|What caused it? A
lightning strike causing a power spike is all it takes. But you can
protect your computer from this in the future and even go so far as to
give your computer 5-10+ mins of extra time even if the lights have gone
out, to quickly shut-down that machine. How? By using a surge protector
or a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Depending on the model, it can
protect your phone line and your computer, if not your monitor as well.
That way, you can rest easy knowing that in case that storm decides to
rear its ugly head back your way, you'll be prepared, your computer will
be safe and protected and you'll have time to react properly, save your
work, shut your machine down and unplug it for maximum safety.
simpler way, though I love UPSs myself, is to get a simple surge
protector that doesn't provide battery backup, but will protect your
computer in case of power surge, spikes and brown outs. You can plug
your standard power adapter for your modem or ADSL line, your computer
and your monitor into it and be assured that it's in good hands. A word
of caution, you can find a surge protector for a few bucks, or up to
$100 or over. With surge protectors, you get what you pay for. Look at
the details for response time. They're counted in ns, nanoseconds. It
measures the amount of time between a strike happening and how quick the
protector is to "react" to protect your computer. The lower the time,
the better. Keep in mind though, that some protectors can get quite
pricey, almost to the point of matching the price of a UPS with a fast
surge protector in it, so shop around or ask your computer user friends
if they have one and where they got it from to get a good idea.
All in all, if you get the plain surge protector, you'll be safe. If
you decide to go the whole hog and get a UPS (they are definitely worth
it, but it's entirely your choice of affordability), then next time that
storm heads your way and blows out the power, you might be able to
finish that game of solitaire after all.