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How Grounded Do I Have To Be?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Ron Hubbard, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. Ron Hubbard

    Ron Hubbard Guest

    To replace the sound card on my HP Armada E700 laptop it's gonna
    cost me at least $95 for a repair place to put it in. I'm thinking
    about doing it myself as the E700 is very modular, but the
    maintenance and service guide says I need to be extremely well
    grounded to prevent electrostatic discharge.

    Does anyone know if ESD is such a real problem that I should take
    so many steps to prevent?

    Ron Hubbard, Feb 27, 2004
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  2. Ron Hubbard

    Jeff S Guest

    The potential for damage is very real, if that's what you're asking. If you are careful and live in a humid environment, or one in which you don't get zapped whenever you touch metal objects, you may be able to get away without buying special antistatic gear, but I'd nevertheless recommend touching a grounded metal surface (say, a stainless steel kitchen sink) before digging in.

    I once got careless and played with the cat while servicing someone's notebook. A cat is static electricity on 4 legs. I ended up buying the guy a new LCD out of my own pocket!

    Jeff S, Feb 27, 2004
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  3. It's definitely an issue, but it's not difficult to deal with if you
    know how. Ground yourself to the computer chassis and work area and you
    should be fine. An antistatic "wrist strap" between you and a ground
    point on the computer chassis is probably the best way of doing this.

    However, I would warn you that when an untrained person takes apart a
    laptop, the chances of doing a LOT of damage (often hundreds of dollars
    worth) are very high -- I'd say more than 50%.
    Barry Watzman, Feb 27, 2004
  4. Now, now, it's only that cat's FUR that causes the problem, let's not
    blame the whole kitty because of one defective part.
    Barry Watzman, Feb 27, 2004
  5. Ron Hubbard

    Ron Hubbard Guest

    The Armada E5oo and E700 laptops, while bulky and heavy as a
    brick<g>, are designed for everything to be really modular. Getting
    into the casing takes up most of the repair time as the sound card
    itself can be easily pulled out and replaced like it could in a
    desktop-- about a three minute job by itself.

    But most of the repair places I have contacted first response was
    "sound cards can't be replaced," and I end up spending ten minutes
    trying to convince the people who should know better that some
    models-- *this* model-- is easy to fix. Even the so-called
    "authorized" HP places aren't very well informed about the E500 and
    E700 laptops... That's sad.

    But thanks for the warning, Barry.

    Ron Hubbard, Feb 27, 2004
  6. OK, my old electric shaver is still working. Here Kitty, Kitty...
    Frank le Spikkin, Feb 27, 2004
  7. Ron Hubbard

    Conor Guest

    Earth strap that plugs into socket. To be honest, I've never used one
    and have been building PCs for over a decade and have yet to kill one.
    Before the doom mongers start YES I AM AWARE OF STATIC DAMAGE - I'm a
    qualififed electronics engineer and used to work with very sensitive
    CMOS components which did get easily damaged.

    Easiest thing to do is to leave the mains power cord plugged in but
    switched off at the wall. Take off the lid and touch the case chassis.
    That'll do.
    Conor, Feb 27, 2004
  8. Ron Hubbard

    Tony Hwang Guest

    Better be safe than sorry. You never know. When I was working my company
    could fire a guy if he is not using anti-static means when working on
    the system(a Big mainframe stuff)
    Company was lossing lots of money from static damage due to improper
    I have an anti-static matt and strap in my tool kit.
    Tony Hwang, Feb 27, 2004
  9. Static is the second concern.

    First concern is getting into the laptop.
    Make sure you know how to get into it - re full knowledge of all screws,
    their location, lengths & any particular tricks for ease of dissassembly. That
    usually means where to pull plastic clips off without breaking them etc.

    Remember connectors on laptops are very easily damaged. Ribbon cable
    is a thin film into a ziff like socket in some cases, very easily broken if you
    do not know how to remove them. Particularly true of keyboards.

    Probably general knowledge to many, but the modularity of a laptop when
    it means multiple-circuit-boards also means multiple-points-of-failure & multiple
    points of causing a lot of very expensive damage as parts are silly $ usually.

    So exercise care - screws are tiny, physical density extreme, parts delicate.
    Dorothy Bradbury, Feb 28, 2004
  10. I do some research where I have to ground components. I know this sounds
    silly, but try just taping some wire to your skin, and run this to a
    radiator in your house. Then wear natural fibres, and I would have thought
    you'd be fine.

    Duncan James Murray, Feb 29, 2004
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