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Anti-static wrist strap alternative?

Last response: in Systems
June 17, 2008 4:00:14 PM

This may sound like a stupid question, but is there an alternative for an anti-static strap? I was thinking while installing the cpu to put a plastic bag over my hand, would that help? I am worried about the cpu and motherboard for my new build, it will be the first time I am building a computer and I am a little nervous about it.
a b à CPUs
June 17, 2008 4:12:41 PM

Plastic generates static; bad idea. If anything, you could use the anti-static bag from something.

To be honest, just make sure you touch the case metal before and during the install. I wouldn't do it while standing on carpet or any kind of rug, either. Typically, this will be just fine. If you are that worried and don't have an anti-static wristband, just do your installs and make sure your arm or hand is always touching the case metal or just before you pick up a part for install.

I have never used an anti-static wrist band or anything of the sort...I have always done the above.
a b à CPUs
June 17, 2008 4:14:01 PM

Touch something metal before handling the parts. Do not wear wool or other synthetics that cause static.

1. Assemble your computer on a table other surface that doesn't ESD. If you have new carpet do it in a different room if possible.
2. Install your PSU to your case first, make sure the switch is off then plug it into the wall.
3. Install all of your components in your computer, touching the case(and therefore grounding yourself) first.
4. After everything is installed you can move the computer to whatever location your computer will be used in.

Is there still a itty bitty teeny weeny chance of ESD damaging your computer? Yes.
Related resources
June 17, 2008 4:27:39 PM

In some cases (no pun intended) the wrist straps aren't the solve all solution either. Many times I've seen the straps not actually be connected up at the point where it touches your skin and truly wouldn't discharge any static build up. Is it an easy solution? Yeah they cost around $5. Does leaning on an UNPAINTED part of your case do essentially the same thing? Yup.
a c 125 à CPUs
June 17, 2008 4:31:21 PM

sciggy said:
Does leaning on an UNPAINTED part of your case do essentially the same thing? Yup.

Have you been watching me build?
June 17, 2008 4:33:43 PM

I feel the need to add to this also. DO NOT use the the plastic bag. according to how much relative humidity you have where you are 40-60% the best and if it's lower it can be very bad, the plastic bag can generate 15-30kv of static. If you "bond" yourself to the case at all times you should be fine but remember every time that you are not touching the case you have the potential to generate static. Even air movement across your body can generate static. The amount of static discharge needed to damage your CPU is less than 200 Volts and you don't feel a static disharge until it's above 13k Volts. That is the danger.
Yes I do this for a living and teach ESD awareness for my company.
June 17, 2008 4:36:32 PM

I just did a build for the first time with an anti static strap two weeks ago and I'll tell you I miss leaning on my case. It makes me feel closer to the components and at one with my developing system. I feel so detached from this new build. I might go rip it all apart and lean on the case and put it all back together.
June 17, 2008 4:48:18 PM

Yeah, the plastic bag idea is bad, good thing I asked beforehand. I think I will just hold onto the case everytime i pick up the cpu, motherboard, and ram (which will take some effort) and do it all on my table since I have carpet everywhere. Hopefully nothing goes wrong. Thanks for the answers.
June 17, 2008 4:48:52 PM

I'm a computer tech as well, and while we use wrist straps at work, at home, I've yet to use one. If you keep touching metal, unpainted parts of the case periodically, and just before you pick something up, you should be fine.

Avoid plastics, if you are on carpet, don't move more than necessary, actually don't move too much more than necessary period as you can build static by walking across the room. Be sure to keep discharging yourself on the case.
June 17, 2008 4:49:45 PM

For your first time I don't think the wrist strap will hurt, BUT don't get it into your head that you're going to be ESD proof! Get into the habit of doing as the others have already suggested, which having as much contact as possible with the case metal.

While it is a precaution to be taken seriously, don't let it rattle your nerves and give you the shakes - that can be even worse! :D  Just have fun and enjoy the potentially razor sharp edges of your case :) 
a c 471 à CPUs
June 17, 2008 4:55:41 PM

Meh, I don't bother with wrist strap. I simply ground myself by touching the metal case which is simply on a hardwood floor. Then simply start putting the pc together.
June 17, 2008 10:32:47 PM

thanks for the answers, but I was wondering about my philips screwdriver. When i was taking apart my old computer and putting back together for practice, I noticed my screwdriver would magnetically pick up the screws, will this cause shock to the system. My old system worked normally but that might have been luck. And my old system is really old.
June 17, 2008 11:28:39 PM

You should have no issues with the magnetic screwdriver. Magnitism and ESD (static) are to different things.
June 17, 2008 11:34:51 PM

Going off memory I think the magnetic screwdrivers are still something to avoid as they can mess up the hard drives.
a c 125 à CPUs
June 18, 2008 12:40:29 AM

The metal case of the hard drive should block(its quite thick on the sides) the weak magnetic field from a magnetic screw driver.
March 16, 2009 12:11:10 PM

I use a three foot piece insulated speaker wire, stripped an inch on one end and about three inches on the other, wrap the short end around a screw removed from the external chassis and screw it in w/the wire around it. The other end I wrapped around my watch band. Worked great.
March 16, 2009 1:10:00 PM

This may seem wierd and paranoid on my part, but as another precaution for myself theres a product called static guard (I am sure generic brands do the same) I spray myself down with it prior to working with my PC. Its intended purpose is to remove static cling from clothes.
March 16, 2009 2:20:56 PM

Do the build naked if you can... its the best way to avoid generating static on your body. Even better, get a pretty girl to do it, but make sure she has short hair (and that you have a video camera running)...
December 3, 2009 1:47:10 PM

Brilliant I thought, my girls a fox! I tell her I have a surprise for her and she needs to put aside a few hours. So I bring her blind-folded into the living room (where I have wood floors) and she's all smiles and giggles and holding my hand. I have some candles burning, etc (gotta set the mood right?). I proceed to remove her clothes with a little teasing (she's a little hestitant at first).I then sit her down and take off the blindfold in front of a magnificently laid out array of components - Phenomii x4 955 Black Edition Deneb with Cooler Master's V8 crazy heat sink, Asus Evo overclocking board from heaven, 4 gig of BE AMD ddr3 1600 Dimms, a sweet pair of (mind out of the gutter now) WD 750 gig Black Caviar 32MB HDD's, ATI's nice and cool HD5770 1GB GPU, Cooler Master's 700W Silent Pro PSU, and a spacious and beautiful Cooler Master HAF 922 with HUGE red led fans....and my crazy hot girl
Alas the look on her face was complete confusion as I got out the camera, at which time she turned a sort of reddish color (nice touch with the case) and proceeded to ask me WTF I was thinking and what was so funny placing her naked ass on the ice cold wood floor in front of all this sh.t with a camera in my hands!
And there in lies the core difference between a man and a woman - they just don't get us.....but it was certainly worth a try!
P.S. she actually married me but really despises tech stuff....and cameras
December 3, 2009 2:43:41 PM

like other people said make sure you touch a metal before.. I would also recommend that your naked while you do it =)
December 3, 2009 10:31:26 PM

I Quite like Loreraven's solution i'm deffinitely going to have to try that on my build =)
December 3, 2009 11:24:10 PM

How can ANYONE despise tech stuff!?!?

It's what makes the modern age... MODERN!

ANd it's soooo awesome.

Take a rock, take some lightning, and produce a ROBOT! O_O
December 3, 2009 11:27:55 PM

Ive built three computers and have taken apart my computer on a DAILY basis.

I've never used the mythical wrist straps, because they're a waste of money.

Learn how static works, and you'll know that all you need is to touch metal and not rub your hands all over a wool pelt while rubbing your feet on wool carpet as you mess with the components.
February 18, 2012 7:36:09 AM

jaguarskx said:
Meh, I don't bother with wrist strap. I simply ground myself by touching the metal case which is simply on a hardwood floor. Then simply start putting the pc together.

But ... how? with your feet?
Can i have the metal case below my table and me with my nude feets up on it only? without to have to put my hands on anything or something?

February 18, 2012 7:58:52 AM

jaguarskx said:
Meh, I don't bother with wrist strap. I simply ground myself by touching the metal case which is simply on a hardwood floor. Then simply start putting the pc together.

Hm.. i am enabled to edit my message, so i have to make another post. Sorry about the double one ...

I mean, can i put some sort of metal no painted object below my table, where i put my nude feets on it, and can i work freely with my hands without having to touch on metal with my hand or make extra actions to disharge?