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Safety reminder - near miss

hardware meltdown

     
3:56 am on May 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I had a bit of an incident today. I was hanging out with the family upstairs in the house and as I approached my office I smelled smoke and burning plastic. I rushed into the office to find smoke streaming out of desktop box. I shut down the power and unplugged everything. I opened the window and air out the house.

This evening with smoke settled I looked in the box. The dvd-rom melted-down, it also melted some wire leading to the power switch. I haven't turned it back on to see if there was any other damage to mobo or other drives. I will bring in to to my hardware guy Monday.

I am really lucky that we were home, had this happened when we were away the whole house could have burned down. The box runs 24/7.

Safety tips:
Make sure there is a smoke detector close to your box(es). We have one right outside the door to the office but the smoke did not reach it.
Do not keep papers or books near your box(es).
Turn-off your box(es) if you are not going to be around it for while.
Don't buy cheap dvd-roms.

Any other suggestions.

Here is photo of the damage:
[imgur.com...]
5:06 am on May 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Ouch - Glad to hear no one was injured.
The box runs 24/7
I used to leave my machine on for weeks on end. Usually I would put it on sleep when away from my desk. I did this with several devices.

Then I started hearing about hover board batteries exploding. Then the mobile phone batteries doing the same.

Not all my devices have batteries, but I took that as a heads-up to the dangers of unattended devices.

I now shut down all devices when not physically present. And yes, I've always kept an additional smoke detector next to my desktop box.
5:16 am on May 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Something similar happened to me a few years ago. Now I don't leave computers on if I'm going to be away.

I open them up now and then to clean off any dust, not sure what other preventative action to take.
6:14 am on May 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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...not sure what other preventative action to take.
My current desktop box is likely my last (as I also have a Surface Pro4) but I've always bought customed bare bones boxes with a heavy duty power source & an additional fan installed (learned that from gamers who typically get hot boxes.)

Although my Surface does get noticeably hot when running resource heavy programs. Can't add an extra fan there.

However, if something fails... it fails. Not much preventative measures one can do except staying aware.
2:47 am on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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this normally happens on cheap-o crap OEM boxes.

A quality power supply would have shut down instantly a short happened. I can't even plug in a fan without my power supply instantly shutting off.

Stop buying OEM crap boxes.