
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    "rello" <relloman@beasty.com> wrote in message
    news:4088f437.47047881@news-server...
    > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >

    You're actually a very lucky person. The only component you would NOT have
    wanted to keep was killed by the lightning. And you are very lucky in the
    sense that this dell box actually had a ummm . . . video card?!? Wow. I'd
    suggest you buy a really really CHEAP bare bone system (case, power supply,
    mainboard) and build yourself a new computer. You might even be able to get
    this off ebay. Then remove current partitions from hard drive and install
    windows XP. BTW, do NOT try to use the old power supply, even if the
    connectors look like they will fit.

    Use it as your own personal computer, don't sell it. -Dave
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote in message news:<4088f437.47047881@news-server>...
    > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    > for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > applications.....
    > thanks for any and all replies
    >
    > relloman
    > relloman

    hey relloman,

    I had a lightning strike also. The only things that survived were the
    hp printer and monitor. Tech support for hp helped get the printer
    working. Anything with a circuit board was fried.

    Dennis
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:50:13 GMT, relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote:

    >got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    >lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    >the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    >floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    >as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    >i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    >origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    >for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    >what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    >applications.....
    >thanks for any and all replies

    *Hatter is skeptical*

    Just what do you mean by "knocked out by a lighting strike"? Pretty much unless it got HIT directly
    by lighting (and boy wouldn't that be a show)...it's probably just peachy. If the lighting struck
    one of the major power lines, trust me, you would know, like anything that was plugged into the wall
    would be history and if you complained to the power company they would buy you new stuff.

    Further, I would suspect that it only got hit with a slight surge or spike, either way the system is
    probably just fine. Try flipping that lil red switch on the back of the power supply a few times,
    unplug and replug it in, hit the reset switch on the power strip and reseat the processor and memory
    (it's amazing how often doing just that can get it running just fine again).

    --

    Onideus Mad Hatter
    mhm ¹ x ¹
    http://www.backwater-productions.net
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:50:13 GMT, relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote:

    >got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    >lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    >the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    >floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    >as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    >i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    >origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    >for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    >what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    >applications.....
    >thanks for any and all replies
    >
    >relloman
    >relloman

    It depends on how much $ your time is worth.
    Sound and modem are relatively cheap items, especially since many
    motherboards have integrated sound. However if the Dell used a
    proprietary power supply then your ability to source another Dell board
    cheaply may determine if the rebuilt is even cost-effective, ignoring the
    value of your time. After you get it working again you'll just have to
    test it and see how it does. If there's any chance the system would be
    storing semi-valuable data you might want to replace the hard drive too,
    and possibly the memory. The machine should certainly stay with you to be
    tested for longer than a (non-damaged) typical system.

    Be sure to test power supply, at least voltages, and memory extensively
    with http://www.memtest86.com , hard drive with manufacturer's
    diagnostics. If you have need for a "testing station" then that would
    seem a good role for the system.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    Determining how and what is damaged can be an interesting
    lesson in how damage occurs. For example, if it was
    lightning, then damaged component have both an incoming and
    outgoing electrical path for that lightning. Obviously, the
    modem is a classic example: incoming on AC electric. Outgoing
    on phone line. This damages modem. But usually, a modem need
    only have something in its DAA or off hook relay circuit
    replaced (ie a PNP transistor) and is perfectly good again.

    What else was connected to computer at time of strike? For
    example, could printer or network card also have been good
    outgoing paths? IOW you must also know how each was connected
    as part of the building's wiring. Analysis of how transient
    transversed the computer must be from a building perspective.

    Devices that should not be damaged are memory and CPU. Each
    have an incoming but no outgoing path.

    By using known information, then determine which parts (bad
    and still working) may have conducted the transient. Those
    would be the damaged and 'may fail in future' parts.

    The analysis can be challenging which is why so many just
    say, "Trash it". Continued repair depends on whether you want
    to save money or you want to really learn something.

    rello wrote:
    > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and
    > s/card as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be
    > fried .....
    >
    > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a
    > fill in for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the
    > above applications.....
    > thanks for any and all replies
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    >got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    >lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    >the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    >floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    >as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    >i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    >origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    >for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    >what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    >applications.....
    >thanks for any and all replies
    >
    >relloman
    >relloman

    You can depend on the case only. Since PC parts that work one day and
    not the next are a nightmare, destroy them. Got a PC hit by lightning,
    just barely. No burned marks and almost got into Windows. Put the
    drive on my desktop to get data off as a favor. It completely hosed my
    drive with 35GB of data on it.
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    I'd think using it as a testing station should be the last thing you'd use
    it for. You'd never be sure that the test wasn't caused by damage on the
    lightning strike. The best system for testing would be your most stable
    one.

    Clint

    "kony" <spam@spam.com> wrote in message
    news:0rvh809ig61fuuft1s2rcb33e998en1sb9@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:50:13 GMT, relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote:
    >
    > >got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > >lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    > >
    > >the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > >floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > >as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    > >
    > >i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > >origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    > >for people who cant do without a computer........
    > >
    > >what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > >applications.....
    > >thanks for any and all replies
    > >
    > >relloman
    > >relloman
    >
    > It depends on how much $ your time is worth.
    > Sound and modem are relatively cheap items, especially since many
    > motherboards have integrated sound. However if the Dell used a
    > proprietary power supply then your ability to source another Dell board
    > cheaply may determine if the rebuilt is even cost-effective, ignoring the
    > value of your time. After you get it working again you'll just have to
    > test it and see how it does. If there's any chance the system would be
    > storing semi-valuable data you might want to replace the hard drive too,
    > and possibly the memory. The machine should certainly stay with you to be
    > tested for longer than a (non-damaged) typical system.
    >
    > Be sure to test power supply, at least voltages, and memory extensively
    > with http://www.memtest86.com , hard drive with manufacturer's
    > diagnostics. If you have need for a "testing station" then that would
    > seem a good role for the system.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    On Fri, 23 Apr 2004 15:23:26 GMT, "Clint" <cneufeld@mysocks.shaw.ca>
    wrote:

    >I'd think using it as a testing station should be the last thing you'd use
    >it for. You'd never be sure that the test wasn't caused by damage on the
    >lightning strike. The best system for testing would be your most stable
    >one.
    >
    >Clint
    >

    That's a good point, but on the other hand there really can't be only ONE
    testing station, a multitude of machines are needed to test different
    power, chipsets, etc, without the arduous swapping back and forth of other
    components.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote in message news:<4088f437.47047881@news-server>...

    > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    > for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > applications.....

    I'd carefully look over the circuit boards for burn marks or cracked
    parts (they can rupture when hit with high voltage), but some disk
    drives, like Western Digitals, have the parts mounted on the inside,
    preventing their examination without board removal. I'd be reluctant
    to trust a drive having any visible damage, and I'd make backups in
    any case.

    If the lightning damaged the motherboard through the modem, then I
    doubt it's repairable, but if the zap came in through the power side
    there's a good chance that it stopped at the bypass filter capacitors,
    fuses (look like resistors), IC protectors (fancy fuses), or even
    inside the power supply.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    I'm not sure I'm following your incoming/outgoing path statements. AFAIK,
    every electrical device has to have both, otherwise you'd have no current
    flowing through the device, rendering it useless. Kind of like sticking a
    lightbulb on one end of a battery. Until you complete the circuit, you
    don't get a light.

    Clint

    "w_tom" <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:40894297.C6B68D97@hotmail.com...
    > Determining how and what is damaged can be an interesting
    > lesson in how damage occurs. For example, if it was
    > lightning, then damaged component have both an incoming and
    > outgoing electrical path for that lightning. Obviously, the
    > modem is a classic example: incoming on AC electric. Outgoing
    > on phone line. This damages modem. But usually, a modem need
    > only have something in its DAA or off hook relay circuit
    > replaced (ie a PNP transistor) and is perfectly good again.
    >
    > What else was connected to computer at time of strike? For
    > example, could printer or network card also have been good
    > outgoing paths? IOW you must also know how each was connected
    > as part of the building's wiring. Analysis of how transient
    > transversed the computer must be from a building perspective.
    >
    > Devices that should not be damaged are memory and CPU. Each
    > have an incoming but no outgoing path.
    >
    > By using known information, then determine which parts (bad
    > and still working) may have conducted the transient. Those
    > would be the damaged and 'may fail in future' parts.
    >
    > The analysis can be challenging which is why so many just
    > say, "Trash it". Continued repair depends on whether you want
    > to save money or you want to really learn something.
    >
    > rello wrote:
    > > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    > >
    > > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and
    > > s/card as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be
    > > fried .....
    > >
    > > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a
    > > fill in for people who cant do without a computer........
    > >
    > > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the
    > > above applications.....
    > > thanks for any and all replies
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    Incoming and outgoing currents on two AC wires is a
    differential mode transient. First such transients are easily
    stopped or made irrelevant by computer power supply. Power
    supply contains layers of protection including isolation
    transformers, optoisolators, and shunt devices that make
    differential transients irrelevant. Second differential mode
    are typically not the destructive transient.

    Defined is a typically destructive transient - lightning -
    that would be common mode. Incoming on any one or all AC
    electric wires. And yes, one incoming AC wire even bypasses
    power supply to connect directly to motherboard and
    peripherals. Look for outgoing path elsewhere, such as mouse
    cord hanging on baseboard heater, via network cable, or a most
    common outgoing path - modem and phone line to earth ground.

    Again, this is common mode. But to appreciate it (and what
    ineffective protectors would have you not understand to make
    their sales), the analyst's perspective must include cloud,
    building, earth, and computer. Analysis only inside computer
    is too myopic. A destructive transient seeks earth ground.
    One path to earth ground is via computer because transient was
    not earthed before entering the building.

    Only now are we ready to identify that common mode transient
    path, inside computer, to earth ground. There is no such
    outgoing path through CPU or memory. One path may exist via
    printer port - depending on how and where printer connects.
    But to find those outgoing paths, analyst must include other
    electrically conductive materials such as baseboard heat
    pipes, vinyl or concrete flooring, etc.

    Some may talk about external modem damaged today. Then
    serial port fails tomorrow. It is called overstress. Expect
    an overstressed semiconductor to fail days or even months
    later. This is why we identify the path that a common mode
    transient would seek to earth ground. This is why any or all
    three incoming AC wires are typically only the incoming
    current path.

    Big difference between differential and common mode
    transients. Since common mode transients are a typically
    destructive type, then effective protection must be located at
    the building service entrance; to earth that transient before
    it can enter the building. Once inside a building, well, one
    must spend significant time locating numerous potential paths
    to earth ground through that Dell computer.

    Clint wrote:
    > I'm not sure I'm following your incoming/outgoing path statements.
    > AFAIK, every electrical device has to have both, otherwise you'd
    > have no current flowing through the device, rendering it useless.
    > Kind of like sticking a lightbulb on one end of a battery. Until
    > you complete the circuit, you don't get a light.
  12. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    rello wrote:
    > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    >
    > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    >
    > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    > for people who cant do without a computer........
    >
    > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > applications.....
    > thanks for any and all replies
    >
    > relloman
    > relloman

    I wouldn't use it for anything. The components, though they may be
    working now, probably have a significantly reduced lifespan. Also, I
    doubt you have the time or resources to really have a good check of the
    components (neither would I). Don't sell it, it's damaged goods. Give it
    away if you don't want it. Who knows what the person will actually be
    using it for. A critical component that was there during the lightning
    strike could end up dying the night before a job interview and they lose
    their resume or some such. Personally, I'd try and run some very basic
    diagnostics/testing software (memtest86, the HDD manufacturer's testing
    software, etc) and use it as something to play around with, as you've
    already suggested. Anything that'll fry the mobo will have done some
    degree of damage to the other components.

    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo
  13. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    sooky grumper wrote:

    > I wouldn't use it for anything.

    this sentence was incomplete: should have read ...for anything you might
    ever want to save.


    > The components, though they may be
    > working now, probably have a significantly reduced lifespan. Also, I
    > doubt you have the time or resources to really have a good check of the
    > components (neither would I). Don't sell it, it's damaged goods. Give it
    > away if you don't want it. Who knows what the person will actually be
    > using it for. A critical component that was there during the lightning
    > strike could end up dying the night before a job interview and they lose
    > their resume or some such. Personally, I'd try and run some very basic
    > diagnostics/testing software (memtest86, the HDD manufacturer's testing
    > software, etc) and use it as something to play around with, as you've
    > already suggested. Anything that'll fry the mobo will have done some
    > degree of damage to the other components.
    >


    --
    spammage trappage: replace fishies_ with yahoo
  14. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    rello wrote:

    ....snip.....

    > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > applications.....
    > thanks for any and all replies

    Bin it or givie it away with absolutely no guarantees.

    Seriously, if this is for a business, and it or a part starts to prove
    unreliable, you will spend more on support/getting it fixed that it
    costs to buy a new one.
  15. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    On Sat, 24 Apr 2004 07:23:39 +1000, Terry Collins <terryc@woa.com.au>
    wrote:

    >rello wrote:
    >
    >...snip.....
    >
    >> what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    >> applications.....
    >> thanks for any and all replies
    >
    >Bin it or givie it away with absolutely no guarantees.
    >
    >Seriously, if this is for a business, and it or a part starts to prove
    >unreliable, you will spend more on support/getting it fixed that it
    >costs to buy a new one.
    thanks everyone..i have mounted the cpu on a cheap msi all in one and
    will use it around here as a workshop hack for a while and see how it
    goes......be interesting to see how long the hard drive lasts...when
    it all boils down to it that,s the only really crtical element......
    relloman
  16. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt,aus.computers.ibm-pc,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware (More info?)

    "do_not_spam_me" <do_not_spam_me@my-deja.com> wrote in message
    news:101710fa.0404231525.59d83be3@posting.google.com...
    > relloman@beasty.com (rello) wrote in message
    news:<4088f437.47047881@news-server>...
    >
    > > got a newish dell dimension 4500 in that was knocked out by a
    > > lightning strike......i got the job of disposing of the box :)
    > >
    > > the mobo is definitely dead but all the majors, hd, both cd drives,
    > > floppy ram and video board are ok...havent tested the modem and s/card
    > > as yet but s/card prolly ok......modem i expect to be fried .....
    > >
    > > i could sell it at a very low price [with a statement as to its
    > > origin], use it as a testing station or maybe hire it out as a fill in
    > > for people who cant do without a computer........
    > >
    > > what would opinion be on putting it back into service for the above
    > > applications.....
    >
    > I'd carefully look over the circuit boards for burn marks or cracked
    > parts (they can rupture when hit with high voltage), but some disk
    > drives, like Western Digitals, have the parts mounted on the inside,
    > preventing their examination without board removal. I'd be reluctant
    > to trust a drive having any visible damage, and I'd make backups in
    > any case.
    >
    > If the lightning damaged the motherboard through the modem, then I
    > doubt it's repairable, but if the zap came in through the power side
    > there's a good chance that it stopped at the bypass filter capacitors,
    > fuses (look like resistors), IC protectors (fancy fuses), or even
    > inside the power supply.

    This sounds like classic Lightning damage - the Lightning comes in via the
    modem and heads for Mains Earth via the Mother Board and most likely the
    chassis.
    It is in fact unlikely that the power supply has copped much abuse however
    the modem is very very unlikely to have survived and especially with the joy
    of an internal modem that just makes absolutely certain that the strike
    visists the mobo on its way to earth.
    The soundcard may or may not have survived depending on what it was plugged
    into and if it provided an additional path to earth or not.
    The HDD is probably o.k I have repaired a number of similairly damaged PCs
    and after replacing the modem and Mother Board they are usually fine after
    that.

    Regards
    Richard Freeman
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