How do i ground myself?!

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Hello, before installing my new memory is it essential that i am grounded whilst handling the sticks of memory? If so, how can i make sure i am sufficently grounded?

Thanks!
 
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Use an esd wrist strap attached to a good earthing point

Failing that keep on hand on a radiator in the house (they are earthed)
 
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I've personally never fried memory during install, or after. All I do is touch a radiator for 5 seconds to earth myself, then carry on as normal with nothing more.

If you want to be 100% sure, then yes. a wire wrapped around your wrist and tied to the radiator will work, but of course you need to make sure the wire is bare metal against your skin and the radiator.

Or you could just leave your PSU plugged in while you install the RAM, and touch the metal PC case... that will then be earthed because of the PSU.

imo, esd wrist straps are not necessary in 90% of installs.
 
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I had wondered... I saw a demo of someone doing simple ram installation and they were not using any kind of earthing, are certain components more delicate than others? Why is static a problem with electronics anyway? Thank you for the advice!
 
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Static is VERY dangerous for sensitive components like memory chips for one very simple reason: Voltage.

Normal operating voltage for RAM is around the 2v mark. Although static is very low current, its voltage can run into thousands of volts. This voltage is enough to break tracks inside the chips, which is only noticeable with an X-ray machine.

Yes, certain components are more susceptible than others... RAM with a heatsink over it will help ground it/protect it, as the heatsink isn't touching any pins.

Be careful not to touch processor pins, as CPUs use lower voltages than memory, and are therefore more susceptible to static.

Static builds up over time. If you kneel by the PC/sit/stand if its on a desk or whatever.. earth yourself and then don't shuffle around, then you'll be fine.
 
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Why is static a problem with electronics anyway?
Because of CMOS junction gates are prone to damage from even low levels of static electricity.

Thats why when you buy something eg mobo , ram etc , they come in these little static safe
bags with warning labels ( they dont do it for a fashion statement - I can assure you)
 
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Oh, i was also wondering if anyone had any advice on the best method of removing dust from inside the case? Blowing seems to me to be a rather medieval substitute for what i imagine must be a far more contemporary alternative! I used to use compressed air back when i had an airbrush, would that work? I havent tried as i remember that it would leave a certain amount of moisture behind...
 
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I wasn't being flippant when i asked "why is static a problem anyway" derkaderka, i was merely curious as to the specific, physical reasons behind it.
 
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It's surprising that static voltage on your body goes into thousands of volts, isn't it? I was once part of an "ESD safety" training excercise, where they had a static metre. Someone stood in front of it and rubbed their feet on the floor... even with static dissipative shoes, they had a voltage of about 4000v. With just socks, it went over 10,000v. This is hundreds of times more than the chips are designed to handle, so there's some more specifics :)

For removing dust... Airbrush/compressed air is fine. Just be careful to not turn the can upside down, as that releases freezing cold, liquid gas. Keep it upright, and spray it a little bit outside the case first, to make sure it hasn't been used upside down recently.

Try not to use a vacuum cleaner, as they have been known to cause static, and its quite a lot harder to turn it off if you find you've just sucked up a capacitor! (rare, i know. but it can happen!)
 
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Just wear all cotton clothes, touch an unpainted radiator, and keep your arm in contact with the metal in the computer case. Worked for me for years.
 
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I've never tended to use a wrist strap when doing installs but those figues are scary SMAndy!

Having said that I tend to work with the PSU plugged in and grounded and touch the case often. Perhaps this is something I should change about my install methodology.
 
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@Psy-Blade. They are scary! luckily the current of it is incredibly low, which is why when you get a "static shock" it doesn't hurt in the slightest. It's strange that some people suffer more from static than others. Quite a lot of people complain that static electricity causes car-sickness, leading to them putting that little strip on the back that catches on the road.

You don't really need to worry about changing your method, touching the case with it still plugged in is more than enough to keep your static voltage low.
 
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Thanks for the static feedback! I remember hearing about the high voltage that static electricity can hold, i understand now how it can be so damaging. I think i would probably be over cautious with such a possibility, although 5 seconds on the radiator sounds good to me!
 
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I made a modified IDC cable (kettle lead) , I ONLY attached the earth connection , then plug this into the PSU in the case.
That way I get a good earth to the case , I do also use a wrist strap as well attached
the a plug.
 
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I've done countless computer upgrades over the last 10 years and have never had any components fail due to static related issues to my knowledge - that includes 5+ years working on both Macs and PC's and repairing professionally.

I always ensure I've touched a metal PC case that is either on or plugged into the mains (earthed) prior to touching any component.

Had more problems with components after plugging a kettle lead into a PSU that has was switched on than static!
 
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Hi, I just tried to fit my new memory... touched the radiator and kept the power cord connected to computer and touched the casing periodically. But, and i'm sure its nothing static related, my computer didn't work.

I am replacing two sticks of 512mb with two 1Gb. I put the new into the bays the previous memory occupied, but when i turned on the computer there was a beeping coming from somewhere. It did a few cycles and then stopped, it was black screen the whole time. Turned off the computer and whacked my old memory back in and all is fine.

Have i done something wrong? Did i use the wrong bay? Have i got the wrong memory?
 
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by the way this is the post and replies i got on another thread concerning the memory i should get for my system...

Hello, apologies first of all as i know very little about upgrading! I really need to get a new computer but cannot afford it at the moment, therefore a memory upgrade would be the next best thing.

I have a Dell Dimension DM051 with a pentium 4 3.20GHz processor and 1Gb of RAM.

I want to upgrade to 2Gb of RAM to improve my use of applications such as photoshop and premiere CS3. My question is what type of memory do i need to be compatible with my system?

That Dell PC requires 400MHz or 533MHz DDR2 RAM. There is non of this exact type on OCUK, but you could shop around or use this stuff (its a bit faster, but the BIOS should reduce it to motherboard default speed - 533Mhz)

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-097-CS&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=144
 
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