Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I don't like when static zaps me from keyboard or mouse or some random metallic part of casing, so I often touch some grounding before resuming working with the computer.

However, it often disrupts it's function: if I discharge into outer ground in VGA output, I get hub 1-0:1.0: port 2 disabled by hub (EMI?), re-enabling... and USB reconnect. If I discharge on USB extender outer ground, USB devices tend to glitch.

How it's better to resume working on computer if you know that you are charged?

share|improve this question
Just how often does a static charge zap you for it to make a difference? I can't remember the last time it happened to me, therefore this question. – Rook Mar 9 '11 at 18:42
Go touch a door knob to discharge the static into the doorknob instead of your PC. – Breakthrough Mar 9 '11 at 18:44
Regularly (especially at work). I've got used to grasp keys (or other metallic thing) and touch it some grounded thing before touching doorhandles, windowhandles or computer. – Vi. Mar 9 '11 at 18:45
Breakthrough, The charge acculumated when I go from doorknob to computer can be uncomfortable. Also I don't want to go somewhere every time. – Vi. Mar 9 '11 at 18:46
@Vi - Well, have you ever wondered what you're doing that could cause the static to build in ya? – Rook Mar 9 '11 at 18:47
up vote 2 down vote accepted


Unlike desktop computers, laptops aren't grounded and there are no parts which are 100% safe.

As for USB, usually there are static protection chips installed in computers which are supposed to prevent destruction of the port, but they aren't meant to be shocked all the time.

As far as I know, but I could be wrong, in normal operation USB ports are components which are most exposed to static electricity and they should have best protection. Another part which should also be protected is the 8P8C network jack.

So safest way would be to touch outer shield is USB cable. Since it causes glitches on the port, the amount of electricity is considerable and will probably soon render ports unusable.

I know you specifically asked NOT to receive adivce on how to prevent static buildup, but I feel I must mention anti-static mats. Basically it's mat which plugs into something grounded such as ground pin on a power outlet. Place the laptop on top of one of these and discharge yourself by touching the mat before touching the laptop. Its advantage over wristband is that you don't have to physically ground yourself and are free to move. They can be purchased for $10 to $30 depending on the size an are definitely much cheaper than repairs of damage caused by static electricity to the computer.

share|improve this answer
It's not the case that laptops are not grounded. Mine is. If your power brick has a three-prong (grounded) AC plug, and you measure continuity between the grounding prong and the outer shell of the coaxial DC power plug, then the laptop most certainly is grounded when it's plugged in. – Jamie Hanrahan Oct 7 '14 at 11:02

HUMIDIFY your air..... Humidity is lower then 20% that's why you build up static charge. Alternatively get a static discharge keychain. I believe it has small inductor inside so it discharger high voltage "slower" then otherwise... 1 sec instead of 0.01sec of typical static discharge.

share|improve this answer
10 milliseconds for typical discharge? It's too much probably. It may be a series of short microsecond "spikes" that lasts milliseconds although. – Vi. Dec 12 '12 at 15:15
Actually I currently usually do like this: 1. Touch the wall or wooden table (the big charge dissipates), 2. Touch ground in VGA port, 3. Touch the keyboard/touchpad: start working. Also touch a center of wooden door prior to touching the doorknob helps to avoid the unpleasant discharge. – Vi. Dec 12 '12 at 15:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .