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Myth Or Not: Is It Safe To Open An Unplugged Pc?

#1 User is offline   bascom 

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:03 AM

I enjoyed the cover story about PC myths but there is one more I would discussed. Is it safe to open an unplugged desktop or laptop to replace parts such as memory and PC cards? Some websites I have read said this can be dangerous because a person can get a serious or lethal shock if they touch the power supply. Other websites I read said as long as the computer is unplugged it is safe to open because you can only get a minor shock or no shock at all if you touch the power supply. Which is correct?

Here is some discussion:

http://answers.yahoo...18133744AAtKAMO

http://answers.yahoo...23003833AALF1eK
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#2 User is offline   Car54 

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:11 PM

I agree with your 2nd link, and the answer provided there.
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#3 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:53 PM

Hey bascom, Yep, urban myths. I just unplug the power cord from the Power supply after I have turned it off, Once the green standby light on the motherboard has gone off ( a few seconds ), then it is fine to work in there. Be sure to at least touch and try to maintain contact with the case to avoid a static discharge that will kill components.
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#4 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:14 PM

I have done it both ways, but mostly if the parts are newer and not easily replaced, it goes on the grounded bench. If it's something I've not been in before, on the grounded table top. I have a smaller roll out pad with a wrist strap too for those quickies or smaller jobs and space is a premium. Just to be sure, always ground and check them for proper operation. Most will come with an inline fuse that will create a huge static prone pad if blown. Continuity checks should be conducted every ten uses or monthly if permanently mounted.
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#5 User is offline   techie4fun 

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:54 PM

You should be fine both ways. You can leave the power cord plugged in, attach a wrist strap to your wrist and case and go from there or touch the case before touching anything inside the case.

I usually leave my power cord plugged in and use the attached wrist strap. Some times I do without the strap.

This post has been edited by techie4fun: 24 September 2010 - 07:59 PM

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#6 User is offline   pulsar2121 

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:28 PM

Yeah it's just fine. In fact many times I have worked on one plugged in. It is not advisable. But the reality is 12V can't kill you.
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#7 User is offline   bascom 

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 06:07 AM

Thanks for the tips. I have a home made PC I bought from craigslist so wanted to be careful before opening it.
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#8 User is offline   LiveBrianD 

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 03:26 PM

View Postpulsar2121, on 28 September 2010 - 05:28 PM, said:

Yeah it's just fine. In fact many times I have worked on one plugged in. It is not advisable. But the reality is 12V can't kill you.


Yeah but with probably 20 amps or so?
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#9 User is offline   pulsar2121 

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

Posted Image
Actually 34 amps if you touch the right connector. Obviously disconnect the power cable before opening up a computer. Once it is unplugged(and battery removed if you have a laptop) it is completely safe to work inside of a computer.

This post has been edited by pulsar2121: 08 October 2010 - 01:36 PM

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