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Preventing damage from static shock

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#1 skymaster191


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

This never happened to me before. I was plugging my digital camera into the USB port on my computer. I felt a shock and my PC either restarted or logged off. I rebooted in safe mode. Everything seems to be ok, except the Google Chrome desktop icons are whited out. I am told that reinstalling the browser will fix that.

I already have a routine in place where I can constantly touch grounded metal objects in my study before touching electronics. And I already have a good surge suppressor. I looked at grounded anti-static mats online, and you really don't get much square footage for what you pay. And these can be expensive too. I probably need a 5' X 5' section because I have a table in front of my PC that requires walking a couple steps from office chair to PC.

This concerns me. I spent a lot of money building my PC. I have learned that shocking can cause hidden damage that might not show up till later.

What about just going to Lowe's or Home Depot and buying or cutting a large piece for a mat? What material would I want to use, rubber, plastic, or something else?

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#2 Nanobyte


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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:58 PM

If you touch whatever the PC is laying on (if it's a laptop) or the case (if it's a tower), doesn't that discharge the static? If you want to go the grounded mat route, surely you only need a small piece (6" square) on the floor that you touch with one foot before touching your hardware? Ground the chair you sit on? Get an extra-long grounding strap and put it around your ankle?! Depending on the grounding of the PC, or lack of it, that could be the problem. You usually get a good spark if you are charged and the object is grounded. If everything is floating, often there is no discharge. My PC is not grounded and I never have static problems with it. If I'm working on the internals, I ground myself to the PC. We could be at any potential relative to ground but it doesn't matter providing we are the same.

Edit: Re your last comment, try borrowing things to see if they help. Runner rug, thin doormats, interlocking exercise or anti-fatigue mats (set of 6 for $12). There are plenty of home remedies of varying practicality (google the problem). Simple and effective is to increase humidity with a humidifier or plants. That may be limited by windows freezing over in very cold climates.

Edited by Nanobyte, 28 January 2013 - 02:07 PM.

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