View Full Version : Power surge damage?

23-02-2010, 11:38 AM
My spare PC has not been used for a couple of weeks, but last night at about 3am there was a very loud bang in the area, sounded like an exploding transformer and the power went off. The power came on at about 7am and later I found that the old PC had started and then crashed. When I reboot it, there are 3 beeps then the blurb about drives etc, then W7 launches very slowly. Eventually it settles down but is so sluggish that it is unusable. Also Microsoft Securities refuses to start Task manager shows 100% cpu usage & 336mb RAM (has 1.5gig which shows Ok in the system summary).

1] What does the 3 beep signal signify?
2] How would it start on its own?

Other PC is fine.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

23-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Added to the above:-

BIOS is Phoenix Award
CPU Intel Celeron 1.7ghz

23-02-2010, 12:38 PM
In Safe Mode:-

CPU usage still 100%
Physical memory usage 26%

No large processes running.

When shut down in Windows fans etc keep running, does not switch off.

23-02-2010, 12:53 PM
3 beeps usually indicate faulty RAM, and the PC shouldn't even start

It's possible your RAM is faulty, but not to the extent that it causes total POST failure. (quite uncommon but not impossible)

I would run Memtest86+, or the inbuilt memory tester in Windows.

23-02-2010, 01:01 PM
If the PC got hit with a surge, that can do all sorts of internal damage, from damaged PSU, Motherboard, RAM, HDD's ETC. Worst case can even cause all parts to fail (seen it happen several times)

Try taking out the RAM, reseating it, and see what happens.

Worst case if the surge was good enough - damaged PSU + Motherboard.

24-02-2010, 10:51 AM
Problem solved.
One of the 2 memory cards was cooked.
CPU running at 2% idle now.

24-02-2010, 11:29 AM
Good to see a quick resolution. Hopefully there was no other damage...