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Power Supply: burning smell & sparking inside.

just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

 Well I got up this morning to notice an odd smell coming from my PC.

 Immediately disconnected it, torn it apart and cleaned it. Only to turn it back on and have the same smell pouring out of it. Upon further inspection the smell had been coming out of the power supply's box, tore that open and cleaned as best I could.. but this time powered it up while it was open and noticed itr sparked once but couldn't tell where it was coming from.

 

 Not sure what I expect to find out other than replacing it, but some insightor something  would be nice right about now. Using a netbook that can barely play videos smoothly is not very fun lol.

 

 The PC is also some pre-built HP machine, expired warranty of course, i'm not overly tech-savy but i'm not even entirely sure if it's possible to replace it's power supply box since some of the wiring looks to be hardwired right into the thing.

 

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Comments

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     Alright after many minutes of blinking and missing it lol, I finally saw where the spark was coming from.

     image

     It's from the black coil under the fan (is it even supposed to be black? the other one isn't lol).

      Anyways I guess what I meant to ask earlier is if there's anything I can do to fix it besides replacing the enitre power supply box and/or entire computer?

  • NitthNitth AustraliaPosts: 3,684Member Uncommon

    I wouldnt open that up, Get a qualified electrician to do it.
    From memory they still contain deadly voltages even when unpluged..

    edit; Just get a new PSU man, not worth the hassle.

    image
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  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member Common

    If you can't FULLY disconnect the ps from the rest of the computer and remove it completely, you need to buy a new comp. Those black circles? Those are the toroid coils, finding a suitable replacement can be rather difficult. Not to mention, if you are not a skilled electronics guy, you'd have to have someone else replace them anyway, which, IMO, isn't worth it.

    If the ps is completely removeable, Newegg should have something that will work.

     

    Should.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon

    HPs PSUs are crap and fixing it isn´t worth the work.

    Lets instead hope that it didn´t fry the rest of the computer, while it probably didn´t it is not impossible.

    Just get a new one, and maybe something good this time? From someone who actually know how to build a PSU like Corsair?

    Rule #1: Never buy a brand desktop, they will just sell you old crap components and HP is the worst of them all. If youcan´t build the computer yourself of know the part go down to small geeky computer store and have them help you get one of their prebuilt ones instead, people like that usually have proffesional pride and don´t put whatever crap they can get into the machines.

    The best way however is posting a thread here about it, there are plenty of competent people that can find you a lot better stuff for a lower price than what HP and Dell try to sell you.

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     lol I was expecting a lecture as soon as I mentioned HP, it was a boxing day sale for about $200 (monitor/wireless mouse/board/nvidia gfx atleast) awhile ago and was actually an upgrade from what I had at the time haha.

     But yeah, I was a little nervous about opening it,it was that or nothing though since it isn't safe to use. I did give it awhile after unplugging before even going near it though, i'm still standing and got all my hair atleast.

     I guess i'll have to take it apart completly to get a look at where all the wires lead to see if it is removeble. I've never seen a more crammed case design in all my life, have to take every last thing out to see, and more screws than i'd like to keep track of either.

     May just give HP a call later and mention it too, can probably argue the warranty since it was nearly expured when I bought it.

     

     Thanks for the responses.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Mellkor

    I wouldnt open that up, Get a qualified electrician to do it.

    From memory they still contain deadly voltages even when unpluged..

    edit; Just get a new PSU man, not worth the hassle.

    This.

    If a SPARKING PSU can get past QC, then lard knows what other components in that PSU are just waiting to send 120 volts through the hard drive rail...

    It looks like a pretty odd form factor, so it might be harder to find a replacement, but still possible.  If not, a new case would make that problem go away.

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 18,030Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by just2duh

     lol I was expecting a lecture as soon as I mentioned HP, it was a boxing day sale for about $200 (monitor/wireless mouse/board/nvidia gfx atleast) awhile ago and was actually an upgrade from what I had at the time haha.

     But yeah, I was a little nervous about opening it,it was that or nothing though since it isn't safe to use. I did give it awhile after unplugging before even going near it though, i'm still standing and got all my hair atleast.

     I guess i'll have to take it apart completly to get a look at where all the wires lead to see if it is removeble. I've never seen a more crammed case design in all my life, have to take every last thing out to see, and more screws than i'd like to keep track of either.

     May just give HP a call later and mention it too, can probably argue the warranty since it was nearly expured when I bought it.

     Thanks for the responses.

    HP just like Dell have some special solutions in their cases, but the cables are standard so replacing it might take a bit of violence with the case, but it shouldn´t be a huge problem. In worst case you could probably ask around and find some old computer case lying around at some friends celler or so and put the stuff from your computer into it instead.

    I think you can leave all hardware besides the PSU in the case, the real problem will be fitting the new PSU into it which might take some "creative" violence.

    I never got why they make the cases so small, while it so save them space storing the thing it also make them overheat and replacing anything a nightmare.

    Good luck with it. :)

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    I'd advise against opening up a power supply unless you know a lot more about electronics than you're letting on.  If you're an electrician in your day job, then have at it.

    You get what you pay for.  If you came in thinking, it's probably a piece of junk, but a piece of junk is good enough and it's only $200, then fine.  Computers like that exist for a reason--and not only to prey on the clueless.

    What other hardware does it have, besides the power supply?  And are you looking to get a new computer, or hope to just replace the power supply and have the old one continue working?

    "I never got why they make the cases so small, while it so save them space storing the thing it also make them overheat and replacing anything a nightmare."

    Because some people will see it and think, oh, it's so small.  How cute.  And then buy it.

    See Intel's new "ultrabooks", for example.  High price tag, low performance, unreliable, impossible to upgrade, and feature-barren--but also a few millimeters thinner than the competition, and Intel thinks that for many consumers, being a few mm thinner will outweigh everything else.

  • BarCrowBarCrow Tampa, FLPosts: 2,212Member

    Yeah..be careful. PSUs,printers and monitors can all hold a potentially lethal charge for quite a while.

    At this juncture I'd just get a new PSU if I had the same issue.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Because some people will see it and think, oh, it's so small.  How cute.  And then buy it.

     

    "Electronics are ugly things that take up space that's better used to put my ceramic jar of potpourri!"

    Basically, methinx they're designed and marketed for people that think of a computer in the exact same way you'll think of a DVD player or VCR; once you hook it up, all you're ever do with it physically is feed it media.

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     Today is just not my day, my PS3 even stopped reading discs.

     But Contacted HP and man do they ever have some shit policies. If the 1 year warranty expired you can't even contact them by email (must enter serial # and it checks before, expired = denied), and they also charge for phone calls to anything other than general tech support (basically the people who know nothing and transfer you).

     But after talking to some guy from India for a few minutes, the end result was this.. Estimated $300-400 for repairs. LOL

     

     Thanks for the tips, I have an old PC lying around actually with a working power supply, a much much larger one size-wise though.

     I had began tearing out parts from both PC's in hopes of just putting all the HP's stuff into the old pc's case and use it's PSU (they are actually the same watt/voltz/hz) but unfortunetly the cables running out of it are not compatible at all with the HP's motherboard or whatever.

     

     The HP case needs a specific size and shaped power supply too, that barely fit as it wa, costs about $85-90 online (good / bad?... It is this model actually so you can probably guess it's incredibly cramped:

    http://h71016.www7.hp.com/html/interactive/s5000/model.html?buyNowLink=default&quickspecs=default&jumpid=re__3d/DSK/s5000%7CProdPage%7Cother

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by just2duh

    costs about $85-90 online

    Don't you just love vendor lock-in?  If it's a $30 power supply, but HP knows that your choice is to either pay whatever they charge or replace the computer, then they can charge an awful lot more than $30.

    You might want to consider just getting a new computer.  If you keep your old peripherals, you can get a passable gaming computer for $600.

  • XarnthalXarnthal Landenberg, PAPosts: 130Member

    Originally posted by just2duh

     Today is just not my day, my PS3 even stopped reading discs.

     But Contacted HP and man do they ever have some shit policies. If the 1 year warranty expired you can't even contact them by email (must enter serial # and it checks before, expired = denied), and they also charge for phone calls to anything other than general tech support (basically the people who know nothing and transfer you).

     But after talking to some guy from India for a few minutes, the end result was this.. Estimated $300-400 for repairs. LOL

     

     Thanks for the tips, I have an old PC lying around actually with a working power supply, a much much larger one size-wise though.

     I had began tearing out parts from both PC's in hopes of just putting all the HP's stuff into the old pc's case and use it's PSU (they are actually the same watt/voltz/hz) but unfortunetly the cables running out of it are not compatible at all with the HP's motherboard or whatever.

     

     The HP case needs a specific size and shaped power supply too, that barely fit as it wa, costs about $85-90 online (good / bad?... It is this model actually so you can probably guess it's incredibly cramped:

    http://h71016.www7.hp.com/html/interactive/s5000/model.html?buyNowLink=default&quickspecs=default&jumpid=re__3d/DSK/s5000%7CProdPage%7Cother

    If you want the power supply to fit in the case then yeah go buy the HP one, if the fuse is still good in the PSU then your mobo should be fine. If you don't care about looks and the cables are long enough, just duct tape the larger PSU you have laying around on top of the tower and you're good to go. Like most things, if you're worried about shocking the shit out of yourself just unplug all the cables to the tower and hit the power button. Should drain all the remaining power in the mobo and PSU.

     

    If you're worried about any of this, and have $700, I'd suggest looking at the Dell refurb's. $700 can get you an extremely nice tower that you can't custom build on newegg for less than $1000. Checkout slickdeals.net, sometimes they post the Dell Refurb deals there.

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  • 77lolmac7777lolmac77 Herp Derp, PAPosts: 496Member
    just get a new one. was probably junk to begin wih (hp product) and it might damage the rest of the PC. Opening it up is not only dangerous, but probably voided the warranty.

    Power supplies arent that expensive either, if you just use the PC for internet you will be fine with anything over 300 watts
  • greyed-outgreyed-out buttercupsville, OKPosts: 99Member

    Sorry to hear about your hardware misfortunes, OP.  Your best bet if you want to keep your s5000 is simply to replace the PSU.  Fixing it yourself is not worth it unless you're an electrician.  I did a quick search and you can find them cheaper than $80; saw one on ebay for $40.  Yeah, its a crappy PSU, but until you're ready to get a new PC, and build or buy one with standard components, it's the best you're gonna do, IMO.

  • FreeBooteRFreeBooteR Surrey, BCPosts: 333Member

    I have a buddy who had a similar problem. He doesn't game, just wanted something for doing work at home. A trip the the local ma and pop computer repair shop and they had the powersupply on one of the extra HP boxes they had laying around.

    So more than likely you could find one of their proprietary powersupplies in an old box some repair shop has lying around.

    Archlinux ftw

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     Anything over $50 to fix it doesn't really seem worth it really, I guess asking some local shops couldn't hurt.

     I'd love to get an all brand new-ish rig but that's out of the question for now. Also have that PS3 problem.. which is also out of warranty - automatic $200 there woohoo! -_-

     Seems i'm better off buying new in both cases.

     I managed to scrape together that old pc to use for now though, couldn't stand that netbook anymore. I kind of surprised myself there since it was just a bunch of disconnected and scattered pieces lol. But I just noticed someone swapped it's 440MX with some 16mb card lmao. The 440MX is nothing to brag about now but it was atleast 256mb and not 16!

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    All those big cylinder things are called capacitors.
    They can store hundreds of volts, for days and months at a time. They store enough power that if you short out the leads with a screwdriver, it will weld the screwdriver to the chassis and vaporize the leads... true story.
    Very dangerous to go tinkering around in there.

    Aside from that.

    Power supplies almost never die alone. When they go (and yours went in glorious spectacular fashion), they almost always take other parts of the computer with it. RAM almost always dies, motherboards are fairly common to die, video cards and hard drives aren't unheard of. CPU's tend to live, but once you need a new motherboard, most of the time that means a new CPU anyway.

    You can just replace the power supply and hope for the best, but I wouldn't be surprised if you turn it on and it just sits there black screen, or beeps wildly and never starts up.

  • xevanonxevanon Montreal, QCPosts: 76Member

    A little bit of advise: go on this website  http://www.tomshardware.com/

    Educate yourself and you will never ever buy a pre-built computer ever again. You can find basically all the info on how to build your own rig at better price. You probably have a friend or two that have computer skills and they can help you out to bulld the gaming killing machine of your dream at decent price.

    Believe me it worth it.

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Loke666
    HPs PSUs are crap and fixing it isn´t worth the work.
    Lets instead hope that it didn´t fry the rest of the computer, while it probably didn´t it is not impossible.
    Just get a new one, and maybe something good this time? From someone who actually know how to build a PSU like Corsair?
    Rule #1: Never buy a brand desktop, they will just sell you old crap components and HP is the worst of them all. If youcan´t build the computer yourself of know the part go down to small geeky computer store and have them help you get one of their prebuilt ones instead, people like that usually have proffesional pride and don´t put whatever crap they can get into the machines.
    The best way however is posting a thread here about it, there are plenty of competent people that can find you a lot better stuff for a lower price than what HP and Dell try to sell you.

    +1
    If you dont know how to do it, goto that small comp store that sells parts and ask them. Their eyes will light up at you asking them what they think is good/better and why.

  • bishop916bishop916 Rio Linda, CAPosts: 42Member

    Power supplies generally don't overpower a rail when they go they just -stop. with that being said if your mobo fires it can cause component failure, - but I've had ps die on more than one occasion and no problems downline.

     

     - B916

  • PalladinPalladin Atlanta, GAPosts: 426Member

    I had this happen to me once....funny burned plastic smell can only mean one thing ...new power supply.

    AMD Phenum II x4 3.6Ghz 975 black edition
    8 gig Ram
    Radeon 4870

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

    Originally posted by Ridelynn

    All those big cylinder things are called capacitors.

    They can store hundreds of volts, for days and months at a time. They store enough power that if you short out the leads with a screwdriver, it will weld the screwdriver to the chassis and vaporize the leads... true story.

    Very dangerous to go tinkering around in there.

    Aside from that.

    Power supplies almost never die alone. When they go (and yours went in glorious spectacular fashion), they almost always take other parts of the computer with it. RAM almost always dies, motherboards are fairly common to die, video cards and hard drives aren't unheard of. CPU's tend to live, but once you need a new motherboard, most of the time that means a new CPU anyway.

    You can just replace the power supply and hope for the best, but I wouldn't be surprised if you turn it on and it just sits there black screen, or beeps wildly and never starts up.

     lol cool story :P

     I didn't physically touch anything inside the power supply though, at most took a q-tip to the metal casing I removed from it to take off the caked on dust and just carefully vaccumed around the rest.

     I'm fairly certain it didn't fry anything else atleast, since it was still powering on and was opperating normally. Well apart from stinking anyways lol, I guess I caught it early.

  • just2duhjust2duh City, NSPosts: 1,290Member

     I havn't had any luck locating an identical power supply around here, so I may not bother at all.

     In the meantime I think I may just upgrade this older PC for a few bucks until I can just afford a new PC. It's from about 2000-2002 if anyone could give some advice or suggestions.

     

    Currently it is:

    AMD Athlon XP1800+ 1.54ghz

    768MB ram (has 3 slots)

     and that pitiful video card - Nvidia Vanta 16mb

     

     Easiest would probably be RAM and video card, I think I know what type it needs already but not 100% sure. For RAM it would be DDR1, and video card has to be AGP?

     I've found some parts being sold in local ads, but i'm not entirely sure they will work:

     Two 1GB DDR 400MHz RAM and an AGP ATI Rage 128mb video card.

     A wide selection of AGP Video Cards ( there is a pic  http://truro.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-computer-accessories-AGP-Video-Cards-10-Each-or-50-for-all-W0QQAdIdZ342929332) Not sure what any of them are lol still waiting for them to contact me back.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by just2duh
     I havn't had any luck locating an identical power supply around here, so I may not bother at all.
     In the meantime I think I may just upgrade this older PC for a few bucks until I can just afford a new PC. It's from about 2000-2002 if anyone could give some advice or suggestions.
     
    Currently it is:
    AMD Athlon XP1800+ 1.54ghz
    768MB ram (has 3 slots)
     and that pitiful video card - Nvidia Vanta 16mb
     
     Easiest would probably be RAM and video card, I think I know what type it needs already but not 100% sure. For RAM it would be DDR1, and video card has to be AGP?
     I've found some parts being sold in local ads, but i'm not entirely sure they will work:
     Two 1GB DDR 400MHz RAM and an AGP ATI Rage 128mb video card.
     A wide selection of AGP Video Cards ( there is a pic  http://truro.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-computer-accessories-AGP-Video-Cards-10-Each-or-50-for-all-W0QQAdIdZ342929332) Not sure what any of them are lol still waiting for them to contact me back.

    What are you going to try to do with the PC?

    If it's just to get on the web, check email, maybe do some school work - sure, a bit more memory and it'll run Windows XP->Windows 7 fine. (I wouldn't pay a lot for that RAM, but you may be able to find some at a decent price). If you can get at least 2G, you'd be golden, although WinXP will run on 768 with a lot of swap, and Win7 on 1G. You won't get the fancy Aero interface, but that's ok.

    If your planning on gaming - just forget it. No amount of upgrading will get that thing to run nearly any DX9 game well.

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