I am planning to install a PCI Express Wifi-adapter in my PC. In order to do this, I would need to open my PC. I'm worried that if there is static electricity in my hands it could fry the motherboard.

I don't have an anti-static wristband, nor do I have an ESD mat. Is there a still a safe way for me to install the PCI Express Wifi-adapter without frying the motherboard?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Safe way: use a USB adaptor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    May 20, 2020 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka I already have the PCI Express Wifi-adapter at home. \$\endgroup\$
    – O S
    May 20, 2020 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Touch a screw on a light switch or outlet \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    May 20, 2020 at 15:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Your outlet is a bit more unsettling because it is so recessed. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    May 20, 2020 at 15:36
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Before you open your PC, touch an uninsulated part of its metal case. Repeat periodically during the process. Better still, tether yourself to the PC case with a wire in series with a 1 Mohm resistor (resistor is for your safety against shock, not any part of making the grounding work). \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil_UK
    May 20, 2020 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


You worry too much. Go to an area with least possible sources of static electricity, e.g. no carpet. The adapter most likely comes in a ESD bag. Open the PC and touch the PC metal parts while holding the adapter bag, take out the adapter, hold the metal bracket, touch the PC metal case again, and there should now be no potential difference between the adapter, you and the PC. Mount it in the slot and close the PC. Done.


You could use a bare copper wire that you wrap around your arm/leg and connect to something which is connected to ground like your radiator.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Works great until you touch a live part and can not let go of that wrap around. Should be a painful death. There is a 1 megaohm resistor in series with comercial hand straps for this very reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    May 22, 2020 at 10:10

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