Question When packing up your PC, do you have to worry about static from the material you use to stuff the inside with?


May 20, 2010
Going to be moving cross country which is about a 30 hour drive. I'm putting my PC in the storage truck, inside its case box secured in its packaging styrofoam, laying on its side so the motherboard lays flat. I'll put it on top of some blankets to help with the vibration. I'll also be taking out my HDD, GPU and sound card. Unfortunately my massive CPU cooler was too much of a pain to install I'm afraid I won't be able to put it back on (honestly after spending half a day of trying, it was a miracle I even got it on in the first place), so I'm going to leave it on. I've read that after taking these measures and stuffing it with some packaging material described below, it should be fine.

Question about the packaging material though. This is the inside of my PC. After removing the GPU and sound card, it's probably too big of an empty space for Instapak foam to properly secure the cooler right? So I was thinking of buying some anti static bubble wrap or packaging paper instead. Anti static bubble wrap is probably a bit more cushiony, but AFAIK only one side protects against static, and I'll be bunching it up. But I'm still confused about this, do I even need to worry about static at all when this packaging material is in a metal case not connected to a power source? Which would you use?



Packing material isn't going to protect against the kind of damage that might occur from a big twin stack cooler like that being left installed if the right kind of bump, drop or jar occurs. For moves further than the other side of town, you would be VERY wise to remove the CPU cooler or you might be looking forward to replacing your motherboard once you get where you are going unless you can absolutely guarantee the unit will remain laying flat with the CPU cooler upright the entire trip. Meaning that the motherboard will be horizontal the CPU cooler will be vertical for the entirety of the move.

Yes, you ALWAYS need to worry about ESD (Electrostatic discharge) which has nothing at all to do with whether something is "plugged in" or not. However, in this case, I would not be too concerned about it. I'd be more concerned if you were walking across your bedroom floor and then touching some part of one of your components than I would be if you are simply putting packing inside the case.

I would simply use those big air blisters that come in most Amazon packages, but even the smaller sheets of "bubble wrap" would be fine so long as you bunch it up and fill the inside. Don't force it in. Don't push against anything. Just make sure stuff can't easily move around and whatever you do, don't use those damn styrofoam peanuts.

Regardless, the best choice would be to remove it, otherwise, just use common sense, make sure the system is flat and secure and can't slide around and nothing can fall on it, and even without any packing inside the case it should be ok if those conditions are met.