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Static electricity causing desktop to turn off

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January 9, 2011 6:33:14 PM

Hey all,

Have a really weird problem I'm dealing with here. Recently purchased new carpet and it's causing me to shock everything I touch after walking around for a few minutes. While this isn't much more than an annoyance, this is however causing my computer to shutdown if I sit down and touch it with my feet or hands. In by doing so, my start up then reports that my ASUS mobo can't use core unlocker and overclocking fails. Thankfully, a simple restart resolves the issue.

I am worried that continual exposure to this could harm my PC one way or another. Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but I did spend a ton of money on my new home build. Any suggestions for resolution? I did a quick search and came across a couple potential products. Would it make sense to put one of these under my desktop?

http://www.apogeekits.com/anti-static_products.htm
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-M3013-24x26-Desktop-Anti...

Any feedback is most appreciated!

Thanks
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2011 6:40:24 PM

possibly one of those may help,
I'd look at a grounding line from the pc itself to a good earth, some people run a wire from bare metal on the case to say a radiator in the room (again,bare metal)
Hth
Moto
January 9, 2011 6:47:42 PM

Unfortunately not really an option, at least I don't think so. My desk is in my office and I don't have a radiator anywhere close. I guess I don't really understand the true concept of grounding. Would that first product on Amazon do that? What would that clip need to connect to, a piece of metal?

Am I wrong to pursue this? I could potentially damage my computer yeah?

Thanks
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2011 7:04:17 PM

Your MB/case should be essentially grounded thru the PSU's AC power plug, hence, the reason for being shocked when touching it, allowing the static (brief 8-30k volts if visible spark!) a path to ground...

Apparently, your MB does not appreciate the brief spike; ensure your mainboard has all of it's standoffs installed...

YOu might need to get an ESD strap, attach it to the case before powering it on.... (most ESD straps are not tru grounding straps, but 250k ohms resistance paths, allows a path to ground without a potential dangerous 'short to ground' path for those who work with electronics. (which I do, btw....)

January 9, 2011 7:05:19 PM

Ok, been doing a little more research and appears I can simply ground it to an electrical outlet. However, I'm not entirely convinced this will fix the issue as what If I touch the computer and not the mat first? I guess I don't fully understand how such a product is intended to work.

Being that I'm in a small office with my computer and I don't really want to deal with the noise or emptying of a de-humidifier, would something like this work?

http://www.amazon.com/Eva-dry-EDV--Renewable-Wireless-D...

My big question is, what happens when I walk through my living room carpet and then come into my office? I'm still carrying the charge right?
January 9, 2011 7:07:26 PM

mdd1963, what (in laymen terms) would this strap do for me? Inevitably the issue is that when sitting at my desk, either my foot or hand causes the computer to shut off. Would I have to touch said strap prior to touching the PC?

Thanks
January 9, 2011 7:08:37 PM

Thanks malmental. Yeah, everything is very tight and secure. It's a recent new desktop build as of a few months ago. I didn't have the issue until I got new carpet a month or so ago. Does sharing the computer components with you all have any value?
January 9, 2011 7:29:44 PM

So it sounds like it may be in my best interest to re-secure everything to the mobo then yeah? This isn't just the screws that hold it down, but everything that touches it?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2011 7:46:11 PM

If you examine a typical standoff hole on a mainboard, most are simply electrically neutral/nonconductive anyway. Essentially, the board is 'floating', not relying on the standoffs as grounds. The MB should get it's ground strictly from the PSU's 24 pin power plug. (you'd have to examine the standoff holes individually, looking to see if any to the metal lugs have any circuit runs to them; 'most' do not)

However, the simple ESD strap attached to from you to your metallic case might solve your issues; touching the strap's metal tab prior to touching the case might do, gives a much less violent but still semi-conductive path for static discharge.
January 9, 2011 8:03:40 PM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help.

For now I ordered the mat from Amazon and will reconnect everything tomorrow as I have a new HDD coming.

I'll post back if I still need help.

Thank you!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 9, 2011 8:43:33 PM

I use an antistatic mat at home to assemble by computers. The mat should have a connection to attach to earth ground. What I do is attach the mat to the 3rd AC wire (The round prong). And yes the mat should be grounded. You could also use the wrist strap, and again I would attach the strap to the AC ground (the round Hole). Most staps come with a bannan type plug with a alligator clip. Just wear the strap while workin on the computer (Most straps use a Built in 1 meg ohm resistor, not a 250 Kohm).

Also You would not need a Dehumidifier, you woud use a Humidifier to add moisture to the air. RH below 30 % is really conducive to static build-up.
January 28, 2012 1:30:00 AM

@adambean So, what was the result?
!