Question System Black Screens between May-October when Cat Jumps on Tower

May 14, 2021
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I built my PC almost 2.5 years ago. Since I built it, I've had this ongoing issue which I'd describe as follows:

1. From May to October of every year, my computer black screens when my cat jumps on the PC tower. This does not happen, or very very rarely happens, between the months of November to April. I live in Northern Canada, so it starts getting warm here around mid-May and cold around mid-October.

2. I haven't been able to replicate the issue. Whenever I bump the tower, nothing happens.

3. After the computer black screens, the sound persists for around five to ten seconds after which it cuts out. I can also generally still talk in discord for a few seconds after the black screen.

4. The cat is not hitting the power button or the reset button when she jumps on the tower.

5. I've pulled this computer apart multiple times and put it back together and the problem persists.

6. Other than this issue, I've had no real problems with the build.

7. I've covered the top of the computer with paper in case static from my cuddly wuddly kitty is causing an issue. Though sometimes I can still hear a jolt even through the paper.

System is as follows:

MB: MSI B450 Gaming PRO Carbon AC
CPU: Ryzen 2700x with stock cooler
GPU: Sapphire Nitro+ Vega 64
RAM: CorsairVengence LPX 3200mHz 2x8G
Case: Corsair Obsidian Series 500D RGB SE Mid Tower Case CC-9011139-WW
SSD: Two Samsung 860 Evos. No HDD.


I'm not really a PC person, and I'm kind of at a loss as to how to figure out how to troubleshoot my issue. If anyone has any hypotheses that fit the fact pattern, I'd be interested in hearing it :)
 
Last edited:

Furzumz

Notable
May 28, 2020
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I'll probably be of no help here but I've had a similar problem where my cat liked to rub up against my PC case and it would blackscreen. Only happened when my cat did it

I thought I was crazy but I looked it up online and its not unheard of. It's something to do with cats being prone to building up electricity because of all that fur

Your cat touches your case, built up electricity is transferred from your cat through the case and into some parts causing a blackscreen is probably whats going on

As for a fix goes most of the stuff I remembered reading mostly boiled down to the computer not being properly grounded, and fixing that grounding issue can be a wild goose chase of trying out many different things in the hope you eventually find what ever happens to be causing the grounding issue

Finding a way to keep your cat from touching the case is probably the more practical solution
 
May 14, 2021
2
0
10
0
I'll probably be of no help here but I've had a similar problem where my cat liked to rub up against my PC case and it would blackscreen. Only happened when my cat did it

I thought I was crazy but I looked it up online and its not unheard of. It's something to do with cats being prone to building up electricity because of all that fur

Your cat touches your case, built up electricity is transferred from your cat through the case and into some parts causing a blackscreen is probably whats going on

As for a fix goes most of the stuff I remembered reading mostly boiled down to the computer not being properly grounded, and fixing that grounding issue can be a wild goose chase of trying out many different things in the hope you eventually find what ever happens to be causing the grounding issue

Finding a way to keep your cat from touching the case is probably the more practical solution
Yeah, I assumed it had something to do with the static electricity and the cat. It's basically impossible to keep my cat off the PC tower without buying a new desk that has a shelf for a mid-size tower (she loves the heat rising from the top of the case...and it's really cute when she sleeps there to be close to me), so I was hoping people there might be some other ideas out there. :)
 

helper800

Distinguished
Here's an idea, keep the cat out of the room. Another idea would be to check the outlet to make sure it is grounded. All PSUs are properly grounded by design, unless there is a fault in the manufacturing of your specific example of PSU. So it stands to reason that the PSU is grounded but not connected to a socket that is. Another idea would be to make a shelf high up on the wall out of reach for the cat but still close enough to use with the PC.
 

g-unit1111

Titan
Moderator
7. I've covered the top of the computer with paper in case static from my cuddly wuddly kitty is causing an issue. Though sometimes I can still hear a jolt even through the paper.
That's not static. That sounds like cat hair could have got into some critical components and is causing a short - be it the CPU or the GPU, or the PSU. My advice would be to keep your cat away from your PC. I've had dogs that have shed like fiends, and summer is usually the worst months for that kind of stuff, so that makes sense.
 

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