Using rubber to rub contacts of RAM?

Super User Asked by Alvin Wong on December 8, 2020

The contacts of RAM will oxidize… you know.

A little bit of my own experience:

So my dad found a stick of RAM (if you’re interested, DDR2) and I tried to add it to an old computer (… Pentium 4).

(Skipped what I’ve done, a short summary: BSoD and FAIL with memtest86+)

After that, I get a rubber and rub the metal contacts of that piece of RAM, then it worked normally.

The question is: Is it a good way to clean a piece of RAM by erasing it with an eraser?

(P.S. To be honest, I touch pieces of RAM with my bare hand with no electrostatic precautions.)

By the way, pun intended.

2 Answers

You will probably get away with it, but that's not the recommended method anymore because rubbing rubber against epoxy laminate will produce static electricity. Instead, use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. But if you must use an eraser, rub slowly, gently, and no more than needed.

Correct answer by David Schwartz on December 8, 2020

That is an old trick, but you need to be careful with newer parts since the layer of gold (or whatever) on the contacts may be just atoms thick.

A better trick is to coat the contacts (after cleaning, if necessary) with a very thin layer of silicone grease. Go to an auto parts store and buy "high voltage" silicone grease. (Make sure it says "silicone", but for &diety's sake, don't use silicone caulk.) It's a clear substance similar in consistency to petrolatum.

And, no, the grease will not "insulate" the contacts and prevent them from connecting. What it will do is exclude oxygen from the contact area and prevent corrosion.

Answered by Daniel R Hicks on December 8, 2020

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