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Author Topic: nearby lightning skrike kills neighbours computers (and mine)  (Read 13539 times)
nudone
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2011, 06:29:29 PM »

Oh. That's a bit worrying. I was intending on using the sound and gfx cards out of the old machine to put inside the new setup. Oh and all the hard drives too.

I think I'll take the risk. Or maybe not. I don't know what to do now.
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Shades
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2011, 06:39:34 PM »

Try the parts one by one on a mainboard that supports the cards, but that you do not care (too much) about. If the parts hold out for a week or so without problems, then I would consider using the cards on the backup PC you want to build.

There is no need to be burned twice by one single event.

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nudone
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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2011, 06:49:02 PM »

Yes, I can live with that. The new machine has enough inside to work without me having to swap anything over.

Something just occurred to me. The psu out of the dead machine works fine - shouldn't it have blown up?
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app103
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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2011, 06:56:19 PM »

My income does now depend on the data on my machine so that really has to be my priority in protecting. Combined with the downtime a dead machine causes, a backup pc makes a very great deal of sense.

A backup machine does make perfect sense, but it doesn't need to be as glorious as your main machine. It only needs to be good enough to get you by till you can replace the main machine. (my 2 backup machines are P4 Prescott, main machine is a Q6600) But once you put it together and set it up with the essential software you need to keep you going, UNPLUG IT. Otherwise, if you end up losing your main machine to a lightning strike, you will probably also lose your backup machine too, if it is also plugged in at the time.
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Shades
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2011, 07:17:02 PM »

Keen comment App103 as you easily forget to do so, when synchronizing software and/or data from the main PC to the backup PC is done.

Nudone, are you sure the PSU works fine? Does it supply the intended voltages (+12 Volt, +5 Volt, GND, -5 Volt, -12 Volt) within the margins set by the manufacturer, does it still put out the specified Ampere? Seeing a "pilot" light on the mainboard coming up does not mean that the power supply (reliably) works.

You would be terrified about the amount of power supplies that I have here which appear to be working, but really are not up to the task anymore. For fun's sake, I did count them and there are 14 of them lying around here. The sad reality is that Paraguay has a lot of power failures/spikes/noise which results in a lot of prematurely dying power supplies.

Getting powerful, high quality ones did not pan out. They didn't really last longer than the cheap ones and with the huge price difference I rather replace for another cheap one. Which occurs quite regularly given the amount of faulty PSU's here. 
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2011, 08:00:45 PM »

UNPLUG IT

Probably good to write that backwards across the forehead!
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Chris
nudone
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« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2011, 11:45:11 PM »

Yes, good point about unplugging the reserve machine - I had already thought about it and taken it one step further in my head:

only one machine is ever allowed to be plugged in at any one time, i.e. there will always be a machine safe from a power spike. Therefore data transfer between the two machines will have to done via a third storage device, which could just be a hard drive.


Sound advice about the psu being damaged from shades; I will try to test it.
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eleman
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« Reply #32 on: July 01, 2011, 01:32:52 AM »

The sad reality is that Paraguay has a lot of power failures/spikes/noise which results in a lot of prematurely dying power supplies.

Consider using UPS. Even cheap ones should provide some protection against voltage fluctuations and line noise.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #33 on: July 01, 2011, 02:46:10 AM »

Yes, good point about unplugging the reserve machine - I had already thought about it and taken it one step further in my head:

only one machine is ever allowed to be plugged in at any one time, i.e. there will always be a machine safe from a power spike. Therefore data transfer between the two machines will have to done via a third storage device, which could just be a hard drive.


Sound advice about the psu being damaged from shades; I will try to test it.

Sounds like a case for NAS with good synchronisation software.

Actually this is what I do with my laptop - I keep all important data synced with my desktop.
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app103
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« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2011, 05:29:14 AM »


Sounds like a case for NAS with good synchronisation software.

Actually this is what I do with my laptop - I keep all important data synced with my desktop.

But remember to unplug it, otherwise, if you get hit, you could lose your NAS and everything on it.
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zridling
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« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2011, 06:15:53 AM »

Had this happen to me about two weeks after I got my first Pentium (c. 1992-93). Had a special insurance rider on the computer for just such a disaster. Took the box, receipts, and the electric company's report to the insurance company and they spent a year denying the claim.

I've never spent a single dime on insurance since that day that the government didn't force me to buy.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2011, 07:03:25 AM »

only one machine is ever allowed to be plugged in at any one time, i.e. there will always be a machine safe from a power spike. Therefore data transfer between the two machines will have to done via a third storage device, which could just be a hard drive.

Actually this is what I do with my laptop - I keep all important data synced with my desktop.

Obviously, this depends on how you work and at what but don't forget to keep the software itself as much in sync as possible — not just the data.

One continually develops habits and ways of working that improve productivity — a macro here, a little bit of code there, some software that's improved by a useful update, which in turn further changes work habits in small ways.  Suddenly swapping to a machine that hasn't your own current conveniences and enhancements can add a layer of frustration that'll have you gnashing your teeth and ripping out hair. That's especially true in a small shop when attempting to service a deadline that's already been threatened by the principal machine going down. Just a few tiny examples: were your favourite file manger suddenly to revert to its out-of-the-box state, just how annoyed might you be? Step down from CS5 to CS4 in mid project — okay by you? Wrong graphics tablet driver?

For me, at home, this means a short session on each machine every couple of weeks or so.

Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.
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Chris
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« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2011, 09:00:06 AM »

Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.

+1!

I've learned (through bitter experience) to keep a log on every machine and router I use or am responsible for. A small text file kept in the root directory can be a lifesaver. Especially for a heavily customized and tweaked server.

You can encrypt it if you decide to store passwords or other sensitive information in it. Something like f0dder's fsekrit app is perfect for that since it runs as a standalone. Keynote or something similar can also be used. I keep copies of all my logfiles on a heavily encrypted USB key which I always keep with me. This gives me immediate access to the data whenever I need it besides acting as an offsite backup.

I learned the wisdom of doing this the first time I had to rebuild my main machine and realized I couldn't remember half the clever and nice things I had done to it...
 smiley
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eleman
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« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2011, 09:09:06 AM »

Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.

If we are really insistent on complete redundancy, why not buy two of the same machine, make them identical on, say, a weekly basis through an imaging program like clonezilla or ghost if you are feeling particularly and ridiculously rich?
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40hz
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« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2011, 09:38:25 AM »

Having just been through this, I realize that I should keep a log of the changes made to my main machine — I missed some. It all sounds very tedious but if one makes it a routine it's no worse than doing the dishes. When the crunch comes, you'll thank that previous you for spending an hour, then, to save you five minutes now.

If we are really insistent on complete redundancy, why not buy two of the same machine, make them identical on, say, a weekly basis through an imaging program like clonezilla or ghost if you are feeling particularly and ridiculously rich?

I know a business exec that does just that.

Actually, she has three identical laptops.

And she has someone do the imaging for her.

But she's unusually nervous about "being down."

And quite wealthy.  Grin
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eleman
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« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2011, 09:46:27 AM »

But she's unusually nervous about "being down."

And quite wealthy.  Grin

Wealth is a poor substitute for peace of mind.


edited to make the phrase sexier.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 09:53:25 AM by eleman » Logged
cranioscopical
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« Reply #41 on: July 01, 2011, 10:30:48 AM »

If we are really insistent on complete redundancy, why not buy two of the same machine, make them identical on, say, a weekly basis through an imaging program

To be sure, that's an ideal. I think your comment may have been slightly tongue-in-cheek but I'll take it at face value anyway.

What I'm trying to achieve is immediate compatibility between dissimilar machines. I'm probably not alone in that my home setup is a principal machine (replaced every 2.5 years on average) backed up by the previous main machine. My wife's machine is replaced at less frequent intervals (she uses her box as a means of communication and not much else). When her machine is replaced is usually dictated by when it can no longer perform what I need from a backup. For me, there's no real advantage to having identical hardware as long as I can do what I need to on the previous ironmongery.
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Chris
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« Reply #42 on: July 01, 2011, 11:44:27 AM »

But she's unusually nervous about "being down."

And quite wealthy.  Grin

Wealth is a poor substitute for peace of mind.


edited to make the phrase sexier.

I have it on excellent authority ("her" being my niece) that she sleeps like a baby most nights.

Not having to worry about money (at least not too much) has a lot to do with it. Which she'll be the first to admit, having experienced life on both ends of the financial spectrum.  Grin :

Money may not be everything - but "poor & happy" isn't all it's cracked up to be either.  Wink

At the very least, if you're well off, you can afford to pay someone to do your drive mirroring for you! Grin

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nudone
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« Reply #43 on: July 01, 2011, 03:25:39 PM »

Got to agree with everyone above. I've been trying to keep my girlfriend's computer in sync with mine regarding software configs, plus keeping notes on what those settings are. Problem is I'm always a month or two late with it all, which then becomes several months late - okay, I'm lying, it's more like a year.

Update on my new pc that arrived today. It doesn't work. Now expecting a long drawn out saga to unfold repeatedly having to take it back to the shop to get it fully functional.
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mouser
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« Reply #44 on: July 01, 2011, 09:30:44 PM »

Quote
Now expecting a long drawn out saga to unfold repeatedly having to take it back to the shop to get it fully functional.
don't jump to conclusions, probably a very simple fix.

also something to consider -- if all this damage occured due to a lightning skrike, imagine what would happen if you actually had a lightning strike.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #45 on: July 01, 2011, 09:44:07 PM »

imagine what would happen if you actually had a lightning strike.

It'd be pretty risty!

(and, mouser, all of the rest of us have successfully resisted the temptation  Grin)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 09:45:45 PM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
cranioscopical
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« Reply #46 on: July 01, 2011, 09:48:06 PM »

It doesn't work.

I know you're  worried about lightning but you're going to have to plug it in!


Good luck, let's  hope you get a quick fix!
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Chris
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« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2011, 02:50:22 AM »

also something to consider -- if all this damage occured due to a lightning skrike, imagine what would happen if you actually had a lightning strike.

Now if that isn't the pot calling the kettle black I don't know what is. Grin tongue
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nudone
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« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2011, 05:22:10 PM »

Mouser was right. And maybe I was just lucky.

I tried to get windows installed for about the twentieth time this morning (after wasting about five hours of my life yesterday attempting the same). I decided enough was enough and arranged for the machine to be collected monday. The shop I ordered it from could have a go and I'd happily pay them to do so.

But, after finishing the phone call I decided I'd try one last thing...

I replaced the sata cable connected to the solid state drive with one of the 'special ones' still wrapped up in the motherboard box. This suddenly allowed windows to install perfectly.



The machine was built by Overclockers (in the uk), a store that have dealt with high end machines for years - so you'd assume they know what they are doing when it comes to putting a new build together for a customer. Somehow they overlooked using the correct 6gb sata cable.

I could have just ordered the parts myself and then built the machine AND double checked which cables to use as I put it all together. I didn't as I thought it would be good to let the experts do this one and save myself hours of stress and trouble.

Moral of the story: it's an old one but...

If you want something done properly, then you better do it yourself.
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mouser
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« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2011, 05:29:43 PM »

I would still treat the machine as on probation for the next month, and run lots of "burn in" tools on it -- software tools designed to stress test your pc components (memory, hd, etc.).

It's possible that it was just the cable, but it's also possible the problem is deeper and just waiting recur.  The most important thing though is that if there is a problem that is going to recur, you find out now while the shop would still fix it.

So do yourself a favor and stress the hell out of the machine in the next few days and don't risk any real data on it until it's proven stable.
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