View Full Version : ZAP! Is my BW dead?

06-13-2001, 03:21 AM
I just installed some memory into my BW. I took all the usual precautions to ground my self (anti-static wrist strap, touched the power box). As I was plugging the power cord into the back of the computer, there was a quick flash and a pop. When I tried to start it up, i got no response. The light on the front didn't go on. I removed the memory to make sure that wasn't at the root of the problem, but that didn't help. Is my computer fried? Do I have any options to get it back up and running?

06-13-2001, 06:14 AM

Does your power supply fan start up at all when you try to boot? Sounds like you might have popped your power supply fuse = was the switch OFF when you plugged the power cord back in or were you using the front panel on/off switch - which just throws power on and off to the motherboard rather than the main power to the supply...


06-13-2001, 10:21 AM
The fan does not start up when I try to boot. I never knew there was a power supply fuse before you mentioned it, so I was using the switch on the front panel. Can this fuse be reset?

06-13-2001, 11:21 AM
The "flash and pop" description is a telling one... I don't think you can "reset" the fuse as it were - it's not a breaker but likely a normal fuse.You might be in the "replace your power supply" situation ...


06-13-2001, 11:33 AM
Any idea what this entails? Is it something I'd be able to do myself? Or is it better left to an Apple service providor? Any idea what sort of damage it will do to my wallet?
thanks for your help.

06-13-2001, 01:56 PM
Where did the spark and pop come from?

Now that I re-read my post, I'm not being silly. Was it the logic board, power supply or the front power panel that houses the power on button?


[This message has been edited by jorge (edited 13 June 2001).]

06-13-2001, 10:19 PM
I toasted 2 power supplies in the past 3 years or so doing exactly what you described. The second I plugged it in (not turned it on).....Pop! In both instances I was dealing with an APC UPS, as well. Since then, I have taken the added step to do this. Someone tell me if it is off-track:

1) Shut the machine down
2) Static strap
3) Lie it down (if needed) and open the case
4) Touch the power supply so I equalize static through the wiring into the house, not just into the mobo/PS
5) Unplug the computer and turn off the surge protector
6) Do what I have to do
7) Upright the machine and close it up
8) Plug the computer in
9) Power-on the surge protector
10) Power-on the machine

My theory is that I am cutting any and all votage out of the surge protector by turning it off. It is an extra step, but it makes the tiniest bit of sense to me. And I am know for going a bit overboard.

06-15-2001, 05:47 AM
The pop came from the plug where the power cord plugs into the back of the BW tower. The power on switch is located on the front of th BW. Although I am not 100% positive, I'm pretty sure the G4 desktops are configured similarly.

Can you give me some idea what replacing the power supply entails in terms of cost, ability to do oneself, ease, etc.

06-15-2001, 07:39 AM

I'm sure you could do it yourself - if you can find a match for the power supply. There are a number of suppliers out there
http://www.pcpowercooling.com/ comes to mind for those who have replaced power supplies in their Power Computing machines..

We replaced a power supply in one of our PC's - but it was a case of a student walking down the street to the Mom and Pop PC store and finding one that was close in size and hole placement (for bolting it in to the frame).

take a peek at the model number and manufacturer


06-15-2001, 09:49 AM
Or go here http://www.allmac.com/indexparts.html and type power supply in the Search Inventory box. One of the items will be:

Power Supply: PowerMac G3 Blue and White PWR-2107 76.95 ? 129.95 ? 149.95, just depends on whether you want to wait for them to repair, advanced exchange, or outright purchase.

Before giving up on your present power supply, I would remove it and open it up. I don't know about yours, but several I have seen have a fuse inside that may be blown, as Chris says. If so, Radio Shack or an electronics store may have it. That may be all you need. I don't consider it a daunting experience to remove, just time consuming to disconnect all of the output cables and remembering where they go, as well as figuring out which screws hold the power supply in place.

Do remember to ground yourself, as you mentioned, before sticking your hands inside so that you don't zap something with static electricity, and doing so frequently. Just put your hands on the power supply and count to 10. k

06-15-2001, 10:27 AM
get down close to the logic board and smell it. If you burned something there, you should be able to home in on it pretty quickly. If necessary, use a bright light and a jeweler's loop to inspect the components on the logic board to see if any are toasted.

if it looks clean, and there are no odd smells there, pull your power supply, open her up, and inspect. Hopefully you will be able to find a blown fuse in there.

good luck!