From: William R. Walsh on

> Can anyone help me please. I have to get a new power supply
> for Dell Dimension 8100,  I would like to get a 400 watt.

You need a Dell specific power supply for this system. A generic ATX
supply won't work. Dell's stock power supply is seemingly rated at 330
watts. As Dell underrates most of their supplies, it ought to deliver
400 watts fairly easily.

> The cheapest I  found was about $65.00.

You wouldn't have to pay that much. eBay has quite a few, starting at

> I goofed and went to plug the power cable into a hand drive with
> the unit running and I saw a little arch.

Did it shut down after that happened? If so, disconnect the power
supply from the wall plug and let it have a few minutes. Also
disconnect the hard drive that you attempted to connect and leave it
unplugged when you go to test the system again.

I doubt very much that you have damaged anything other than the power
supply--and even that's somewhat unlikely.

Try again after that. Computer power supplies are typically very well
protected against short circuiting and other mishaps. You might need
to let the supply rest without power attached to reset its protection