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Beginners Guides: Most Common Ways to Kill a PC

Beginners Guides: Most Common Ways to Kill a PC - PCSTATS
Abstract: Ever wonder what are the most common ways by which you'll eventually kill your PC? Despite your best intentions, computer hardware's worst enemy is YOU, as it turns out.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 11 2009   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Power Supply Failures

When a power supply fails, it often sends random jolts through the rest of the system, killing (and sometimes burning) your valuable computer components. Unfortunately, many power supplies are manufactured by no name companies with little quality control and packaged in cheap 'white box' systems. The result is a steady stream of computers dieing before their time.

"...when I switched on my computer at night, suddenly there was a loud firecracker sound and lots of blue sparks came flying out from the back of my computer. It was from the PSU..."

It's worth mentioning that of all the problems we list here, this is also the one most likely to cause damage to your home and/or yourself. A third of the responses we received claimed that the defective PSU in question had burst into firely flames or belched out clouds of blue smoke or sparks. Needless to say this can present a very real fire hazard to more than just the expensive bits and bobs inside your computer!

This readers story sums up the dangers with a hilarious twist;

"...my friend was over and we decided to have a small 1 on 1 LAN game of half-life. I grabbed a rocket launcher and fired it at him as he was jumping. as the rocket hit him he froze in mid air. lag I thought. so I yelled downstairs "It'll fix itself in a few seconds" and he yelled "I'm fairly certain it won't", "whys that?" "come downstairs for a second." so I walked downstairs and into the office. smoke was pouring out the back of my New PC! The virtual rocket had made my very real power supply literally explode. I unplugged it and brought it out to the shop, opened it and some blue sparks shot out..."

How Not to Kill Your System This Way

It seems simple, but just two words are necessary. Brand name. The best way (not a sure way, but the best way) to avoid a power supply incident is to buy a power supply from a reputable company that specializes in manufacturing them. Here at PCstats we've reviewed several high quality power supplies, so you can use us as a guide, or ask your computer guru friends what they use and recommend.

You will pay more for a brand name supply, but it's worth it. From our experiences; PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Antec, Aopen, Vantec and Sparkle are reliable manufacturers.

Another good tip is to keep your PC off the floor and away from dusty environments (and family pets) to minimize the amount of dust and debris that build up inside the power supply. This accumulation of stuff often contributes to an eventual failure, and most commonly a seized cooling fan.

Low quality power supplies may also be set off by poor AC power conditions in your area. Consider purchasing some sort of UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or power conditioner. This advice is actually echoed in some of the later entries in this article also.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Most Common Ways to Kill a PC
 Pg 2.  — Power Supply Failures
 Pg 3.  That Heat-Sinking Feeling
 Pg 4.  Computer Assembly Issues
 Pg 5.  The Wrath of Zeus
 Pg 6.  Bad Gear, Dead PCs
 Pg 7.  Power Struggles
 Pg 8.  USB Device Mishaps
 Pg 9.  Static Shocks and Integrated Circuits

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