Walking across a carpet and touching your best friend can send 10,000 to 20,000 volts of electricity between you via static discharge. Don’t worry: it sounds impressive, but it’s the amperage that’s dangerous, and the amperage accompanying all those volts is tiny. Your friend is safe, but your HP laptop may not be. Even static electricity you can’t feel--below 4,000 volts or so--can damage your laptop, so before you break open the chassis to upgrade your RAM, you better learn about managing static discharge.
Things You'll Need
- Static wristband
- Static pad
Turn off your HP notebook computer and switch off the power switch on your surge protector, but leave everything plugged in. Your HP laptop runs a small amount of power continuously on the motherboard. It’s usually less than five watts, but it’s enough to draw an electrostatic discharge from you and zap your components.
Put on static wristbands or gloves before you remove your laptop’s casing.
Place your HP on a static pad for an added layer of security.
Complete your repairs or upgrades and reassemble your computer.
Don’t remove your gloves and don’t take the laptop off the pad. Before you power back up, unplug the power cord at the laptop and remove the battery. Depress the power button and hold it down for ten seconds. Any static build-up will be discharged as this step powers down that trace charge your HP keeps to help with booting.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't slide your HP laptop around on the carpet or couch. This will cause a build-up of static electricity just like it does when you scoot across the carpet in your stockinged feet.
- Computer hacks used to rely on touching the metal computer casing occasionally during repairs to ground any built-up static, but this is insufficient with today's "always on" machines.
- Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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