Info FYI::: Avoid touching SATA cables on a live computer

Alan Alan

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Thought I'd pass this on. Years ago I was tidying up SATA cables while the hard drive was being used. When I touched the SATA cable I heard the hard drive going crazy. Uh Oh, Bad news... It corrupted a lot of files. Lucky for me I was doing a fresh install or it would have been a hard lesson learned. Hope this helps... It didn't actually damage the drive but it seems possible it could have. I may have been lucky on that deal.
 

Karadjgne

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Which Sata? There's 2 cables in the back of any drive. The Sata data cable and the Sata power cable.

As mentioned, Sata drives are designed to be plugged in/out with the pc on, that's hot-swappable and is activated in bios to allow such for that data port, If you first undock the drive.

Messing with a Sata data cable only affects the data, can corrupt it, doesn't matter hdd or ssd, it's not going to physically harm the drive.

Messing with the Sata power connector is different. That's a physical reaction and can hurt drives if they are currently in use.

Either which way, there's only one major mistake made, you should Not have sticky fingers inside a pc while it is running, period. The psu and motherboard both have lethal electrical power components and touching the wrong component or applying a dead short between that component and ground (electro-static wrist strap) can make for a very bad day.

A defibrillator is first charged to 200 joules. That's the machine used by medics to kick-start a heart. A joule is 1w/time in seconds. A psu is capable of 550w ish or 850w ish. You ground out across the 12v discharge and you'll hit a 550 joule spike across your heart in a second. That's Killing power.

Keep hands out of running pc's and you'll never need worry about drives going bunk by touching Sata cables.
 
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Alan Alan

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Lol, Yeh there's high voltage in the power supply. It was just dumb of me to try and put tie wraps on the data cables while was in use. It dawned on me not to do that right when my finger almost touched the cable, but like electricity my central nervous system was to slow and my finger touched the data part of the cable.
 
Lol, Yeh there's high voltage in the power supply. It was just dumb of me to try and put tie wraps on the data cables while was in use. It dawned on me not to do that right when my finger almost touched the cable, but like electricity my central nervous system was to slow and my finger touched the data part of the cable.
High voltage is only in PSU and it's inlet, out comes only up to 12v. Not good to mix with electronics but safe to humans and cockroaches. You'd have to be super sensitive to even feel 12vDC even if held both ends with bare and vet fingers, let alone be harmed.
 
Lol, Yeh there's high voltage in the power supply. It was just dumb of me to try and put tie wraps on the data cables while was in use. It dawned on me not to do that right when my finger almost touched the cable, but like electricity my central nervous system was to slow and my finger touched the data part of the cable.
Probably your cables were loosely connected and touching them caused disconnect.
There is no high voltage in sata cables (max 12V in sata power cable) and they are isolated.
There's no way to get shocked from touching sata cables.
 
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Alan Alan

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Probably your cables were loosely connected and touching them caused disconnect.
There is no high voltage in sata cables (max 12V in sata power cable) and they are isolated.
There's no way to get shocked from touching sata cables.
It's not from getting shocked, it's from screwing up the timing in the data cables. They weren't loose. Probably mutual inductance or cross coupling, even dielectric properties can change. I touched the coated wires too, that's how sensitive it is.
 

Alan Alan

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High voltage is only in PSU and it's inlet, out comes only up to 12v. Not good to mix with electronics but safe to humans and cockroaches. You'd have to be super sensitive to even feel 12vDC even if held both ends with bare and vet fingers, let alone be harmed.
lol, Who brought up high voltage in the first place. not me, but you can feel a 9 volt battery if you put the two terminals on your tongue. I wouldn't try it though, who knows what's on those terminals. Cockroach debris gets all over warm running chips, I use to service electronics and have seen many cases. Gross when you see that and you find out real fast whether it's been sprayed for bugs or not. We had plastic bags to put the stuff in when we got a live one. Boy when another tech starts yelling "I got a live one" we all ran for the bags and bug spray.
 

Karadjgne

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It's not just the high voltage, which isn't generally all that high, it's the high amperage. 9v burns on your tongue, not because it's 9v at a dead short through a wet tongue, but because that's @ 500mAmps running through that short, which is @ 4x the current necessary to stop a heart.
 
lol, Who brought up high voltage in the first place. not me, but you can feel a 9 volt battery if you put the two terminals on your tongue. I wouldn't try it though, who knows what's on those terminals. Cockroach debris gets all over warm running chips, I use to service electronics and have seen many cases. Gross when you see that and you find out real fast whether it's been sprayed for bugs or not. We had plastic bags to put the stuff in when we got a live one. Boy when another tech starts yelling "I got a live one" we all ran for the bags and bug spray.
By clamming a shock from data cable for SATA you did imply high voltage while on data cable there's only 1.3v tops, not even 5 and 12v on power Sata cable. Only other cause I can think of would be static electricity discharge.
And please, don't lick any parts, it's not sanitary.
 
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Alan Alan

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By clamming a shock from data cable for SATA you did imply high voltage while on data cable there's only 1.3v tops, not even 5 and 12v on power Sata cable. Only other cause I can think of would be static electricity discharge.
And please, don't lick any parts, it's not sanitary.
Who know's Mike, I was into electronics service for 40 years full time. High frequencies do some strange things, I'm still amazed at how they fly off broadcast antennas.
 

Alan Alan

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It's not just the high voltage, which isn't generally all that high, it's the high amperage. 9v burns on your tongue, not because it's 9v at a dead short through a wet tongue, but because that's @ 500mAmps running through that short, which is @ 4x the current necessary to stop a heart.
Voltage is nothing but "potential" energy.
 

Alan Alan

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Voltage is not energy, it's difference between free electron potential. Negative side has some free ones and positive side has some less than normal.
That's right, that's why it's thought of as "potential energy". Voltage is the difference between the two yet no energy is generated until the electrons begin to flow thru a resistant material. Amazing how much current flow there is in superconductors that support rail trains with so little energy losses. Or how much cooler a processor runs when it's frozen.
 

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