Question Static discharge 2-3 feet away causes crash/panic/reboot

Feb 2, 2021
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I've got a problem that is new to me in many years of building computers - static discharges causing a crash/panic/reboot.

The symptom is that I sit down, touch the wireless mouse, touch the granite desktop, or touch the case, hear/feel the static pop, the screen goes black, waits a minute or so, then reboots. I've even had it happen when I touched an external USB CD/DVD drive made of metal.

Electrical wiring checked out fine, good ground, polarity is correct on the power socket in the wall (neutral left, hot right). In fact, I've had many computers at this same location over the years, and have never had this issue, until now. My laptop is plugged into the same receptacle, no issues at all.

Last week, I reseated all of the power cables inside the case, and the problem persisted.

Yesterday, I sat down, touched the edge of the countertop and heard/felt the static pop, boom, the screen went black, it crashed and rebooted. I unplugged the power cable from the wall and verified that the power cable is good, then checked continuity:

From the ground on the plug to the power supply - ok
From the ground on the plug to the case - ok when you find a spot not painted
From the ground on the plug to the screws holding in the motherboard - questionable as the screws that came with the case are painted.

So I replaced the painted screws holding the power supply and the motherboard, with screws that are not painted to ensure we have a good ground.

Everything was working fine until a few minutes ago, when I sat down, touched the edge of the granite countertop and felt the static pop, and the screen went black, and ultimately crashed and rebooted. Where I touched the countertop at least 20-24 inches away from the case that is sitting on the countertop. I did not touch the computer nor anything attached to it.

I've just removed the Fenvi Wifi card, to see if that might be a contributor. I doubt it, but the process of elimination is all that I've got left. If the problem occurs again, I'll try a new power supply.

This system is a new build (right after Christmas, 2020):
  • Gigabyte Vision G motherboard
  • Intel 10700K CPU
  • Samsung 970 2TB NVMe ssd
  • Fenvi T919 Wifi/Bluetooth card
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 PC4-25600 CL16
  • XFX Radeon RX 580
  • Fractal Meshify C case
  • EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GT 650 Watt 80 Plus Gold ATX modular power supply
  • Noctua NH-U12S CPU Cooler
Any suggestions or ideas?
 
Your various 'grounds' may show all connected to each other, but, I'd have a concern that it/your home's outlet may not be connected to a valid 'earth ground', and is perhaps simply floating, or, any discharges should be shunted to ground, vice feeding back into the system to cause instability...

A steel rod driven 5-6 feet into the soil (if not too dry, sandy, like in AZ or Saudi Arabia), and electrically connected with adequate gauge wire to the ground of at least your computer system's immediate assorted outlets (use a power strip with 3 prong connection if needed, or your grounds are always floating!)might solve this. Or, have an electrician check it for you. Floating grounds are not true grounds.
 
Reactions: jadedtexan
Feb 2, 2021
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Your various 'grounds' may show all connected to each other, but, I'd have a concern that it/your home's outlet may not be connected to a valid 'earth ground', and is perhaps simply floating, or, any discharges should be shunted to ground, vice feeding back into the system to cause instability...

A steel rod driven 5-6 feet into the soil (if not too dry, sandy, like in AZ or Saudi Arabia), and electrically connected with adequate gauge wire to the ground of at least your computer system's immediate assorted outlets (use a power strip with 3 prong connection if needed, or your grounds are always floating!)might solve this. Or, have an electrician check it for you. Floating grounds are not true grounds.
While I'm not absolutely positive how deep it is, I do know there's a 3/4" solid copper rod driven well into the ground (Texas, clay soil) for the ground where electrical service comes into the house. A solid copper (#6 or #8, its heavy) wire goes from a lug in that rod the to panel. If this continues, It may be worth checking.
 
Feb 2, 2021
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Update: With the Fenvi card out, last night I touched the case and got a static pop - and there was no panic/crash/reboot. That's promising. I'll give it a few more days and see.
 
Feb 2, 2021
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Update: Static pop twice this morning, and twice the machine did its panic/crash/reboot.

I've taken the XFX graphics card out and we'll try that now.
 

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