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Various component failures

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April 26, 2012 3:39:44 PM

I build a new PC every two years or so and give my old PC to my brother. Unfortunately, he lives in an old Amish built house with ungrounded outlets and what is probably very suspect wiring. It's rural and he still uses dial up internet. The problem is the PC's I give him have various failures within a year or so. We have replaced a motherboard, at least one graphics card, and a couple of modems in the last few years.

Granted, the PC's aren't new when he gets them, but I have only had one component failure in about 20 years of computing. He knows that one of the failures occurred during a thunderstorm. He has the typical $10 power strip, but can anyone recommend something that might actually help in this situation? I would like any solution to be in the $100 ballpark, but we could be persuaded to double that if the product is worth it.

Thanks in advance.

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a c 158 ) Power supply
April 26, 2012 5:28:43 PM

The $10 power strip diverts excess voltage to the ground in the homes electrical wiring, therefore that strip is doing nothing to protect his computer parts. The best and safest way would be to rewire the house for ground or at least the outlet that he uses for the electronics. Outside of that, something like this Zerosurge might work: http://www.zerosurge.com/residential/residential-produc...
It doesn't divert surge to the ground like the typical surge protector.

Be aware that it won't protect any surge coming thru via the phone line. During lightning, the phone line needs to be unplugged from the phone jack or the PC.
a b ) Power supply
April 26, 2012 6:27:12 PM

Hi :) 

Ups....

All the best Brett :) 
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April 27, 2012 2:57:10 PM

Hey, how about another dumb question? What about connecting a basic $70 UPS to the Zerosurge unit? Would that be overkill, or self-defeating somehow?
a c 1108 ) Power supply
April 27, 2012 4:15:06 PM

Rataan said:
Hey, how about another dumb question? What about connecting a basic $70 UPS to the Zerosurge unit? Would that be overkill, or self-defeating somehow?

A UPS still requires a proper ground connection to perform proper surge suppression.

That Zero Surge device still requires a properly grounded AC power connection.
April 29, 2012 3:27:32 PM

Thanks to all. I've been suggesting for a while that he think about a wiring upgrade, and now he has even more reasons to make it a priority.
!