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Computer case freezing computer

Last response: in Systems
January 24, 2011 11:38:56 PM

so i noticed something when i was working on the computer with the side door to the case off. the computer worked fine UNTIL i put the side door back on it. as soon as the door came in contact with the case (even just a corner of the door) the computer would freeze.

i have an antec 300 series case

this only happens if i try to take off the side door and put it back on the case. if the door is on the case already when i start it up everything is fine.

sure it works if i dont touch it...but this worries me because im wondering if there is some grounding issue that might make problems for me in the future.

anyone have any ideas of something i can check or test to get rid of this problem?
January 24, 2011 11:49:31 PM

so i just tried it without the case door. simply touching the inside of the case (where the door would touch) i hear a zap like i shocked it... and the computer instantly freezes.

what should i do?

i have adjustable fans on the inside that i would like to get to while the computer is running...but if i touch the case, the computer freezes.

this is the first time ive ever had this problem.

Im assuming this is really bad for my computer
January 25, 2011 12:45:05 AM

You might need to re-mount your mobo, did you use the sticky foam separators when setting your mobo, you might want to think about that.

Otherwise, not sure - though it could be your front panel connection to the mobo.
If you live in a dry climate, theres a higher chance of static, so maybe get a humidifier for your working environment.
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January 25, 2011 8:07:26 PM

I know that it was a static shock originating from me (must have rubbed my socks on the floor or something). but a static shock to the case shouldnt freeze the computer.

no i just used the supplied brass separators.

i checked the front panel connectors on the mobo and they were all secure.. just the power and reset button are connected. i didnt connect the front panel audio or usb though.
January 26, 2011 1:05:00 PM

I have only ever had static problems when I somehow got a static spark into the electronics of the system itself. Examples include:
* Big fat spark when reaching for the keyboard on a laptop. This caused an HP laptop to go dark until I shipped back for a mobo replacement. It has never caused a problem with any of the Thinkpads I have owned. (And was why I only owned one HP laptop. ;)  )
* Spark to USB port when plugging in the cable for an MP3 player. This caused the system to lock up and require a reboot. There was no evident permanent damage.

My SOP is to touch the case on a PC before plugging in USB cables to discharge static. On laptops I touch some plastic part before hitting the keys or touchpad. There seems to be enough conductivity built into the palm rest to equalize and prevent the spark. I occasionally get some awesome sparks but they have never caused any problem.

I have never installed any of my motherboards with any sort of insulation on the standoffs. If that's standard practice now, it is new to me.

If your system locks up with a static shock to the case, somehow the static is getting into the mobo or PSU electronics. I would think that a well grounded mobo would help with this as it would provide a path to ground from any external connections. Also make sure the PSU is properly grounded. You might even check the ground for the outlet as these are not always properly connected. Any H/W store will have little plug in dongles that will check that an outlet is properly wired. Some power strips also have indicators for this.

In any case,, lockup from a static spark to the case is not normal and is something you need to diagnose and fix. Each time that happens you risk permanent damage to your system.

Good luck!
January 26, 2011 4:55:50 PM

A good way of getting rid of static electricity is touching running water (remember to dry your hands!).

If even after getting rid of the static you are experiencing the same problems, perhaps you can check that the power supply is correctly installed. Switch everything off, unplug the PSU, check that the cables coming out of it are not bare. See if there are any non sleeved cables touching anything (including non insulated connectors lying around the case).

If this doesn't solve the problem, I'd suggest unplugging all the front case cables (except the power/restart controls) and removing any non essential components.

Otherwise, uninstall the PSU completely, reinstall it. If even this fails, borrow a PSU from somebody and test it with all the same components.

If nothing works, and you notice you give strong electric shocks to other things as well, I'd consider applying to the X-men ;) 
February 3, 2011 1:50:31 AM

well my computer just outright froze today without touching the case...but the climate is VERY dry and anything gives off a wondering if the computer is zapping itself now...