Take Precautions Before Working on your Computer

From time to time, it may become necessary for you to open the casing of your machine and work on the internal components. This can be either for a routine cleaning of built-up dust, or to replace/upgrade/install components.

However, too many people seem to forget that integrated circuits are very sensitive (and sometimes dangerous) electronic devices. Even the slightest disruption can cause major problems for you and your machine.

Here are a few precautions to keep in mind before opening the case:

Never work on your computer while it’s plugged in. This can not only damage your machine, but can also cause injury due to electrical shock. It’s absolutely essential that you ensure there is no power circulating though your motherboard before your begin work.

Even with the computer unplugged, there is still a risk of electrical shock. Capacitors within your machine might store electricity for some time before releasing it. Once you’ve unplugged your machine, it’s better to be safe and wait a few minutes to ensure the power has completely dissipated.

Many of the integrated circuits and chips within your machine can be permanently damaged by even the slightest of static shock from your body. Take measures to ground yourself before handling the equipment. This can easily be done with an inexpensive grounding wrist strap, available from most computer stores.

As an additional step to prevent static discharge, you’ll also want to make sure that you never touch the individual wires, components, or chips directly. Instead, hold all the pieces by their edges as you work with them.

Handle all components very gently to prevent hard drive “head crashes”, or other physical damage to your components. And when not in use, make sure to store all parts in an anti-static bag. These bags usually come with components when you purchase them.

Finally, if you see any parts of your computer that are labelled something along the lines of “No Serviceable Components Inside”. This usually means that it contains high-voltage pieces that are better left untouched. It’s usually recommended that your heed the warning and simply replace the entire part altogether.

Of course, the most important part of your computer is not a physical piece, but rather the data stored inside. That’s why it’s so important that you install an online backup system to protect every single piece of critical data before attempting to change anything within your machine.
You can always go to the store and buy a new computer, but you can’t replace 3 years of your life’s work. It’s better to play it safe.

About The Author
Storagepipe Solutions is a provider of online backup systems and email archiving services that can help protect your computer in the event that it becomes damaged during the maintenance process.

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