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Windows 7: Is is common for a motherboard to get damaged by static energy?

12 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 ultimate 64
 
 
Is is common for a motherboard to get damaged by static energy?

I will have to build my own PC for the first time, and i just herd about static damage to motherboard. How often does that happen? How careful do you have to be?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Jul 2012   #2

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

drake,

Yes. It is very possible.

Google the topic and you find that the voltage of the static discharge can be unbelievably high.

Always, as a minimum, touch the metal chassis to discharge yourself into the metal chassis/frame.
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12 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The threat of damage has been way overblown, but there is still a small threat and some truth to it. If you put on wool socks, drug your feet across the carpet, and picked up a motherboard, there's a chance you could damage it. However, if you handle your components properly, there's very little to worry about. I always have my motherboards sit on the static bags they come in until i am ready to mount it in the case. I don't walk around the room while holding it.

I've built hundreds of computers in my days, often in weird places, like living rooms, garages, decks, etc. I've never had an issue.
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12 Jul 2012   #4

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

i disagree 100%.

I am an Electrical Engineer with a long career working with, testing, etc at all levels of responsibility electronic equipment.

Did you know that a chip can be "injured" by static discharge? In other words, you don't have immediate failure but the chip dies earlier than planned.

I heard of one incident where a receiving tester managed to destroy an entire shipment by not using grounding when testing the chips. The company where this took place was a 100% tester of incoming components. The company also enjoyed an excellent reputation for quality and reliablity.
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12 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
i disagree 100%.

I am an Electrical Engineer with a long career working with, testing, etc at all levels of responsibility electronic equipment.
You don't know my background, though. I don't usually like to post such things because anyone can say anything on a forum board. Not that I'm accusing you of lying...I'm just pointing out that some people do.

I also have an engineering background, before moving into the IT field. I've been handling electronic equipment for nearly 20 years now. I am not disagreeing that the threat isn't there, but it is WAY overblown when you read what some people say. You don't need a climate controlled lab with bunny suits to build a computer. I wouldn't run around on shag carpeting in feety pajamas when handling any components, but even the idea of mats and wrist straps have fallen out of favor.

As you mentioned, touching the metal of your case is always a good idea. Aside from that, I like to rest my components on static bags whenever they are free from their computer or original packaging. I always work on a good stable platform, and I don't handle the components until I'm reading to do something with them.
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12 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

There is a risk, but I have worked on computer systems in my bedroom with carpet and I always touch the side of the case before I start working on the components. since I do that, I don't have any issues.
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12 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Do you have to be concerned with static electricity, absolutely. Different people can hold different amounts of static electricity. Different objects and materials can also hold charges.
Watch this video.
EXAIR: Manufacturing compressed air products since 1983
With DIY who know how many times it happens. They just RMA the parts when they don't work.
Static electricity can be many thousand of volts. Why take a chance. Ground yourself. A static wrist strap is around 5 bucks U.S.
Their are thousands of articles when Googled. Just one.
Static Electricity and People
It's you $300.00 motherboard or ram or video card, roll the dice or be static careful. I chose being careful.
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12 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I agree with Deacon on this matter. I always touch something metal before I work on a computer, that that is pretty much the only precaution that I take before working on a computer. As to whether or not lifespan was ever decreased on a component, that's impossible for me to tell. I can say that I don't recall components which I would say suffered a very short or noticeably poor lifespan. For my home computers, I usually upgrade and retire the machine before it just quits working.
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12 Jul 2012   #9

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

I refer you disbelievers to:

http://literature.rockwellautomation...b001_-en-p.pdf

A short excerpt from that document:
Is is common for a motherboard to get damaged by static energy?-esd.png


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12 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

^ I am not a disbeliever, per se....but in all of the years that I have been doing this, very little effort whatsoever has been put into protection against this problem. Like myself, I've had technicians ground themselves by touching a chassis, but I've never once seen one put on an anti-static wrist strap. This includes vendors such as Dell, IBM, HP, EMC, NetApp, Liebert, APC, etc.

These write-ups are all interesting, and technically I am sure they are sound and have very good justification. But my real world experience, as well as the real life experiences of everybody know that I know in the IT field also justifies the fact that very few of us have ever done anything more than touch something grounded and then proceed on our way without any undue hardships. And I feel comfortable saying to most people that given what I have seen and done, in my years in the industry, you probably aren't going to blow up your PC if you decide to work on it without using antistatic mats, wriststraps and special shoes.
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 Is is common for a motherboard to get damaged by static energy?




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