Thursday, October 22, 2020
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How power outages can damage your computer (and how to protect it)

Your computer relies on constant power consumption to stay on – but sometimes AC power may not be as reliable. If you live in a neighborhood that tends to break, you may be asking: can a power outage damage your computer, and what can you do to protect yourself from its effects?

Let’s look at the risks of a power outage and how to avoid them.

Types of electrical type anomalies

Electricity flowing through the home is not constant. Electric currents can tip over and drain, sinking above and below the ideal. Both too much and too little power can cause problems.

When the power is turned off completely, it is called a power failure. They usually occur from problems beyond your control (e.g., power plant disturbances, damaged power lines, etc.), but sometimes they can be caused by yourself (e.g., short circuit or overloading circuits).

A similar problem is called blackout when your electrical voltage experiences a temporary drop without being completely discharged.

If you’ve ever seen the light dim for unknown reasons, it was probably due to corruption. These can be intentional ways to reduce the electrical load and prevent power outages, although they can also be unintentional.

There is a strong rise on the other side of the spectrum. In this case, the device receives more electricity than planned for at least three nanoseconds.

Overvoltages occur due to several factors, such as short circuits and malfunctions in electrical wiring. If the increased voltage lasts only one or two nanoseconds, it is the current spike most commonly caused by lightning.

Can a power outage damage your computer?

So can a sudden power outage cause problems for your computer? As it turns out, yes, to both data and hardware.

How a power outage can damage your computer

Abrupt shutdown after a power outage is a primary hazard to your computer’s health. Operating systems are complex and must pass a “shutdown sequence” to ensure that all running processes are terminated correctly before the power is turned off.

A sudden loss of electricity interrupts this cycle and can leave the processes “semi-finished”. This can corrupt files and chains, damaging the operating system.

System files are the biggest concern. If the operating system is busy editing an important file when a power outage occurs (such as during a system upgrade), a sudden cut will corrupt the file. When you then try to restart your computer, the operating system will stumble upon this corrupted file and will not start.

If you are lucky that your system files are empty, you may still lose important work. If you don’t have a habit of saving your work all the time, a power outage can put you back in the square. Turning off power to the central storage may corrupt your work.

In addition, repeated power outages can shorten the physical life of your hard drive. The read and write head, which floats over the spinning discs during use, snaps back to its original position in the event of a loss of power.

This sudden movement can cause small imperfections that accumulate over time, increasing the likelihood of a “head fall”. In this case, the head touches and scratches the surfaces of the dish, effectively destroying the hard disk.

Solid-state drives

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can also suffer catastrophic damage from sudden power outages. Problems can range anywhere from data corruption to complete malfunctions.

How post-interference circuits can damage your computer

What’s worse, a power outage may not be the end of the problem. The outage is often followed by a wave when the electricity comes back into the grid.

The power supply overloads and shines the computer electronics. Although the outage will not cause much damage to the power supply or motherboard, the next wave will cause. The result is a computer that does not start after a power failure.

As such, if you want to stay safe from a power outage, you should also invest in surge protection. There is nothing worse than a negative ban on electric use, just to fry everything because of the rise afterwards!

Protection against power failures

Even if power outages do not rupture through the computer as a result of a power surge, they can still cause damage. As such, if you want to take care of the health of your data, it’s a good idea to invest in some precautions against power outages.

Using an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to prevent damage in the event of a power failure

An uninterruptible power supply is required to protect against power outages. This device contains a backup battery that will continue to power your computer even if it is turned off.

UPSs can also be equipped with surge-protected outlets, making them a useful two-for-one purchase. If you live in a building or location that often experiences outages, surpluses, or both, UPS is a strong investment.

It is important to note that the UPS only gives the electronics a few minutes. This means that it is not a great solution if you want to continue working through downtime.

However, these few minutes allow a lot of time to shut down your computer manually to avoid damage. UPSs can issue an alarm to warn of outages or even instruct your computer to shut down immediately.

Using your laptop to work through interruptions

If you want to continue turning off instead, why not use a laptop? Laptops completely avoid the problem of power outages; when the power goes out, it replaces the battery.

As such, if you are in an area that often suffers from power outages, you may want to switch to a laptop. While laptops are not as efficient as a full-size computer, they are much more useful when the power is turned off than a computer.

Of course, it is bad to buy a laptop because the power situation is not ideal. Fortunately, grabbing a work laptop doesn’t have to break the bank. Be sure to check cheapest high quality laptops

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an inexpensive way to continue working through breaks.

Get good surge protection for power transmissions after power outages

Whether you want to protect your data from sudden shutdowns, you also need to improve them with surge protection.

While this does not protect your hardware from the actual power outage, it does protect it from any power outages that occur after a blackout. As such, gripping the surge protector protects you from all the hazards that can occur during power outages while stopping the current.

Buying surge protection can be a bit confusing because they come with technical information that describes how well they work. If terms like “UL Classification” and “Compression Voltage” make your head spin, check out our guide if surge protectors are required

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Keep your computer safe

Power outages can damage system files and data, and subsequent power surges can destroy devices. As such, if you live in a neighborhood with unstable power, you should take the time to protect yourself from both and save yourself a headache.

If you’re interested in other ways to keep your computer safe, make sure you don’t do these common errors that damage or corrupt the motherboard

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These errors are simple and seemingly insignificant, but can lead to motherboard damage that shortens the life of your computer or laptop for less than expected.
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