Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Mr Durden, Oct 23, 2006.
A friend and I were having this argument, would like it clarified.
Static Electricity Can Kill!
For years, it’s been accepted wisdom that you must ground yourself whenever handling your computer’s RAM chips in order to avoid a discharge of static electricity. Thus, manufacturers issue those weird strappy things that you’re supposed to wear when installing RAM. But Kevin and Alex were wondering if this was still true today with our more modern, improved manufacturing processes. “Does static electricity really damage components?” Kevin asked, and proceeded to find out.
The guys powered up a Van de Graaff generator and Kevin held a RAM card in his hand while repeatedly shocking himself. “We have officially shocked the crap out of it,” he announced and plugged it back into the PC. And what do you know: Half the RAM didn’t work.
Next, Kevin pulled out a Taser gun, and proceeded to directly shock another card. Reinstalling it into the computer, they flipped on the power and discovered they had pretty much destroyed it. “Dude, it’s actually smoking!” Kevin observed.
“Okay, maybe you do need the wristband thing,” Alex summed up.
Read this article at pcworld.com for their take on the static electricity old wives’ tale, and other computer myths.
ESD ownz you and anything electronic.
I was just watching dl.tv and they had a guy who presented about data recovery at defcon... Anyway, he mentioned that about half of hardware failures are from static electricity zapping the controller card and not head or platter issues, which I thought was pretty interesting. I know I never wear a static strip when handling hard drives but maybe I will start.
static electricity can be a few thousand volts. Just touch the metal area inside your case with both hands once in a while with the power plug connected.
You don't need to use a grounding strap as long as you keep the PSU plugged in (though shut off, because the ground wire will still be connected) and you keep one hand on the case while you work with the electronic parts.
In fact, those grounding straps usually take several minutes to discharge your static. Much faster to just touch the metal case and send your static down the proverbial drain.
nah i touch my ram nightly
i just usually keep an arm on the metal case when i work inside a computer, with the power cord still plugged in. all of my classes never dealed with wrist straps, they mentioned them, but no one had ever used one. they seem to be more of a hassle, being tied down and getting in the way
i guess better safe than sorry though
WTF? grounding straps take several MINUTES to dischare static?? Where did you hear this?
We used these straps in my Digital Electronics class and when you are connected, you are able to handle the boards immediatly. There was never a suggestion to wait several minutes to be clean.
Afterall, the stap is just connected to the metal work bench and the strap is just some conductor connecting you to the table. So it's just like holding you hand on the table while you work.
Supidest question of the day...
ESD will fuse transistors. Transistors act like gates (or switches). They can be turned on or off, just like a light switch. When they get a massive jolt of electricity they fuse together and cannot be switched to the off position... destroying the memory at a fundamental level.