Technology, Philosophy, & Sometimes Both

Thoughts on the World by Jack Umano

Will my Computer Work Outside the US?

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Voltage-SwitchCAREFUL –  There’s a gotcha!

I thought my Dell computer would work overseas.  I looked at the sticker on the bottom of the computer.  It said the computer could handle voltages of 100V to 240V.  Great – so it should work.

But, when I plugged it in to a 220V socket… BOOM!  -literally.  There was a giant pop like a firecracker when I plugged it in.  My power supply was fried and my hard drive was ruined.

It turns out, there is a little itty bitty switch on the back of the computer near where the power cord connects to the computer.  This little switch changes the power supply to accept either 110V or 220V.  If it’s on the wrong setting, your computer blows up.

Shouldn’t this be more common knowledge?  Shouldn’t this be something one doesn’t have to learn by experience?  Not all computers have this.  Why did no-one tell me to look.

One little switch and I wouldn’t have to

  • buy a new computer.
  • pay someone to try to recover my data.
  • spend hours downloading backups of data that was unrecoverable.
  • hunt for my old software disks and hope I still have the activation codes.

Yes, as a responsible computer user, I was prepared for a computer failure.  But, that one little switch sent me into recovery mode for a week.

Oh Dell.  Why couldn’t you have put in one of those power supplies that switches automatically instead of having a manual switch.

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Written by Jack Umano

February 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Technology

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