Burned computer modem illustrates lightning danger

Photos show damaged caused when lightning strikes an internal computer modem. Reminds us to disconnect our PCs during storms.

When lightning strikes a computer, charred metal, melted plastic, and burned circuits are the results. This computer's internal modem was hit with a power surge during a storm. The computer was protected by a surge protector but it did not have modem outlets. And, despite the rise in wireless home networks, Ethernet and modem cables are still a source of danger for computers. Click the image for the full gallery.

Photo by Brad Rowden

This machine's owner brought it to IT Systems Administrator Brad Rowden—who took several photos. According to Rowden "most of the components inside of the machine were a mess."

"The case might have been salvageable with some good cleaning," Rowden told me, "but everything in there stunk terribly."

Miraculously, the machine's hard drive was undamaged and Rowden was able to retrieve all the customer's data. Despite this silver lining, I encourage you to show this gallery to your customers. If they don't take lightning seriously now, these photos might change their mind.


Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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