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About to build my first pc... How should I ground myself?

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  • Build
  • Power
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Last response: in Systems
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February 26, 2014 12:28:08 PM

I have an antistatic wrist strap... My main question is this: Should I attach it to the case, leave the power on the case OFF, plug the case into the power strip, also with the power OFF, and then the strip into the wall socket, which doesn't have an on or off button...


If so, should I install the PSU first off?


If not, what should I attach the strap's clip to? I keep getting mixed arguments that contradict each other in my research, and to be blunt, electric details are not in my forte. So if anyone with a more comprehensive understanding of electrical properties could give me advice on how to do it right, I would appreciate it... Spare no detail!

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February 26, 2014 12:39:30 PM

Best bet everything OFF. Attach the wrist strap to a metal surface your case will do. Try and find some where non galvanised i.e. bare metal and make sure it has as much contact as possible. You could also attach the strap to an earth cable coming from a radiator.
Try not to wear static clothing wool etc. Build the computer on a non static surface i.e. not on carpet. Wood table or glass is good.

Power supplies are usually big and heavy try and fit them first so you don't damage any other components its often a tight fit.
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February 26, 2014 12:43:22 PM

Vnxc said:
Best bet everything OFF. Attach the wrist strap to a metal surface your case will do. Try and find some where non galvanised i.e. bare metal and make sure it has as much contact as possible. You could also attach the strap to an earth cable coming from a radiator or something.
Try not to wear static clothing wool etc.

Power supplies are usually big and heavy try and fit them first so you don't damage any other components its often a tight fit.


Okay so power off on all components...

Now, you're saying I should install the PSU first, correct? With the alligator clip on a bare metal part of the case? (hopefully mine has a bare spot, it's the phantom 530 black and is mostly painted interior)

I also have a power strip with surge protection... Should I plug the PSU in that, and that into the wall, as I'm working on the build? Again with both the PSU and power strip switches off. Would that be an effective ground and safe for both me and my components?
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February 26, 2014 12:50:56 PM

Searching around the house for items that effectively ground you can be tricky. Even the radiator trick is not reliable if there is new construction involved with the use of composite hosing (PEX tubing). If you can remember to times when you get the annoying static shocks from touching household items(usually during dry and cool weather) then those are good starters for grounding points. Larger metal bedframes/tables/desks, Steel/iron light light fixtures, metal railings are all pretty common items which have enough dissipation ability to get rid of any possible static charge.

If you are very concerned with static, do your best to stay off of carpeting during the installation. If you are on carpet, wear shoes or go barefoot, socks on carpet on a dry day is a fantastic way to follow your siblings around and shock them constantly but not friendly to electronics. Also, on carpet, stay away from a chair with rolling wheels, those things generate a good amount of charge with movement.
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February 26, 2014 12:51:12 PM

There's a lot less to worry about when it comes to static than you think. I don't personally use a wrist strap with any build and haven't had a problem. Anymore, only the lowest quality components aren't resilient to static. It's really hard to break anything with static these days. Although, A-plus guidelines will tell you otherwise.

Since you do have a wrist strap already you might as well use it. You can pretty much clip it to any part of the metal frame of the case. I would say don't sweat it, though.

The PSU and motherboard should be the among the first components, but the order doesn't really matter. I generally install the motherboard, CPU, cooler, and then the PSU.

When I work with an Asus motherboard with the BIOS flashback functionality (only requires power attached to the mobo to update the BIOS), I install the motherboard then PSU the attach the PSU to the motherboard and update the BIOS. Then install the CPU and other components.
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February 26, 2014 12:55:00 PM

Ahhh you don't need those wrist straps, I built my pc safe and fine without one of those. Touching anything metal (Like the case) that is neutral around the area. The pc case is a good way to ground yourself when you're handling, or putting the computer hardware. But if you want to make use of that strap, just hook the other end to the case and you'll be fine.

If you have any pets like cats, or dogs, just keep them out of your area and don't touch them till you're done with the build. You can, just keep touching the case to ground yourself when you're done touching them. I would hook the PSU to a surge protector, good idea to protect it.
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February 26, 2014 12:58:03 PM

Yep..
All components are OFF to begin with thats why you need the wrist strap. static is at a very high voltage, it can damage the smaller more sensitive components on the motherboard cpu etc.

Don't plug anything in (strip, wall, case) until you have triple checked everything is where it should be and installed properly. Once you are ready to start up the computer and install the operating system you can plug the computer into the strip wall etc. Any powered components especially the power supply can be extremely dangerous and can kill you so everything OFF and be careful.
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February 26, 2014 1:49:50 PM

ubercake said:
There's a lot less to worry about when it comes to static than you think. I don't personally use a wrist strap with any build and haven't had a problem. Anymore, only the lowest quality components aren't resilient to static. It's really hard to break anything with static these days. Although, A-plus guidelines will tell you otherwise.

Since you do have a wrist strap already you might as well use it. You can pretty much clip it to any part of the metal frame of the case. I would say don't sweat it, though.

The PSU and motherboard should be the among the first components, but the order doesn't really matter. I generally install the motherboard, CPU, cooler, and then the PSU.

When I work with an Asus motherboard with the BIOS flashback functionality (only requires power attached to the mobo to update the BIOS), I install the motherboard then PSU the attach the PSU to the motherboard and update the BIOS. Then install the CPU and other components.


As it happens I have an Asus Maximus VI Hero motherboard, with an i7 4770k CPU.... How do you recommend the bios update steps? If I may ask.... And should I update anything else prior to installing an OS? (windows 8.1 pro OEM system builder edition)
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February 27, 2014 4:24:36 AM

Thanks for the help guys... Put it together last night, took all day given that I took the time to go over every single piece, even dismantling the case to familiarize myself with it, and install the additional fans.

Put it all together and booted it up to the bios, it posted fine with apparently no errors.... And let me say, the phantom 530 with blue led fans and clean cable management is one stylish looking beast.

All I need now is the ssd, due to arrive march 1st. After I plug that in I'm ready to run the OS... I'll take a look at the bios and other update stuff today, do a bit of research on that....

I have to say, this was my first PC build and it went very well.... I learned SO MUCH, and I feel very accomplished... I'm happy that this is only the beginning of my learnings hehe.
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February 27, 2014 4:26:53 AM

Oh, the only thing I have my eye on... The plate of the stock heatsink looked weird, like it didn't have full coverage, but instead 3 contact points...

I'm going to keep a close eye on my cpu temp.. Might just replace that stock cooler sooner rather than later if I'm not satisfied with it.
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