Feeds

Heroic Register reader battles EXPLODING COMPUTER

Saves son AND son's homework from firebomb power supply

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A heroic Reg reader who battled an exploding computer to save his son's homework (and possibly his life) has written in to share the harrowing tale of a power supply unit gone MAD.

Keith, who lives in Germany, wrote in to tell us how he dealt with a flaming desktop PC, and how his quick instincts to throw it out the balcony door and pour cold water on it saved the day ... and a chunk of his son't education.

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

Burnt PC

The computer belonged to Keith's 15-year-old son, who was typing away, doing his homework when something exploded. Keith recounts:

Yesterday my son was sitting at his desk working on a school project, when he heard a loud bang. He said it sounded like a large fire cracker. Immediately following the minor explosion, smoke rose out of the back of his desk. When I came into the room small flames were jumping out of the case's side vent and the back of the PC.

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

The horror, the horror

He acted quickly:

We quickly hit the main electric breakers, disconnected the PC and tossed it out onto the balcony. After that I began pouring bottled water in every orifice I could find. Five minutes later the fire was out.

Poring through the charred remains, it appeared as though Keith's DIY ways might perhaps have been partly to blame. The desktop PC, built by Keith himself, was 10 years old - but he'd installed a new power supply 10 months ago and it seems that a capacitor had blown.

After examining the singed machine, I discovered that the relatively new power supply had been the source of the fire. I should have known better than to buy a cheap, no name power supply. I don't really know what caused the explosion and resulting fire, but I do know that it only took five minutes for the fire to cause that much damage. Needless to say, I'm extremely grateful that nothing happened to my son ... he usually falls asleep with the PC on.

It took five minutes of dousing before the flames went out and they managed to cause a heck of a lot of damage to the delicate innards.

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

Keith poured cold water on the PC till the flames went out

In true Reg reader style, Keith managed to save the homework as well.

My son's school data was on the water soaked hard drive, so I put it in the oven and baked it at 60 Celsius for 4 hours. That did the trick, the hard drive works perfect... I backed up all the data, just to be sure. Try to explain to the teacher that you couldn't get your report done because your PC caught on fire. Something like, "teacher, the dog ate my homework..."

But he has admitted he needs to shell out for a new computer:

I also baked the motherboard (CPU still attached), memory and video card at the same temperature to rid them of any moisture. After assembling the components in a new case, I switched it on, but unfortunately there was no response. The little green light on the motherboard was on but that was the only sign of life. Looks like I'll be buying a new computer.

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

Keith has accepted he needs to buy a new computer

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

Keith regrets buying a no-name Power Supply Unit

Burnt PC, reader photo from Keith, republished with permission

Sorry son, it's gone now

Still though, buying a new computer is seldom an entirely bad day. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.