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Computers + thunder, what do you do?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by mm vr, 1 Aug 2008.

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What do you do with computers during thunder?

  1. I leave them plugged and I have an UPS/surge protector.

    58.0%
  2. I leave them plugged and I don't have an UPS/surge protector.

    25.0%
  3. I unplug them and I have an UPS/surge protector.

    10.0%
  4. I unplug them and I don't have an UPS/surge protector.

    7.0%
  1. barry99705

    barry99705 sudo rm -Rf /

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    I leave them plugged in, they all need upgraded anyway. :D
     
  2. ozstrike

    ozstrike yip yip yip yip

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    Leave PC plugged in, unplug my external HD, and unplug my laptop :)
     
  3. hydro_electric_655

    hydro_electric_655 Dremelly Dude

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    IMO the sheer amount of power from a lightning strike takes more than one path to the ground. Having a direct strike with all the power going through your computer would be nothing short of amazing. Anyone that has had a computer fried knows that the computer doesn't light up like a high powered arc, it just fries the IC's and other small components. A direct strike to your PC would result in your PC exploding followed by a shower of molten chassis and components.

    So that's how a surge protector works a voltage spike will kill components and since the spike won't reach the thousands to millions of volts a surge protector can disconnect power and the ground wire will dissipate the excess charges floating around.
     
  4. cpemma

    cpemma Ecky thump

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    I turn off if the storm is close, but the main worry is the momentary power outage that occasionally accompanies a strike crashing the system when I'm in the middle of something, possible data loss and corruption. So I go watch a TV fed by a wire up to a pointy thing on the roof... :duh:
     
  5. Yemerich

    Yemerich I can has PERSUADETRON?

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    Living in the city that had the most lighting storms in the world (sao paulo) i rather consider using a surge protector. But for now, looks like Wi-Fi and unplugging my desktop is the best option.
     
  6. 3dHeli

    3dHeli New Member

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    Surge Protectors and unplugging the equipment is a good thing.

    Having lost only one item to suspected lightening (an internal pci modem) but nothing else at the same time (had 3 pc's plugged into the mains and networked together all with telephone modems, all connected at the time - and multiple telephones some with answering facility). Then I think it's reasonable to think, if the said pc's internal pci modem had been disconnected one would have got away with no damage.

    However, I do have one concern. In the hi-fi world some frown on surge protectors, claiming they have a negative impact on sound quality. If this is true, would they cause any issues to pc's? For example, would it effect the quality of a DVD burn . . . I raise this question, because despite choosing the best media and drives from reviews such as CD Freaks, I can never get the same quality or highest burn speeds they do . . . thinking psu or surge protector are the issues, but this is just a theory I have, it's unproven . . . maybe I should just unplug the surge protector and see if it makes any tangiable difference.
     
  7. tk421

    tk421 Idiot.

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    here we get into sticky conversation - audiophiles are all nutters. every last one of them.
    and no 2 will EVER tell you the same thing. it's like religion, but in smelly tweed jackets.

    oh ya - all those nutty audiophiles have thier hi-fi sets insured for about 3 times market value - so if they do get blowed up - they can upgrade.
     
  8. ComputerKing

    ComputerKing <img src="http://forums.bit-tech.net/images/smilie

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    I don't have thunder :(

    So what should I chose ?!?!?!1 I'm confused.
     
  9. Nuffenburger

    Nuffenburger The Burgerman Can

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    for insurance reasons. i would leave mine on
    just cause i need a few new parts lol
     
  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    sweeping generalisations ahoy!

    You realise all of what you just said is rubbish, yes?
     
  11. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I unplug my system completely when it's not in use. I live in lightning land, and have 40+ trees in the yard. I've lost 2 computers and many other things to lightning related surges. I've suffered at least 3 strikes to the phone lines, and 3 strikes within 100 yards of the house. (Modem surge protectors have not helped.) One strike was to the big tree in the front yard, about 5 feet from the house. The nails in the wallboard were knocked out from the shock, and the curtains were badly burned.
    I've taken to the habit of chaining surge supressors because just one doesn't really cut it. (Of course, none of them work for a direct hit.)
     
  12. ck07

    ck07 New Member

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    I have left various machines on more or less continuously since I got my 386 in 1989 or 90 and never lost anything to an electrical problem (AFAIK). Just get a decent surge protector or UPS. I like APC products.
     
  13. dire_wolf

    dire_wolf Last Of The Dovakhiin

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    Have got a belkin UPS/Surge multiway adapter for my main PC (you know those big black bricks with a £Million warranty or whatever)

    Had quite a startling/funny experience a few years ago when I lived with my parents, it was thundering and lightening outside so I nipped downstairs to let my dad know he should really turn their PC off as it's only connected to the mains by a £4.99 B&Q splitter with no surge, he said "it'll be alright" and at that very instant the CRT let out a huge bright white flash, and a touch of blue smoke came out of the back. Scared the life out of us but it was such an "I told you so" moment lol
     
  14. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    unplugged + very old ups that doesn't quite work. I mostly use it as a powerbar
     
  15. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    I would like to get a flywheel UPS, doesn't hold much power but isolates the system.
     
  16. ArcSpark

    ArcSpark Did I let the magic smoke out?

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    I've had a close lightning strike take out network equipment that was unplugged from the main power line. It was so close it induced a voltage in the very long cable runs. Insurance wouldn't cover it.

    I don't trust surge protectors very much either. The MOVs don't break down immediately, so a fast transient won't get stopped, unless there is some additional clamping like a zener diode. On top of that, the MOVs degrade over time. I also don't trust those companies to honor their insurance without a court battle. It would be way to easy for them to make you prove the spike was below the max rating of the surge protector.
    I trust a UPS a little more, but not enough to gamble.

    I also follow the rule that, if it plugs into the wall, it can get hit by lightning.
     
  17. Arkanrais

    Arkanrais New Member

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    I leave my pc plugged without surge protection. my multitap power points have an overdraw protection of ~2200 watts and have a circuit breaker or something in them that triggers when there's too much power running through them (like when I had my kettle and microwave on the same multitap, having them both on that the same time would blow the circuit breaker). I have a couple of small surge protectors sitting in my drawers but haven't plugged them in. the worst I've had happen to a computer was when there was a power cut one night while I was asleep. when I woke up in the morning I could smell some strange smell (electrical burning smell). I didn't really give half a s*** so started up my PC and left it running all day, then about 2am or something the following morning, I was browsing the net when I heard a bang from inside my PC case. I crashed the computer by holding in the power button while swearing my head off. turns out the fan had seized in the PSU and the bang was a capacitor that burst its guts out. I was pissed off mostly cause I had to use my old PIII and had to find a new PSU but later figured out I could run my PC fine in the mean time off an old HP pavilion 145watt max PSU from my old amd K6-2 350MHz pc. all the components inside the machine were fine and I'm still running them now so I'm not worried in the least
     
  18. inverted

    inverted New Member

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    I leave mine plugged in as all of my power cables and things like that run under ground, so I think the lightning wouldn't be able to get to my pc. (Correct me if i'm wrong). Though where I live in the UK we get like 2 thunderstorms each year, if that. Buying a surge projector dosen't seem to be worth the money for me.
     

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