How to wipe computer RAM?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by snowdrift, Sep 7, 2007.

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  1. snowdrift

    snowdrift Registered Member

    To delete remnants in my computer's RAM, is all I need to do is turn off my computer and restart (cold)?

    Do I need to unplug the power cord?
  2. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    iirc Once the RAM stops recieving power, its cleared.
  3. snowdrift

    snowdrift Registered Member

    Thanks. I thought so. So just power down, unplug the AC, wait some, then plug it back in.
  4. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    I think just a power down is necessary.
  5. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

    From my very foggy hardware computer course that I took many years ago, I believe that RAM consists of logic circuit gates that are either turned on or off depending on what is loaded and running at any given time. When you power off, the gates all set to off I believe. It is roughly similar to a light switch grid. When you turn on the power, the light bulb(s) may turn on or remain off depending the circuit layout. When you turn off the power, every bulb goes out (whether they were on or not).

    EASTER Registered Member

    I notice from time to time and only occasionally that the simple shutdown button doesn't always clear the memory on one of mine, but when i pull the cord out and replug in then that does the trick.

    Dunno how or why but i assume sometimes it's due to either some variation in the in-flow current or else some capacitor on the motherboard is still leaking juice to the circuit branch.

    I'm no electronics engineer by any stretch but i seen this happen from everything from home appliances to vehicles on some occassions.
  7. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    I think I remember reading somewhere here at Wilders that when removing certain malwares, when asked to reboot after cleaning, it was said to power down and pull the plug. I'm guessing this was to completely clear the memory. I don't know if it's true or not, but a confirmation would be appreciated. Perhaps I'll email Mythbusters heh.

    Possibly OT: The instructions for opening my box says that after unplugging the machine, press the power button to drain any residual power. I'm assuming this is because of the psu and maybe the caps. Where's the electrical engineero_O :D
  8. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    After unplugging the machine, let it be for a few minutes, if you really wanna make sure all the residual charge is gone. Some of the capacitors might be really big. Plus, you might get a dose of electrons you did not ask for.
  9. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

    Hi, When I was younger, I watched my father work on a television. I also watched him bounce off a wall when he touched a cap. Since then I've always been extra cautious of capacitors. Your advice in waiting a few minutes is very wise.

  10. Taptap

    Taptap Lurker

    1. Shut down the computer.
    2. Unplug the power cord.
    3. Unplug the net cable.
    4. Wait for five minutes.
    5. Press the power button to drain out the residual power.
    This way the RAM memory should be erased for sure.
  11. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

    Reboot clears the ram.


    Taptap gives the best advice for working on the PC (replacing/adding hardware).

    Is very important ;)
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