Pop Goes The PC

I have four old computer carcasses that ended up stacked in the office because they were “dead” for some reason or another. This almost always means the power supply died, and may or may not have taken out something else with it.

My objective is to build at least one working computer out of the mess.

It’s been so long for all but the most recent, I forgot entirely what the story was, and two of them appear completely intact; no missing parts. I just plugged in the first of those. It started to fire up, had me thinking “maybe there was nothing actually wrong with this one…”, and then blew out the power supply with a bang and a puff of smoke. One of the most impressive displays of power supply failure I have ever witnessed.

Guess it really did belong in the dead computer pile. Now what will happen if I put in a new power supply? If I am lucky, nothing fried besides that. The computer may have ended up her simply because it kept refusing to turn on or something.

What is it with power supplies anyway? Really! There are dozens of ancient computers around here; P60, P100, P200… all with their original power supplies, still functional.

Every machine from P2 450 boxes to P3 800 boxes has had the power supply go at least once. Some also lost the replacement after a while. While most of the cases were of a particular brand, they varied. The brands of power supply used in them varied. The failures happened in many locations, so it’s not just the power in one building being prone to surges killing them.

Worse, I have even had to replace one in a newer machine, a P4 built by me, in a quality case with a good power supply. It’s as if the people who make the components that are used in power supplies have serious quality problems.