Question PC showing little signs of life after lightning strike

Jun 26, 2021
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Just wanted to see if anyone had any suggestions to my issue.

I recently had lightning hit right next to my house which knocked out my pc and router. My pc now wont turn on at all and the only sign of life is the ram RGB flashing once every few seconds after I hit the power button. I tried another power supply in the system and it does the same thing telling me that its most likely the motherboard. I also swapped my gpu and ram into another system to see if they are working and they seem fine. I had everything plugged into a surge protector but it seemed to have failed me this time.

Is it time to replace the motherboard? Does anyone think the cpu could be damaged?
Thanks for any suggestions/clarifications!
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
If you had a wired connection to your router, then the reason your PC died along with the router is probably a surge going from your modem through your router and into your PC through the Ethernet cables, frying your motherboard's LAN port and possibly chipset.

For surge protection to be effective, all of the possible entry/exit paths of an equipment cluster have to be surge-protected to a common ground point, otherwise surges can find a path between equipment that is at different ground potentials through the wiring in-between.

As rgd wrote, it most likely only is your motherboard that got fried. The CPU isn't directly connected to any external interfaces and should have been safe..
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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"If you had a wired connection to your router, then the reason your PC died along with the router is probably a surge going from your modem through your router and into your PC through the Ethernet cables, frying your motherboard's LAN port and possibly chipset. "

Completely agree with that...I had exactly that happen last year.
PC works, LAN port got fried.

Electricity can follow strange pathways.
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Electricity can follow strange pathways.
Not so strange when you have cable or DSL internet where outdoors wiring act as an antenna for surges to get coupled into during a lightning storm. One too many weak grounding bonds between nearby poles and your home allowing excess voltage through and your equipment may go poof, which is probably what happened here.

Good thing most modern motherboards above bargain-bin quality use 10-15kV Ethernet signal transformers instead of the 3-5kV basic ones or none at all in some cases.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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Not so strange when you have cable or DSL internet where outdoors wiring act as an antenna for surges to get coupled into during a lightning storm. One too many weak grounding bonds between nearby poles and your home allowing excess voltage through and your equipment may go poof, which is probably what happened here.

Good thing most modern motherboards above bargain-bin quality use 10-15kV Ethernet signal transformers instead of the 3-5kV basic ones or none at all in some cases.
For my recent issue, I have fiber...;(

Different devices, on different switches, routers, UPSs.
PC LAN port
Printer LAN port
AVR HDMI 1 & 2
Unplugged 'Invisible Fence' circuit board.
And the coup de grace...a battery powered laser level that turned itself on. Static through the air?
 

InvalidError

Titan
Moderator
Unplugged 'Invisible Fence' circuit board.
And the coup de grace...a battery powered laser level that turned itself on. Static through the air?
A sufficiently close lightning strike or other high-energy event could generate enough EMI to scramble some sensitive electronic switch circuits and induce voltage spikes in stuff that has some sort of transformer or antenna on it.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
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A sufficiently close lightning strike or other high-energy event could generate enough EMI to scramble some sensitive electronic switch circuits and induce voltage spikes in stuff that has some sort of transformer or antenna on it.
Yeah.
The invisible fence wiring is, I assume, still in the ground around the yard perimeter. Spouse had it installed long ago, has been unplugged for at least a decade.
The wall plug was disconnected.
Blew the cover plate 1/2way across the garage.

The laser level...THAT was weird.
Similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727RX8PD
 

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