If you are using usb-based test instruments you will find this free technical report interesting.
The issues discussed in the report are also useful to be aware of when connecting your PC to the electronics you are testing or programming by interfaces other than USB.
We have written this report to help our customers avoid the costly errors that some previous customers have encountered. It is surprising how basic precautions are overlooked when connecting equipment together.We have saved several production manufacturing companies thousands of pounds by advising them how to avoid damaging their test equipment and target electronics. The principles are quite simple to understand but essential to be aware of. You may already be aware of the issues but it is worth re-examining your electrical configuration. It wont cost you a penny and could have you a lot of money (and reputation).
Test equipment and target board failure is not specific to any particular brand of equipment but can and often does result by not following a set of basic guidelines.
We outline those guidelines in the report and suggest ways your target circuits can be protected by a few simple design suggestions.
This could be the best decision you make today!