1. Ariel Takom's Avatar
    Does anyone know of any built-in safety mechanisms of laptops nowadays that protects it from overcurrent or short-circuits?

    Thing is, I bought quite an expensive laptop around 2013 (it was a Lenovo Y500 with SLI GT750M). Apparently the SLI configuration on the laptop forces it to use an adapter of 150W rating or something (the single graphic card option for this laptop requires only a 120W adapter).

    One day, my laptop got fried (short-circuited) and the MoBo was damaged. My friend told me that the adapter was supposed to act as a fuse to prevent this from happening, but I wonder if the difference in power rating of the adapter had allowed the overcurrent to pass through to the laptop.

    Of course, I couldnt claim warranty since short-circuit is considered 'user damage' lol. Repairing costs half of what the laptop costs, so I didn't repair it and instead reused my old laptop.

    Moving forward to 2016, I'm now in the search for a new laptop, and since I've been burnt before, I now want to make sure that my upcoming laptop can withstand short-circuits, or at least I can take extra steps to prevent this from happening. So do you guys know of anu safety features against short circuits, or generally any advice to prevent short circuits?
    02-26-2016 11:51 AM
  2. AndyCalling's Avatar
    I don't know about built in protection, but I can tell you that Lenovo's 'warranty' does not cover any 'physical damage' (they always say). This means you'll have to be able to show your laptop is suffering psychological or spiritual damage in some way. Tell them you angered God and he decided to smite your PC. That should be covered.

    A short circuit is where the power goes where it shouldn't because there is a path of least resistance where it should not be (ie. a solder bridge or some such manufacturing error). A fuse may prevent further damage, but the laptop will still be unusable. All you can do is check whether the company you buy from will warranty against such physical damage or whether they use Lenovo logic instead.
    02-26-2016 12:00 PM
  3. Ariel Takom's Avatar
    I don't know about built in protection, but I can tell you that Lenovo's 'warranty' does not cover any 'physical damage' (they always say). This means you'll have to be able to show your laptop is suffering psychological or spiritual damage in some way. Tell them you angered God and he decided to smite your PC. That should be covered.

    A short circuit is where the power goes where it shouldn't because there is a path of least resistance where it should not be (ie. a solder bridge or some such manufacturing error). A fuse may prevent further damage, but the laptop will still be unusable. All you can do is check whether the company you buy from will warranty against such physical damage or whether they use Lenovo logic instead.
    Thank you. Yeah, I was kinda pissed when they said that it's not covered under warranty. That's why I'm looking towards Dell nowadays since the ProSupport and the Accidental Damage protection is kinda influencing my choice of laptops.

    Btw, do you happen to know of any other way to prevent overvoltage/overcurrent from flowing into my laptop? I mean, besides buying a surge-protected extension cables and whatnot? :v
    02-26-2016 08:40 PM
  4. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I bought a surge protector for all of my various hardware.
    Ariel Takom and xandros9 like this.
    02-27-2016 01:22 AM
  5. Ariel Takom's Avatar
    I bought a surge protector for all of my various hardware.
    I see. Yeah, I was thinking about that too, but I just wanted to know if there are other factors that may cause short-circuits on my electrical appliances.

    Btw, what brand of surge-protecting equipment do you use or recommend? I tried looking for the stuff they provide in the local store, but they don't seem convincing enough i.e. too cheap or the packaging seems suspicious.
    nycny likes this.
    02-27-2016 09:23 AM
  6. AndyCalling's Avatar
    Surge protectors don't need to be pricey. You can get a single plug version, a bit like a razor adapter, that you can leave attached to your laptop psu wherever you take it. Surges/spikes are about power smoothness though, not the same as short circuits. The usual way a short circuit happens (other than manufacturing defect) is by getting liquid on your device. The best way to avoid them is to keep liquid away from your PC.
    02-28-2016 07:26 AM
  7. Ariel Takom's Avatar
    Surge protectors don't need to be pricey. You can get a single plug version, a bit like a razor adapter, that you can leave attached to your laptop psu wherever you take it. Surges/spikes are about power smoothness though, not the same as short circuits. The usual way a short circuit happens (other than manufacturing defect) is by getting liquid on your device. The best way to avoid them is to keep liquid away from your PC.
    I see. Well, I'm not well versed in this matter as all this while I thought surges = short circuit lmao. Thanks for the clarification :)

    I'm pretty sure that when my laptop got 'burnt', there weren't any liquid present nearby. But I do remember there being a lightning storm during that unfortunate event. So I'm guessing that it was a sudden power surge that caused my laptop to burn? T~T
    02-29-2016 05:44 AM
  8. nycny's Avatar
    I attempted to reply to this post using the new windows central app, it hasn't shown up yet.
    It was pretty lengthy so I'll summarize as best as I can here.
    I have been a communication equipment installer for a couple of decades. I have also sold and specified surge/over volt equipment in my line of work.
    My preference for surge/over volt protection has over the years leaned toward the Tripp Lite line of products. You may not find these product at the store, the are readily available from the website,

    Tripp Lite

    These differ from most surge suppressor in that the surge suppressor element (varistor) is installed in series rather than parallel. The common parallel application allows the suppressor to continue to supply current even when the varistor is worn out. With the series application, when the varistor fails you have an open circuit, so no current flows to your equipment. This is a big difference. You could and probably have a faulty suppressor and no indication of failure.
    APC, a very popular brand will fail to protect the same way. They will replace your damaged equipment and APC within a specified period of time.
    I have had the experience of using these and others for many years and have yet to have any of my equipment or customer's equipment fail during normal use ever.
    There are however times when there is a massive overvoltage such as a direct or nearby lighting strike. Very few surge suppressors or equipment will survive. Along the way from a time before time, ancient tube television sets, I fixed them too, had an isolation transformer built in, which separated the input voltage from the rest of the internals. Big hunk of metal with two coils of wire wrapped around opposite ends. As it was a 1 to 1 transformer you got 120v in and 120v out. It could also be tapped to accommodate regional voltage differences.
    Oneac is a manufacturer that has made line conditioners for decades. This class of product is the best of class in suppressing large overvoltage. In addition the line conditioner has been used to clean up "dirty power", the random spikes, surges that normally occur on the common supply. They also regulate the output to a clean isolated ground service. They are expensive and heavy.

    Welcome to Oneac Powervar Solutions :: Products ::

    You might see one laying around the telecom room unused gathering dust. If you see one grab it.
    If it turns on and works, it's good, even after 20years.
    Powervar and Tripp Lite also sell line conditioners.
    My current setup 3 old Oneac connected to the main where the equipment is set up, secondary power distribution attached to any of the four outlets on the Oneac. They are moderate current output devices so don't expect your laser printer to be able to use this solution. Newer or more expensive models may be available for higher current demands.
    For good and reasonably priced, any Tripp Lite will do.
    Ariel Takom likes this.
    02-29-2016 11:12 AM
  9. Ariel Takom's Avatar
    I attempted to reply to this post using the new windows central app, it hasn't shown up yet.
    It was pretty lengthy so I'll summarize as best as I can here.
    I have been a communication equipment installer for a couple of decades. I have also sold and specified surge/over volt equipment in my line of work.
    My preference for surge/over volt protection has over the years leaned toward the Tripp Lite line of products. You may not find these product at the store, the are readily available from the website,

    Tripp Lite

    These differ from most surge suppressor in that the surge suppressor element (varistor) is installed in series rather than parallel. The common parallel application allows the suppressor to continue to supply current even when the varistor is worn out. With the series application, when the varistor fails you have an open circuit, so no current flows to your equipment. This is a big difference. You could and probably have a faulty suppressor and no indication of failure.
    APC, a very popular brand will fail to protect the same way. They will replace your damaged equipment and APC within a specified period of time.
    I have had the experience of using these and others for many years and have yet to have any of my equipment or customer's equipment fail during normal use ever.
    There are however times when there is a massive overvoltage such as a direct or nearby lighting strike. Very few surge suppressors or equipment will survive. Along the way from a time before time, ancient tube television sets, I fixed them too, had an isolation transformer built in, which separated the input voltage from the rest of the internals. Big hunk of metal with two coils of wire wrapped around opposite ends. As it was a 1 to 1 transformer you got 120v in and 120v out. It could also be tapped to accommodate regional voltage differences.
    Oneac is a manufacturer that has made line conditioners for decades. This class of product is the best of class in suppressing large overvoltage. In addition the line conditioner has been used to clean up "dirty power", the random spikes, surges that normally occur on the common supply. They also regulate the output to a clean isolated ground service. They are expensive and heavy.

    Welcome to Oneac Powervar Solutions :: Products ::

    You might see one laying around the telecom room unused gathering dust. If you see one grab it.
    If it turns on and works, it's good, even after 20years.
    Powervar and Tripp Lite also sell line conditioners.
    My current setup 3 old Oneac connected to the main where the equipment is set up, secondary power distribution attached to any of the four outlets on the Oneac. They are moderate current output devices so don't expect your laser printer to be able to use this solution. Newer or more expensive models may be available for higher current demands.
    For good and reasonably priced, any Tripp Lite will do.
    First of all, thank you so much for the time you took to type up that lengthy information. I am sure others who are facing problems such as mine would find it useful.

    Unfortunately, I'm living outside the USA so the products you recommended aren't really suitable for me. But again, it was my mistake since I did not specify where I came from. I asked for product brands because I thought that some products are available globally, hence why I asked for any product brands that may be available in my country, Malaysia. I looked up Tripp Lite, but found out that not all of their products are available from the distributor here, and the products are priced quite expensively too.

    Once again, I'm sorry for making you write a lengthy reply of a product only for me to reply as such, and forgive me if I seemed rude. I really hope your post does not go to waste, and that someone, somewhere out there would find your post useful.

    Btw, I wanted to ask you regarding surge protection. With today's technology, what are the odds of lightning strikes causing surges that threatens the electrical appliances at homes? Just a rough probability, since you've been working with surge protectors over the course of your working life.
    02-29-2016 10:28 PM

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