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ESD protection in dorm room?

Hello. I’m trying to upgrade the SSD in my laptop, a Dell XPS 13” 9310.

I live in a dorm room, so there’s no faucets/workbenches/large metal things nearby. I’m looking to spend the least amount possible on ESD protection without being risky.

Could I connect just the wrist strap to the unpainted part of a radiator?

Can I use a laptop charger (not plugged into the laptop)? If so, can I just hold it instead of connecting a wrist strap to it?

Any other suggestions?


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Are there any 3 pin power outlets in the room?

If so the 3rd pin is an earth point. You could get an appropriate power plug and wire the 3rd pin only to a wrist strap.

If the radiator is connected to the water pipes then it should also be an earth point. just ensure that the wrist strap is connected to a bare shiny metal point on the radiator for a good connection.

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There are. When you say "appropriate power plug" do you mean this thing? ESD Ground Plug Adapter

Also, does it have to be straight into a wall, or can I use an extension cord?

Thanks so much for the explanation!


Hi @everydaygrey


I was thinking more of the cheaper variety, where the wrist strap has to be wired into the plug rather than just plugged into it. ;-)

Connect the wrist strap wire to the thick round Earth pin only. Do not connect anything to the other pins and make sure that there is no connection between the earth pin and the other pins. By this I mean that if you use a multi strand wire sometimes small strands can unravel and then bridge between the terminals if you don't make sure that they are all are under the one connector screw terminal.

You can use an extension lead but just ensure that it has a 3 pin connector at each end (plug one end, socket the other), which means that there should be an earth wire in the cable so that the earth from the power outlet pin will be extended to the wrist strap..

Here's the service manual for the laptop (if you don't know how to open/upgrade etc). Go to p.17 to view the necessary pre-requisite steps and then the procedure to replace the SSD.

It's very odd that the manual does not advise to disconnect the battery before removing the SSD, unless it is assumed that you have done this as it is the previous step in the manual. Most manuals reiterate this at every step i.e. go to Battery removal page, if you just want to work on one component.

Personally I would as there is always some voltage somewhere on the systemboard even when the laptop is turned off as the Power button is not a power isolating button. You don't have to remove the battery, just disconnect it. You don't want to slip when using tools etc and cause any electrical problems


@jayeff Hi, thanks for your reply! as an update, I used the antistatic wrist strap connected to the radiator I mentioned, and have successfully upgraded the SSD. A new problem I have is that my disk is still partitioned to fit in the old one (256 GB instead of 1 TB), and I can't figure out how to expand the partition without buying a third party program. I don't know if people on this website could help with that though...



Do you mean that you have 768GB of unallocated space?

If so maybe see method 1 shown here

You already have a backup in that you have the original 256GB SSD (unless you've already wiped it) so if worst comes to worst with the 1TB SSD and you accidentally wipe it etc, you can reinstall the original SSD and start again ;-)


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