[SOLVED] Very bizarre issue: desktop PC freezing when cat walks by

balisong

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Aug 26, 2012
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Hi, everyone.

Today I have a very unusual issue for you, and it's not one I've been able to find anywhere on the internet.

In short, I have a full-sized desktop PC located under my desk. The "open" side, covered by a glass panel, faces my wall and is inaccessible without moving the whole PC.

The other side (I have the NZXT H700i) is enclosed by a metal panel, and whenever my cat tries to force himself between my left leg and this side of my PC, it freezes, and both my monitors go black.

My first thought was, OK, he must be jostling a cord. But he isn't. He simply rubs himself against the side and this occurs. No cords for him to touch. I've tried replicating this myself many times by intentionally fiddling with a cord or bumping the side of my machine -- nothing.

The only possible thing I can think of is that it might be related to static electricity. I'm unsure what breed my cat is but he has very long, black hair.

I try my best to block him and push him away when he goes in this area, but it doesn't stop him. He forces himself in there no matter what, and even if I block him for the time being, he will come back and wreak havok again.

Please help. At this point, I'm convinced my cat possesses some sort of black magic, and I don't know how to counter such power.

No, this is not a joke. I'm wondering if a cardboard panel taped on the side will help, and I'm open to any other suggestions. As it stands, I'm forced to hard shutdown my PC and reboot it, which is very frustrating.

Specs, if you think they will help:

RTX 2080 Ti
EVGA 750 BQ
I7 8700K
16GB DDR4 2666MHz
2 500GB SSDs
 
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Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator
I agree in that it probably is static electricity from his hair causing that. Is the computer on a carpet as well?

Long term this can damage equipment, and no a piece of cardboard isn't going to solve it. I would suggest moving the PC to somewhere else that he won't do this.
 

R_1

Judicious
Herald
my PC is on my desk behind my monitor where my cats cannot get to it. I would agree with the static idea. I have even made a "network closet" out of a 5 gallon paint bucket with a fan. cardboard may not do the trick and short of making a faraday cage for the PC, moving the unit would be my suggestion.
 

balisong

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Aug 26, 2012
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I agree in that it probably is static electricity from his hair causing that. Is the computer on a carpet as well?

Long term this can damage equipment, and no a piece of cardboard isn't going to solve it. I would suggest moving the PC to somewhere else that he won't do this.
No, it's on tile, not carpet. Makes it all the more strange.

I definitely agree that it can damage my equipment, which is why I'm hoping to solve this sooner rather than later.

I don't really know where I can move the PC to. I recently received help from this forum on another, separate issue, which helped me discover that my PC will hard restart if it's plugged into any outlet except one in particular.

Perhaps I could try to construct some sort of small wall that would block him off, but I don't know how I might go about that. If you knew how my desk was setup, you'd see why it's a bit tricky. I have Ikea's FREDDE desk, so it's this sort of setup (this is not mine):



My keyboard, mouse, and dual monitors are located in pretty much the same places as this.

Unfortunately, the little under-desk stands are too high and not wide enough for the H700i.
 

balisong

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What about putting it on the top shelf? With the glass side it will make a nice display of your equipment as well.
That would work, but my desk creates a sort of nook -- the back faces open air, not a wall, whereas my back faces a bookcase behind me.

Sorry, I don't mean to keep shooting down ideas. That's a good suggestion, but I'd be terrified of my system falling off the back one day.

Perhaps I should just buy a new desk entirely, one that has more surface area. This one is nice, but apparently not compatible with my cat.

Alternatively, I could try moving my desktop to the left side of the desk, because there's that panel down there that he wouldn't be able to easily get past. It would push my desk to the right a bit, but probably worth it.
 

stonecarver

Upstanding
Nov 18, 2019
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Bad Kitty. Maybe get a can of Horn blaster you know the kind the nice dude next to you at a sports game blew in your ear. I bet you problem will be solved. nice kitty nice setup by the way.
 

punkncat

Respectable
What I find odd about this is that your case SHOULD be fine for static to discharge to. The only components of your motherboard that touch this are for grounding.
I suspect there is something wrong on the outlet where perhaps the ground aspect of it isn't good.

There is a jackleg electrician trick where when one leg of a wire gets damaged they will "bond the ground", actually utilizing it to provide the other leg instead of pulling a new wire. In many cases this creates a situation where the ground downstream of the jackleg repair no longer works like it should. In a worst case scenario it actually leaves your ground one of the hot legs if the electrician doesn't disconnect (isolate) it from the rest of the circuit.
I would possibly have an electrician come and check the outlet.
 
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