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Earthing suggestions for changing RAM


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#1 ManInNam

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:11 AM

Hello, arrived in Bangkok almost 3 months ago and my plug adapter was past its best, a few sparks on plugging in and ever since my Laptop has displayed 2 faults that suggest to me my RAM was corrupted as a result. I get a lot of audio crackling from time to time, but not all the time, and because not all the time I'm not suspecting the soundcard, but when the RAM is accessed in corrupted areas. When I boot up, if I enter my password immediately when I get to my Desktop, the timer icon runs and I can't use anything, even the clock stands still (shosing the same time even when I wait 40 plus mins), and CTRL/ALT/DEL fails to run Task Manager. If however on getting to the log on screen I wait a few mins before entering my password, Desktop opens fine and everything runs as normal. I am suspecting the corrupt ram is causing issues in background services that is causing a problem when Desktop opens, but witing a few moments first allows these services to complete. If I use the sleep function, Desktop opens fine 100% of the time when enetering the log on password immediately. I also have a some issues with streaming, but with the internet here it may not be related to the other issues and sometimes I stream a whole film, so I can't be sure.

I'm not great with REMTEST and my Laptop has no CD drive. I tried getting my head around using the USB stick option and failed. So I'm going to go with the gamble of buying new RAM and seeing if it resolves. I've changed it before on this laptop and although convoluted is well within my capabilities.

Ok, so now I am in Vietnam, and here for the long term. SO after that long winded intro here's my problem. There are no Earth pins in Vietnam and the plumbing is plastic:

How do I earth myself?
I don't have my earth strap here, so any suggesting requiring one, can I take a length of cable and stripe the coating off a length at both ends, wrapping one round my wrist and the other around around suggested Earth points

Thanks you

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:24 AM

It's not necessary to earth yourself, just to maintain yourself and the laptop at similar potential. Frequently touching a metal part of the laptop which is connected to the mainboard ground plane is sufficient. Externally, this can often be provided by the shielding of the external video connector, or the shield of a USB plug. Once covers are removed for internal access, metal surfaces are often available too.

For safety, you should definitely not wire yourself directly to an earth! The majority of electric shocks and electrocutions occur between a live line and earth.

Edited by Platypus, 18 December 2012 - 01:27 AM.

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#3 ManInNam

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:35 AM

Thanks for the reply, yeah at home in the UK I never had the guts to connect my earth strap to plug sock earth pin (far too wary, after my failed attempt pluging my brother subuteo flood lamps inn to the mains when I was 8, and throwing myself across the room as a result), I always attached it to the exposed copper piping that fed the radiator.

I had read about touching the the case (of desktops) on a few threads, but there were comments about desktops being pluged in and the plug socket switched off. Being the laptop cable has no earth, even if my socket did, it would be irreverent.

I have a USB cable that connects to my porable speaker, the speaker end is temperamental, so maybe I could sacrifice and strip that for a solution

#4 Platypus

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:56 AM

You don't need something permanently attached to you, I'm continually working on electronics in my work, and also periodic hard drive swaps in my own laptops, and simply making sure I touch a suitable metal part before I reach in to grasp anything else serves fine.

With a desktop, having it plugged in with the wall mains switch off is the simplest way to be clear that the system is at the known earth potential. This gives the most predictable state, but the operator must only be connected to earth through a high resistance, such as that provided by a commercial earthing strap, not just a piece of wire wrapped around an extremity. That would keep the person connected to the earth path if they touched live, and it would make it more difficult for them to break the contact.

Edited by Platypus, 18 December 2012 - 01:58 AM.

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#5 ManInNam

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:52 AM

Cool, thanks for the additional info.

I had a Hardware Sampler in '97 and added Kingson RAM, had it plugged in and was strapped, but the RAM got corrupeted, same crakling on the audio I'm getting now. Luckily the shop replaced and it was fine thereafter. I've vener been sure about the plugged in or not ever since, but with my laptop it's not possible anyway.

Thanks again

#6 ManInNam

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:10 AM

Seems impossible to buy ram in Saigon where the shop has not broken the seal. They like to put a sticker on the ram when you pay for it. One shop said they have to open to test it, but I could return it, after she casually popped open the unsealed box and went to pull it out of it's packaging. Why would they need to test Kingston RAM, only to leave it vulnerable to staff and customers checking it out.

Does it really make much difference going for Kingston and Crucial these days. I think some of the smaller shops were selling without breaking the seal, a company called Kingmax

#7 Platypus

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:14 PM

Kingmax is a small Taiwanese company whose products seem to generally be thought OK. I have one of their Multimedia Cards that I've used in cameras for years (too small for much now) without any problem, but that's my only experience of them.

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#8 ManInNam

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:05 PM

Cheers, I'm sure it was still sealed when I saw it in a number of shops, I may just go for it, rather than the hassle of ordering from abroad and the hassle of dealing with cost and deliveries.

This cost is so small, it will at lleast confirm to me if the ram I am using is the cause of my issues, and I can swap it at a later date (giving the kingmax to my next flatmate who has the same pc as me)




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