Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/192146/is-it-safe-to-power-up-a-motherboard-outside-of-its-case/
Sometimes you need to work on hardware components, like a motherboard, outside of the computer case, but is it safe to do so with the hardware in question powered up? Today’s SuperUser Q&A posts looks at precautions one should take with an endeavor like this.
I used to do this all the time while testing and diagnosing computer problems, as well as making sure a board POSTed before final assembly. Because installing the CPU and memory put stress on the board, we often assembled the boards on a counter before putting the assembled board in a computer case; we even had a loose power supply sitting on the counter specifically for testing motherboards outside their case.
Done this many times myself while building computers at home and for labs and demonstrations in school. It's really cool when you can lay all the non-mounted parts out, especially if you can get some of the more mechanical ones (e.g.: magnetic HDDs) with clear cases.
haha now I wouldn't recommend doing this but the 2nd time I built a computer all my parts came in 1 box except the case which came a few days later, I was so excited to build the new computer that i took the box that it all came in and rigged it all up in it and then took 2 wires and created my own power switch
Been there, done that. I have had a few "cardboard PC's" over the years.
Yes it is fine if it's not in contact with other metal objects. I usually test fire my new builds. I use the mobo box to. Mobo boxes usually have a sponge like gray pad the same size as the board. I place this on top or inside of the box and sit the mobo on it to help prevent it from sliding around as much.
Good luck on your project.
I always test the motherboard before screwing it down into the case. Basically, I pull it out of the anti-static bag, lay that onto the MB box & then the MB on top.
I scavenge parts & have a few front panel harnesses that I use- but you can always bridge the two MB power-on pins with a flathead screwdriver to boot it up.
I find it easier to install CPU, HS, & RAM out of the case--> then I boot a live Linux USB to give it a run. Once that's done, I drop it into the case & finish the assembly.
It's also safer... the mounting hardware for the CPU heat sink can often require a lot of pressure to install, as does installing the DRAM.
I haven't damaged a motherboard during CPU or RAM installation yet... but I've always been afraid I might, with the amount of pressure some of those mounting systems required.
Yeah, it's always a worry pressing some RAM in (there are those which are
"thicker" than others, for some reason?), especially if the nearest
standoff is too far from that edge.
I've also had a few where adding in a PCI card was hampered due to
motherboard edge being that close to the case that the "tongue" of the card
couldn't slip in...that's always fun- lol.
Here's a look at one of my "mods" --> in a silverware case!
My guess is, you don't have much problem with Tarnish though, right?
Not sure what you mean by, "tarnish"?
That build is still running &, though slow by today's standards, it's zippy enough for web & email, etc...
Silverware - tarnish, sorry I was stretching it a bit.
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