Are people no longer concerned about ESD ?

mfh6375

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Jun 20, 2005
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While waiting for the parts for my new build to arrive, I have been watching quite a few build videos. One thing I have noticed is that there are a lot of people handling there hardware with no visible protection against ESD(electrostatic discharge). Some will have a wrist strap, but many do not. Is this not a concern anymore?
 

UsandThem

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Not as long as you ground yourself before touching anything.

I've never used a wrist strap in over 20 years of building PCs, and I have never damaged anything. I just touch my hands on an unpainted part of the case before picking stuff up. However, if you live in a crazy dry region, and you are constantly shocking yourself when touching doorknobs and stuff, it would probably be a good idea to use a wrist strap.
 
Feb 25, 2011
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It's definitely a concern. Grounding yourself by touching a case or psu (when plugged in) is the same thing, so yeah. Quick and easy solution when you don't have a strap handy.

That said, you probably shouldn't assume that every wing nut you see on YouTube is somebody you should emulate.
 

VirtualLarry

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Yeah, I'd say that it could be an issue. I went to use a PCI-E SATA6G controller the other day, that I had once taken out to :fondle: when I got it, in my bed, and when I went to use it, months later, it was dead.

Had to pull out a NIB one that I hadn't handled.
 

Insomniator

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Oct 23, 2002
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Have never worried about it... at all... ever... have probably built or modified my existing computers 100 times.
 

whm1974

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Not as long as you ground yourself before touching anything.

I've never used a wrist strap in over 20 years of building PCs, and I have never damaged anything. I just touch my hands on an unpainted part of the case before picking stuff up. However, if you live in a crazy dry region, and you are constantly shocking yourself when touching doorknobs and stuff, it would probably be a good idea to use a wrist strap.
And whatever you do don't wear wool or silk clothing while building your system. Or do it on shaggy carpet.
 

mfh6375

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Jun 20, 2005
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It's definitely a concern. Grounding yourself by touching a case or psu (when plugged in) is the same thing, so yeah. Quick and easy solution when you don't have a strap handy.

That said, you probably shouldn't assume that every wing nut you see on YouTube is somebody you should emulate.
Yeah, I wouldn't just assume that anybody on YouTube knows what they are doing. But, I've just seen some seemingly experienced people doing this and was curious if my concerns were unwarranted.

I work with explosives, so I am actually pretty experienced with ESD precautions. Sometimes even with a wrist strap we still set off the ground testers, so we have a lotion that we put on our skin where the wrist strap makes contact.
 
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killster1

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Not as long as you ground yourself before touching anything.

I've never used a wrist strap in over 20 years of building PCs, and I have never damaged anything. I just touch my hands on an unpainted part of the case before picking stuff up. However, if you live in a crazy dry region, and you are constantly shocking yourself when touching doorknobs and stuff, it would probably be a good idea to use a wrist strap.

how do you know what damage you have given? really zero damage ever to anything!!?!? very impressive not only in handling but in knowing that you didn't cause damage that was not immediately visible. Cyborg possibly!?
 

UsandThem

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Cyborg possibly!?
Nope, just a detail orientated person who is careful with the stuff I spend my money on. :cool:

I install component X. I am not walking or moving around (usually sitting in a chair), and before I reach for component Z, I ground myself on the computer case. I'm not walking or moving around on carpet, and the wooden chair isn't generating any static electricity.

How do I know I've never damaged anything? Simple, the PCs I've built have always worked after I'm done, and continue to do so until I replace it. In all the years of being into PCs, I've had to do more more RMAs for recalled Intel motherboard chipset bugs (twice) than I've had to RMA components (once for a MSI RX 480 card that developed a bad fan bearing after a month).
 

killster1

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Nope, just a detail orientated person who is careful with the stuff I spend my money on. :cool:

I install component X. I am not walking or moving around (usually sitting in a chair), and before I reach for component Z, I ground myself on the computer case. I'm not walking or moving around on carpet, and the wooden chair isn't generating any static electricity.

How do I know I've never damaged anything? Simple, the PCs I've built have always worked after I'm done, and continue to do so until I replace it. In all the years of being into PCs, I've had to do more more RMAs for recalled Intel motherboard chipset bugs (twice) than I've had to RMA components (once for a MSI RX 480 card that developed a bad fan bearing after a month).
all of that proves nothing. You should admit that ESD can occur with no visible damage. because you replace something before it shows damage does that mean damage did not occur? The guy below your post mentions ESD can occur EVEN WITH THE STRAP and needs a special lotion as well! so its the extent of the damage you are giving is really the only question.

once my friend on his first build slide a p4 2.8ghz chip across the room tumbling off a table about 20' over shag carpet and into a wall. The cpu still works to this day from wow how long ago? 13 years? was zero damage given to the cpu?
 

UsandThem

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all of that proves nothing. You should admit that ESD can occur with no visible damage. because you replace something before it shows damage does that mean damage did not occur? The guy below your post mentions ESD can occur EVEN WITH THE STRAP and needs a special lotion as well! so its the extent of the damage you are giving is really the only question.
Uhm, I really don't have to admit anything.

I was pretty clear on what I said in my first response in this thread. I don't use them, and I've never damaged anything. If you don't want to believe it, that's just fine with me. I also stated that if a person lives in a place where they are constantly shocking themselves when they touch metal, then it would be a good idea to use a strap.

If someone wants to use a strap, great. I simply don't have a need for one.
 

killster1

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Uhm, I really don't have to admit anything.

I was pretty clear on what I said in my first response in this thread. I don't use them, and I've never damaged anything. If you don't want to believe it, that's just fine with me. I also stated that if a person lives in a place where they are constantly shocking themselves when they touch metal, then it would be a good idea to use a strap.

If someone wants to use a strap, great. I simply don't have a need for one.
ya and sorry to call you out but we all know its false.. yes thats what you said but there is zero proof. just because no visible immediate damage doesn't mean it didn't happen. its foolish to give anyone advice other than using the intended strap.

My cpu example is a prime example of damage not being known.
 

UsandThem

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ya and sorry to call you out but we all know its false.. yes thats what you said but there is zero proof. just because no visible immediate damage doesn't mean it didn't happen. its foolish to give anyone advice other than using the intended strap.

My cpu example is a prime example of damage not being known.
Then give them your advice, but if you think you are going to show up and call me out without me punching right back, you're sorely mistaken. Nothing I stated is "false". My 1000+ likes are not from one-liners in the P&N forum, they are from me helping people with their PCs.

If you want to use a strap or make a case to someone, by all means go right ahead, but leave me out of it.
 

killster1

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HAHHAHAHA you can punch back all you want but its not like because you help 1000+ people doesnt mean you didnt shock your parts a little.. nothing relates and its 100% false you know you shocked your parts, just HOW MUCH is the question. Ya sure they didnt die so what. i already proved a cpu can be rubbed on carpet and work 10+ years after that does that mean no damage occurred? Sorry you are stuck in a argument you can not win. Really cool that you keep going and going with more silly proof of no error's on your part.

because your parts never failed before replaced? because you have 1000 likes? hahahahahahaha thanks for continuing to bring me laughs. EVEN WITH ESD STRAP AND Special LOTION ESD CAN OCCUR FOR NORMAL HUMANS. But if you are super human usandthem then all bets are off!~

ESD can even occur just from the AIR moving rapidly. https://www.ecmweb.com/content/electrostatic-discharge-causes-effects-and-solutions



This trolling and abusive posting is not allowed in tech.


esquared
Anandtech Forum Director
 
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UsandThem

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HAHHAHAHA you can punch back all you want but its not like because you help 1000+ people doesnt mean you didnt shock your parts a little.. nothing relates and its 100% false you know you shocked your parts, just HOW MUCH is the question. Ya sure they didnt die so what. i already proved a cpu can be rubbed on carpet and work 10+ years after that does that mean no damage occurred? Sorry you are stuck in a argument you can not win. Really cool that you keep going and going with more silly proof of no error's on your part.

because your parts never failed before replaced? because you have 1000 likes? hahahahahahaha thanks for continuing to bring me laughs. EVEN WITH ESD STRAP AND Special LOTION ESD CAN OCCUR FOR NORMAL HUMANS. But if you are super human usandthem then all bets are off!~
You just have a natural tendency to enter civil tech threads where people can share their experiences / advice, and act just like this quoted post shows. Congrats.
 

UsandThem

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pats self on the back.. good you finally stop defending your statement and moved on.
So since you are calling me a liar and you seem so proud of yourself, where's your proof that a person needs to use a ESD strap when building a PC, otherwise it will be damaged?
 

VirtualLarry

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https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/wd-makes-flash-drives.2553487/#post-39563935

Making fun of me in this thread too, even after a reading comprehension FAIL. C'mon, killster1, you don't have to be so anti-social. Advocate your position, debate it if someone opposes it, and then... move on.

Yes, I used a wrist strap, and an anti-static mat, in the early days. Now, I don't really bother much.

What no-one has mentioned yet, is that modern chips, have a LOT better anti-ESD features in them, and so do motherboards (Asus and ASRock I believe advertise this, or at least Asus does), so really, it's a bit less concerning than it was, say, 10 years ago.

That's not to say that proper precautions shouldn't be followed, or that you should fondle your 'golden fingers'. But just that, if you are knowledgeable, and prudent, handling things only as necessary, then that goes a long way towards thwarting ESD-related damage as well.
 
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VirtualLarry

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I'll mention this one little anecdote about ESD. I was working on a woman's PC, and we booted it, and it was working, and so, I went to put the case side on.

I walked across the (carpeted) room, picked up the case side, and walked back, and put it on. ZAP!!!!

Anyways, the PC was fine, but it rebooted from the static discharge. The woman said that that happened all the time to her, when she walked over to the PC and sat down and started using it.

I ascribe that to a faulty ground connection in her apt. wiring.

My thinking is, that even if there was a static discharge, the case should be grounded to the PSUs, chassis ground, which should be wired through the three prong IEC AC cord, to the outlet's earth ground, and thus, under normal circumstances, should not have caused the reboot.

At the time, I was very concerned, because that doesn't normally happen to me, so something was amiss.

I think, possibly, I had replaced her PSU, because it decided to do a "flame-out" on her, earlier that week.

(It was, thankfully, UL-listed. But still, hers is the only PC I've ever worked on, that the PSU actually did a flame-out on, and died.)

I also, in hindsight, ascribe that to her discharging static when she walked across the room to the PC, eventually damaging the PSU (I'm speculating), and causing the flame-out.

Nothing was overclocked, no heavy power-sucking GPU, just a P4 browser box, using a case+PSU bought from BestBuy.

A friend of mine also ended up with that same case+PSU (I bought several), and while his PSU eventually died a few years later, and was replaced (same rig is running today, with newer guts, but his was a P4 originally as well), it never did any sort of flame-out.
 

mfh6375

Member
Jun 20, 2005
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Not as long as you ground yourself before touching anything.

I've never used a wrist strap in over 20 years of building PCs, and I have never damaged anything. I just touch my hands on an unpainted part of the case before picking stuff up. However, if you live in a crazy dry region, and you are constantly shocking yourself when touching doorknobs and stuff, it would probably be a good idea to use a wrist strap.
Ok here is another question. My case has no parts that aren't painted/ coated. Any advice for that situation?
 

mikeymikec

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May 19, 2011
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how do you know what damage you have given? really zero damage ever to anything!!?!? very impressive not only in handling but in knowing that you didn't cause damage that was not immediately visible. Cyborg possibly!?
I'm sorry, but what's your argument here? That people who haven't been using an anti-static strap have been damaging their kit in non-demonstrable ways? That's pretty much an argument that's asking someone to prove that something doesn't exist, which is illogical, unscientific and pointless. If you still think it's a valid argument, I'll point it right back at you with a hypothetical argument: Your anti-static strips don't work. You've actually been damaging your kit because you've been using anti-static strips, because they don't work as advertised. Prove me wrong.

At the end of the day, the scientific method revolves around what is observed. Like @UsandThem , I've been building PCs for a long time and have never used an anti-static strap (I 'liked' his first post because we take the same precautions), over 150 PCs (that's just aside from the countless times I've worked inside desktops and laptops). For DOA components I think I've had one board, one memory module and one HDD, and my computer builds overwhelmingly have lasted 8-12 years and are still working on the day of being replaced.

Furthermore, considering that anti-static wrist straps can be bought incredibly cheaply, if there was any substantial evidence base in favour of their use then suppliers would be pushing them or even throwing them in with a purchase because it would logically save tonnes of time and money to do so. I just picked up the motherboard manual for a board I've recently used, and "use a wrist strap" is not in the electrical safety advice. Also, when having to do the occasional warranty replacement, I have never been asked if I used an anti-static strap when working with internal components.
 

killster1

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I'm sorry, but what's your argument here? That people who haven't been using an anti-static strap have been damaging their kit in non-demonstrable ways? That's pretty much an argument that's asking someone to prove that something doesn't exist, which is illogical, unscientific and pointless. If you still think it's a valid argument, I'll point it right back at you with a hypothetical argument: Your anti-static strips don't work. You've actually been damaging your kit because you've been using anti-static strips, because they don't work as advertised. Prove me wrong.

At the end of the day, the scientific method revolves around what is observed. Like @UsandThem , I've been building PCs for a long time and have never used an anti-static strap (I 'liked' his first post because we take the same precautions), over 150 PCs (that's just aside from the countless times I've worked inside desktops and laptops). For DOA components I think I've had one board, one memory module and one HDD, and my computer builds overwhelmingly have lasted 8-12 years and are still working on the day of being replaced.

Furthermore, considering that anti-static wrist straps can be bought incredibly cheaply, if there was any substantial evidence base in favour of their use then suppliers would be pushing them or even throwing them in with a purchase because it would logically save tonnes of time and money to do so. I just picked up the motherboard manual for a board I've recently used, and "use a wrist strap" is not in the electrical safety advice. Also, when having to do the occasional warranty replacement, I have never been asked if I used an anti-static strap when working with internal components.

Furthermore i am very shocked that you have built so many computers and have never received a anti static straps with your parts. The parts i have ordered (way less than 150 builds) have had special gloves, straps all kinds of things, maybe you wrap your hardware in bubble wrap too instead of anti static bags, i mean esd is a myth right?

You also sound funny, how can i prove it is working? Simple,a device known as a oscilloscope? perhaps a multi meter.

If you want to continue to argue you can, but saying because ive built 150 pc and havnt completely killed more than 1 hd ram stick mainboard, that it is completely safe, is not much of a argument, i can drive 100 mph daily for years and still know that there is a risk even with zero crashes.

Lets pretend that none of your builds had any ESD occur at all. So what % should we worry about things? even with a strap yes im sure ESD happens too.
 
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UsandThem

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Ok here is another question. My case has no parts that aren't painted/ coated. Any advice for that situation?
Even the inside of your case like the hard drive cages aren't plain metal?

If not, you can ground yourself by touching metal, so maybe something from your garage like a metal tool? Basically it's just like if you walk across carpet and zap yourself when touching a doorknob. At that point, you are discharging the static electricity.
 
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killster1

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Even the inside of your case like the hard drive cages aren't plain metal?

If not, you can ground yourself by touching metal, so maybe something from your garage like a metal tool? Basically it's just like if you walk across carpet and zap yourself when touching a doorknob. At that point, you are discharging the static electricity.
So they can just hold a crescent wrench in their hand and that should keep ESD risks down?





See, this is you trolling again.
This post is part of multiple infractions that you've been given.





esquared
Anandtech Forum Director
 
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