Wi-Fi randomly turns off when I sit down at my PC

dmsdrummer

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There was no desktop category so I posted here.

My computer is an old computer (2013), but it works great and I love it. It had no wi-fi capabilities when I first bought it, so I bought a linksys Wi-Fi PCI Adapter. Problem solved.

Everytime I sit down at my computer and touch the metal on the desk with my hand, the metal table leg with my foot, or the computer with my foot, it gives me an electrical shock. No big deal. Nothing happens to the PC that will break it. But, most of the time it shocks me, a few seconds later, my Wi-Fi connection is cut. I can't stand haviong to go into device manager, disabling the Wi-Fi adapter, then re-enabling it. I have to do this some 30 times a day. What is wrong with my PC? The model is a Dell OptiPlex 9010.
 

Sedivy

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Well first thing I'd suggest is surge protector but you already got that. The other thing is don't let your computer sleep or stay on. When you're done, turn it off completely, to help dissipate the charge. There was also an old trick with the power button to discharge any static electricity on mobo and psu, but I don't know if it does anything on newer models as they should have stuff built in to help with this. You press the power button and hold but with computer off and unplugged from the wall I think. Lemme try and find it:
https://superuser.com/questions/283109/why-does-pulling-the-power-cord-then-pressing-the-power-button-fix-a-non-booting
I don't know if this will work at all and if it will help but I doubt it'll hurt so you can give it a try before you decide to plug it in and turn on computer.
 

Sedivy

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The electrical shock should give you a clue. If there's shocks, there's static electricity buildup which means improper grounding. You might want to check the wiring where you're plugging your computer (and in general in your place, as lack of grounding is really really bad for a house). This can eventually kill the pc but this would be the least of your problems if the wiring issues are on every circuit in your place.
 

Sedivy

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Nooo. No no, surge protector is likely the only reason it isn't fried already. I would try plugging it in another room, one you're certain is on a totally separate circuit. If the same issue persists, strongly recommend getting an electrician to check your wiring. No grounding is a huge fire hazard.
 

dmsdrummer

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We must take into account that I am a 13 year old boy asking this question. I do not have the power to have an electrician come to my house
 

Sedivy

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Ok assuming your wires are ok, and your surge protector is ok (which you should check for any breaks, exposed wire and such), take your computer, with the surge protector to another room in the house/apartment. Then plug the search protector into another wall plug, turn the computer on and see if you have the same issue. If you do, then this has to be an issue with other electrical things in the house. TV? Audio system? Lights? It's hard to believe nothing else would be affected. Sensitive electronics are the first to show issues, as well as lights burning out, flickering and so on. You can go to the wall outlet tv is turned on, unplug it, take out the surge protector and try plugging computer into that outlet directly without the surge protector in between (just to rule out it isn't a faulty surge protector). But if it's neither your protector nor your wires, and it happens throughout the house I don't know what else to tell you. If no other electronics show any issues, it might be your computer is having issues with charge buildup in which case I'd take it into a repair shop. If other signs of charge buildup, on other electronics, then wall outlet has to get a properly connected ground. This is an electrical hazard and is a serious issue for any homeowner. Your parents will want to know if this in the end turns out to be the case.
 

dmsdrummer

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Not sure if this is another sign, but I also have a Google Home mini. We have the GH and our Router plugged into the same outlet. I went to turn up the volume on the GH with my finger as it is by touch and I got shocked. I noticed a few seconds after that happened, the router reset itself. Is this another bad sign?
 

Sedivy

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Yes. That's a very bad sign and if your google home is in another room, then this might be bad wiring throughout your place. Definitely tell your parents. This is a fire hazard they'll want to know about and while you don't have to lose your head and you know, run for the hills, they should plan for a visit from electrician at some point cause not having it checked is kinda like not having a fire alarm in the house. You're just asking for trouble. Not to mention the lifetime of all your electronics will decrease considerably.
 

dmsdrummer

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Thanks for the info, I'll definitely tell them

Also, is there any temporary solution until we can get an electrician to come?
 

Sedivy

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Dec 17, 2016
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Well first thing I'd suggest is surge protector but you already got that. The other thing is don't let your computer sleep or stay on. When you're done, turn it off completely, to help dissipate the charge. There was also an old trick with the power button to discharge any static electricity on mobo and psu, but I don't know if it does anything on newer models as they should have stuff built in to help with this. You press the power button and hold but with computer off and unplugged from the wall I think. Lemme try and find it:
https://superuser.com/questions/283109/why-does-pulling-the-power-cord-then-pressing-the-power-button-fix-a-non-booting
I don't know if this will work at all and if it will help but I doubt it'll hurt so you can give it a try before you decide to plug it in and turn on computer.
 

Sedivy

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Dec 17, 2016
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Yeah shut it down completely each night because the longer it stays on, even partially on like in sleep and still connected to the wall, the longer the charge accumulates. So shut it down completely to give it a chance to discharge.
 

dmsdrummer

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Also, this only happens with winter as it is dry in winter. Never happens in summer. Not sure if it helps but just putting it out there
 

Sedivy

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https://www.reference.com/science/static-electricity-worse-winter-1396c778ef085a74
which would make sense.
But I'm not an expert on this. I just know from experience cause I've lived in all sorts of places, that if your appliances and electronics start shocking you frequently, it's likely lack of grounding, especially if it's an older house/apartment building or pipes got changed from metal to plastic (and on this I was given a lecture by an electrician though it's been a long time so I don't remember it all). I've fried plenty of stuff before I clued in so I'm just trying to give you a heads up :)
 
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