I was on my computer and all of a sudden it shut off and the lights in my house dimmed. When I tried to turn it back on, nothing happened and there was a burning smell coming from my comp. I sent in my power supply to Corsair since I have a 5 year warranty, so I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

My question is: What are the chances that this power surge messed up other components in my machine? What exactly could be effected? And in the even that other stuff is messed up, and I put in my new power supply and nothing happens, how can I diagnose the problem?


Since it's a Corsair power supply, I would bet it is likely to have saved the rest of the computer. Sags and spikes can both hurt multiple components. If the power supply gave out before it could pass along the bad current, then everything is fine.

The first thing I would do would be to reset the BIOS. How depends on your motherboard, but the easiest would be to remove the battery for about 5 minutes and have it unplugged.

If nothing happens when you try to turn it on, you would start by making sure the power supply will power up. You can do this using a power supply tester, or another computer. You can also trip a couple wires to make the power supply turn on by itself. I don't remember which pins, though.

If the power supply works, I would start by removing all components except the CPU from the motherboard and try turning it on. Hopefully you will get a few beeps. Then add items in one-by-one until you get a working computer, and get everything back in, besides the bad component.

  • 1
    As a side note, the five-minute-delay is generally to drain capacitors in the machine, which they will do on their own eventually. If you're impatient, you can also (usually) flip the hard switch on the power supply (if it has one) to off or flat-out unplug it, and then hold the power-on button down for about thirty seconds. Your machine won't turn on, but it will drain its caps, and after plugging-it-back-in/flipping-the-hard-switch-to-on, popping the CMOS battery in, and hitting the on button, you'll typically have a fresh default BIOS. – Michael Macha Aug 4 '18 at 0:08

i have dealt with countless power surges (unfortunately they are very common here) and in most cases the damage stops with the PSU, however, there is no telling until you hook up the replacement PSU.

the next components to be affected would be the mainboard, graphics adapter and memory but this is rather unlikely. and i have only once seen Hard Disks and Optical Drives fried but that was due to lightning strike through the telephone line. that was REALLY bad.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.