Lesson 1: Computer Safety During Building

You must stay safe when you are building your new computer. A simple mistake can mean damaged electronics in your new desktop computer, or damage to yourself. There are a few computer safety steps that you can take when you build your new computer.

Static Damages Computer Safety

You can buy really cheap anti-static straps that prevent you from transferring static electricity to your new computer components. It is a no-brainer when you consider that static electricity can write off your computer.

It might feel a little uncomfortable to start with but when you strap one end to your wrist and the other to an earthing source it prevents static shock to the delicate computer parts and it is a massively important element of computer safety. When I build my new computers I make sure the power supply goes in first because you can then plug it into a wall socket. Once you do this and connect your anti-static strap to the metal frame of your computer case it can feed any dangerous static to the wall socket and safely away.

I prefer though to use one that plugs directly into a mains socket as it eliminates and doubt, these Anti-static guards are available from all good computer retailers and Amazon.

You Won’t Build A Computer Safely When Switched On

Never do any hardware changes with it switched on. You might get away with plugging in or unplugging a monitor but it is dangerous to play around with any of the internal components while your desktop computer is switched on.

For those that do, you can disturb the balance of the power running through the circuitry, some parts will cause your computer to crash or overheating very quickly, causing your new desktop computer to melt its brain.

Check What You Are Wearing

Avoid wearing any wool based clothing when you are working on computer equipment. Besides a big, thick, loose jumper being a pain to work in, as you move around and the wool rubs against other materials or itself it will generate static electricity. This is a big problem because as you go to reach into your computer it could cause the build up of static to release and ZAPP! there goes your prized new possession.

Synthetics like polyester are also a big problem when it comes to generating static electricity

Check Your Component Sockets

There is nothing more annoying than buying a UK product and finding it only comes with a European or US plug; I hate it as well but have converter plugs hidden in nearly every cupboard of my computer room. If your new computer parts have different sockets though, you might find yourself heading out for a whole new processor or hard disk drive. Following my guide to the latest components will help you, but there are some unscrupulous retailers out there who will tell you that SD RAM is the new DDR (trust me – DDR4 is the new SD RAM).

You must check that your components are compatible though. Processors are especially complicated to understand when you have so many incompatible Intel sockets but AMD offer lots of compatibility; most importantly of all though.

IF IT DOESN’T FIT; DON’T FORCE IT
You might break the connector and do even more damage.

Use The Right Tools

Using the right tools will help you build your new computer without getting angry and throwing something AT your new computer. Because the screws that you will use to build your new computer are small, buying a set of screwdrivers the are easy to keep turning are a must, such as the StarTech Computer Tool Kit pictured above which carries everything you need for almost every eventuality.