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DarkSerge

No power after outage

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Greetings.

 

We recently had some power outages in the city during a major storm. Upon power returning to me, my computer system will not power on.

 

I've already swapped power supplies, tried different power cables, and plugged into different power strips and nothing has helped. No indication of power whatsoever, no little lights on the mother board, no fans, nothing. Completely dead.

 

Any thoughts?

 

It's a Lenovo H50-55 motherboard.

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Except my cpu and motherboard got fried. I bought a UPS after that..

 

CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD Intelligent LCD UPS System, 1500VA/900W, 12 Outlets, AVR, Mini-Tower

 

It even has a daemon: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/CyberPower_UPS

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I even tried various ways of unplugging things trial and error to no avail.

 

That it? Just dead? Sigh.... I only had the computer 3 years, the SSD was maybe about a year and a half old. Just upgraded the RAM about a year ago...

 

Edit: If that's the only diagnosis, then I'm guessing my options are buy a replacement motherboard or a new system. I don't have the money for a new system so it looks like I'll have to search out a motherboard.

Edited by DarkSerge

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Power surges are the bane of electronics.

 

This is one of the reasons my systems are NOT powered up when I'm not using them. My computers and all peripherals go to a surge-protector with a Master on/off switch. When I'm done using the system, I power down completely. I start it back up later or the next day when I want to use it again.

 

Have serviced electronic systems my entire adult life, and the fact that I live in Florida (MUCH lightning/surge activity), I've learned that this is the best procedure to protect your equipment. At one time there was $20K worth of test equipment out in my shop. It was definitely disconnected from the power when not in use. One good lightning strike/surge could potentially fry the entire 20K's worth in a few nano-seconds.

 

It is what it is...

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That's also why I keep mine on a UPS. The daemon that I mentioned cleanly powers off my machines if the power goes out for longer than 15 minutes (the UPS has a 20 minute battery).

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Power surges are the bane of electronics.
Its why all my sensitive electronics (computers, big screen TV and home theater audio equipment) are all connected to a "good" UPS with AVR.

 

Of course, nothing can stop Mother Nature should she decide to toss a bolt of lightning directly at your house (except, maybe, unplugging from the wall), but a "good" UPS with AVR can come pretty close. Surge and spike protectors are better than nothing, but they do absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges), or long duration sags (brownouts) - any of which can cause your electronics to suddenly stop, resulting in possible data corruption. And for "extreme" surges and spikes, a surge and spike protector simply kills power (if working properly) to your components. That too can result in possible data corruption.

 

Note that backup power during a full power outage is just a minor bonus feature. It is the AVR (automatic voltage regulation) that makes a good UPS so valuable.

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I remember a 1970s project involving millions of dollars of electronics. It was powered by a motor-generator set.

The only thing connected to outside power was the motor.

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The storm was actually really sudden, it was nice out then it just ripped into the city within about 10 minutes. I didn't even know it was storming until the power was irregular (it wasn't a surge, it was more like it went awkwardly low and fluctuated then out) then suddenly it's like a lake was dropped on the city in less than 10 minutes. The power outage wasn't even a lightning strike, the winds knocked down trees all over the city and took out some power lines.

 

I even plugged the power supply into an old board I had lying around and it looked to be getting power to it just fine. Everything power related seems to be working, so it's the motherboard.

Edited by DarkSerge

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The storm was actually really sudden, it was nice out then it just ripped into the city within about 10 minutes.
I live in Tornado Alley so I know exactly what you mean by that.

 

it was more like it went awkwardly low and fluctuated then out
Yup. But it is important to note that it is common for surges and spikes to occur after such dips and sags until the grid stabilizes.

 

These fluctuations are common too after a power outage and the power is restored. Suddenly heavy wattage appliances and equipment (air conditioner and refrigerator compressors, as examples) are all trying to power up at the exact same time. So the initial surge comes through, than a massive demand as all those lights, computers, TVs and heavy equipment try to spin up, then it goes back and forth for a few hundred cycles until it all evens out. Makes the AVR of a "good" UPS sound even more advantageous, huh?

Everything power related seems to be working, so it's the motherboard.
:( Yeah, it sounds like it.

 

I even plugged the power supply into an old board I had lying around and it looked to be getting power to it just fine.
Not sure what "looked to be getting power" means. Did it boot? Remember, a PSU must output 3 separate but essential voltages; 12VDC, 5VDC and 3.3VDC. It can "look to be" good because 12V fans spin, but that does not mean the other voltage rails are good. This is where a nice PSU Tester can come in handy. While not 100% conclusive (they don't test for ripple and other anomalies that affect computer stability, nor do they provide a variety of realistic loads), but they are great at revealing if all the voltages are present (or missing).

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It doesn't take much of a surge to fry a CPU (or other critical solid state device on the mobo). The lightning strike that caused the surge could be miles away. The surge through the electrical system in the city might not be enough to trigger protective circuits or damage anything. Just an instantaneous spike could wipe a motherboard.

 

People often think that it's the BIG HITS that cause the damage, and yes, they do. However, the damage from big hits is obvious; computers blown off desks, televisions catching on fire, pieces of houses blown off where the electrical wiring enters from the power poles, etc. I've seen all of these here in Florida. Happens every afternoon around here this time of year. Those summer thunderstorms can be some violent events. I cringe every time one blows through here.

 

The cats hate the thunder. Sadly, they'll be dealing with the 4th fireworks idiots around the neighborhood tonight. :(

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It doesn't take much of a surge to fry a CPU (or other critical solid state device on the mobo). The lightning strike that caused the surge could be miles away. The surge through the electrical system in the city might not be enough to trigger protective circuits or damage anything. Just an instantaneous spike could wipe a motherboard.

 

People often think that it's the BIG HITS that cause the damage, and yes, they do.

This is all very true. But it should also be noted tiny hits over time pound on electronics and can eventually wear down those protective circuits too. This is why surge and spike protectors should be replaced every couple years - or after a really bit hit.

 

Why (and When) You Need to Replace Your Surge Protector | How-To Geek

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Yesterday we had a bit of a brownout here, and my desktop went down. On restarting I got a continuous beep, then a BSOD (IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL).

I disconnected everything, took the box down to the workroom. Then I blew out the dust and reconnected the power cord.

The machine booted normally. I reconnected the peripherals and all seems well so far. Maybe this hard reset fixed things, but I'll keep an eye on the memory - maybe reseat it, or check for failure.

Edited by raymac46

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Maybe this hard reset fixed things
No doubt that was it. A "hard" or "cold" reboot ensures all voltages are removed from all circuits, including the ATX Form Factor standard required +5Vsb standby voltage that might be holding some corrupt settings in memory somewhere.

 

This should be taken as a reminder to make sure you have current backups of any data you don't want lost.

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All my data is backed up on a network drive which is functioning just fine. I stripped the system down to just the board, CPU, and memory, then tried different power supplies but still no response or even a little LED on the board lighting up or a quick fan spin when I hook up power. I found a replacement motherboard on Amazon. After I replace the board and move to my new place, I'll start shopping for a UPS power supply.

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Then at least you had your data and learned from the experience.You may never need it again but its always good to keep important electronics on a UPS. I never power off my devices so its mandatory in my situation.

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I have a UPS on my Amazon wish list and have been looking up a few, though right now I can't get one right away. First I want to fix my current situation then I am moving to a new place at the end of the month.

 

Question:

 

I am replacing the motherboard with an identical one (same model and part numbers)

 

Will that effect my Windows 10 installation or registration?

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I am replacing the motherboard with an identical one (same model and part numbers)

 

Will that effect my Windows 10 installation or registration?

Legally, because this is an identical board replaced as part of a repair action, you are perfectly legitimate. It might ask you to re-authenticate but I suspect since only the motherboard is changing, it won't, Either way, you are on solid ground so MS will have no reason to deny it. The fact is, they typically want happy customers. Its better PR. So I expect no problems.

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BTW, you can still activate windows 10 with a win7 key. You just need a key from an older machine, it doesnt matter what the hardware was. For instance I just activated a windows 10 install (vm) using an old windows 7 key from a laptop. I've used the same key on a dozen installs over the years.

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Hello,

 

Are you sure the power supply you swapped in is compatible with the Lenovo H50-55 motherboard? Some manufacturers' pre-built systems use proprietary power supplies with different wiring than the ATX standard, and it could be that you need a specific PSU that works with that motherboard in order to pwoer it up. If you have a power supply specifically for the Lenovo system, you could give it another try with that and see if the computer will power up. If that works, back up all of your valuable data from the computer. Before you do that, though, you may wish to pull the motherboard out of the computer and carefully inspect it with a good quality flashlight held directly overhead, looking for any signs of damaged (blackened or burst component tops). You can also give it the "smell test" to see if there's anything which smells burnt. Start your investigation around the PSU connector.

 

It may be possible to salvage some parts from the computer like the CPU, the RAM and the drives, and they may continue to work for some time without error, however, the kind of damage that is done inside a computer chip from ESD, nearby lightning strikes, and so forth over time is cumulative, so they shouldn't be considered reliable. They may be "good enough" for a back up/secondary computer, though.

 

Like @securitybreach, I have had good results with CyberPower UPSes. APC are good, too. Keep in mind that a UPS is not going to protect you from a nearby (or a direct) lightning strike. You have to physically unplug things. Even your UPS.

 

Back in the mid 1990s I was working in Woodland Park, Colorado at a software company that was in a strip mall. The first floor was filled with all sorts of tourist stores, and they had 50 metal flag posts (one for each state) in their parking lot as a kind of a "draw attention for the tourists coming through" kind of thing. Surprisingly, it was a couple of years before we had a strike on our building, but we eventually did. The flash and the boom from the lightning and the thunder occurred at the same time, and the building shook as if a truck had run into it. All of the UPSes tripped--some survived, others needed to be replaced, and we lost a lot of switch ports in our server room, network cards in PCs throughout the building, etc. A few days later, one of the network guys gave me a short 6" tube of PVC conduit they had to cut out. Welded into the bottom was an Ethernet cable whose jacket had melted into it.

 

Right now, I'm staying about four or five miles away from where Nikola Telsa built his Experimental Station to study lightning. When there's nearby lightning strikes, I power down my electronics, unplug the UPSes and power strips from their respective AC outlets, and unscrew the coax cable from my modem. I lost one computer the first year I was here, so that was my own expensive lesson. For a while, the power company out here offered the installation of a whole-home surge surpression service, which required shutting off the power to the building for installation, but they no longer offer the service. You might want to check and see if your power company offers something like that.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

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I do have my original OEM power supply that came installed and it is not powering the system either. Adapters from a standard power supply to a Lenovo board are easy to find online. I've tried 4 power supplies (including the original) and nothing has worked. Up until I ordered the new board I had the original PSU hooked up to it just incase but it didn't do any better than the others. A UPS is on my to-do list.

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I have a new motherboard, and it's working. I'm posting from my desktop right now.

 

One problem: I don't think the VGA port works. I had 2 monitors, one on HDMI and one on VGA. I can't get a picture on the VGA monitor. It works, I plugged it into my laptop and got a picture. I swapped VGA cables, I check all my settings and everything checks out (I mean it's the same Windows settings as before anyway.)

 

The video mode on my bios is set to Auto and my options are IGD and PEG, though selecting any option has the same result (PEG isn't applicable anyway since I'm using onboard video.) Windows shows everything is fine, I can change all the normal options for dual monitors, it detects it just fine and shows the second monitor. I can even drag things to the second monitor's desktop. If I set everything to display 2 only I get a blank screen, so I can only use display 1 (HDMI) As far as Windows can tell, everythings is working. All my settings are the same as before.

 

My video is Radeon R7 integrated graphics with an AMD A8-7600 APU. The same as before.

 

Do I have a bad VGA port maybe? I'm not sure how to feel. It's an optional component.

Edited by DarkSerge

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