Can RAM be hurt by static electricity

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Mr Durden, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. Mr Durden

    Mr Durden I don't have a drinking problem, I have a people p

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    26,024
    Likes Received:
    0
    A friend and I were having this argument, would like it clarified.
     
  2. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Messages:
    52,484
    Likes Received:
    302
    Location:
    Northwest Mejicooooooo
    Easily
     
  3. 7960

    7960 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    60,415
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New England
    http://www.g4tv.com/screensavers/episodes/3636/Hoverboard_Static_Discharge_Devices_Doom3_Tweaks.html
    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.
     
  4. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    ESD ownz you and anything electronic.
     
  5. Euclid

    Euclid New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    8,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    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. :o
     
  6. dokebi

    dokebi Commentator

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NY
    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.
     
  7. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    19,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    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.
     
  8. dew

    dew Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    47,656
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MIA
    nah i touch my ram nightly
     
  9. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,743
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    yinzer / nilbog, trollhio
    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
     
  10. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    32,407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    OKC
    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.
     
  11. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    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.
     
  12. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    LMAO!
     

Share This Page