1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Over 30 PCs fail with smell of burning

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Beachlover.iow, Jun 6, 2018.

Advertisement
  1. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Sorry if this is a long story

    I have lived in this house for 5 years. In that 5 years I have bought and returned under warranty at least 30 desktops and laptops. Probably more than 30 but I don’t want you to think I’m exaggerating.

    What all these machines had in common was fried components. Either PSUs would fail and need replacing. Quite often high end GPUs would show visible burn damage. Even motherboards have fried. The first sign I get is the PC or laptop will shut down. Then when try to switch on it will often just briefly try to start (ie fan spins briefly or keyboard lights flicker) but it will fail to POST.

    The last desktop I bought was a Dell Alienware. I made sure I paid extra for a tech to come to my house to fix it. He visited 3 times replaced the PSU motherboard. I even had Dell send me a complete new machine. After 3 weeks of it working I had to call out the tech again. He replaced the PSU again and as he plugged it in to the wall socket and switched the machine on BOOOM with clouds of electrical smoke! He couldn’t believe it!!

    There seems to be no pattern of when these machines fail. Sometimes I get a few weeks of working perfectly then it dies, sometimes with smell of electric burning sometimes not.

    Other times a machine might last less then a few days. The previous four laptops bought in March this year ( 2 MSI laptops and 2 HP laptops) only lasted two days. I smell burnt components. All returned and refunded under warranty thankfully.

    The failures do not discrimate between makes or models. Laptops desktops intel or AMD. You name it I have had it.

    Now the obvious thing to say is are you using a surge protector. Yes I have used over the years several surge protectors. The wall socket is surge protected too. I have a UPS with battery back up and surge protection.

    Next you would wonder if I had bad supply in my house or maybe something not earthed. I have had a qualified electrician in to test everything in my house. I have up to date RCD breakers. I even got them to put in a voltage regulator where the electric comes in and set it at 230v.

    I have also been on at the electric company. They have monitored the supply at the meter. No faults found. I complained so much they even dig up the ground and switched me and to a different circuit.

    So next you would wonder does this happen to other stuff in the house?

    TV seems ok and so far has lasted two years.

    MacBook has not been affected

    Phone and iPad have not blown but only had them since Christmas

    But routers are a nightmare. I have a cupboard full of dead routers and can’t count the number of returns and replacements

    Have I tried different rooms in my house. Well yes.

    Do I live near a big power draw plant- No - I live in typical suburbia.

    Do my neighbours have the same- not a far as I’m aware.

    Are you buying cheap- most certainly not. I’m buying from reputable companies. In fact I have probably had PC or laptop from most makes and companies.

    What are you using the computers for? Very light gaming- browsing- nothing massively taxing.

    It would be wonderful if I could get somebody somewhere to solve this mystery of burnt out components. Right now I don’t have a PC and the money sits safe in the bank. I’m too sacred to buy one.

    How can brown outs surges or whatever be getting past surge protectors and a voltage regulator. Why are only PCs laptops and routers blowing?

    Of course can’t post my spec as I don’t have a pc or laptop right now but what I typically purchase is
    i5 kabylake or quad core

    NVIDIA 1060

    PSU gold standard

    Various motherboards tried.

    Sometimes use WiFi sometimes cable to connect to internet.

    Always use windows 10 home edition

    As you can imagine I am totally stumped so I would be so grateful if I could get anybody to help.

    Many thanks
     
  2. Sponsor

  3. SpywareDr

    SpywareDr

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    1,600
    Strange for sure. And possibly dangerous as well.

    Static?

    Occasional voltage on the ground maybe?

    What type of internet connection? Coax, Fiber, POTS ...
     
  4. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Thank for taking time to read this

    If it was static surely I would get a shock when I touched something metal. I don’t get any static shock in my house.

    I don’t know what ground voltage is?

    The internet in the UK mostly gets the final distance from the street cabinet on copper telephone cables. The fibre is run to the street cabinet and then to my house on the copper telephone cable.
     
  5. Johnny-be-Good

    Johnny-be-Good

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,142
    First Name:
    John
    Something to rule out.
    Condensation.
    What is the humidity and temperature of the room the computers are situated in?
     
  6. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    I don’t live in a particularly humid climate. When it rains I guess it’s wet out side but not in my house.
    In the winter we have the heating on but I always keep my room window open a fraction as I don’t like condensation on the windows.

    In the summer it kinda dry mostly and sunny and I always have my window open.
    If I had a humid room I would see condensation on wall and anything cold wouldn’t I ? Like the bathroom after a shower?

    Ps the PCs are not kept in the bathroom
     
  7. lynx1021

    lynx1021

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,537
    What country are you in? Here is an article about voltages https://www.schneider-electric.co.uk/en/faqs/FA144717/
    They say the standard in western Europe is supposed to be 230V but sound like UK is usually 240V. Here in the US we have 220v running to the breaker box with two hots and a ground ,it is separated at the breaker box for 1/2 the outlets to 120v (1 hot & ground) and the other outlets get the other hots and both hots to 220v outlets. A friend had a bad transformer an he had 120v on 1/2 of his outlets and 140v on his other ones. he was having things go bad on the 140v outlets.
     
  8. NathanielFalardeau

    NathanielFalardeau Temporarily Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2018
    Messages:
    20
    Hi beachlover.iow

    It seems definitely, you have struggled a lot with returning and buying new computers. I would suggest you underclocking your hardware through BIOS, or replace the coolers with better ones. You can find a wide range of coolers on this website www.newegg.com I would highly suggest taking a look at their products. The most common hardware that overheats is your processor and you want to take good care of it because it is one of the most important parts of your computer. I bought a $30 cooler for my processor and I've had my computer for 3 years and it's still working perfectly.

    P.S. Keep the inside of your computer case clean, and you should reapply your thermal paste on your cpu about every 3 months for it to work best.


    Nathaniel Falardeau
     
  9. tecknurd

    tecknurd

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    16
    A surge suppressor can only protect a device once when a big voltage spike is in the lines or many small voltage spikes.

    Brownouts are caused by the voltage decreasing when the current is high. Usually, brownouts are caused by instantaneous power draw. Surge suppressors don't protect against brownouts.

    I think your lines might resemble a modified sine wave issues. A modified sine wave resembles a square wave. Normal lines should be a sine wave. If a square wave is used instead when electrical devices are designed for a sine wave, these devices will fail or become damaged. Motors will have a different noise when powered by a modified sine wave compared to a sine wave. If you have a true sine wave UPS, use that as a test. Charge the true sine wave UPS by itself. When it's fully charged, hook up devices to it and have the UPS switch to battery. Motors on a true sine wave UPS will have calm noise. I suggest using motors that are an eighth (1/8) of the power of the UPS because DC to AC inverter can't handle inductive loads as well as resistive loads.

    Really? Reapply thermal paste every 3 months fixes the op problem. I have applied thermal paste well over three months ago on two of my computers. Processor temp is hasn't shown any signs of not working at its best. Also, buying a heatsink won't fix the problem.
     
  10. Johnny-be-Good

    Johnny-be-Good

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,142
    First Name:
    John
    That's unnecessary. Done properly, thermal paste lasts for years.
     
  11. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Thank you Nathaniel
    That is sound advice.
    However this happening to brand new machines. Custom built with good specs. I doubt very much it is the processors that are overheating. They do not last long enough to collect any dust.
    The main problem seems to be PSU failures along with GPU and motherboards showing burnt.
     
  12. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    I’m in the UK
    I think we have 240 v plus or minus 10% as we are governed by the eu
     
  13. Beachlover.iow

    Beachlover.iow Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Thank you
    That article makes sence but it still doesn’t explain why psu are failing and then damaging GPU and motherboards

    I thought a psu chanced the the supply from ac to dc so the computer can run. Most PSUs also have over voltage protection don’t they?
     
  14. Johnny-be-Good

    Johnny-be-Good

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,142
    First Name:
    John
    I'm not an electrician, but imo it seems obvious your household current/wiring is the issue.
    Even though you've used an electrician to trouble shoot the problem, I suspect it's going to take an electrician to do onsite inspections to find a solution.
     
    SpywareDr likes this.
  15. lynx1021

    lynx1021

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    1,537
    Yes a power supply changes the AC to DC voltages for use by the motherboard. Good quality supplys have over voltage protection and voltage regulation. It is possible to mess up a power supply by having bad frequency regulation on the AC supply, I think UK is supposed to be 50HZ, US is 60HZ but it is regulated very closely here. Is your power a local company or national company? As Johnny be good said It may take a qualified electrician to sort it out. If you have a digital meter you could check your outlets to see if the are all the same, if some are a lot higher it could be an unbalanced transformer. I had a friend a few years ago had a tube radio/Amp and it kept blowing capacitors, turned out his voltage was 130 volt making the voltage go up in his radio to exceed the capacitor ratings.
     
  16. AmyToo

    AmyToo

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2017
    Messages:
    58
    First Name:
    Amy
    Did you plug all the routers and computers in to the same outlets? And TV's and refrigerators and ranges and washers and dryers into different outlets?
     
  17. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/1211250

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice