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Lightning Strikes - Ethernet Dead

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hyphen, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. Hyphen

    Hyphen Private First Class

    Last night it was storming (Florida) and I heard a very loud pop and got a little shock at my computer, and my mother said she heard a loud pop at the router. I reset the router and every computer's internet was connecting besides me. We have 2 computers connected ethernet and 2 connected wirelessly. My computer is connected through ethernet. The ethernet port is no longer lit up on either end (at PC or router) meaning it's not sending/receiving, so what I want to know is...

    Did lightning damage the ethernet port at my computer or did lightning just damage the ethernet cord connecting both? I'd test with an ethernet cord, but I currently don't have one that is long enough.
  2. Hyphen

    Hyphen Private First Class

    My computer uses a surge protector but this ethernet cable that connects my computer to my router goes under my home and through walls. I'm hoping lightning just struck and killed the cable, and didn't actually kill the port on my computer...
  3. Hyphen

    Hyphen Private First Class

    What I'm getting after is, is it more likely that the ethernet port on my PC was damaged and no longer works or does it make more sense that the ethernet cable would be damaged?
  4. osirus999

    osirus999 Private E-2

    Is she sure that the pop was at the router end? If so half your router could be dead BUT that doesnt make much sense because the modem still connects to the router and the others can still surf the internet (unless of course they aren't connecting to your router but are in fact connecting to a neighbor). Normally when you get a lightning hit you will lose both the modem and the router and the damage stops there. If you indeed did lose your eithernet port on your motherboard its no big deal. You can find a replacement NIC for about $20 at any local store that sells hardware. Before you do anything make sure your wireless pc's are actually connecting to your router and modem though...I suspect they aren't.

    And yes...the electrical storms we've had in the last few days have been....electrifying... :)
  5. Hyphen

    Hyphen Private First Class

    They are connecting just fine.
  6. westom

    westom Guest

    Damage is determined by the current path from cloud to earth. To create the thousands of volts necessary to overwhelm protection at both ends of the ethernet cable, there was some path that current entered the house and exited to find earth ground. Not enough information is provided to say how that current got to earth. For example, a most common source of outgoing current is through the modem to earth via the grounded coax cable or 'whole house' protector that is on the telephone line.

    All appliances contain significant protection. That current could have gone through the modem, but on paths that are not destructive. That current could have entered a router via the ethernet port, but then used the routers DC ground to get to the modem. Then only one router ethernet port would be damaged. But again, it is all about the path incoming from the cloud and outgoing to earth ground.

    Why would the surge be incoming via the computer? Computer power supplies are quite robust - already provide massive surge protection. But if that computer was plugged into a power strip protector, well, protectors too close to electronics and too far from earth ground can actually earth surges through the computer. IOW the power strip protector simply bypassed supply protection to connect that surge directly to the motherboard.

    What is that surge seeking? Earth ground. It may have found earth destructively via the ethernet port.

    Damage created because the surge was not earthed BEFORE entering the building. A failure directly traceable to some human. Once permitted inside the building, a surge will hunt for earth ground destructively via appliances. Whichever appliance provided the better path to earth is the appliance that will suffer damage.
  7. thesmokingun

    thesmokingun MajorGeek

    try connecting the suspect pc directly to the modem, bypassing the router all-together. that will tell you if you have a NIC problem or not.

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