Is my surge protector not working the way it's supposed to?

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Holly3278

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Hi everyone. I have Windows XP Professional. Anyway, I have Intel Active Monitor installed on my computer. It monitors the system temperature, fans, processor temperature, power supply, and give system information. Anyway, just a few minutes ago, I received an alert from it that the voltage went outside of it's recommended range. Here is what the Alert History says:

9/09/04 16:32:27
A voltage (+5V) has returned to its recommended range.

9/09/04 16:32:26
A voltage (+5V) has gone outside of its recommended range.

It apparently only did this for a second but I am wondering how this could have happened when I have a very good surge protector on my computer. The indicator lights say the surge protector is working so I don't see how this could have happened. Is it possible that the extra voltage came from the PC's power supply or something? Also, everything on the computer is plugged into the surge protector including phone lines. I am not connected to a LAN. Any help you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
 
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A "surge protector" is only to protect your PC from short duration (a few thousanths of a second) spikes on the power input. Its not designed to regulate the input voltage. Unless you have spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a regulated UPS that is.

Do not expect too much from a "surge protector".

Visualise it this way, a typical electrical connection from the power company can source an instantaneous amount of power equivalent to about 40 automobile engines running at full power. Look at the size of the plastic "surge protector" and visualise it resisting 40 large cars at full power.

Your computer has very cheap (20 cent) sensors for voltage and temperature. The main purpose of the computer is not to report these matters, so do not rely on the on-board sensors. If you are worried about the power, use a dedicated hardware monitor for more reliable reporting.

If the power was a big issue, the computer would have crashed. We assume it did not do so.

In short, don't panic. If the power at your location is below par, use a UPS/conditioner and not a surge diverter. (Uninteruptible Power Supply).
 
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It could be the voltage dropped a little. I use MBProbe to monitor the temps on the MB and CPU and it also monitors all the voltages in the system. Just looking at my system, none of the voltage is exactly what the specs call for. (the +5v, runs between 5.01 and 5.03v) Could be the alarms on your system are set a little "tight" and that one/ one hundreth of a volt set off your alarm. (Might have been the neighbors air conditioning kicking on.) Good luck.
 
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A surge protector will likely only protect your machine from lightning strikes. I live in a town where the power is constantly fluctuating and we regularly get machines in that have been damaged/destroyed by power surges, that had the expensive surge protectors on them. They only kick in when the voltage hits a certain level. There are a couple of ways to keep the voltages tighter, either get a high-quality UPS or get a powersupply with active PFC (power factor correction), Thermaltake make them and they aren't too dear.
 

Holly3278

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Thanks for the info everyone. I don't think it's much to worry about. There was no noticeable difference in the way the computer was running at all and it definitely did not crash. This is the only alert I've ever gotten about that in 2 years (since I owned the computer). Thanks!
 
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Hi holly,

Within the two years that you owned your pc, Did you every take the side panel off and blow it out with a can of compressed air including the power supply? In two years the fans could be caked up with dust bunnies as well as your power supply and the inside of your case. It certainly wouldnt hurt to do this. It would definately help in keeping your system running cool.

This may not exactly be related to your problem, but it would indeed help.
 

Holly3278

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rockinmale said:
Hi holly,

Within the two years that you owned your pc, Did you every take the side panel off and blow it out with a can of compressed air including the power supply? In two years the fans could be caked up with dust bunnies as well as your power supply and the inside of your case. It certainly wouldnt hurt to do this. It would definately help in keeping your system running cool.

This may not exactly be related to your problem, but it would indeed help.
Yes, I have cleaned it of dust. I wasn't able to do a very good job though because I didn't have a can of air. Just some other tools. No, I didn't touch the boards or chips because I know what static electricity can do to them. Mainly I just try to keep my vents clear and stuff. But what does the temperature have anything to do with a surge?
 
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Temperature is likely unrelated.

Its also very likely that you never had a "surge", but simply that the software misreported as having one. Or the range of "normal" is too tight and expected variations will take it outside the band.

My advice would be to disable reporting. There is nothing you can do about it, so unless it causes a problem, why on earth would you want to know about it?
 

Holly3278

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kiwiguy said:
Temperature is likely unrelated.

Its also very likely that you never had a "surge", but simply that the software misreported as having one. Or the range of "normal" is too tight and expected variations will take it outside the band.

My advice would be to disable reporting. There is nothing you can do about it, so unless it causes a problem, why on earth would you want to know about it?
I'm not sure. I have the range set to whatever the default is. I never messed with Intel Active Monitor. Anyway, I figured temperature was unrelated. As for disabling reporting, I'd rather not. I like to know this kind of stuff when it happens. I'm one of these people who keep an extremely close eye on my computer. Anyway, I think it might have just been a misreport. Nevertheless, I like to know this stuff. My computer has had 0 hardware problems since I bought it. Any other problem (software) was because of my own doing or because of some buggy software. Anyway, thanks! :cool:
 
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