[SOLVED] Taking Fingerprints causing Damage to PC?

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blueboy75

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Nov 22, 2002
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78
i have a question that is stumping me,

a while back some of our kit was stolen, and some were dropped on the floor and although the cases were damaged they appeared to work still, however when the police came to fingerprint them, then soon began to packup,

does anyone know if there is anything in the dust they use that will cause damage to the componants inside the machine

if poss i could do with a proper article but also advise and comments would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
2,612
No there is nothing in the dust to damage components, its the working them over with nightsticks that causes the damage!
 

blueboy75

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 22, 2002
Messages
78
LOL -

thanks Zeddy, i couldnt find anything anywhere for this one either i s'pose i will clse this thread down!.

thanks anyway
 
Joined
May 8, 2003
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485
The process of dusting for prints involves the use of brushes, many of which consist of natural fibres. All the brushing will have raised static electricity in the brushes, which will then discharge when they come into contact with any metal. This is especially true when natural brushes are used on plastics or synthetic brushes on natural substances like wood. This can easily cause problems with any uncapped ports and power sockets.

It is unlikely the investigators used standard antistatic procedures with the computers since they are not trained for it.

The dust is typically nonconductive but sometimes metal oxides can be employed for their specific qualities. You might want to check that no dust remains in the hardware in any case, as most of them will eventually absorb moisture from the air and will start to bridge any circuits they touch. This might explain the delayed reaction.

P.S: Since some of the kit was dropped it would be wise to unplug, polish and reseat all of the cable connectors and chips. All heatsinks should likewise be removed and reinstalled with fresh coatings of heat conducting paste or pads. You might as well do all of the computers because some might have been banged about but show no obvious damage.
 
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