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THe Correct Power Down Procedure of a PC for Safety

I'm not an IT expert and I have just dabbled over the years adding cards and changing drives. I also occasionally built my own PC. Anyhow, I watched this video and this guy said that when working on a PC you should turn the power off at the back and then press the Power On Switch at the front to discharge all the capacitors on the motherboard.

Well, I had never done that before, I had only ever switched the power switch off at the back, but it sounded like a good idea to me so when I went to disconnect a hard drive I did exactly what he said, I turned the power switch off at the back and then I pressed to power on switch at the front and I saw my PC try to start and then fade away. I earthed myself and then went inside and only disconnected a SATA cable, but when I went to switch on my PC back on again it powerd up but there was no bleep, the fan ran uncontrloably and there was no image on my monitor.

I eventually discovered that my board had died and I have a post about it here I put up a few years ago. I sold the P6T Deliux board for £10 on eBay and I asked the guy who bought it to let me know what was wrong with it. He said he had a machne and had to reflash the BIOS because it has lost its memory.

So now I'm scared to do that procedure again, and turn the power off at the back and then turn the power on at the front to discharge the board. But equally I don't feel comfortable putting in a new circuit board into my PCIe slot wiothout discarging the boards capacitors firsrt.

Hmmm, what do you guys reckon?
Reply to Kaivey
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  1. Best answer
    You don't need to discharge the capacitors. Just shut the computer down and unplug the computer. Then you can install the component. I've worked on many computers over the last 25+ years and haven't had a problem. Heck, unplugging is just a precaution (in case the computer is asleep or not shutdown). I've swapped plenty of RAM modules and PCI cards with the computer just turned off, not unplugged. Usually when going through my boxes of old components looking for good RAM modules.

    As for your motherboard dying. I don't see how that procedure you described could have caused damage. I've pressed the power button plenty of times without the computer plugged in or the rear switch off without issue.

    The only capacitors I would want to discharge would be in the PSU. If I was going to open it up and replace a bad fan. Even then they bleed off current pretty fast.
    Reply to velocityg4
  2. Do you know, when I think about it, I have had my PC switch turned off at the back many times and forgot and then switched it on at the front and it has never done any damage. I was just unlucky that day. Thanks for your answer, because I would be still nervy about switching it off at the back and then turning my PC on at the front. So I don't need to follow that procedure.
    Reply to Kaivey
  3. Right you don't have to follow that procedure. It won't hurt. Every time there is a thunderstorm I unplug my computers. Which you should do. I frequently forget to plug them back in before pressing the power button.
    Reply to velocityg4
  4. velocityg4 said:
    Right you don't have to follow that procedure. It won't hurt. Every time there is a thunderstorm I unplug my computers. Which you should do. I frequently forget to plug them back in before pressing the power button.


    Thank you.

    Kevin
    Reply to Kaivey
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