Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So a little back-story. So I have two computers which I built. About a month ago or so one of them just stopped working (no power). This one in particular has a cosair 750w power supply (probably at least 3-4yrs old). So anyways I figured it had just went bad because we hardly ever shut the computer down.

Now last night I took my other computer (corsair 600w power supply) and moved it to the same location as the computer that died. I plugged it in and nothing. So I then checked the outlet. There is definitely power there. I also tried other outlets, still nothing.


  1. The first computer has been working for 3+ yrs with no problems.
  2. The second computer I built about 2 months ago.
  3. The night before the first computer stopped working my wife and I smelt something that smelt like burnt rubber. We thought it was coming outside, but I have reason to believe it may have been the power strip. The reason I think it was the power strip is because the second computer made no smell before it died.


So with that in mind I am assuming I have a bad power strip. But what I don't understand is how a faulty power strip could cause two power supplies to go bad. Would a power supply go bad because of a lack of power? Or too much power?

PC1 Power Supply -

PC2 Power Supply -

share|improve this question
If you think ifts the power strip, why not change it? they're cheap (and trivial to replace). From experience, even crappy PSUs, in suboptimal locations last about 5 years or so. with the second system, its probably still under warranty, so get it seapped out – Journeyman Geek May 30 '13 at 15:10
Its an old power strip. And I have no problem replacing it. I guess I am trying to understand why it happened? What is in a powerstrip that could cause this. If the powerstrip is dead wouldn't it be the same as plugging straight into the wall? – Kris Hollenbeck May 30 '13 at 15:12
yeah, it IS unusual, I've seen PSUs blow once or twice. Without dissecting the power stripe, or actually witnessing something obviously wrong, its hard to tell. This isn't a failure mode I'm used to, and mains electricity, from experience, is painful enough to leave to experts. – Journeyman Geek May 30 '13 at 15:17
From your experiences. When a PSU goes bad does it make any distinct sounds or smells. Or does it just simply stop working? – Kris Hollenbeck May 30 '13 at 15:19
depends. I've seen one blow up. Its kinda hard to miss, and you can smell this odd, metallic/plasticky smell. a fuse failure would be silent - you can probably open up the older PSU to check. – Journeyman Geek May 30 '13 at 15:24
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well I did a paper clip test on the power supplies and both actually still work. Its very odd that both would stop working after plugging them into the same outlet. But long story short I spent the night dissecting one of my PC's and found out that the circuit board connected to the power button doesn't work. So now I have to start it with a paper clip until I either fix the switch or get a new case.

Thanks to everyone for sharing your advice.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .