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> How Plausable Is A Lightning Strike On Phone Line A Disaster?, Windows 7    
 
   
dflak
post Aug 22 2014, 02:46 PM
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From: North Carolina


Last Monday we had electrical storms in our area. Each of our computers plus our entertainment system is on a UPS. My wife was home and she says that there was nary a flicker in the lights, so the electrical lines were up all day.
The first symptom that was noticed was that the wireless network went down. Rebooting it brought it back up but we had no internet connectivity. That's the situation I came home to. When I went upstairs my computer was on (I normally turn it off before I go to work, but it is possible I might have forgotten to do it Monday). I was getting no response from the keyboard or mouse, so I powered down using the power button.
When I repowered, I got a weird error message "Enclosure Intrusion Alarm." which stayed up on the black screen for a while until Windows booted to the screen that asks you how you want to boot up. While I was pondering this, the machine booted into normal windows mode. I decided I would turn the machine off (this time using the start button) and let it go through another reboot. Windows apparently closed but the power stayed on. I hit the button again and the power went off. That's the last I've heard from the computer.
It's in the shop and they say that it has a fried power supply and motherboard.
As for the internet connectivity, I hooked up a spare computer, got on line with my ISP tech support and got the modem working. I still could not get the router to see the internet, but I am not sure I had the correct settings. On Tuesday, I sent my son with the broken computer to be fixed and asked him to pick up a new router. My intention was to troubleshoot the old router (when I had more sleep and could find my notes), and if that didn't work, open the box and install the new router. When I was at work, my son installed the new router anyway and it's working.
A friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood says that his router (same kind as mine) got scrambled the same night. He knows more about routers and had to restore the settings and got it working again. He claims that there must have been a strike on the telephone line.
In one sense, this is plausible since neither my UPS nor any others in the house kicked on. None of the appliances that flash 00:00 went into "duh!" mode and there is the testimony of my wife.
On the other hand, to get to the computer, the surge would have to go through the modem, through the router, through the cable to the computer. The modem is OK and as best I can tell the router is OK. Why neither of them didn't blow up and protect my computer is beyond me. (How inconsiderate of them).
I have since heard that you can get surge protection for the phone line. BTW: None of the phones were affected, and there was dial tone when I got home about 90 minutes or so after the incident.
How likely is this scenario? Did my UPS fail me, or did a surge get through two devices to get to the computer?
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J.D.
post Aug 22 2014, 03:24 PM
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Lightening through the phone line I have experienced. Having it travel multiple devices to affect the PC I have not and seems rather odd.
Many moons ago (dial up days) I had lightening strike my phone lines and fried my modem, the network card and did some sort of damage to the PC. I was able to replace the modem (Thanks Ricky H.) and the network card (work), but for the rest of the life of the PC, I had to assign a static IP adress to the network adaptor even after replacing it multiple times and using different slots. The network adaptor had no access to the outside world except to the small hub that was plugged into AC without a UPS. It wasnt' a big deal and all worked in the end for many more years, but it was rather odd. (My network cable connected other devices to share my modem connection to the internet.... and yes it was slow by any standard LOL)
I guess what I'm saying is I too have seen some strange things with regard to phone lines and lightening but not killing 2 devices on it's way to killing the 3rd in line seems a bit extreme.
No real answers here but I certainly feel your frustration.
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dflak
post Aug 22 2014, 03:54 PM
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From: North Carolina


Repairs are going to cost about $300 (which is what I expected). For $300 I could get a new computer, but then I would have to de-crappify it, configure it, load all the software back on it, copy all my backed up data onto it (my backup is current) and worst of all, it would be Windows 8! As best as possible, I am holding out for the next OS.
So .... considering I'll get it back and it will look just like it did before it broke, this is a no-brainer.
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DanielPineault
post Aug 22 2014, 06:54 PM
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My father experienced the exact same thing a while ago. His UPS did nothing, the phone line surge protector (he had one) did nothing. The cost of fixing it was not worth it, so we bought a new PC, Windows 8 it was, I am still hearing about it. Let's just say he is less that thrilled with it, and leave it at that.
Based on recent releases of Windows (Vista,8) and Office (2007+), I'm not holding my breath for Windows 9! I see you are an optimist! notworthy.gif
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dflak
post Aug 22 2014, 07:41 PM
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From: North Carolina


Microsoft releases are like Star Trek Movies. Every other one is a dog. 95 Bad, 98 Good, Millennium (absolute disaster), XP (most popular OS yet), Vista (bad), 7 (what Vista was supposed to be), 8 (actually a good OS, but with a horrid user interface and bad marketing by Microsoft).
I agree with you on 2007, it's one of the bad releases. Excel (my mainstay) is buggy and crashes for almost any reason. 2010 is a lot more stable. I hear 2013 is a disaster. I have Access 2013 at home. It is not backwards compatible with 2007 at work. They are all ACCDB files but not all ACCDB files are equal.
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RJD
post Aug 22 2014, 08:00 PM
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Daniel and Dan: I was picking up on the (justified, I think) criticism of the Win 8 interface. I put Win 8 on one of my machines (the one I am using right now, an AIO touchscreen) and hated it. A friend pointed me to a program called ClassicShell (free, and you may already know about this type thing) which I loaded - and it provided a boot to the old desktop (Win 7 type) with a Start button in the lower left in the taskbar, with the stuff I was used to. And I have been happily computing since. Win 8 does have some added features, and boots very fast, so I am pacified.
I have nothing to do with ClassicShell, and I'm not endorsing it or recommending it to you ... and there are other such things out there as well. Just a reaction to your comments ...
Regards to you all,
Joe
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DanielPineault
post Aug 22 2014, 10:09 PM
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Joe,
That was the first thing I installed on my Father's PC. It is a great tool of anyone without a touchscreen or simply wanting to remain a minimum of control on Windows 8!
Win8 has removed certain functionalities, such as exporting/importing network settings. Now it has to be done through DOS commands whereas in Win7 (and prior) you actually could do it easily through a control panel form. I'm not going to get into all the nitty gritty, but MS has screwed up on many levels (Win8, Surface, MS Office Ribbon (still no tool to creat your own!)...) they obviously need a serious Marketing revamp and need to listen to the user base instead of themselves, they also need to SERIOUSLY work on customer support and their websites! I'll stop here, no point going on, not the point of this thread...
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dflak
post Aug 23 2014, 09:22 AM
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There is a quality principle called "fitness for use." If you have to modify a product so you can adapt it for use, it is of poor quality. The first thing I did when I got my wife's computer was to install classic shell. The second thing I did was to decrapify the bloatware off of it. I had to do a couple of more tweaks to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7.
My wife is happy with the results and she actually likes some of the apps (She's a weather and news headline freak.)
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dflak
post Aug 23 2014, 09:28 AM
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This is my thread and I don't mind it being derailed. Microsoft's biggest mistake was the attempt to make a "one size fits all" operating system that looks and acts the same on a smart phone as it does on the desktop even though people use these devices differently.
The other was their marketing ploy: showing a little girl making pretty pictures for her daddy on her tablet. How cute! However, the bulk of Microsoft's business is business and they are not interested in cute. In a too little too late bid, they are finally showing commercials that try to get the point "Oh yeah, it also runs office applications, you can do *real* work with it too." However, the user interface is so radically different that no IT director is going to switch over and lose several weeks' productivity while people try to figure out where things are.
I will bet that Windows 8 was *not* developed on a tablet.
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dflak
post Aug 24 2014, 08:11 PM
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I am back and running on the primary computer. It was the mother board and power supply. According to the techie in the shop that repaired it, a ground strike close by will sometimes bypass UPS. The UPS is designed to react to spikes in the current, not spikes in the ground. This is the most plausible explanation I've heard so far. So far, all looks good. I'm running like I was before the computer got smoked.
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DanielPineault
post Aug 25 2014, 08:20 AM
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yayhandclap.gif
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AlanAnderson
post Aug 28 2014, 10:39 PM
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From: Blantyre, Malawi


Hi All,
I live in an area that's very prone to lightning strikes and many cases of electronic items getting fried irrespective of surge / protection / ups / etc to protect items.
The problem was explained to me as follows.
Firstly the problem is very seldom a question of an actual line being struck. When that does occur the surge protection devices do usually work. Even when they don't the other devices such as modems, routers etc usually act as "fuses" in that they die in time o protect the PC at the end of the line.
However, most lightning strikes hit the ground raising the electrical potential in that area dramatically. If there are electrical devices spread over an area then the electricity cabling itself becomes the problem.
The electricity generated by the strike has to "even" itself out and it uses the cables and devices attached to it to achieve this.
I've enclosed a very rough sketch using water as an analogy. If the modem is at one end of the building (or worse yet, in another building) closest to the strike then the water (electricity) level gets raised and evens itself out very quickly using the cables.
The really bad news about this is that as long as devices over any significant distance are connected by wires the problem will always exist unless very serious money is invested.
So to answer original question, its very plausible if there was a ground strike not a strike on the lines
Regards
Alan
Attached File  Lightning.gif ( 13.38K )Number of downloads: 1
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dflak
post Aug 29 2014, 07:51 AM
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We live "down in the hollar" so since we are at a lower elevation than just about everything around us, ground strikes are rare. This is the second one we've had in about 15 years in our neighborhood. Given the rarity of the event, I can't think of any reasonable precaution I can take.
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xordevoreaux
post Aug 29 2014, 08:09 AM
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From: Tampa, FL


Sorry to hear of your troubles. Always a pain to have to replace stuff for that.
After losing fax machines and telephones to lightning strikes, I never leave the house without first unplugging, from the wall, the television, stereo receiver, the blue ray player and other stereo equipment, and all of the computer equipment in the 2nd bedroom that I use for the office (2 computers, 3 monitors, routers, etc.).
I do it religiously. I live alone, so it's quite easy for me because I'm not inconveniencing anyone for doing it.
My last loss was 2 years ago. I was living on what you could describe as my mother's "compound" since it there 3 buildings on the property. I had unplugged everything but the patch cord to the Internet adapter card in the computer, didn't even think about it.
Lightning struck one building on the property where my mother's boyfriend's computer was, travelled to the building where my computers were (all connected by a single system of cat6 cords), and burned right through the cord completely, but not before the strike blew the modem off the wall and blackened the modem.
All I lost in the computer was the internet adapter card.
Now I have the cat6 cords plugged into the UPS and from the UPS into the computer, so I'm hoping that will help. I know a direct lightning strike will carbonize anything it hits, but hopefully for an indirect strike it's good enough (famous last words, right?)
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dflak
post Aug 29 2014, 09:01 AM
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I got off cheap. The bill was $240 and I got my computer back with an upgraded motherboard. But I will take your advice to heart. When I had the house built, I asked for a dedicated circuit to the computer room. I did not want to share the computer (pre-UPS days) with the refrigerator or a vacuum cleaner. Also, I knew that I would be plugging in all kinds of stuff in, so I wanted the full 20 amps. Everything is run off one power strip. Pull the plug on that and all the equipment is isolated. I can't do this on a daily basis since the modem and router are also on the same circuit, but I can do it when my wife and I are both out of the house.
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