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O/T Computer help? Hit by lightning.

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Shooting Jack, Aug 13, 2007.

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  1. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    My home got hit by lightning Saturday evening and it got my Big TV, computer, telephone, and dish washer. She's going to be ok, just kidding, it got the real dishwasher. At any rate, I can bring my computer up in safe mode but it will not come up normal. When I ran diagnostics while trying to log online in the safe mode it stated that you couldn't connect DSL when in safe mode. Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be wrong and how I can correct it. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give. Jackie B.
     
  2. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Lightning is so fast it can get through many protective devices. You should have all your copmputer stuff plugged into a protected strip and even that may not help. I have seen many devices made unrepairable by lightning.

    Call your insurance co.

    HM
     
  3. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    1st see if any of your important files (docs, photos etc) can be backed up. Back them up on disc. You can do this in safe mode if your CD burner can use windows built in drivers. Than reformat and reinstall you operating system and start over. If the lightening did NOT take out your power supply or the MOBO you should be ok. Obviously if it will start at all in safe mode than the power supply and MOBO are ok.
     
  4. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Save your hard drive and put it into your new computer as another drive. then you can transfer what you want to the new one.

    You have to change a jumper on the back to make it a slave rather than a master.

    You can bring it up just like a CD or floppy.

    HM
     
  5. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

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    Computers plugged into surge strips are not! I repeat are not! protected. Any power surge that may have happened before the lightning strike may have damaged the surge strip and you would not know it. Your insurance policy includes computer replacement and your dishwasher has already put you over your deductible so go ahead and claim the computer. You will be chasing ghost until your blue in the face with things acting strange for no reason at all.


    JMHO... Jerbear
     
  6. mike31z

    mike31z Member

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    How did you connect to the DSL? Did you dis-connect from DSL and try booting if you can't boot how are you connected?<br>
    <br> USB or Seperate Nic Card and network cable? If it's a Nic card. Remove the seperate card from Your computer and reboot in normal mode. If you computer boots up Good. Then Go back and reinstall the Nic Card. If it won't reboot then you got a bad nic card. If your Network Interface (NIC) is on your motherboard then you may have serious problems.
     
  7. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    I'll agree with Jerbear. Once a system has had damage from an "overdose" of electricity, it can show up eventually in many components and in rather strange ways. Same thing goes for large amounts of liquids and Laptops. It's best to bite the bullet and start from scratch, rather than to chase down odd problems. As for being unable to use DSL in "Safe Mode", it's perfectly normal to be unable to access your network. "Safe Mode" uses a limited set of drivers to get the system up. Things like Optical Drives, USB, Firewire, and Network cards usually don't work in "safe mode". You can use a "Live" Linux disk, Bart PE, or a Windows PE disk to get the system up and recover your files to other media if you need to. You can always hook the drive up to another system and transfer the files also. Hopefully it will work long enough to do so. If you have a Laptop or other system with USB2, you can get a drive adaptor that will connect the drive as an external device.
     
  8. joe kuhn

    joe kuhn Furry Lives Matter TS Supporters

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    Jackie,

    Lots of good advice here. I can add that when it happened where I used to work, the hard drive heads went flying across the drive and erased a strip of data from one side to the other. Address files looked like a barber's pole. We salvaged what we could of the files by typing in from hard copy. Painful, but we recovered.

    I'm amazed you can boot as far as you say. This is a painful, but interesting experience. Lightning goes where it wants and is attracted to ligtning rod types of things like printer cables, even when they're inside buildings and laying horizontally.

    Let us know how this turns out.

    Joe
     
  9. ke4yyd

    ke4yyd Member

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    There is only one way to protect the computer from lightning and that doesn't always work. I know from experience. Surge strips don't work. When there is lightning danger the computer must be UNPLUGGED from ALL input sources. Most lightning damage comes in via the phone line. My technique is to use a surge strip for all electrical hookups to the computer such as the computer, monitor, sound equipment, DSL modem and whatever else one has hooked up. I then unplug the strip from the wall receptacle when ever protection is needed. The phone line is also disconnected from the wall jack.

    The last time we had a lightning storm, even with everything unplugged, the intense static in the air wiped out my ethernet card and DSL modem.

    Lightning damaged computers most likely will never work well again. Too many sensitive components.
     
  10. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Several points:

    Back up you data ASAP!

    Boot in safe mode WITH network support and see what happens.

    As per Jerbear, surge strips are just expensive outlet multipliers. The minimal protection afforded is degraded (or eliminated) by the first hit they get. Do a search for SurgeX, then buy the appropriate AC Conditioner/Surge Protector. They are expensive, but they do work, and do not degrade after even massive hits.
     
  11. jbmOU

    jbmOU Member

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    Our computer recently got hit by lightning, insurance coverd it and we have a new computer.
     
  12. Jim Brown (the puller)

    Jim Brown (the puller) TS Member

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    Lightning is not going to be prevented from getting to any electrical device by using a surge protector. All they do is put some extra resistance in the power line line. Lightning is, by nature, jumping across a gap that has no conductor and can just as easily jump across the surge protector. It's just like your spark plug in your car, only on a grander scale.

    Years ago, a friend of the family was sitting on a toilet just inside an open window, between the window and a claw-foot bathtub with a shelf holding a large tin of bath salts just above the faucet handles. Lightning struck the tin of bath salts through the screen of the open window. Needless to say, it's a good thing the friend was already on the stool because it scared the s*** out of him
     
  13. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Jim Brown, check out SurgeX products. They have several grades, but all pass UL 1449 Adjunt testing and are Certified Grade A, Class 1, Mode 1. That means that EVERY unit survived 1000 surges of 6000V, 3000A with no failures or degradation, let-through voltage did not exceed 330V and the ground was not contaminated.

    Real world performance is better than that. SurgeX equipment protects my computers, peripherals and network. I specify it for every electronics system I design for my Clients. It flat out works. BTW, I have no connection to SurgeX. I'm just super impressed with performance. It isn't often that a manufacturer claims stellar performance characteristics, and always exceeds them.
     
  14. SoftCraft

    SoftCraft TS Member

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    Anybody notice....no one has asked what type of computer it is, what operating system it has etc. He did indicate that it is a wireless connection. DSL modems have an id that indicates who the isp is. Google for that info.

    Rest of you think you know all about what the problem is. You have obviously never worked a help desk or been educated in the IT world.

    Rich
     
  15. Dahaub

    Dahaub Active Member

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    Jack, you should be sure to have someone check out all your appliances for damage. It may not show up for a couple of weeks. I know because I too was struck or the house was a few years ago and after I had made the deal with the insurance company my fridge went down also. I was told an electrical surge did the damage but I was late on the report to the insurance company and they would not pay for the fridge. Also look at your garage door opener and make sure if you are on a well there was no damage to your deep pump. Dan
     
  16. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Hi guys and thanks for all the help. So far I have a bad Network card and put computer in shop for a thorough check as required by insurance company. The westell modem is ok and is working on my laptop now. It is hooked up wireless so when I get the computer back I will check it out again. My tv is in the shop and a repairman for the dishwasher is supposed to be here Monday. Oh well, that's what insurance is for I guess. Thanks again. Jackie B.
     
  17. Jerbear

    Jerbear TS Member

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    softcraft, I am A+ certified and have my Novell Netware Admin certs. I was half way through my MCSE track before I had to go into the hospital. I know from vast experience, that lightening is not software exclusive, it's hardware exclusive. Humm help desk, is you name Andy or habieb? Are your help desk computers plugged into power strips or UPS's? It would make no difference if was Linux, Unix, Red Hat or MICROSHAFT on the box, if it was hit with a surge of power and went through the power supply which has somewhat of a surge protector in it, the HARDWARE would have taken the hit. Example... No hard drive spinning, no software working. No boot because the motherboard is fried no hard drive spinning and no Linux,Unix,XP,Vista working. I'm done with examples, I think you get the point.

    Ahhhh Tech support....


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/25011928@N00/90765000/" title="Photo Sharing">[​IMG]</a>


    JMHO..... Jerbear
     
  18. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Jerbear,

    Softcraft's point was clear. You need to be "special" to work the help desk or be edu-ma-cated in IT. Or is that short for Italy? Notice that no network was specified for the affected computer originally, except for the DSL connection, but softcraft "assumed" that it was a wireless connection, since the original poster clearly stated that his "LAPTOP" is now connected by wireless and working well. I'll bet he works the help desk. He apparently has an issue understanding the issue. :) You are correct that a lightning hit is an OS independent cause of failure and is based in the hardware. A "skilled" IT person would not waste time asking questions that have no bearing on the root cause of the concern. I'd only ask about his system details when we were talking about getting him a replacement.
     
  19. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    I have worked on many a computer and including those hit by lightning.

    In a nutshell: get rid of it. Nothing worse than one receiving electrical surges. The motherboard is so suseptable to these currents you may see it work for a while and then not, eventually it only takes one failed component to stop it entirely.

    I even tried to nurse one of my own recently. Best thing I ever did was salvage the data and let the recyclers have the cpu box.

    It is absolutely not worth the headaches to keep limping along with a marginal system. You problems appear to be cpu relaed, but it could be in any number of the hundreds of CMOS devices.

    IMHO.

    Forgot to mention that your homeowner's policy should cover the damages.

    WW
     
  20. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Ask for a warranty and guarantee that your system will run without trouble for at least a year or more. That should come from BOTH your insurance company AND the repair shop. You can also try another computer shop. Most reputable techs will not sucker someone into repairing a system hit by lightning. They can "Fix" it for you many times for that $150 again and again. Once you've spent a little, they can figure it will be job security for another year, or until you get tired of throwing money at it. I'm sure you can replace a network card and repair the operating system, but the overall reliability of the system has been compromised. Your options might need to be based on how old your system is and how much you spent for it. If it's older than three years, you might take that $150 and put it towards a newer system. At least that should come with some sort of warranty.

    I've had systems fail multiple times, only to find out that they were originally hit by lightning. First it's a network card, then a power supply, then the motherboard, then the graphics card, then the hard drive, then the optical drive, etc. All minor or moderate fixes individually, but collectively cost way more than a new machine would have been in the first place.
     
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