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Windows 7: How to ground yourself properly without wristband.

18 May 2010   #1

Windows 7
How to ground yourself properly without wristband.


Even though I have done it before, it was on a 200 old computer and nothing happened and I didnt even know about static electricity. That was lucky I believe.

This time, I wanted to install another ram module to my pc, which is worth 5x more than that old one.

How yo ground properly without a wristband?,

so far I've heard, wear rubber slippers, touch metal part of pc(outside psu) with power cable connected but power switched of, touch heater etc..

I need some solid good advice, as I wont have any budget if i destroy my pc for another 5 years.

Also, I want to clarify on the powercable connected to psu statement? Is that ok or I have seen people saying never connect while working on PC.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium

You can take the side off the PC with the PSU plugged in, get everything ready... touch the side of the PSU and then unplug the PC.

I've built a couple of dozen machines over the past few years, sometimes never even thinking about static electricity. Just use common sense, don't work in a carpeted room, touch a metal grounded object before picking up the RAM or touching any of the internal components. Don't over think this.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2010   #3

Windows 7

I am still not entirely sure about, the powe cable thing.

Does it needs to be switched on? off? at the power outlet? or at the psu?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 May 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

Best practice: turn the power supply off before doing any work inside your computer case.

It is sufficient to just turn off the rocker switch on the back of the supply. If your supply does not have a rocker switch, then it is necessary to unplug the power cord to cut power.

There are some things you can do inside your case with the power supply on and the computer shut down, and even some that you can do with the computer running (not many), but until you know what those things are, just stick to best practice.

With no power to any of the components there is no risk in short circuiting something while moving things around.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional

I agree with TVeblen. In most cases you can just turn off the power, but I usually work on the inside of a PC with the power cable unplugged. As for proper grounding, just make sure you don't have a static charge on you before touching any of the circuit boards inside the case. I usually shut down, discconnect everything but power, place the PC on a table and take the side off, make lots of contact with the metal case, and unplug the power cord. Then I go to work doing what I want, making sure I occasionally touch the side of the case as well. If you really wanted to take extra precautions you could take a wire and connect it from a metal part of your case to an electrical ground. But as long as you are not working on a carpeted surface, which can generate static electricity, you should be OK to just open it up and make any changes you need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2010   #6
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 8 Pro x64 dual boot

Good points in this thread so far.

I work with ESD destroyable devices every day. In the absence of an anti-static strap, here are a couple of ways to keep from frying things:

1. Do the work on the kitchen table or counter. If you have linoleum, tile, or hardwood floors, take off your socks, and touch your water taps before working on the machine.

2. As mentioned, it's best to leave the power supply plugged in to the wall, as long as it has an off switch. This keeps the case grounded. But make sure the power is off to the motherboard before removing any components.

3. Don't wear any synthetic clothing while you work on the machine. Denim, cotton, etc., are all fine. Removing the socks will help you not build up as much of a charge as you move around on the floor.

Finally, an important safety tip. Never try to make a home made ground strap out of your metal banded wrist-strap on your watch without some sort of resistance in the wire lead. Say 1 to 5 MegOhms. Hooking a wire from your metal watchband to an Earth ground without resistance is just asking for an electrocution accident. It can happen quite easily if you're grounded this way, and it's dangerous.

So, for anyone wanting to work on their machines, and they feel they really need to use a strap and want to make one, you can pick up temporary ones for $5 to $10 that will last a long time for occasional computer work. This is a much better idea all around. Please do it that way if you must use a strap. I want to read what you post, not read about why you can't post anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to ground yourself properly without wristband.

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