Static shock on the case = death of the system?

Yesterday, I touched the case of my gaming rig and there was a small static shock, that caused my computer to shut down immediatly.

Now it doesn't boot, the best I can do now is unplug the power cord, wait 5 sec, plug it back and when I try to turn it on, the fans connected to the motherboard will spin for a very brief time and the decorative lights will go on for a sec. The the fans of the psu and those connected directly to it will stay on and the usb device seem to get some power. Everything will stay that way until I shut down the psu.

Now what in the hell happened? I checked everything that might cause a contact with the case but I found nothing. What should I do? I didn't have time to canibalize my other computer for parts to do some tests yet but I have no idea where to start. If it was the ram,video card or cpu the fans would at least stay on, right? Now I'm not sure what kind of damage static would cause to the motherboard and psu.

The case is a thermaltake soprano in brushed aluminium and steel, the psu is a enermax 550 watt I think and the motherboard is a gigabyte for an Amd cpu, sorry i dont have the exact model since I'm not at home.

Once i find the problem, should I dump the case so it dont destroy my system again, or maybe just try to ground it?


ps. sorry for eventual bad english
11 answers Last reply
More about static shock case death system
  1. Try a different PSU, however this sounds like a fluke to me.
  2. Is your powerlead 2 wire or 3? If 3, is it earthed/grounded at wall socket. If it is earthed correctly it is quite normal for you to feel a static shock if you are carrying a static charge, and it should flow via the case, to earth and not cause any problem. If it is not earthed, then your static charge could cause major problems, mainly to motherboard. The other possibility is tahat your PSU is faulty and put mains voltage on the case(if not earthed). When you touched it, you got a shock but caused the PSU to trip. What is your mains voltage, 110 or 240? Try leaving the PSU disconnected for a full minute so that the safety trip resets, 5 sec is not long enough.

    Mike.
  3. As the other two have said, it sounds like a failed PSU. Static should not be harmful when your power cord is plugged in.

    If you cant get any spare hardware to perform tests, I suggest buying a cheap PSU and go from there. At leat you wont spend loads of money to find out hwat the problem is.
  4. Weird. I gave my case a static shock yesterday and nothing bad happened. It's not even the first time it happens. Besides, I have two cats and they tend to fight on the carpet and then jump on the PC. You can sometimes see the sparks. It doesn't make any sense at all that your PC was hurt by this.
  5. I sure hope its the PSU, my powerlead is 3 wires and its 110 volts.

    Also I left the computer unplugged for the whole night and retried to start it up this morning before going to work and I got the same result.

    What is really weird is that I got plenty of static shocks on this case before especially since winter started and it never had any effect and the timing just seem way too good to be a simple coincidence.

    edit: I found the post of a guy on another forum who had similar problem but the static shock occured directly on a front usb port. From what I know of USB ports they are grounded but I guess its possible that the static went all the way to my front port and then messed the south bridge
  6. working from experience, the PSU is no doubt failed.

    although u could be unlucky, the motherboard, CPU, memory, Graphics card and any other cards could have been shocked with the failure resulting in a system that is dead.

    hopefully this is not the case, as that is an expensive replacement.

    replace the PSU, if the system then does not boot, then it will require a new setup.

    sorry for the gloomy bad news.

    good luck
  7. If you are charged with static then an earthed case is doing you a favour by grounding you before you touch yor keyboard and blow something. You should always ground yourself on the case before sitting down. Are you sure thart the mains socket IS earthed. If you have a DMM you could measure resistance between your case an a CH radiator, or get it tested by an electrician, your house may have a bad earth!

    Mike.
  8. I'm with everyone else on this. Power supply could be shot. Grounding is intended to provide a better path for current flow than the equipment you are trying to protect. In this case, your computer's components. Your power supply is almost certainly shot. I wouldn't be surprised if you replaced the PSU and your computer works fine. I've personally seen this happen before. It is a strange occurrence, but it could be that your power supply was on it's way out, and that shock just put it over the edge.

    Although your ground might be perfect, a small amount of power will go through your power supply and components. This is because of the laws that govern electricity. In this case, the shock might have been enough that the ground was no longer sufficient protection.

    Replace the PSU(or try a PSU tester), and call an electrician out to verify your ground is correct. Simply checking it with a DMM is a way to confirm if it is not sufficient, but it won't confirm that it is good. You need someone to check your cables and the gauge wire, etc. If you are using a power strip or UPS, you might want to check the ground on that as well.
  9. The static shock could have sent your PSU into safe standby...like if there is a power surge, it shuts down and needs to be reset. Try flipping the power breaker off (the switch on the back of the PSU), unplug, then replug and flip it on. I know I had a PSU that did this as well as a mobo (it was a safety feature) and required you reset the power. Your PSU does act (somewhat) like a circuit breaker and a small jolt of static might have triggered it to shut down.

    Otherwise, the PSU is shot and the static might have been the hair that broke the camel's back.
  10. Well I tested with my old PSU and the computer boot just fine.I cant use my old PSU forever though since its not good enough to power my video card and I have to rely on my integrated video.

    Thanks everybody for the replies, I would never had imagined that a failed
    PSU could still provide some juice.
  11. aevm said:
    Besides, I have two cats and they tend to fight on the carpet and then jump on the PC. You can sometimes see the sparks.


    Awesome. Totally freaking awesome.
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