I have repeadedly come across the statement that power outages/brownouts are capable of damaging computer hardware, but a curiosity that's bugged me for the longest time is just what is the mechanism by which a sudden loss of power could physically damage a desktop computer hardware component and what the typical nature of this damage (as opposed to being from a surge) is?
I mean, what kind of damage can be physically manifested by a sudden absence of power, and how is the situation different during a normal shutdown so that the cutting of power doesn't damage any components?
Any clarification is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
A sudden absence of power must to shutdown your pc. The cutting of power i don't think can damage the components ( my pc sufered a few times power cutting). In the worst case you loose some data if your pc had something to work. That is recommended to buy good brands PSU's because have a lot of protections , and automaticaly shut down your pc.
I have never known an outage to damage a computer, only the surge that can often happen when the power resumes. This is why it is always best to have such devices plugged into a good surge protector. Also, unless you have changed the settings in the computer's BIOS, computers are also designed to stay off until manually turned on by the user, and most modern computer power supplies have something called fault protection.
An outage can cause a loss of data, such as when the Windows cache has not written it's data to the hard disk yet, or you are typing a document and have not saved recently, etc...