I've always been cursed with the ability to develop a static charge very easily.

It's never caused problems just sitting at my keyboard before. (I always discharge before I get inside to tinker)

My system recently started shutting down when I come back to my desk and discharge a shock on my keyboard tray. I've used the same configuration for quite a while. The PC is over 3 years old. I've been at this desk for 2 years and have had the keyboard tray for about a year. A month ago I moved my PC from under my desk on the left to under it on the right. However, the shocks turning off the PC only started happening within the last couple of weeks.

Even though My APC power strip "protection working" light was on. I swapped out the strip and power cable from the PC. I'm not sure what to check next.

2 Answers 2


Static discharge can cause a short which will trigger your power supply to automatically flip off.

If you are getting a lot of static in your environment, you may want to think about getting a humidifier. We had to do that for our old office. We were literally discharging every time we touched a wall or a light switch or touched a case. A humidifier will keep the air from getting too dry, and will drastically reduce the amount of static build up.


With what you say about this only happening recently, you may want to check and make sure that all your connections are good. If you have some loose connections, especially wires that may be brushing up against the case itself, it may make it more susceptible to static discharge causing it to short out.

  • 2
    +1 for humidification. It'll be much more comfortable, too!
    – derobert
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 5:05
  • 3
    Your edit solved the problem. I had already double checked all of my connections but figured a triple wouldn't hurt. It turns out that my mouse cable insulation had a tear in it. My keyboard tray has a notch for holding cables and the tear is directly in the notch. I switched to a different mouse and everything works great. I'm still shocking everything in sight so maybe I'll get a humidifier too.
    – benrifkah
    Commented Jul 22, 2009 at 19:52
  • Static discharge can cause a short which will trigger your power supply to automatically flip off. An old coworker of mine would do the same thing you speak of literally 3 times a week. You could use that as a “magic”/telekinetic way of turning the system off. :) With just a touch on the case… tada!
    – Synetech
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 1:28
  • Antistatic spray is a good solution to this problem. Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 17:56

You may be able to reduce the likelihood of this happening by grounding the metal parts of your keyboard tray. You don't need real heavy wire, I would probably just use 18 AWG. You may also be able to get away with just wrapping one end around a screw on your computer case.

If you start getting a strong shock, you may be able to put a low ohm resistor in-line with the wire.

Before doing any of this, make sure your outlet, and computer case are well-grounded.

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