Exploding PC!!!

    Last night while watching TV there was a loud bad from my dads PC, while it was turned off.

    I tried turning it on and it didn't power up, so I changed the power cable thinking the fuse blew.

    As I turned the switch on at the back of the PC there was a massive spark, a burning smell and a tingling feeling in my figure.:(

    What happened to my dads PC, has the PSU blown somehow?
    Will the PC ever work again?
    How do I fix it?

    Ive sent an email to Mesh tech support.


    Are you sure it was turned off and not in power saving/hibernation mode?

    It does sound like the PSU has blown. Maybe there was an electrical surge or lightning storm at the time? It could be something to do with the hot weather we've had lately and a low power overworked PSU.

    With there being a spark after the bang and using the switch, it might have been a short circuit waiting to happen from a faulty piece of hardware.

    I'm only guessing here as I'm no expert, but it'll be interesting to know what Mesh have to say about it.

    Just out of interest, is the computer fairly new?

    Good luck with it anyway

    Original Poster

    The computer is only between 1 or 2 years old.

    I opened the case, and the is a yellow part in the PSU that has a bit of a black burn mark on it, I think its called a capacitor, not sure though.

    Waiting for Mesh to reply, 3 - 5 days

    Mesh are terrible with their customer service.

    I got my "spaceship" from them at christmas and all I wanted was to know roughly when it would arrive. 5 phone calls without anyone answering the phone and 2 emails not replied to. Eventually I just let it ring and ring and got an answer to be told they hadn't a clue the status of my order so I just figured I'd try and be patient (which I'm not)

    Eventually it came with a missing surge protector, phoned them up and they couldn't understand why it wasn't there and it wasn't on the order dispatch, I just asked if it was likely to be because it was out of stock and the woman said "yeah that must be it" and hung up on me! AAAH!

    anyway it did turn up eventually to their credit and I'm pretty sure the specs of my computer were slightly better than from when I ordered it so it's not all bad.

    Original Poster

    Customer service is s***, on hold for 10min, still no answer.
    Keep getting the message "you call is important to us and you will be answered shortly"

    Capacitors are nasty for blowing up. When I was doing some electroincs work and making PCBs we had a few explode. You get a horrible smell of melting plastic from them.

    Original Poster

    Yeh had that funny smell as well, like a party popper with melting plastic mixed in lol.

    What PSU was it?

    Reminds me of the 2 Tagans that blew up on me! :eek:

    Original Poster

    It just says Mesh Computers Plc - Model HPC-360-202.

    Managed to speak to someone, they said they will send a returns lable.

    Personally I think you are better off getting a new psu, possibly one which has a higher wattage, 400 + I cant see it in the post but I expect it may have only come with a 250 or 300w ?? perhaps what you have on your machine needs more?:(

    As comments above - Blown PSU. Most Likely cause.

    However, do check the rest of your pc innerds. Check for brown/black marks, areas that are slightly more dustier than the rest.

    If you're sure its the PSU, get a replacement one and fit that and give the inside a good brushing to get rid of the accumilated dust.

    I've had a couple of PSU's blown on me before, the smell is like burning plastic - usually because of a capacitor that's been shorted. Reason it smells like plastic? Plastic coating, plus capacitors (for those who don't know) is like a sandwich - very thin metal, followed by thin plastic, followed by thin metal and so forth ... all wound together nice and tight.

    Reason I said to dust down the inside, is that I found that my PSU's only blew because the inside was very dusty. Sometimes you can get metallic shards if you've been in and out a few times and that gets mixed with the dust. If the air flows not that good, then the PSU draws air from the inside of the case and blows it out the back. Any dust with possible metallic properties that get caught up in the circuit are likely to blow the PSU.

    Ofcourse - that's being a bit farfetched, but it's happened to me. I'd say yours might have been caused by either a power surge, or just not a very good make of PSU.

    Might be worth getting a Surge Protector just incase too

    Anyway, thats enough for now lol

    I have definatley seen psu's blow due to dust, I agree. While there definately dust any other reachable part inside the machine. I do this about once a month it looks better to :wink:

    don't assume that looking at a psu you can see the problem

    often manufacturers use strange plastic coatings over components, perhaps to protect from the heat of other components, but these can look like burnt plastic etc

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the help.
    Returned it to Mesh, waiting for it to be sent back now.

    I'm surprised they're taking it back to be honest.

    If you've opened the PSU casing, then it's likely that you've made the Warrenty invalid. Did you see any stickers covering the screws saying "Removing this sticker will make the Warrenty void" or something along those lines? I've seen quite a few PSU's with them on it.

    If there was, I'd be surprised if Mesh will do anything going by their Customer Service reputation.

    Just a thought like...

    Original Poster

    I only opened the case, there were no warning stickers.
    I could see the burnt area through the air gaps in the PSU case.

    Ahh thats alright then, if you didn't see any stickers over the screws to the case.

    Sometimes manufacturers stick warrenty stickers over the screws. Basically its to stop anyone who doesn't know what they're doing to not open the case and potentially hurt themselves. PSU's still carry a charge even after everythings been powered down, and if you're not careful can get a shock from them. So those who dunno what they're doing will just send them back if they see the stickers over the screws.

    Keep us posted on what happens!
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