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Static Discharge Causes Flaky Damage

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Static Discharge Causes Flaky Damage

By Stephen Bucaro

Some time ago I purchased a motherboard, CPU, and memory
from a local computer store. The sales person did me the
"favor" of plugging the CPU and memory into the
motherboard. I held my breath as this was done with no
care whatsoever taken to prevent damage from a possible
electrostatic discharge.

A static discharge can damage or destroy integrated circuit
electronics. The problem is that you may not see a visible
spark. You may not know that a static discharge occurred.
And, you are lucky if the static discharge totally
destroyed the circuit.

Often a component is only damaged and appears to work.
This type of damage can produce occasional or frequent
errors. This is what technicians call "flaky" because
the failure does not occur reliably enough to be able to
track it down.

The technician can't determine if the errors are caused by
software or hardware. All they can do is keep changing
things and waiting to see if the problem goes away. This
is very time consuming and costly.

The proper way to handle computer circuits is to wear a
grounded wrist strap. Any electrical charge that builds up
on your body is then immediately conducted to ground. But
experienced technicians have tricks for controlling static
electricity.

One trick is to leave the circuit board laying on top of
an antistatic bag or antistatic foam as much as possible.
Another is to leave the computer plugged into the AC
outlet with the computers power switch off. This places
ground on the computers metal case. Then the technician
works with one hand always on a metal part of the case.
Any electrical charge that builds up on your body is then
immediately conducted to ground the same as with a wrist
strap.

The important thing is to take static discharge seriously.
Don't stick yourself or someone else with a flaky computer
because you were too lazy to take basic care to protect
against static discharge.
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Resource Box:
Copyright(C)2002 Bucaro TecHelp. To learn how to maintain
your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web
site and make money on the Web visit
http://bucarotechelp.com
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Article Tags: Static Discharge Causes, Discharge Causes Flaky, Static Discharge, Discharge Causes, Causes Flaky

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