Lightning Strikes Twice

Less than a year ago our apartment building was struck by lightning and I lost several items, which precipitated my obtaining renters insurance, and among other things a PCI-Express NIC for internet on my Windows 7 machine as the motherboard LAN became inoperable after the strike. More recently after some severe storms, I obtained two Belkin surge protectors (living room and modem source room) and shortly thereafter that we took another direct strike which again fried some equipment. The Belkin units were purchased as an upgrade to the previous surge protectors which failed to shield us from a power spike.

This time we lost a router (which was just bought a year ago to replace the last one that was fried) and my internet went down on the Windows 7 machine. After some troubleshooting I isolated the problem to the PCE-E card that I also had to buy a year ago and decided to temporarily go wireless with the new router as the speeds were not terrible (average 25mbps). On a hunch this morning I unplugged the cable from the dead PCI-E card and plugged it back into the motherboard LAN that died the year prior, and presto I had superfast internet again.

At which point the integrated LAN became functional again is not known, but it works now and is streaming at 90mbps so I am not going to complain. Losing the other equipment though is a pain and I am going to try and file a claim through Belkin for the cost of the router that we had to replace. Florida is known as the Lightning Capital of the World and for good reason – we frequently endure catastrophic lightning storms, and in the summer months the air to ground strikes are severe.

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