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Static Shock---system bluescreen

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gameman, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. gameman

    gameman Thread Starter

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    I recently had a intersting experence with a system. I know all about ESD and am very carefull to discharge myself even before working on a system in normal eviroment (aka covers in place using it as a workstataion). And of course I am always grounded when I work inside a system.
    Now here is the interesting part, while I was sliding into my chair, my knee accidently came close to the towers metal casing. I felt the static shock and my system bluescreened. A power cycle later everything was fine, and no problems since. Now my question is do I have a gound failure somewhere? Or something else? I know this can't be good for my system (and I am afrade it took years of useful life off of it...if not more) and as I said never had this happen before as I am very careful. In all the years I have worked on systems I have never had this happen before.

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Perhaps just ground the casing of the tower directly?
     
  2. CJS23

    CJS23

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    Was the system BSOD caused by the static, co-incidence or did you kick the tower when you (no doubt) jumped when getting the static shock?

    In the UK all devices with a metal case are earthed, let's just hope the static went somewhere other than through any components.

    Perhaps it's time to throw out those nylon trousers? lol

    Seriously though, static electricity can be dangerous for components.

    Don't quote me but I believe it only takes about 0.3 v ESD to blow a chip and 10,000v to see a spark.

    Has the system BSODd since?

    If not you have probably got away with it
     
  3. gameman

    gameman Thread Starter

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    LOL No I didn't kick over the tower. Nor did I even flinch. I am quite acustom to feeling static discharges in the area here as it is very dry during the winter months. I do use a humidifer but I never get the humidity above the 'shock point'. And yes you are right it takes far far less to blow a chip and is long before you can see/feel it. I don't have the exact numbers handy either, but I think it takes even less than .3v ESD to blow a chip. In any case if you see/feel a spark it is obviously enough to blow a chip. Let alone if you get a reacation like I did.

    I haven't seen a BSOD since, everything seems fine. The tower case should be earthed but still it makes me wonder since this shouldn't have happned if it was properly earthed (as is my understanding....correct me if a I am wrong). :/

    And I don't wear nylon...only cotton ;)

    Oh and thanks for posting.
     
  4. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    The case would have acted as a Faraday Cage if the machine was plugged in and therefore earthed through the power supply.
    It is your shoes and the carpets that build the static.
    At home I take my shoes and socks off.
     
  5. CJS23

    CJS23

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    What if there is no earth pin in plug? eg US system? Would neutral / live act as earth?
     
  6. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    I think it does!!
     
  7. gameman

    gameman Thread Starter

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    Well this system does have the 3rd earthed (ground) pin (also the outlet). And I tested it, and the ground line is funcational. Also most everything had a 3rd ground pin now (and has for some time), it is rare to not see one except in perhaps something simple such as a battery charger. Everything else here has a 3rd pin.
     
  8. CJS23

    CJS23

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    My apologies. :eek:
     
  9. DaveBurnett

    DaveBurnett Account Closed

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    My "I think it does" was meant to imply that the neutral does act as earth.
     
  10. gameman

    gameman Thread Starter

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    NP CJ, you didn't know (no need to apologize either). Different countries can be like different worlds. :)

    Dave, I figured that is what you ment. :) And if that is what happened, would explain a lot lol. I am going to run a few more tests and see if I can find a fault in the earthing somewhere.
     
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