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Could I have damaged my USB 3.0 slot?

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December 16, 2012 2:41:32 AM

I was inspecting my USB 3.0 slot on the mobo today and I accidentally tapped the inside of my USB 3.0 slot with my fingernail. It was a minor tap, and the slot still works, but now I'm not completely sure if the USB 3.0 slot could be damaged by such an action (i.e. scratched). Also, how hard is it for a fingernail to scratch metal, like the metal on the I/O rear panel on a mobo? Thanks so much for any help.

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a c 146 V Motherboard
December 16, 2012 2:48:48 AM

It's very unlikely you caused damage with your fingernail. Although it is possible to cause some damage with a strong fingernail, you would have to put some effort into it also. Of course if you were wearing conductive fingernail polish and the computer was on...
December 16, 2012 11:32:53 AM

C12Friedman said:
It's very unlikely you caused damage with your fingernail. Although it is possible to cause some damage with a strong fingernail, you would have to put some effort into it also. Of course if you were wearing conductive fingernail polish and the computer was on...


No, no nail polish I can assure you :na:  . It was a small tap, basically I was cleaning the area around my rear USB 3.0 slot with my finger and I tapped it. Could a finger nail scratch the inside USB slot or the metal around it?
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a c 146 V Motherboard
December 16, 2012 12:12:15 PM

I honestly think you would probably damage the plastic tab in the middle of the port (again, some effort required) before scratching the contact fingers of the port itself. But, in the spirit of science, I decided to experiment (I have a few old motherboards that are unwilling volunteers for these things). I couldn't even break the plastic tab (I did almost break my fingernail though) wedging my finger in there. Examined it with a magnifying glass and could observe no damage
So there you have it, scientifically concluded (but not peer reviewed) that your USB port is safe from fingernail damage. (Sometimes spare motherboards are handy)
December 16, 2012 12:16:01 PM

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Really helpful that you did experimentation. My last question is, can the fingernail scratch the metal surrounding the port with some light scraping? You've already earned the best answer, just one last thing. Thank you so much.
a c 146 V Motherboard
December 16, 2012 12:27:45 PM

Yep ('nother 'xperiment) it is possible to make marks on the thin metal surrounding the port with your fingernail (some effort required though), I could not physically scratch the metal with my fingernail
December 16, 2012 12:42:18 PM

How much effort, exactly? Like, would really light scraping make nay marks (like the kind of scraping you would do to remove some speck of dust or something)?
December 16, 2012 12:50:48 PM

I've seen many posts from you about your ocd about scratching your computer. I can guarantee your computer is not a fragile as you think it is. You're not going to scratch your computer unless your moving it and you bang it against something, or you attack it with a screwdriver. Also scratching your hardware almost always will not affect it's functionality, unless you break something. If you're computer is working properly, then you dont need to be concerned with it.

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a c 146 V Motherboard
December 16, 2012 12:52:03 PM
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Nope, a lot of effort, as in really trying to scratch it. I figure it's thin metal of unknown (to me) composition so it may be soft enough to be scratched by a fingernail. The intent was to put some kind of gouge (even a small nick) into the metal which I was unable to do at all.
December 16, 2012 1:08:18 PM

Best answer selected by vance09.
December 16, 2012 1:09:12 PM

OK, thanks for all the help. And yeah, if there is one thing I'm OCD about, it's my computer, it cost me a lot of money and I really want it in mint condition.
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