Laptop Lightning Strike

By road-dog ·
I have an HP laptop (ZE 4800 series) that got cooked when the building took a direct lightning strike, bad enough to take out water heaters.

The laptop tries to start but resets after ~3 seconds and continues cycling that way. I know the external adapter supplies it with DC current.

When the adapter is disconnected and I attempt to start on batteries, same symptoms. This leads me to believe that there is a DC based power supply inside.Before tearing the case apart, could anyone tell me if I'm going in the right direction? Any assistance along the way would be greatly appreciated!

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All Answers

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Have you...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Laptop Lightning Strike

Got insurance - or like most other countries, lightning strikes are considered an Act of God, much like Force Majeure (if you were in a warzone).

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we're insured - but

by road-dog In reply to Have you...

This computer has a legacy app that we can't get anymore. We will probably replace the platform courtesy of the insurance, but I need that app back. If I can salvace the machine, that would be simplest

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Lightning is bad

by mjd420nova In reply to Laptop Lightning Strike

Any number of things could have been zapped in a lightning strike. I do suspect the processor in all likelyhood took the hit and is now faulty.

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I was hoping it would be simpler than a processor

by road-dog In reply to Lightning is bad

is there any way that I could tell for sure? I'd like to salvage data and it would be worth a new power supply, but the processor might be over the line

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Swap the drive out to another laptop.

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to I was hoping it would be ...

That way, you can at least retrieve the app.

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A few items to check

by HomusOnline In reply to Laptop Lightning Strike

The two places I have seen Lightning leave scorches the most is from the Power Connector, and the port the internet was in (modem or ethernet).

Go with an obvious test of picking it up with the unit off and take sniff. If it smells burnt by the power connector, it most likely damaged your mainboard. I mainly saw things like burnt capacitors and melted traces, and like the other post, tended to take the CPU with it.

On the upside is that many times the CD-Rom and Hard Drive were salvageable. While the damage may be extensive to the unit, your data still has hopes of being safe so that you can get your legacy app off of it.

Make sure that when you send it in for repair, that no matter what you want the HDD either recovered, want it back, or request that if it is questionable to be left untouched. This most likely will cost a little extra, but if you can not replace the app, you will at least have the HDD to get it off of. The extent of what it would take to recover is the problem.

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Don't Bother Trying to Fix This

by TheChas In reply to Laptop Lightning Strike

Yes, there are power supplies inside the laptop.
Yes, you might be able to get the thing working.

However, my personal experiences with lightning damaged equipment run toward "REPLACE EVERY SEMICONDUCTOR" and, every circuit board with any sign of scorching.

Why, with the level of a surge you described, every part in the laptop has been stressed beyond the manufactures specifications.

If you do get it running, the odds are very high for failure and or strange operation.

In reference to the concerns about legacy applications, you might want to search ebay or the used / refurbished computer market for the same model laptop. Buy at least 2 so you have a ready spare.

Before trying anything else, remove the hard drive, and if it runs, make a clone or an image NOW.


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