static electricity/signal shutdown - why?

Cold weather has arrived and the heat is on. Upon walking
on my carpeted floor to change CD's, I'm setting off a static electriciy charge to my transport when I touch it. The transport tray still works but there's no signal. The DAC light indicates that there's no locked signal- or any signal for that matter - because there's no music coming out. I have to shut down the digital front end (transport,DAC,DIP) for awhile before it decides to start working again.

What's going on? How might I prevent this from happening again? Thanks for your help!
You are picking up electrons on your socks/shoes and sending them into your component. You are basically a high voltage source (compared to what you touch) when you touch your system. The current is finding its way to a sensitive part of the circuit and causing problems. What that is I do not know. I would not think that it should be this way and apparently it is some kind of short. You could ground your chassis so the charge moves in another way (of less resistance and this might be a can of worms too) or place something else beside your system and discharge yourself before you touch it or get a humidifier so you don't become an ambulatory high voltage source to begin with. I have the same problem with shopping carts this time of year.

What part of the component do you touch? Have you tried touching different parts of it? Always the same result?

I remain,
Static free and
If the situation is that bad, you need to get a humidifier in the house. Not only for the sake of your audio equipment / listening purposes, but also your health.

The next thing to do would be to take a simple strip of metal, small metal doorknob, etc... and find some convenient yet inconspicuous place on your rack to attach it to. Run a wire from the ground of your wall outlet ( the screw that holds the cover plate is fine ) to the metal plate / doorknob. This will allow you to ground any static build-up or voltage potential that you may have picked up prior to touching any of your components. You simply HAVE to remember to do this each time you want to change discs or adjust a control.

The situation that you are in right now tells me that your digital front end is VERY sensitive. Should such a condition continue, i would not doubt that severe damage could occur that would require a trip back to the manufacturer in order to repair. Taking the above approach is a helluva lot cheaper, simpler and more convenient than the heartbreak and down-time that you would otherwise experience if don't take such steps. Sean
The static charge (or discharge) is probably bugging out a chip in your DAC (or transport). You can try unplugging one component at a time for about 30 seconds and then plugging it back in and the chip should reset itself. This will also help you isolate which component is being affected.

For some reason, in my previous home, I had the same problem with static if I walked across the rug while wearing shoes. But the static charge was either gone or greatly diminished if I took my shoes off... It may be worth a try.

Sean's advice about grounding yourself prior to touching your equipment is correct. Some carpet materials are worse than others and often a humidifier doesn't overcome the penomenon. I had this problem in a new home I built and got really tired of shocking myself each time I went to flip an album. I grounded a metal figurine to the wall outlet cover screw and rather than touching it with my finger I used a coin, thus avoiding the discharge going directly from my finger.
Sean, is right on. I once had a preamp that had to sent back to the maunfacturer for repairs due to static problems. A good friend had to send a CD player back to the manufacturer for repairs for the same reasons.
Thanks all for your knowledgeable responses. I really do get a charge out of my system. I never thought that I could shut it all down with a mere touch of my overly excited electrons. I should have known better. Many of my relationships have suffered a similar fate. I suppose the lesson here is that I need to be grounded better. The learning curve continues.
I just had this problem today and hope I sent the right component out to be repaired. This is an awfull story. I upgraded to a different pre amp and picked up the pre amp today from the seller(got it used). I hooked it up to my system and touched the volume button on the pre amp and got a static shock which was followed by no sound in the system. I called the pre amp manufacturer and we did some testing of equiptment. I put the old preamp back in and the system still made no sound. I tried the DVD player and the VCR to check and see if it was the cd source and their was still no sound. So all that was left was the speakers and the amp. I called the speaker company and they said there were no fuses in the speakers and it was highly unlikely i blew out all the drivers after 2 seconds. They recommended I detach the cable from the back of the amp and touch a battery with each speaker end to see if I heard static. I did that and did hear static. They said there was probably nothing done to the speakers. I called the amp manufacturer back and based on eliminating the pre amp, the cd player, and the speakers, they felt that the out put or input section of the amp got damaged by the static electicity. I have not heard of such a thing but they said the materials that make amps sound so good are highly sensitive to static. I am just wondering if I have actually identified the right problem component or if there is another issue I am not aware of. In either case, my amp is out for repair and I hope I identified the effected component. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?