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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Computer Repair 101: Safety First

There are a number of easy computer fixes you can make on your own, such as switching out a hard drive. However, it's important to remember that a computer can hold a lot of electricity, even after it's unplugged. That's why it's important to follow a few simple steps to stay safe. Here are just a few safety rules to follow when repairing computers.

Always Unplug the Computer

You should never work on a computer without powering it off and unplugging it from the wall. This includes just removing the case to check wires. A computer can hold on to a lot of electricity, even after it's unplugged. This is especially true of the capacitors. For this reason, the computer should be powered down and unplugged for several minutes before beginning your work.

Remove Jewelry

In case the computer holds on to electricity, you need to make sure you have removed rings, bracelets and any other metal jewelry that may come in contact with the computer. This is especially true when working with power supplies that may have energy stored for longer periods of time after being unplugged.

Use a Grounding Strap
A grounding strap is exactly what is sounds like. The strap goes around your wrist and attaches to the ground. The strap prevents static electricity from ruining sensitive pieces of equipment, such as hard drives. Grounding straps can be found in most electronics stores and are relatively inexpensive.

English: Ground bracelet or grounding strap, s...Image via Wikipedia

Place Internal Parts on a Static-Free Mat

If you will be removing parts from your computer, such as hard drives, you will want to place those parts on an anti-static mat to prevent damage. For example, if static electricity has built up on your carpet, you could damage the hard drive by placing it directly on the carpet due to the jolt of electricity that will occur when the metal of the hard drive comes in contact with the carpet.

Never Work Inside Monitors

Monitors are something you should never work on. These should only be serviced by professionals due to the high amount of electricity that stays stored in the monitor long after it's unplugged. Trying to repair a monitor when you don't know what you're doing can result in death.

There are many repairs that the average computer user can make. However, you do need to remember to take certain precautions to not only protect yourself, but your computer as well.

About the Author: Myong Morini is a computer repair specialist who advocates computer safety before anything else. He can help to recover deleted files, replace hardware, and remove viruses. If in doubt, seek the help of a professional.

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