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Hardware Thread, Anti-static precautions, are they still needed? in Technical; The textbooks and hardware docs say you should use an earthing strap and anti static mat when working with components ...
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    Anti-static precautions, are they still needed?

    The textbooks and hardware docs say you should use an earthing strap and anti static mat when working with components inside a base unit.

    Trouble is, I don't always see the technicians who perform the warranty service do this. When I asked one of them about this, he said that these days components are built to be more resistant to electro static discharge.

    Can this really be true?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Generally you can get away with it, especially if the machine is grounded (say because it's still plugged in). You need to be careful when handling memory or the CPU though, as they are much more sensitive.

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    speckytecky (17th March 2008)

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    Just dont touch the circuits/pins/etc and there cant possibly be any risk

    I generally just discharge myself on the bare metal of the PSU or a radiator first then make sure i dont go rubbing my feet along nylon carpet.

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Generally you can get away with it, especially if the machine is grounded (say because it's still plugged in). You need to be careful when handling memory or the CPU though, as they are much more sensitive.
    I used to think that but practically every installation/service manual for every server i've ever installed says to disconnect the power cord when working on the inside as an anti-static precaution.

    i don't bother with any static precautions other than touching my fingers against unpainted metal chassis of equipment....oh and i make sure i reground if i move around (non anti-static flooring).... i also always touch the edges of components as an extra precaution. I do however think RAM is still very suscpetible to static. I wouldn't be too carefree when installing RAM.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    One way that I heard of to limit the risk of ESD was to wash your hands in warm water just before hand and dry them with a towel, this apparently leaves a small layer of non-conductive fresh water on your skin which helps prevent ESD.

    Usually I just leave the device plugged in with the wall switch off, this way the chassis is still grounded to mains but has now power running through it. Then you just need to touch the psu or case to discharge before you touch anything.

    The hardware is tougher than it used to be but it is still susceptible and all it needs is a little bad luck to fry a nice shiny new component if you have not taken the proper precautions.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 16th March 2008 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Edited for clarity

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    MyDejaVu's Avatar
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    Synack, bare in mind that some motherboards are using electricity when just "powered off" so it is not just ground what you get from the psu, example we have Gigabyte motherboards and when switched off they are still powering the mouse, PCI Cards (eg Network cards) and inclusive some motherboards have some leds which of course they are on so it is an indication voltage is going thru the motherboard, so lets just be careful.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyDejaVu View Post
    Synack, bare in mind that some motherboards are using electricity when just "powered off" so it is not just ground what you get from the psu, example we have Gigabyte motherboards and when switched off they are still powering the mouse, PCI Cards (eg Network cards) and inclusive some motherboards have some leds which of course they are on so it is an indication voltage is going thru the motherboard, so lets just be careful.
    Ah, sorry my above post was not clear, when I said power switch I was referring to the wall switch so that no power was entering the motherboard, I will amend my original post to clarify as it was pretty vague

    Thanks.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    One way that I heard of to limit the risk of ESD was to wash your hands in warm water just before hand and dry them with a towel, this apparently leaves a small layer of non-conductive fresh water on your skin which helps prevent ESD.

    Usually I just leave the device plugged in with the wall switch off, this way the chassis is still grounded to mains but has now power running through it. Then you just need to touch the psu or case to discharge before you touch anything.

    The hardware is tougher than it used to be but it is still susceptible and all it needs is a little bad luck to fry a nice shiny new component if you have not taken the proper precautions.
    Thatís what i do.

    If a Dell engineer is caught not using an antistatic strap they get the sack.

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    That was what I was going to mention Dell use them, although they are only attached to the case (never paid attention to laptop fixes..)

    I only use a static strap when I'm giving a demonstration, or students are doing something, but they're also working on a concrete floor, with an anti-static mat blah blah blah.

    I don't use them, they're annoying, get in my way and as long as I remember to turn the computer off... it's fine.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    For laptops Dell use an anti static mat

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    Yes, dell engineers use mats, though they still manage to break more then they fix.

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    I once carried a stick of ram around in my pocket for 6 months - the stick still worked when I plugged it back in!

    Butuz

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    ....why?

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