Static Electricity can damage your computer components
Whenever you open your computer and expose your components, you run the risk of damaging your computer system with static electricity which has been built up by your body.
Your computer components inside your case (especially your hard drive) are prone to being affected by ElectroStatic Discharge.
It is very possible for you to be damaging your sensitve electronic components inside your case from ElectroSatic Discharge without knowing it.
If you felt a discharge, it possibly was more than 2,000 volts. A discharge as low as 200 volts can destroy your computer chip.
It is possible that this damage might not be noticeable immediately. Your components might just start a degradation process that slowly kills your computer parts. You could (for example) start getting intermittent breakdowns until your computer stops functioning properly.
Protect your computer components against ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD)
To prevent damage to your sensitive electronic components in your system from ElectroStatic Discharge, you should:
Shut down your computer and turn off the switch on your surge protector leaving the surge protector plugged in so that it will be grounded.
Before touching any of the components inside your case, you should ground yourself to discharge any static buildup.
Make sure to discharge the static electricity by touching the metal chassis whilst wearing an antistatic wrist strap.
Anti-static Wrist Strap - Worn to protect your delicate computer components from static electricity damage.
Any static electrical charge that builds up on your body is then immediately transferred to ground.
Handle your expansion cards by their edges.
Do not do any work inside your computer while standing on carpet.
You should leave your components in their antistatic bags that you purchased them in until you are ready to use them since, placing them outside of their bags, make them susceptible to ESD.
Do not work on your computer in cold, dry conditions since this encourages static electricity. You should try to raise the humidity to between 50 to 60%.
Do not wear woolen or nylon clothing while working on or repairing your computer.
Keep your clothing away from drives, boards, memory, etc. Clothing could possibly be electrically charged, especially when it is dry and cold.
Leave your PC plugged into an AC outlet with the power switch turned off. This places ground on the metal case.
You would then have to work with one hand always touching a metal part of the case. ElectroStatic Discharge buildup would then be immediately grounded just like it would with an anti-static wrist strap.
I would not recommend this method since it is very impractical; instead, protect your computer components from static electricity by using an anti-static wrist strap.
Damage to your computer can be prevented if you use an antistatic wrist strap. This strap fits on your wrist (See Diagram A) while working on your computer components and has a wire attachment with an alligator clip which is connected to your case.
A CPU Heat Sink being installed
If you are removing a component for an extended period of time while you are building your computer, you should store the component in an antistatic bag.
Static Electricity is the No.1 cause of damage to internal computer parts.
You should always use an antistatic wrist strap or some other method of preventing ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD) when working on your computer to prevent damage to the components.