Lightning Strike kills two pc

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Keith Williams, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. Hi all,
    A friend has asked me to look at her two PC's that were struck by lightning.
    Came in on the modems.. one is a 4400 after removing the modem it boots
    perfectly and seems to be fine..However, no matter what I try I can't get a
    new modem to install or work. I've tried two new modems and one used one I
    had hanging around. I thought "maybe" it was a software conflict so I put
    in a spare harddrive I had here and did a clean install of Win 2k same
    results. Tried Win98SE no difference. Went back to original HD with XP
    home on it and still no luck. All OS's report a resource conflict in the
    Device Manager
    The resource tab under conflicting device list reveals
    Input/Output Range DF00 - DF3F not available.
    Memory Range 00800000 - 00FFFFFF not available.
    Memory Range 00800000 - 00FFFFFF not available.
    Disabling other devices has no effect. The modem is the only device
    installed other than an AGP Video Card. What do you think is the
    motherboard damaged?? Any and all advice is appreciated.

    The other computer is a Dimension 8200 ..I can't get it to boot at all. So
    I've picked up a new MB on eBay and we'll see what happens. I was able to
    check the CPU in the 4400 and it booted up fine so that anyway appears to be
    OK. .
    Keith Williams, Jul 11, 2004
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  2. Keith Williams

    Ben Myers Guest


    You might try clearing the CMOS in the 4400, then reinstalling a new modem.
    Also, remove the motherboard battery overnight, and maybe even replace it.

    Some of the system settings in CMOS or in flash NVRAM may have been corrupted by
    the strike... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 11, 2004
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  3. Ben,
    I tried clearing cmos I even updated the bios. I would think that updating
    would cleanup any corrupted dated since it overwrites the cmos chip. What
    are your thoughts. Do you think it's the board or should I be looking at
    something else.
    Keith Williams, Jul 11, 2004
  4. Keith Williams

    Ben Myers Guest


    Updating the BIOS usually, but not always, invalidates the PnP settings which
    are NOT kept in CMOS. Originally, CMOS was enough to keep track of the
    important info about a computer's hardware setup. But Windows 95 brought the
    Plug-and-Play spec, which set aside a part of the motherboard's flash BIOS chip
    to keep the added hardware setup data.

    How about trying something else... Click the System icon in Control Panel, click
    the Device Manager tab, and remove all serial ports, modems, and similar from
    the list of hardware there. Next, power down, reboot, and see what happens.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 11, 2004
  5. Keith Williams

    S.Lewis Guest


    You could try flashing the BIOS if clearing and defaulting don't work.

    It would appear that the mb PCI bus has been compromised.

    S.Lewis, Jul 11, 2004
  6. Ben,
    Removed serial, and lpt ports disabled them in bios and also disabled sound
    ... Booted to safe mode and remove all vestiges of them. Booted cut down and
    then installed modem card booted up and tried to install. Went the same as
    all the others. If I try and automatic install it finds a PCI comunications
    device but doesn't reconize the software on the floppy or cd as belonging to
    the device. If I force and install by installing a modem and then telling
    it I have disk. It warns that the drivers were not written for the device
    do I want to install anyway. Once I install it tells me I have a resource
    conflict. I copied the info and pasted it below. This is the same with two
    different brands of new modems and one used modem.. Really
    different(different modem chipsets).

    Memory Range 00000000 - 000000FF used by:
    System board extension for ACPI BIOS
    Memory Range 00000000 - 0000000F used by:
    System board extension for ACPI BIOS
    Memory Range 00000000 - 0000000F used by:
    System board extension for ACPI BIOS
    Memory Range 00000000 - 0000000F used by:
    System board extension for ACPI BIOS
    Input/Output Range 0000 - 0007 used by:
    Direct memory access controller
    Input/Output Range 0000 - 00FF used by:
    Motherboard resources
    Input/Output Range 0000 - 00FF used by:
    Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural Keyboard

    any ideas??
    Keith Williams, Jul 11, 2004
  7. Keith Williams

    Tony Guest

    A Dell engineer once told me that my modem had died because of a power
    surge, and said all PCs should have power surge protectors.

    Try replacing your modem, they're cheap, or at least borrown one and see if
    it works, or visa versa.
    Tony, Jul 11, 2004
  8. Keith Williams

    Irene Guest

    Did I read his post incorrectly?

    On Sat, 10 Jul 2004 23:09:27 GMT, "Keith Williams"
    However, no matter what I try I can't get a
    new modem to install or work. I've tried two new modems and one used one I
    had hanging around.
    Irene, Jul 11, 2004
  9. Keith Williams

    Ken Williams Guest

    Did you try installing a new modem in a different PCI slot?
    Ken Williams, Jul 11, 2004
  10. Keith Williams

    w_tom Guest

    If transient entered on phone line (completely ignoring the
    telco's properly earthed 'whole house' protector), then where
    did lightning continue to? Lightning does not enter modem,
    damage modem, then stop. That would even violate primary
    school science lessons. First lightning traveled through
    everything on a complete circuit path that includes into and
    out of modem AND that includes earth ground. What is that
    complete path? Therein lies a clue to the solution.

    In reality, most modems damaged on their DAA sections have a
    surge incoming on AC mains and outgoing on phone line.

    So now we continue the investigation. Did lightning also
    damage the PCI bus slot (from AC mains, through PCI slot,
    through modem, and outgoing on phone line)? Can another known
    good PCI card be configured in that slot?

    What does the manufacturer diagnostic report (assuming
    either modem can even boot the diagnostic)?

    Is that other motherboard damaged? Well, start by first
    confirming that motherboard power supply controller even talks
    to power supply. Procedures for using the 3.5 digit
    multimeter are provided previously at:
    "I think my power supply is dead" in alt.comp.hardware on 5
    Feb 2004 at
    alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt entitled "Power Supply" on 5
    Feb 2004 at

    Even if an LED lights, the power supply may not provide
    sufficient voltage or Power Good signal to motherboard. These
    tests should take less than 1 minute. If motherboard has
    proper voltage (power supply did verify) and does not even
    beep when all but power supply, CPU, and speaker is removed
    (yes, disconnect or remove memory, keyboard, mouse, all
    peripherals, video card, etc), then you can assume motherboard
    is replaceable.

    Whatever you do, do not do as others have suggested. Do not
    start wildly changing things without first basic facts.
    Otherwise you end up with even more problems. More problems
    means the complexity increases exponentially with each new

    Notice the proper procedure. First get basic facts. Those
    power supply measurements first confirm the power supply and
    motherboard controller work properly. Only then move on to
    verify other parts. Do not overwrite BIOS which can
    permanently destroy a motherboard confused by a video card
    problem. Resetting CMOS after 'all but CPU, speaker, and
    power supply is removed' test can be the next step. Notice
    that solution is about collecting basic facts rather than
    seeking an instant solution.

    In the meantime, she probably has no 'whole house' protector
    on AC electric. That being the most common source of modem
    destructive surges (as well as damage to answering machine and
    portable phone base station). Adjacent (plug-in) protectors
    could have even contributed to her failures.
    w_tom, Jul 11, 2004
  11. Keith Williams

    Jack Mac Guest

    Once electromagnetic pulses of the magnitude of lightning enters a solid state
    device ... such as a computer... they become unreliable, even those that appear
    to be working properly at the moment. They can fail at any time. In the
    non-working computer has the already thin junction between semiconductors
    has broken down. Those that are still working have had those thin junctions
    weakened by the electromagnetic pulses and can break down at any time.
    Oh, all are not weakened but some/many are. Which ones are they? How can
    you tell?

    Jack Mac
    Jack Mac, Jul 12, 2004
  12. Keith Williams

    Ben Myers Guest

    And this seems to argue for replacement of the motherboard, not continuing to
    spend time trying to make a failing one work reliably. I concur, considering
    all the time the original poster has spent without a positive result.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 12, 2004
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