DURING A BLACK OUT I plugged the computer, router, and screen into generator (800 watts) via a surge protector heard a pop and saw smoke. After power was restored I used a much better surge protector strip and plugged in computer, router, and screen then plugged into wall, all power blew. Will the hard drive work in another computer?
Surge strips are useless on a generator. Surge strips need a grounded receptacle to operate. There is no Ground on the generator to divert the surge to. They typically fail like yours did. Some one already commented that a generator produces dirty power. I would never recommend that any one plug sensitive devices like a computer into a generator. They are intended to run essentials.