Is the MacBook Pro safe from static shock?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cmhall9, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. cmhall9 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Summerville
    #1
    Twice this week I’ve been shocked by Static electricity as I touch my MacBook Pro. It’s cold so I get shocked a lot lately. Is the MacBook Pros internal circuits safe from static shock? Is the outer shell protecting the CPU?
     
  2. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #2
    No. All the ports and connectors are vulnerable to static shock, as is the touchpad and possibly the keyboard. Discharging static into any device connected to any of the ports may also cause damage, for example discharging static into your iPod which is charging by USB.

    The aluminum case is safe since it acts as the ground for the computer, and it should send any static safely to ground if you are using the grounded 3-prong cord instead of the travel adapter. There is a slight risk of damage to internal components if the shock is big enough, but I haven't seen it happen. It would probably take a big spark or something closer to lightning to cause damage by shocking the aluminum case.

    To protect your computer, always touch the aluminum case before touching anything else on it or plugging in any devices. The worst I've done is zapping the trackpad, which usually seems to fix itself after a reboot. I think I also zapped the USB bus once, which caused the trackpad and keyboard to stop working too, but that also resolved itself with a reboot. Be careful, though, just because a reboot fixes it one time doesn't mean you won't do permanent damage the next time if the shock is slightly bigger.
     
  3. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    As long as you have the three prong (grounded) adapter plugged in, and you discharge the static electricity on your MBP's body, there's zero risk of damage, as the static electricity flows from your body -> MBP's unibody -> your house's ground. The chassis is the ground.
     
  4. cmhall9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Summerville
    #4


    Thanks for the response. I forgot about my 3 prong plug. I'll get it plugged in as soon as I get home. This is my first Mac and first laptop.
     
  5. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #5
    As long as you dont get a spark going into a usb port or something, i highly doubt anything will happen b/c of static.
     
  6. rekhyt macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Part of the old MR guard.
    #6
    ... I am using the brick extension with an adapter onto the 3 prong plugging onto an outlet and I thought the idea of static shocks building up on the unibody Macbook Pros were ridiculous.

    I was proved wrong. Static shock.

    :O
     
  7. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #7
    It's more likely that the static built up on your body, for example if you walked across carpet in socks. It you are using the 3-prong cable it is impossible for static to build up on the MBP, but if oyu have static on your body, the MBP makes a good path to ground, which means a shock.

    Interestingly, I always get shocked by my MBP after it goes through the X-ray scanner at the airport. It could just be because I walk through the metal detector in socks, but it could also be that the conveyor belt is building up a static charge.
     

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