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I am aware of the risks of ESD damage when building a PC. But what about moving an already built PC (where all the components are installed in a closed PC case)?

I want to take a PC, pop it into a carry bag, and take it on the bus to town. While the motherboard and components are of course protected by the case, all the IO ports (USB, DVI, VGA sockets) are exposed. What's the risk of static building up during the trip and zapping components through the IO ports?

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  • Unless you are touching the electronics without being grounded. There is zero chance of an ESD event.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 9:22

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Most (if not all) modern ports have ESD protection built-in. So I would say there is no risk.

I would still cover IO ports and fan mesh just to avoid getting more dust inside, not because of ESD. A plastic bag should be fine.

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  • "Most (if not all) modern ports have ESD protection built-in" - do you have a source for that statement? Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 21:57
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What's the risk of static building up during the trip and zapping components through the IO ports?

Near zero.

I want to take a PC, pop it into a carry bag

Unless the bag and it's contents are a combination known to generate static (plastic bag, woollen contents?) you should be OK. PCs are often shipped by the manufacturer in a plastic bag.

If you are still worried and don't mind looking crazy, you could cover the IO ports. Maybe with tinfoil :)

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    Even if the case is stored in a plastic bag with woolen contents I seriously doubt that any of the electronics would be at risk for an ESD since the motherboard is mounted to the case properly.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 9:30
  • I got a new docking station, which was wrapped in a plastic bag inside the box. Immediately after I removed the plastic bag, and as I was holding the docking station, I felt/heard a static shock. Do you think the risk of damage to the docking station is near zero? Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 22:19
  • Yes, it is near zero.
    – nochkin
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 3:10
  • @nochkin It looks like one of the USB ports on the docking station is defective, possibly from that static shock. When I plug a USB drive into that port, I can hear the Windows "do dun" sound effect, but the drive doesn't show up in Windows Explorer. The drive shows up when I plug it into the other USB ports. Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 9:02
  • I don't think it's static-damaged. Try Linux and do "lsusb", it will show the list of devices to confirm if it really works.
    – nochkin
    Commented Jun 13, 2016 at 1:24

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