PC Caught Fire

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Eclipsor, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    Hobart
    So I've been away on holidays for the last couple of weeks and get home yesterday with a heap of photos to look through and start editing. Pretty soon after doing some tweaks on one I hear a weird noise from the PC tower and my screen goes all multicoloured before going blank. I look down to see flames inside the computer case.

    I pull the power then the rest of the cables and rush it outside. The flames died off on their own once the power was cut.

    At this stage the source of the flames seems to be the power connector to one of the SSD's. Luckily this is only my scratch drive, but I'm yet to test any other parts or drives to see if there is any damage to them. Fingers crossed there isn't.

    The SSD is a reputable brand, but it is quite old and has been a bit hit and miss over the last couple of years. Hence its use as a temp drive.

    So fingers crossed I can get away with one new SSD and a new PSU.

    [​IMG]
     
    mikezilla2 and firey4059 like this.
  2. Deftone2k

    Deftone2k In the Darkroom

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    15,435
    Location:
    Sydney
    Holy Moly!

    Havent seen anything like that in all my users of PC building.

    Always goes to show you can never have too many backups eh. Hope its a quick fix for you mate.
     
  3. Mathuisella

    Mathuisella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    6,719
    Location:
    in your gearbox...grindin
    is the power plug an adapter ?

    I ask, because there's cheap adapters out there, sata power in particular that use injection moulding over bare wire and once the internal wires heat up a bit, they can 'drift' through the plastic housing and short upon one another.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    Hobart
    Yeah, pretty scary really. I'm remembering all the times I've not bothered/forgotten to turn off the PC overnight and for extended periods...

    Not an adapter. The PSU isn't exactly an expensive one, but it has been running this setup for about 3 years now unchanged and the box hasn't physically been moved/touched for at least a few months.
     
  5. Mathuisella

    Mathuisella Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    6,719
    Location:
    in your gearbox...grindin
    any chance of a few close up pictures of the sata connectors to see if it's that "type" that like to burn themselves up....
     
  6. Munki

    Munki Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,579
    Location:
    Sydney
    Thanks for reminding me to go back up!

    Fingers crossed not too much damage for you!
     
  7. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,074
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria
    Lol, nice looking skull on the power connector!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    Hobart
    Are these enough?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Haha yeah, someone else I showed said the same thing.

    I've taken all the drives out now. Two of them do show signs of some scalding on what I'm assuming is the power pins. So I'm hoping they haven't popped an onboard fuse or something. Potentially why they also didn't go up in smoke. Will test them today. The other SSD was sitting below the heat so fingers crossed it is ok internally.

    Couldn't see or smell any signs of anything frying inside the PSU itself. Will be replacing it either way though obviously. Any recommendations on bang for buck replacements? Something under $100 would be good.

    edit: The other drives are ok. phew
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
    firey4059 likes this.
  9. firey4059

    firey4059 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Greensborough
    By any definition, you've had a fire there. If you report it to your local Fire Authority - Tasmanian Fire Service (as a late fire), you could potentially claim fire damage against your insurance policy. Depending on damage, insurance excess, etc as to whether it's worthwhile consideration.
     
    mikezilla2 and BurningFeetMan like this.
  10. mtma

    mtma Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,829
    Is it just the reflection, or is the contact 3rd from the left actually buckled inwards?

    I had a PSU fail hard in a dock recently, the drive was 'dead' but actually saved because there was a surge protector device on the PCB. Once removed it was all good - thanks WD. No thanks random 12V dodgy power brick that decided to output 24V on a whim.
     
  11. trackhappy

    trackhappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,359
    Location:
    Caboolture, QLD, 4510
    What PSU were you using? I've had a hard drive fire once, at a bloody LAN party, of all places.

    If I may suggest a couple of things that I do: Offsite or at *least* out-of-computer backups. I use Backblaze for the offsite bit. As this is your scratch drive, avoid formatting your memory cards until after the shoot is processed, backed up and archived. This way, the most you stand to lose is post work. But at the same time, I would not trust memory cards alone to safely store anything. I did this, huge mistake. Lost almost an entire holiday on two cards because I was lazy getting around to post.

    Hope this helps!
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,498
    Location:
    Hobart
    It was a fairly generic PSU. Falcon or something.

    Yeah, I didn't lose any work. All raws are duplicated on import to two internal drives along with regular catalogue backups. Offsite backups of processed, jpeg selections. Might look into doing some offsite catalogue backups too and yeah, maybe move the backup internal drive to a caddy.
     
  13. trackhappy

    trackhappy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2009
    Messages:
    2,359
    Location:
    Caboolture, QLD, 4510
    Ahh, there you go! I can almost guarantee you that was the problem. Ever since a dodgy plug pack nearly burned my house down, I extremely carefully scrutinize anything that plugs into the wall. Power bricks, power supplies, anything. I know from the case that the SSD involved was an Intel, I seriously, seriously doubt that would have been the cause of the problem. Even if it did have some sort of overload or fault condition, there are internal fuses that will trip if something shorts.

    I highly recommend a decent quality power supply for any computer if you care about your property! Antec is my go-to choice, because they always use top tier OEMs to make their power supplies, same goes with Corsair. Thermaltake are on the money, too, you pretty much can't go wrong with any of the aforementioned brands.

    Power supplies are one of the easiest things to cheap out on, you don't actually need *any* filtering or safety components for the thing to work. It'll work, it'll just annoy anyone in your street who listens to the radio, and be a ticking time bomb. The brands I mentioned, all of the OEMs they use are first rate, and they're not even that much more expensive than the generics.

    Hope this helps!
     
    firey4059, l_ QuadX_l and Eclipsor like this.
  14. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    11,878
    Location:
    melbourne
    Pro-tip, go buy a reasonable PSU from someone like Seasonic. Don't cheap out, it will last you forever.
     
    firey4059 likes this.
  15. Apokalipse

    Apokalipse Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,250
    Location:
    Melbourne
    I once accidentally shorted a Corsair AX850 plugging in some fans while it was on.
    It switched itself off the instant the wires touched, and has worked fine since.
     
  16. Dark Orange

    Dark Orange Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,741
    I am a sparkie, that damage is definitely the result of a bad connection between plug and drive.

    High resistance connector + high current = heat.
    High resistance connector + high current + heat = more resistance
    Higher resistance connector + high current + more heat = more resistance

    Good quality connectors are a good way of preventing this kind of thing from happening.
     
  17. zeggie

    zeggie Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    387
    I once had a fire in an old 486 machine. My fault. I forced the power connector into a floppy drive the wrong way around without considering why the connector was being a prick to connect in the first place.

    Only lost the PSU and some of my self respect.
     
    firey4059 likes this.
  18. Recharge

    Recharge Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    10,132
    Location:
    Brisbane
    PSU is one thing NEVER to skimp out on, Minium $90.
     
    Sphinx2000 likes this.
  19. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,342
    Location:
    MB, Canada
    High resistance connector + low voltage = low current
    Slightly elevated resistance + low resistance overall = high current + hot spot (where resistance is highest)

    As a sparky, you'll also see cases of loose/carbonized connectors developing arcing leading to damage or a fire

    This is more likely to do with a short on the connector, so a balls up in QC along with inadequate overcurrent protection on the PSU. No way should an SSD be pulling enough current to stress the conductive path.
     
    Sanity_Smith likes this.
  20. Utetopia

    Utetopia Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Location:
    BNE/TWMBA
    Same thing happened to me as OP with an HX620.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: