General Question

omgDarkWillow's avatar

What happens if you don't ground yourself before working inside a computer?

Asked by omgDarkWillow (37points) July 3rd, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

5 Answers

SimonHL's avatar

If you have build up static electricity (from wearing wool and rolling on your carpets) and you put your finger on a circuit board you might destroy your hardware. I have never really taken this seriously until i recently destroyed my motherboard.

A shourtcut is to make sure that you always touch the casing while working. If you do, your static will discharge through the casing instead of your expensive and sensitive hardware.

andrew's avatar

Even better -- nothing will happen. Then, two months from now, your computer will die a horrible death because your motherboard shorted out.

Electrical problems are insidious and don't always appear. It's like bad RAM.

samkusnetz's avatar

SimonHL is correct but leave out one very important fact: touching the computer casing is only guaranteed to work if you leave the electrical cord plugged in. the reason for this is that the ground wire in the electrical cable is the only guaranteed path to ground for the computer. if, for example, you are working on the computer on a wooden desk, it's likely that the computer is insulated from ground and will not discharge your static electricity.

SimonHL's avatar

I am no expert in static electricity, but isn't the point of touching the case that any discharge that might occur happens through the case, not the hardware? If there's no discharge between you and the computer, you're safe?

Anyway, it's not my point to make people take chances. As said i destroyed a motherboard recently. Second time around, i made sure that both me and my computer were grounded when i was working on it.

samkusnetz's avatar

if there is no static discharge to the electrical components of the computer, then you're fine. but if the case isn't grounded when you touch it, then i will likely not draw much or any static charge away form your body, leaving you charged.

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