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Electronics Problem, Ideas?

Last response: in Systems
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February 11, 2011 3:23:52 AM

Hello,
Hello, I have a Linksys router, two Xbox 360s, a tower PC and television that have recently been screwing up. The xboxes both red-ringed in the last week, on separate days. They each had troubles and needed to be restarted mid game about a month ago.

The router needs to be reset often to allow my three roommates to connect to it on occasion and we tend to lose connection to only certain servers and sites for short periods of time.

My PC freezes to the point where nothing works, no ctrl+alt+delete, nothing, and I have to restart it.

After one of these restarts, the TV the PC was using as a monitor, was screwed up. All the colors were correct but instead of showing the correct image, it showed entire vertical lines of those colors on the screen, making it look like a rainbow zebra. I power cycled the TV and it was fixed and hasnt happened since.

Now here's my question. Is it possible to have an electrical surge through an ethernet cable? We havent had any thunderstorms recently but I live in an apartment with wiring that I'm sure could use re-doing. All of these items are plugged into the same router (except the TV which is plugged into the PC) and it feels like the only connection. I'm really concerned and wondered if we had any words of wisdom.

Thanks.
a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2011 1:16:26 PM

Welcome to Tom's Hardware!

High voltage surges can bridge a switch that is in the OFF position if the voltage spike is high enough. The only sure way of protection in this case is to physically unplug devices when there is an electrical storm; turning devices OFF may not be sufficient. Lightning strikes can bridge several feet.

Even though it is unlikely, yes it is possible to get a surge through the Cat5 or Cat6 Ethernet cable. When voltage spikes are high, not even a Surge suppressor will provide protection. These instances are rare.
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