We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Computer is electrically charged!!!!!!!!

keakathleen
keakathleen asked
on
330 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I would really like some input on my electric charge problem. I have a computer that I bought used that had a BIOS password on it. To see if I could get around the password, I unhooked everything from the Gateway computer, took a lot of the housing off so that I could get to the CMOS batttery. I took out the battery and let it sit for 10 minutes before putting it back in and replacing all the housing. When I plugged in the power cord, the power supply immediately started running but the computer was not booting. I tried the reset and power buttons to no avail. I then reached back to unplug the power cord and touched the metal housing. It felt like I was being shocked! I quickly unplugged the power cord but the computer's metal housing is still charged! I have waited a half hour now and the electric charge is still there. How do I discharge the computer and, more importantly, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

I am really fearful that even if I somehow get the computer grounded once more that the motherboard will be fried.

Please help.
Comment
Watch Question

CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012
Commented:
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
The reason the supply is still charged after unplugging it is because they have these huge capacitors that store up charge.  You need to wait a while for these to discharge (half an hour to an hour maybe).

Author

Commented:
The really freaky thing is that it is not the PSU case that I am touching. IT IS THE ENTIRE HOUSING! I am talking abou the metal box that holds all computer components. I took off the top of the housing to get a better look and realized that every single metal component in the computer had an electric current running through it. Do you still think this is a faulty PSU?
>>I would replace that supply as soon as possible.
get that baby the hell out of there.  :)

Author

Commented:
And why did this only happen after I took some of the computer housing apart and put it back together? Could part of the housing be touching something it shouldn't be?
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)
UNLOCK SOLUTION
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
The only source of current is the power supply, and the power supply is attached to the case.  I have safely held in my bare hands a plugged in power supply many times, and the symptoms you describe are that of a poorly designed or faulty power supply.  At no time should you feel voltage in the case.  Only if you took the power supply apart would this be caused by anything you did.

Author

Commented:
Another question for you guys. I yanked the psu and was going to do a quick test with a test PSU that I keep on hand. However, the old PSU has a little three pin plug called P7 that my psu does not have. I am assuming that I am now looking for an AT psu instead of an ATX? And that I cannot sub in my ATX psu just to see if the computer works?
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
You are correct - the AT power supply used two plugs instead of a single that the ATX uses, so you can't interchange the two.  You could "borrow" one from another pc that has ATX, just to test.
make sure the borrow is not a from a Dell.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
Thanks, buckeyes33, that would have resulted in another surprise!
rid

Commented:
Are you saying that you can feel the casing having a charge, even if the power cord is disconnected? Then you need to find out what *is* connected to the computer. The capacitors etc inside the PSU are of no concern if the power cord is unhooked. This sounds like you have a peripheral (screen, printer, etc) that has a leaking power supply and the leak goes to the computer through the connecting cable.
/RID

Commented:
If you want to discharge your case, get a grounded object and just place a piece of wire with an insultated bit for you to hold onto and touch the 2 together. Works with static build ups, so it mite work for case.

As for how it happened... Is there still charge on the case after the Plug has been removed and left for ages for the capacitors to naturally discharge? If there is after about 6hrs or so, then I dont think its your PC Charging it. You better make sure there is nothing touching your PC, like the monitor, printer or other device, cos that could be the problem.

The problem that you're having is regarding a failing power supply. You shouldn't be the one to shoulder the expenses for that, call the manufacturer for the computer and tell them about your problem and you should get a complete system exchange for that.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2012

Commented:
MistaMasta,

I know you're new here, but we try not to repeat what someone else has said.  Months down the road, someone searching for a solution is going to see the same thing repeated 20x, so we try to keep the threads as insightful as possible, with different points of view if we disagree.  Just something to help people in the future.  Thanks for wanting to contribute, though.
i think that it is time that this question is closed

Author

Commented:
Pardon me for the long wait. The problem wasn't the power supply at all but instead it was a ground fault in the wiring of the electrical of the apt I was in. After plugging the computer in elsewhere, I was able to get it up and running.

Thanks for all the input.
sounds good.

Gain unlimited access to on-demand training courses with an Experts Exchange subscription.

Get Access
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Empower Your Career
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE

Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

OR

Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.