The Media Guru

Mar 13, 2009



Yes, I was pwned by a lightning strike.


Rewind back to exactly a month ago. There was a massive lightning storm on Thursday 12th Feb. Yes, it was exactly like the above pic, the electric arcs reaching out like roots. First time I've seen such a storm in Mauritius.
If you've been following me on Twitter, you'd have known that on that day I had the closest encounter with one of the most powerful natural phenomenon - lightning struck the electric/telephone post next to my house - any closer I would be either dead or suffer memory loss.
I was in my room when I was blinded & deafened at the same time. The explosion was so loud I had to cover my ears... & I did a most stupid thing at that time... Even though the thunder was warning me time and again, I did NOT switch off my PC (nor remove the phone cables)...
So when lightning struck, the circuit breaker was triggered off, I expected to see my PC dead, but instead it was still on, powered by the UPS. On that day, my luck held out.

Unfortunately, my neighbour wasn't so lucky... He contacted me after he couldn't connect to the Internet for a week. As I had suspected his modem was burnt. After replacing his modem, I advised him to always remove all cables during an electric storm....

Do as I say, not as I do.


Back to present day, i.e. yesterday, there was equally powerfully thunderstorm. & as you have guessed, I hadn't learnt my lesson with last time's close shave - my PC was still ON.
My lame excuse this time was that the storm was still out at sea, so I had a couple of minutes before it came inland. How wrong I was...
& unlucky as well. There was no warning cloud-to-cloud lightning - it just struck the ground somewhere very near.
As the bolt struck, all the lights blinked (circuit breaker didn't went off) & my PC hanged. The screen froze, & pressing the keys resulted into beeps. I hit the reset button, the PC restarted smoothly & I shut it down. Had I rode my luck once again?

This morning, as I turned on the UPS, the circuit breaker went off, killing the electricity. WTF?
Switched it on back again & turned on the UPS. Monitor turned on, but not the PC. Oops!
Connected the PC directly to mains, but it wouldn't turn on.
Suspected the PSU was damaged, confirmed it by connecting to my old PC. What I had feared had finally happened... I got PWNED by lightning. :(


Bought a new PSU, & I'm now back, blogging on this. Guess what day it is today?

A burnt child dreads the fire.

Moral of the story - Friday 13th is indeed a very unlucky day! :S

P.S. I'm now unofficially astraphobic.

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Saajid said...

Too bad to see a UPS go to waste :(
But I'm unluckier than you, 4 years ago my whole PC got burnt when the lightning struck near my house, I had to buy another PC then :(

Anonymous said...


the 1st friday 13th victim, i had warned u buddy :P

Anonymous said...

Damn it! PWNed by lightning LOL. Wuff @ Bolt (nice movie but I liked the fake series in the real movie LOL)

You were not unlucky. Random stuff happens. Still, PWNed by lightning is so LOL.

Ref to one of your tweets - the PSU was overpriced. But I'm pretty sure getting the PC back on was an emergency.

Next time, be careful :)

carrotmadman6 said...

It's the PSU, not the UPS. :)
Anyway, lightning has already destroyed a modem & the sound card on my old PC. :(


No, it's totally my fault. I'll be more paranoid next time. :D
As for the PSU, yeah it was quite expensive, but I doubt I could have survived more than 24h w/o my PC...

Anonymous said...

kan li per revini la....12 April ?? mo ena 1 psu pou bruler la...lerla mo papa kav dakor pou upgrade mo pc... lol

yesterday while watching the fireworks for the I n R day [which can be easily seen from my place], i could see the thunder but my sister told me its the reflection of the fireworks, others its really a TS...conclusion it was really a TS...the best of the best really! Had to switch off my pc...even my laptop as my dad told me that the wifi could explode the lappy with its alien-nic rays [wlol] and worst...could not even switch on the ac *duh*

Yashvin said...

THE reason why I switched off n deconnected everything :P

Neelesh Ramputh said...

You were lucky. I switched off mine seeing the lightning.

Anonymous said...

i have only 1 thing to say.... bien bon to ava CC...

Anonymous said...

oh... i hope this never hapens to me...

@carrot.. luckily only PSU burnt.. not motherboard and ram and drives and hardisk..


carrotmadman6 said...

Yeah... can't even imagine losing my HD!!! :S

Anonymous said...

Powering everything down won't save you - there's always a charge which can be affected by EM fields.
Carrotmadman6 can talk more about this.

Carrotmadman6 - Survivor of Lightning PWNAGE. (you bounced back)

carrotmadman6 said...

Yeah, a lightning strike's powerful EM field can induce current into wires & circuits. Given how electronic circuits are sensitive even to static electricity, even a small current can fry your electronics. :S

Yashvin said...

@ Shah : I disconnect everything from the wall socket, even the phone line for the livebox :P

Anonymous said...

Once my PSU got burnt by lightening but hey, my pc is still under waranty, so I keep it on whether there is lightening or not..xD

carrotmadman6 said...

Read the warranty again... I bet there is a clause pertaining to "natural calamities & acts of God."

Anonymous said...

Friday 13 is unlucky for you :P You know even i dont remove my cables....I think I must remove all now as soon as I hear the first thunder :S

MBB said...

aargh! I guess I should be extra-cautious from now on.

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