Power outage triggers computer blackouts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Power outage triggers computer blackouts

Todd Kingman Todd Kingman
Thanh Dao Thanh Dao

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - If you haven't turned on your computer since the power outage, you might want to check if it still works. Computer repair shops say they're seeing a surge in customers whose computers were fried during the blackout.

It's the electronic aftermath of Oahu's blackout - broken computers lined up for repairs.

At SuperGeeks in Moiliili, calls have been pouring in from people who can't start their computers.

"Monday and Tuesday morning, phones didn't stop ringing, there's people waiting in line," said Todd Kingman, General Manager of SuperGeeks.

At Computer Doctor in Iwilei, employees are seeing the same boom in business.

"We usually take in an average of five a day. Monday we had 7 to 10 units come in, even seeing the effects of that coming in today," said Thanh Dao, General Manager of Computer Doctor.

In some cases, a surge protector isn't enough.

"It won't protect sensitive electronics like HDTV's, computers - those things you actually need a battery back-up," said Kingman.

"It'll enable you to use your computer for a short period of time after a power outage. It gives you time to save your files properly shut down your computer," said Dao.

A battery backup for a home costs about $60 to $80. But the simplest protection lies in your hands.

"Unplug your computer when the power goes out, or any sensitive electronic equipment. It's one of the first things you should do," said Kingman.

That's a lesson learned that comes with a price. The average cost to fix a computer blown out from a blackout? About $200.

Electronic damage typically happens when power comes back on, and the surge shorts a computer's power supply. Sometimes, problems don't start immediately. Kingman says there are cases when symptoms show up a month after a power outage.

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