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Cleaning a memory using an eraser will fry the RAM chips?

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  • Memory
  • RAM
  • Tom's Hardware
Last response: in Memory
October 9, 2008 5:54:49 PM

Hi Tom's Hardware experts, good day. :) 

Every time I had a customer and if the problem is in the memory. I used to clean it with eraser, and viola, the computer will had a display again.

Questions:
1. Someone told me that rubbing an eraser to the memory contacts can fry the chips of memory module?
2. It's because rubbing an eraser across the connectors will produce a LOT of static electricity?

Do you think those are true?

Honestly I'm a bit doubt with his statement when he told that to me. I've already search in Google and found nothing that his statements are true.

Could someone tell me that his statements are true?

Thanks and God bless. :) 

More about : cleaning memory eraser fry ram chips

October 9, 2008 6:05:44 PM

how can rubber build up static energy....? I think that's not true....
October 9, 2008 6:09:20 PM

alvine said:
how can rubber build up static energy....? I think that's not true....


Really? Try rubbing a balloon against your hair and see what happens?

To the op: Yes, the concern would be static electricity. A better way to clean them would be with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip.
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October 9, 2008 6:13:23 PM

The eraser itself will not damage the RAM, however the rubbings from said eraser WILL! So I suggest rubbing alchohol, and Q-tips to clean them. Then blow the chips off with a can of air after they dry (gets any lint off them).

*Edit* Secondly the eraser is not putting off static, it is the Acids used in making them that damages the contacts. I have found out that a natural gum eraser will not damage the contacts, as they are made without acids. (can pick those up at an arts and crafts store, near drawing/painting supplies)
October 9, 2008 6:43:22 PM

@alvine, orangegator and IH8U
Thanks for your reply Sir. This is my next question.

Actually when talking about electronics thing. I have no knowledge about that. I read something that rubbing two materials will create a static electricity, am I right?

Questions:
1. You said that I have to use alcohol and Q-tips. Of course I have to rub it to clean the contacts of the memory. Is there an static electricity there?
2. So if I see something rubbing two materials should I call that static electricity?
3. Can you give me some basic information about static electricity?

Thanks and God bless.
October 9, 2008 7:02:06 PM

The eraser itself cannot put off static (unless you are touching the metal around it). Also the Q-Tip cannot put off static (1. it's wet, 2. the handle is paper) basically rubber, paper, glass, plastics (most), and wood are insulators. The eraser damages it (pencil eraser) due to acids used in making them. This cannot be said of gum erasers like these: http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Rubber-Artist-Eraser-2x1x...

Rubber in itself is an insulator (used to have rubber coated wires, now that has been relegated to plastics) so rubber itself cannot produce static (the balloon trick is actually charging the air trapped inside it, not the rubber itself).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Static_electricity
for more info on Static Electricity
October 9, 2008 7:25:40 PM

I may sound dumb but ..... why do you need to clean mem chips ???

Sorry I just read that you use it to clean the contacts ....

Forget my question :pt1cable: 
a b } Memory
October 9, 2008 7:29:34 PM

orangegator said:


To the op: Yes, the concern would be static electricity. A better way to clean them would be with rubbing alcohol and a q-tip.

+1 using Q tips and Alcohol.
October 10, 2008 10:01:31 AM

Thanks IH8U for the information that you shared. It really helps a lot.
March 26, 2016 1:20:09 AM

Well try using the eraser not the eraser that came from the pencil
a c 116 } Memory
March 26, 2016 6:37:41 AM

alvine is correct, an eraser doesn't build up static electricity. A balloon and an eraser are not the same; you can't erase with a balloon.
a b } Memory
March 26, 2016 9:39:35 AM

Here's my 2 cents to an over 7 1/2 year thread resurrection! :pfff: 

I just cleaned some memory module contacts using an eraser and it was a pencil with an eraser on it!

There was some noticeable pin corrosion and had zero problems from doing it, it all works just fine.

That's not the first time I've done it either!

Using a little common sense works wonders, clean with the grain so to speak not across the grain, and when finished with the erasing use some canned air to blow away any residue left behind, and the end result is: No Problemo! :) 

Tuck this away as an, "Old Wives Tale!" :lol: 
a c 5390 } Memory
March 26, 2016 1:32:22 PM

The big thing I've found with erasers is they can leave residue on the gold plating and at times small bits of eraser it itself, which can get into the slot and mess things up. Not really a fan of Q-tips either as they often leave cotton fibers behind which can also disrupt things. I use rubbing alcohol and foam swabs (can find them in the makeup area of stores or in hobby stores, don't leave anything behind and the alcohol evaporates within minutes, lint free cloths are also very good
a b } Memory
March 26, 2016 1:42:18 PM

i think the eraser method was used decades ago when electrical contacts were copper only, without any gold plating or with minimal plating, so it would help remove crud and give a better connection. i remember doing that in my high school electronics class, around 1989. i also remember throwing hammers at old CRT tubes. those were different times.
a c 252 } Memory
March 26, 2016 7:21:20 PM

Organic solvents are the way to go for the purposes of cleaning electrical contacts.

Isopropyl Alcohol (2-Propanol) is the most commonly used and by far the easiest to acquire. Non-lubricating electrical contact cleaners are better but harder to find and harder to use, beware though that many of these contain HCFCs such as Trichloroethylene which makes them hazardous to use indoors.

Dipping a Q-Tip into rubbing alcohol and lightly scrubbing the contacts is the simplest and safest way to get the job done.