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Please help wierd restart issue!

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December 13, 2009 3:02:19 AM

Hey guys

I need some serious help here. Every time I touch the plate where my power button is my computer restarts! I think its caused from static electricity, because its very dry and everything I touch I get zapped.

I have a cooler Master Scout case and an Asus m4a790xtd evo Motherboard!

What is going on?

More about : wierd restart issue

a b B Homebuilt system
December 13, 2009 3:34:34 AM

It sounds like a short. What power supply do you have? Is this a pre-built system?

It looks like you put this under home built, so I'll assume this is your own build.

It appears some component is incorrectly mounted or a wire is loose and is creating a voltage potential across the case. I would guess that a stray wire has grounded itself to the chassis somewhere.

Considering that a touch will restart the pc, I would open the case and look in the front panel area. If you can remove the front bezel, I would do that and follow the leads from the power and reset buttons, whether they are on the top of the case or the front. Follow them back into the case and see if they became pinched in between some metal braces or on a screw.

If nothing becomes apparent, I would then take out components one at a time until the fault no longer occurs.
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December 13, 2009 3:41:02 AM

Thanks for the information.

This problem started when it got cold out and static started in my house.

I have touched the plate many times without incident before and from doing Google searches people have had the same issue with static and restartes. So, I tested it again, and sure enough when I rub my feet on the carpet it restarted. but if I discharge first it doesn't restart when I touch the same area.
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December 13, 2009 4:28:33 AM

Are you sure your PSU is grounded? Static from your feet shouldn't be enough to reboot your computer. Does the PC still shock you if you hold your finger against it, or is it only when you touch it for an instant?
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December 13, 2009 4:34:19 AM

The PSU is installed properly (Corsair VX550) not sure what you mean by grounded.
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December 13, 2009 4:36:47 AM

Grounded...as in has a ground connection along with your AC potential source. The 3 prong plug?
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December 13, 2009 4:41:15 AM

Oh yes it is grounded.

I thought you meant from inside the case.
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December 13, 2009 4:43:33 AM

Your case is also grounded, but that's another matter.

Anyway, is the shock continuous or instantaneous?
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December 13, 2009 4:46:27 AM

It will only restart if I touch it and there is static present.

If I touch metal first and dis-charge the static first it doesn't restart itself.

Asus has this Anti surge protection built in I wounder if that restarting it.

This:

ASUS Anti-Surge Protection

This special design prevents expensive devices and the motherboard from damage caused by power surges from switching power supply(PSU).

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December 13, 2009 4:53:45 AM

You've got to have some sort of short between the case and the computing components. Normally every component is isolated from the case except the power supply, which is grounded on the exterior. The reason I say this is because I highly doubt the charge you build up from rubbing your feet across the carpet has an E-field large enough to reboot the machine.

I'd disassemble and reassemble the machine, looking for shorts.
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December 13, 2009 4:58:55 AM

Ok thanks for the help!
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 13, 2009 5:16:28 AM

You need to ensure that the plate that you touch is connected to earth via a low impedance path. Try connecting a thick wire directly from the plate to the power supply case, it won’t stop you from getting a shock but it will stop the computer from restarting.
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December 13, 2009 5:19:43 AM

The shock I get is static. (Not electricity) The case itself is not on the carpet its a a desktop stand about 3 inches off the ground.

By the way this just started out of the blue. (When the static started from the house being dry)
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December 13, 2009 5:22:57 AM

He's annoting to the fact that if your PC is truly grounded, the static should be dissipated in the ground, and should not reach your components. Is there something insulating the metal panel you touch from the rest of the case (which is grounded)? Does the PC reboot if you touch any other part of the case?
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December 13, 2009 5:26:56 AM

Nope, most of the case is metal. CM Storm Scout.

No, just when I touch the front case by the Power and reset button.

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December 13, 2009 5:44:21 AM

The switches are just MONO (momentary on, normally off) switches. There is no way that static could be affecting the switches. Start with your power plug, is it truly grounded to an earth ground? DVM from gnd to power gnd should be 0.000 ohms...
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December 13, 2009 5:59:22 AM

Ok looks like my reset button is not working. I never used it before so i will check that. The computer resets when I press the button that turn the leds on. (Sometimes) 1 out of 5 times pressing it.

It did not do this before.
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December 13, 2009 6:00:14 AM

croc said:
The switches are just MONO (momentary on, normally off) switches. There is no way that static could be affecting the switches. Start with your power plug, is it truly grounded to an earth ground? DVM from gnd to power gnd should be 0.000 ohms...



The power cord is connected to a surge protector.
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December 13, 2009 6:13:02 AM

chicago30 said:
The power cord is connected to a surge protector.


That doesn't mean it's grounded.

Try this:
Take a wire, strip both ends, and then tape one end to the panel that shocks you, and another to the metal of your case or power supply. Make sure the wire touches metal on both sides. Does that solve the problem?

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December 13, 2009 5:16:11 PM

Thanks you for all your input.

I pulled all the wires from the front panel where they connect to the motherboard. IE: Reset switch, HDD light, power etc. and reconnected them all and the problem is gone.


I'm thinking a connections was wrong or not plugged in all the way.
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December 13, 2009 9:52:13 PM

chicago30 said:
I pulled all the wires from the front panel where they connect to the motherboard. IE: Reset switch, HDD light, power etc. and reconnected them all and the problem is gone.

First, your problem could only exist with multiple failures. One would be how wires are routed or connected. Static electricity causes your symptoms because it took a path through electronics. Every properly constructed electronics is assembled so that static electric discharges to any part of the case cause no problems.

Second, you should never have static electricity so severe that you can see or feel the spark even with deep pile carpets. At minimum, your post implies you do not have a humidifier necessary also for human health. And your building is leaking heat excessively. If proper humidity existed, then static discharges would be so small as to not be noticed.
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December 13, 2009 11:18:57 PM

frozenlead said:
You've got to have some sort of short between the case and the computing components. Normally every component is isolated from the case except the power supply.


Maybe in your system, but that's not the way it was designed to work.

Many motherboards have connections from the ground plain to standoffs through the screw holes. Some people use washers to circumvent this grounding, but it's there by design. Other ground points include all the black wires that connect the motherboard to the power supply.

Drives are normally grounded directly to the chassis and through black power wires. The only thing I know of that's "floating" are fans, because they're plastic.
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December 13, 2009 11:48:04 PM

lol, did it again.

Just went to a black screen and I restarted and its fine.

I have no idea whats the matter.

What I can say is pressing the led light button on doesn't black screen my pc any more.



As of now it random black screens.
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December 14, 2009 12:07:03 AM

Crashman said:
Maybe in your system, but that's not the way it was designed to work.

Many motherboards have connections from the ground plain to standoffs through the screw holes. Some people use washers to circumvent this grounding, but it's there by design.


But the circuitry on the boards is still isolated; the chassis and the board only become connected at the ground, at the ends of all the circuits. Technically the fans are grounded, too, as they're tied to the board or PSU. Anyway, the point is that a potential that small on the case shouldn't affect the actual computer, as it should be directed to the ground.

OP should still disassemble/check wiring. Either that, or take the machine to another room/house and see if the results can be reproduced.
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December 14, 2009 12:17:55 AM

Crashman said:
Many motherboards have connections from the ground plain to standoffs through the screw holes. Some people use washers to circumvent this grounding, but it's there by design.

You are assuming. Learn how better systems are made irrelevant even to the most painful direct static discharge to the case and to peripheral connectors. Motherboard et al remain isolated from the chassis except at one point.

Testing with static electricity can confirm the following science. Mount a computer on a glass table (because other materials are electrically conductive). Build up static charges. Touch various corners of the chassis. Charge path is from finger to AC power cord on the other end. Therefore current flowing through both a chassis and motherboard causes a computer crash.

Instead, single point ground a motherboard, peripherals, and power supply at one end. Current has that one incoming path to the motherboard and no outgoing path. No current because both an incoming and outgoing path do not exist across the board. Now the computer does not crash when static shocked. This is old and well understood technology.

Well, that is the experiment. Insufficient to know anything - yet. Also required is why current through the motherboard causes crashes. That is easy to anyone who knows (designs) electronics. That motherboard has a large copper ground plane. Therefore a static electric current flowing through that ground plane (from one end to the other) causes voltage difference on ICs across the board. Which pin on every IC is most susceptible to voltage variations (ie read National Semiconductor’s app notes)? The IC's ground pin. A voltage difference across the ground plane causes signaling failures and system crash.

Well understood and discussed in less detail by another. To make a computer more static robust, the motherboard connects to its chassis only as a single point. Does not matter what you think because you see plated mounting holes. What only matters is the science. Same science that also requires all those bypass capacitors all over the motherboard. Did you know about them – why they exist?

BTW, same concepts also explain why stereo components are grounded to a common point. Otherwise a similar problematic current is created - called ground loops.

To make a computer more robust from static electric discharge – digital ground connects to chassis ground only at one point. This is an old and well understood technique.
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December 14, 2009 12:47:36 AM

westom said:
You are assuming. Learn how better systems are made irrelevant even to the most painful direct static discharge to the case and to peripheral connectors.


You are assuming. Learn to read both the response AND the quote within the response and you'll know that I wasn't discussing static discharge, I was simply clarifying a mistatement.

westom said:
Motherboard et al remain isolated from the chassis except at one point.


Plus all the points at which the ground plane is connected to the power supply through ground wires. The ground isn't left floating.
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December 14, 2009 12:49:21 AM

frozenlead said:
But the circuitry on the boards is still isolated; the chassis and the board only become connected at the ground, at the ends of all the circuits. Technically the fans are grounded, too, as they're tied to the board or PSU. Anyway, the point is that a potential that small on the case shouldn't affect the actual computer, as it should be directed to the ground.

OP should still disassemble/check wiring. Either that, or take the machine to another room/house and see if the results can be reproduced.


I think the OP got his system figured out, I just wanted to clarify that pretty much everything in the chassis is grounded, though fans, being plastic, have a "floating" ground.
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December 14, 2009 12:50:50 AM

Good read. So you think its is the static?

Do you think this may have anything to do with the November 10th Black Screen of death from the Windows update?

Same thing; Black screen then I re boot and its fine!


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December 14, 2009 1:05:05 AM

chicago30 said:
Do you think this may have anything to do with the November 10th Black Screen of death from the Windows update?

Described is a power change when you static shocked the computer. Nothing in that machine involves Microsoft products until that Windows logo appears. In fact, your static shock would involve a 'computer circuit' that makes decisions before it lets the Intel microprocessor even perform one machine instruction.

No. Nothing from Microsoft involves what happens when a static discharge affects a completely different logic system. A system sometimes called the power supply controller. That contains no Microsoft software.

A static discharge that traveled through the motherboard explains what you saw AND must not exist in the motherboard. Changing wires (even separating a wire from a chassis surface) could have changed that electrical circuit.
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December 14, 2009 2:06:20 AM

Right, my symptoms happen after the computer and windows starts and seems random.

I could be surfing around and all of a sudden black screen. If I hold the power button and re start the system its fine.

Happens about once every 3 days or so.
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December 14, 2009 2:16:30 AM

chicago30 said:
Right, my symptoms happen after the computer and windows starts and seems random.

So you are saying static electric discharges only occur with Windows loaded?

Did you say it is a Compaq? If so, the manufacturer provides comprehensive hardware diagnostics, on your system for free, just for your problem. During which hardware test does static shock cause interruption?
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December 14, 2009 2:21:35 AM

Ok yes sorry. I have been confusing.

I have a home build computer Asus motherboard CM Scout CAse.

What is happening is A few times when I touched the plate where the Pwoer Switch is I would get a black screen and lock up.

So I'm not sure if its being caused by static electircty from my hand or it just was a coincidence that my had was there when it happended.

It has happened three times since I built it a month ago and its seems to have started when the air became dry in my room and static started. I walk on carpet and everything I touch gives a static discharge.

So I was thinking it may be static electricity.


I have also run many tests and have not received any errors.
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December 14, 2009 2:27:22 AM

chicago30 said:
So I'm not sure if its being caused by static electricity from my hand or it just was a coincidence that my had was there when it happended

I have a set of leather slippers to generate a fairly good static shock. Use this also to find wall receptacles and switches that are not safety grounded. Used them to find badly assembled machines (see the discussion about static testing a computer - but only on glass because other materials are electrical conductors). Do same testing to exonerate or accuse static electricity.
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December 14, 2009 2:30:20 AM

So if it does turn out to be static electricity how would I resolve that issue?

Are you saying I may have poorly built computer? : ; )
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December 14, 2009 2:33:35 AM

chicago30 said:

I have also run many tests and have not received any errors.

BTW, its not tests alone that mean anything. The only valid test is the one that is using that hardware when the static electric discharge is flowing through that circuit.

Necessary are comprehensive hardware diagnostics for that computer function. Not tests executing under Windows.

I had assumed you also collected other standard information sources such as the system (event) logs.
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December 14, 2009 2:36:43 AM

chicago30 said:
So if it does turn out to be static electricity how would I resolve that issue?

Did you see the previous post that only discussed how a multiple grounded motherboard is susceptible? Well, without specific facts (yet), that latest question would require a post maybe five times longer.

Good diagnostic procedure is always first collect facts. Never even consider fixing anything yet. Fixing only comes long after collecting facts. Another example of breaking a problem into parts. Then solving it one part at a time.
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May 7, 2012 5:30:21 PM

I just lost a wireless dongle due to static so I popped into google "my computer shorts everytime I touch it" and the top link let me here. I have done all the diagnosis and it is in fact static electricity, and I too have a Cooler Master Storm Scout. It seems to be an inherent flaw in the case design, which is otherwise a really badass case. I am using a Gigabyte mobo though. Have you found any work around? I do everything i can to discharge my static before touching the case, but sometimes I still shock the panel at the power button and it black screens. I know this is an old thread, but I figure OP must have email alerts. Thanks

-RAJ
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