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What PSU prolems can damage other components?

Last response: in Components
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May 1, 2010 7:32:58 AM

sorry for the extremely noob question but what are the problems a PSU can encounter and what level of damage can they cause other components in the system, for example it frys or blows what are the possible damages pc components can get? can a PSU malfunction self contain malfunctions to prevent damage to other components?
May 1, 2010 8:16:40 AM

My PSU problem fried my motherboard, but id did not do anything to any other components. It's just a guess but it'll prolly fry the mobo and won't be able to go farther since the motherboard will limit the power going to the other components. Other than that your PSU should have over voltage and over current protection which will save all of your components in case something goes wrong. Hope it was of some help
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May 1, 2010 8:26:38 AM

What *can* happen? I've seen a lightning strike reduce every component inside the case to a puddle of plastic and metal. It also took out 2 other computers, 3 TV's and the refrigerator.
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a b ) Power supply
May 1, 2010 8:48:56 AM

If the OVP (over voltage protection) and OCP (Over Current Protection) on PSU fail it can potentially damage any load on the PC. This can happen and have/has happened on all PSU brands.

The PSU can still run or will still run even when protection circuits (i.e. crowbar circuits) fail. Protection circuits are independent hardware from the PSU. When it fails the PSU still runs. This is the common scenario for PC PSU (including the branded ones).

This is true not only to PC PSU but to the entire electronics world that rely on Power Supplies. Take note that there are more sophisticated PSU design than PC PSU and yet it suffer the same problem.

It is made by humans and it’s bound to fail. Don't forget the "Unsinkable Titanic".

The probability of failure (hardware design reliability) is what separates the branded PSU to cheap brands. But sooner or later it will fail.

No PSU is immune to Murphy’s Law
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a c 144 ) Power supply
May 1, 2010 6:08:49 PM

A properly working, high quality PSU has over and under voltage and over current protection. The key is "properly working".

Most malfunctions simply result in a dead power supply. It usually takes either a combination of things in a good PSU or one thing in a cheap PSU to fry something. The usual problem seems to be the 12 volt lines which means it fries the CPU power regulator on the motherboard or the video card.
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Best solution

a c 248 ) Power supply
May 1, 2010 6:41:47 PM

What happens depends on the source of the problem. If a problem occurs in a high quality power supply it should just shut down. In a cheap, low budget, low quality power supply of questionable value and performance a problem in the psu might also fry a cpu, motherboard, or other components. In a worst case scenario it may actually start a fire. An external problem such as a lightning strike can be just as bad.

Here's a link to a video clip showing what can happen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JP8nFQYQW34

The absolutely worst thing that can happen is a bad psu starting a house fire. There are a couple of video clips showing the damage.
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May 7, 2010 11:55:58 PM

Best answer selected by xtian63.
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