So this is pretty interesting. I've been building custom computers for 10 years now and have never come across this problem. Here are my specs:
ASUS M4A89GTD Motherboard
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Case
Patriot Viper II Sector 7 Edition 6GB RAM
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto (overclocked & 3 cores unlocked)
NVIDIA Geforce GTX560 Ti (output is HDMI to a 47in. LG LED TV)
CORSAIR TX850W POWER SUPPLY
So, originally when I used the front panel on this case it would freeze up the system. I did some research and it turns out the case is defective in that area and many people had to mail in their front panel to get it fixed by cooler master. I decided to just unplug it all together and not use it. That fixed the problem for about 5 months.
Nowadays I discharge electricity if I touch the case and the screen goes black and I have to hold the power button to turn it off. Upon reboot I have to go into the bios and completely re-do the overclock & core un locker to get it to boot into windows.
But check this out, I once static shocked myself on my xbox which sits 4 feet away from the pc on the same desk and shocking the xbox turned on my PC (it was in sleep mode). I was blown away. Also if my dog happens to rub against the metal legs of my desk I hear popping from my speakers and the mouse freezes up then comes back. If he does a full static shock the pc shuts down. Something is wrong here.
I also have an AVID MBOX 3 plugged in and powered by USB and I've accidentally shocked that and it shut the pc down.
Either this is a case problem or a power supply problem. I'm leaning towards a power supply problem just because it is a few years old and is under a lot of stress all the time. Its getting loud and sometimes whines. When I game and switch windows I start to get large framerate problems associated with lots of clicking and popping in the sound. I can even disable sound and the framerate problem is still there so its not my drivers on the mbox.
I'm thinking the power supply is going out and it cannot power everything anymore. (which would be the cause for audio/framerate problems when switching windows during gaming) and the power supply must have a faulty ground which would explain why any static electricity anywhere near the computer causes problems.
But the most confusing part is why would discharges on my desk cause the computer to shut down or restart or go black screen?
First thought is to check every single wire and connection inside the computer. Turn it off and take it out and check the cabling very carefully for any nicks or scrapes. With cable management sometimes the outer wire insulation gets rubbed off in just the smallest of spots and that will cause some of what you are experiencing. Have you tried grounding the case? Or putting it on an antistatic wrap that the motherboard came in or on a rubber mat. I would try rubber matting on the floor to see if it's coming off the carpet and traveling up from you. The Mbox is connected to the computer correct? Disconnect that for a bit and see if the computer is still doing it.
I'll check the wiring but since I haven't touched the cables since the initial build last year I doubt they've worn out that bad. I'm going to throw the computer on some of those static bags that was a great idea lets hope it works out.
As for the mbox I only have issues if I static shock myself when I touch the outside metal casing of the mbox (its the new mbox they put metal instead of plastic).
The computer has really no issues unless I static shock it.
I think I'll replace the power supply as well and see how she does. I was just totally blown away that touching the xbox made the computer turn on.
Since it's connected to the computer by the usb cable that's most likely how the power/static is transmitting from one to the other. If not that way it's probably through the carpet. The xbox is most likely the same. Both connected to the tv/monitor? Travels through that cabling, or again, through the carpet. You don't have to actually handle and be moving the cables around for them to get rubbed on something sharp. Just general case vibration from use and normal shifts like walking around on the floor if your house isn't on a concrete slab. Those small movements by the wires on a sharp edge inside the case will do it. That's why I suggested checking, You're going to pull it out to replace it anyway right? And you got to ask yourself - was it the psu that was causing the electrical static discharge shocks or the electrical static discharge shocks causing the psu to short?
And what's the deal with the front panel? Did you say you completely disconnected and removed the front panel or just disconnected some of the wiring?
Does you case have little rubber "feet" on it? Mine usually do until I move them around too much and 1 or 2 of them come off. Then the case sits on the table or rack, one of which is metal so it could possibly be subjected to the same thing. Just some ideas.