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What happens when you touch hardware while it's running?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Kantastic, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    What happens when you touch hardware while it's running? More specifically, what if I placed a finger on the exposed PCB of a video card while it's running? Or touch the motherboard while it's running? I know it's a stupid question but I've been wanting to get a tech station to fool around with... ^_^
     
  2. Binge

    Binge Overclocking Surrealism

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    I
    [​IMG]

    every time I touch my hardware when it's on.
     
  3. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    FIRE EVERYWHERE!!!! RUN AWAY!!! :eek:













    Really though, nothing.. I'm touching my hardware right now. A capacitor to be exact. ;)




    **OMG Binge LMAO!!
     
  4. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    I've never been one to sense sarcasm over the internet... so are there any dangers to touching hardware while it's running? Worst case scenario: I put my entire palm on the exposed side of my video card. What happens? :(
     
  5. 3volvedcombat

    3volvedcombat New Member

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    Why would you do that, o i have a question can you uninstall and install any graphics card while the OS is runing and your rig is runing, i just always shit it down before i add, change, or move a video card in the x16 slots.
     
  6. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Best advice is just not to do it. Most likely nothing will happen, but who knows a little static discharge in the right area and poof. Dead hardware. But since there is no logical reason to do it.. Don't do it.
     
    Xazax, Kantastic and Binge say thanks.
  7. Binge

    Binge Overclocking Surrealism

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    Pro tip: Ground yourself before touching electronics. Small static currents let off by your touch are the most harm you can do with touching electronics. You do not have to worry about shorting because skin is less conductive than metal and electricity follows the path of least resistance.
     
    Kantastic says thanks.
  8. MoonPig

    MoonPig

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    As erocker said, only touch if you have a fetish for it. Also:

    Binge, OMG that's amazing, im giggling now... lol.
    erocker, why are you touching a capacitor? lol
    3volvedcombat, awesome type.
     
  9. CDdude55

    CDdude55 Crazy 4 TPU!!!

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    If your not statically charged, then nothing.
     
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    you could burn your fingers :(
     
  11. DonInKansas

    DonInKansas

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    Stick your tongue in a spinning CPU fan, then report back what happens.
     
    Wrigleyvillain says thanks.
  12. 3volvedcombat

    3volvedcombat New Member

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    Sorry for the typo's im a little tired LOL. So yes ill do what ive always done, which is shut down the computer and ground my self to take and switch hardware out :D
     
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    well yes, you shouldnt take hardware out with the PC running, with the exception of hot plug devices (USB, SATA drives in AHCI mode, etc)
     
  14. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    Putting your entire palm on a running PCB might not be a good idea. There might be skin oils or something that may conduct electricity. And, as said before, touch a metal part of your computer case while the PSU is plugged into the wall so that you can discharge any static electricity generated by clothing, carpet, petting a kitty cat, etc.

    Anyways, I like touching computer hardware, not to sound creepy or anything. I find fascination in the "ecosystem" of capacitors, chips, resistors, inductors, etc. on printed circuit boards as well as the network of copper traces. Call me easily amused (I honestly am for being a nerd), but I like examining all the little components and how they are arranged. Maybe it's my kind of pr0n lol.
     
    Kantastic says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  15. Binge

    Binge Overclocking Surrealism

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    oils aren't good conductors of electricity.
     
  16. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    but its more polite to mention, than all the other crap that ends up on a geeks fingers.
     
  17. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

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    Like Cheeto dust? ;)


    The other day I way trying to disconnect a molex connector that was running a fan, somehow the molex got me and gave me a nice little pulse through my arm.

    Touching any hardware while it's running is hardly even a good idea though.
     
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've got external HDD enclosures that if i touch the metal of their case and the metal of my PC case before i hook up the e-sata/USB, i get zapped.


    cheeto dust, chicken grease... bits of pizza...
     
  19. Nick89

    Nick89

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    I've never been shocked, I always fully power down my system and drain the caps in the PSU before working with it.

    That white sticky stuff,...Creme Filling thats it.
     
  20. rewindlabs

    rewindlabs New Member

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    Be careful not to be statically charged when doing so...

    I have been working my ram temps down as of late and have nothing to go by on other than what i can feel via touch...i touched the ram no problem at least 8 times or so and then i touched whilst running prime 95 to be safe and it crashed immediately...it was an already proven stable overclock BTW
     
  21. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Well, nothing good happens, I'll tell you that. I don't know why you would want to mess with a running computer anyway. Even the most trivial things, like plugging a fan power header in could end badly if you do it while the computer is on.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  22. niko084

    niko084

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    Make sure your fingers are not wet and salty :)

    Lol, I touch all sorts of stuff when it's running to get an idea of how hot it might be.
    I do try not to touch a bunch of connections just because of the very slight chance my dry hand could possibly maybe once in a blue moon in a new moons sky short.
     
  23. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    Yeah, I've touched heatsinks and stopped fans as well, but I don't go poking and prodding at circuit boards with current running through them.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  24. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    I've touched a soundcard once. It started squeeling like a stuck pig into speakers. I just shut down the system. The other time i touched something on graphic card and it just locked up.
    No biggie or just pure luck. But in general i prefer to power system down, flip PSU switch to OFF and press main POWER button on PC case to discharge capacitors (fans usually spin again for the last time). Then it's ready to work without any problems.
     
  25. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Yeah, worsted case you get a smack.. Maybe worse from a 8 pin connector from a PCI-e connection i would of thought.

    You'll think twice about doing it again but will not be long till ya getting close to doing it again.

    Fans freak me out be honest even more so the PANA fans as their sharp as hell.
     

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