I've recently been given a PC with a load of parts.
So I have a spare CPU which (I think) is 200Mhz faster than the CPU currently installed.
However I'm not sure if the spare CPU works.
So - a few questions.

1) If a CPU is mishandled is it likely to be damaged? I'm not talking about bent pins etc, just the fact that it's been touched on the chip itself and may have been in contact with other parts. DIMM's and also the CMOS battery.

2) If the CPU is damaged will installing it damage the motherboard or any other parts? Can I try it and if it doesn't work just re-fit the other CPU?

As always, any help greatly appreciated.


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All 4 Replies

Hi Owenbear

It depends on how lucky you are :)
The thing that typically kills computer parts (when handling them), is electrostatic discharges (ESD).
Not necessarily at levels that can generate a spark, but more commonly is not even noticed. You can easily have a potential on a (few) hundred volts from left to right hand, which can kill a cpu instantly, if you discharge through it's pins.

So the question is - did you.?
My guess is as good as yours :) , so you have to test it, which brings us to

Question 2

I have tested several cpu's in various motherboards, without damaging the boards when the cpu's have been defective (as far as I know), but I can't give you any guaranties that it can't happen. (we are back to your level of luck I guess) :)

So my advice is to use a spare (old) board for that kind of testing, or at least a very cheap one, just in case...

If I am out of ESD safe bags, and need to store some computer parts, I usually use an old newspaper to wrap around it, as it will most likely not generate any ES by it self, and also usually will discharge any ES due to common humidity and its fibers.
I have (with luck) stored RAM blocks like this, for months without damaging them, but then again - it might just have been pure luck :)

It is however important not to use any coated "shiny" paper, since it might be a plastic coating which is electrically insulating (can carry an electrical charge).

Thanks jacOb,

1) Well I know I always earth myself before touching any parts.

I guess I've gotta hope I'm lucky hey?
I was lucky enough to be given the parts so I hope my luck carries on!

2) So I guess this is similar to 1. I know I won't be able to help myself but to try it so I hope my luck holds out.

Also, I really appreciate all the info about how to store parts too...


its a risk for sure ,i have taken the risk many time ,using my own computer to test other peoples cpu ,that i knew were the same type as mine ,and only fried my own mothereboard once ,lol
,and if it works out .you won't even notice the 200mHz in my opion

OK. I think maybe I'm going to wait a while before I try the other CPU. I don't fancy damaging this PC. I've only just got it working to my satisfaction and am enjoying the boost in speed over my old PC.
And I REALLY don't want to have to go back to that thing.

Thanks for the info,


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