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damindor

can power cuts cause damage to a pc

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and if so is there something I can buy and is it expensive

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A sudden drop in power can cause issues with hard drives (when they are writing data to the drive) UPS Backup would solve the issue Amazon has them starting at about $49 on up (it is a backup battery that kick's in when your power drops) the longer its out the bigger battery you need.

 

Hope that helps

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Generally I would say no, a random loss of power will not damage your computer. If it happens frequently, then it may do. You PSU may not like sudden loss of power. You can get surge protectors to protect against brown outs and surges.

 

A UPS can be configured to gracefully shutdown a computer upon power loss. However they aren't exactly cheap.

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They can do damage if the computer is in the middle of something, like winrez points out. People afraid of that kind of thing can get a UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) which for all intents and purposes is a battery. If there is a sudden loss of power the battery kicks in, giving you enough time to safely power down the computer.

EDIT: And yes, they're not the cheapest things in the world.

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The answer is yes.

Generally power cuts are often preceded by a surge as the line clears. Make sure you have a surge protection extension lead. Also to stop sudden loss of power screwing with you, get a UPS.

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They can do damage if the computer is in the middle of something, like winrez points out. People afraid of that kind of thing can get a UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) which for all intents and purposes is a battery. If there is a sudden loss of power the battery kicks in, giving you enough time to safely power down the computer.

EDIT: And yes, they're not the cheapest things in the world.

 

And yes,

They're not very long lasting batteries either so if you're REAL lucky, you only need to replace the whole UPS every 2-3 years!

 

A power cut to ANY electronic device is one of the worst things that can happen to them, especially if it is a quick cut where the power comes right back on!

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The answer is yes.

Generally power cuts are often preceded by a surge as the line clears. Make sure you have a surge protection extension lead. Also to stop sudden loss of power screwing with you, get a UPS.

 

what he said, the surge afterwards is the problem, best to get at the very least a surge protector for all electronic devices...

 

and if so is there something I can buy and is it expensive

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Ive never experienced damage to a PC from sudden power loss. That being said, a surge protector is the minimum required protection. A UPS is great to have since it'll give you a few mins to power down the system.

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A high quality power supply (that is: with properly implemented transient filtering stage - you'll need to find disassembly reviews for that) can complement surge arrestor (in case of lightning strike) or even replace it (in lesser cases), because it will already have a MOV (the working component of any surge arrestor) and other line filtering components, as well as large enough bulk capacitor to keep system running during sub-second cut-outs (depends on the load, though). Active PFC will also regulate unstable voltage and so complement during brownouts - it may be enough to keep lightly loaded system running in extreme cases or at least give time to turn it off properly.

 

Of course, UPS will help even more, but quality UPS are very expensive, and so are their batteries, which often carry even less warranty than the device itself.

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depends what you mean by damage, I would say no as I don't class operating system issues as damage - in certain situations you could be forced to fix issues with windows but its less common now.

 

You wont damage hardware with power outages.

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I've had HDDs damaged after a sudden power loss. Water pipe broke in the building and water filled the electrical shaft, cut out power to the building. After booting my NAS up 2 of the HDD's had bad sectors.

 

Also, many years ago, I lived in an area where there were often power cuts. Had a few PSU's die on me.

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Yes, a sudden brownout/blackout can cause damage due to undervolting causing the PSU to attempt to pull more input current to keep consistent the output voltages/currents. Essentially, it could cause some sort of overheating and pop a cap or something else due to overcurrent. Similarly this can occur at the integrated circuit level in the form of latchups* causing damage at the IC level. A final thing that could happen is that it could cause malfunctioning behavior in the circuit logic (i.e. logic states that are impossible by design**). Normally though, none of these things are going to happen because the designers throw in measures against such situations. If your circuits are lacking ESD and under/over voltage protections then they are probably garbage and not meeting regulations.

 

As a side note, interestingly, if you had some sort of shotty power supply it could actually push the undervolting state to the components it is powering (by failing to do its job) and cause the issues above in other components.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure_modes_of_electronics#Electrical_overstress

** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't-care_term

 

EDIT: Just to be clear, the above is distinct from an overvolting (surge) occurring which can also damage components.

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In the UK, possible PSU failure, motherboard / CPU / RAM failure (from PSU) - Usually due to a fault in the PSU either at design or component quality level.

 

On that note, I highly recommend anything you care about being behind a surge protector (even the ?5 things are better than nothing at all).

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