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STEPS TO A SAFE AND SUCCESSFUL DISASSEMBLY OF A SYSTEM UNIT

To Disassemble

1. Prepare all your tools.


a. Long Philip Screw Driver
b. Rubber Eraser
c. Soft Wide Bristle Brush
d. Paper and Pen for documentation

2. Before opening the system case, be sure to turn off the system unit. Turn off and unplug the
AVR from the wall socket as well. After that, unplug all the cables connecting to the back of the
system unit. After clearing all the connected cables, put the system unit on an empty working
table.

3. Touch the unpainted part of your system unit with your bare hands to remove the ESD of
your body. This is an important part before opening your system case. You might destroy your
RAM, Chipsets and other components of your motherboard.

4. Remove the screws of the side cover opposite to the side where the ports are. By most
system cases, if you are facing the back of the system unit the right side cover is to be removed.
Return the screws back to the screw holes to avoid losing them.

5. Once the side cover is removed, turn your system side down where the opened side of the
system unit should be facing upward where you can comfortably look down on the inside of
your system case.

6. We are now ready to remove the components inside of the computer. The first thing we
need to do is remove the power supply. To be able to remove the power supply, remove first
the molex connectors (the white plastic connector at the tip of the wires of the power supply)
or the motherboard power connector, drive power connectors, the floppy drive power
connector, the sata power connectors and the four pin 12-volt motherboard connector. With all
power connectosr are removed from the motherboard and drives, the power supply is now ok
to be removed as well. Always have the removed components placed in a remote and safe
place away from where you are performing computer disassembly.

7. With the power supply removed, the data cable should be removed next. This includes IDE,
SATA, and floppy drive cables. Secure the removed data cables.

8. Next to remove are the RAM, Video Card and other card peripheral components. Again have
them secured in a safe place and put the screws back. Clean the connector edges of the card
peripherals by rubbing the gold colored edge moderately with a rubber eraser then brushing off
the shredding. Do not attempt to clean the edge by blowing or brushing it off with your fingers.
Our body is acidic and you might only cause the edges to tarnish faster.
9. Remove all drives. This will include your hard drive, cd/dvd drives, and the floppy drive.

10. Since all peripherals where removed, the next thing to do is to remove the front panel
connectors. This will include the USB, Front Panel (FP) and Audio header. If you are not sure of
which connector is being match to, write down or document the connections and orientation of
the connectors before removing them from the headers. Remember that not all motherboards
have the same header configuration so be careful and watchful while documenting.

11. After removing the header connectors, we are now ready to remove the motherboard. To
remove the motherboard, locate first all the screws and lightly unscrew all screws alternately.
With this technique, we are reducing the risk of warping or bending our motherboard. It may
not have a large impact on the bending of the motherboard but still it does have even a little.
Upon lightly loosening all screws, remove all screws then. Remove the motherboard by
carefully and lightly pulling it away from the I/O shield. Why? because we need to free the ports
that are fitted from the holes in the I/O shield. After freeing the motherboard ports from the
I/O shield holes, lift up the motherboard and put it on the safe place.

12. Clean the system unit chassis with your brush, also clean your motherboard and the rest of
the peripherals being removed.

PORTS OF MOTHERBOARD

Serial Port
 Used for external modems and older computer mouse
 Two versions : 9 pin, 25 pin model
 Data travels at 115 kilobits per second
Parallel Port
 Used for scanners and printers
 Also called printer port
 25 pin model
 Also known as IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port
PS/2 Port
 Used for old computer keyboard and mouse
 Also called mouse port
 Most of the old computers provide two PS/2 port, each for mouse and keyboard
 Also known as IEEE 1284-compliant Centronics port
Universal Serial Bus (or USB) Port
 It can connect all kinds of external USB devices such as external hard disk, printer,
scanner, mouse, keyboard etc.
 It was introduced in 1997.
 Most of the computers provide two USB ports as minimum.
 Data travels at 12 megabits per seconds
 USB compliant devices can get power from a USB port
VGA Port
 Connects monitor to a computer's video card.
 Has 15 holes.
 Similar to serial port connector but serial port connector has pins, it has holes.
Power Connector
 Three-pronged plug
 Connects to the computer's power cable that plugs into a power bar or wall socket
Firewire Port
 Transfers large amount of data at very fast speed.
 Connects camcorders and video equipments to the computer
 Data travels at 400 to 800 megabits per seconds
 Invented by Apple
 Three variants : 4-Pin FireWire 400 connector, 6-Pin FireWire 400 connector and 9-Pin
FireWire 800 connector
Modem Port
 Connects a PC's modem to the telephone network
Ethernet Port
 Connects to a network and high speed Internet.
 Connect network cable to a computer.
 This port resides on an Ethernet Card.
 Data travels at 10 megabits to 1000 megabits per seconds depending upon the network
bandwidth.

Game Port
 Connect a joystick to a PC
 Now replaced by USB.
Digital Video Interface, DVI port
 Connects Flat panel LCD monitor to the computer's high end video graphic cards.
 Very popular among video card manufacturers.
Sockets
 Connect microphone, speakers to sound card of the computer

FRONT PANEL CONNECTOR DIAGRAM

Pin assignments:

Pin Description In/Out Pin Description In/Out


Hard Drive Activity LED Power LED
1 Hard disk LED pull-up to 5 V out 2 Front panel green LED (5V) Out
3 Hard disk active LED out 4 Front panel yellow LED (5V) Out
Reset Switch On/Off Switch
5 Ground 6 Power switch In
7 Reset switch In 8 Ground
Power Not Connected
9 Power Out 10 No pin

DISASSEMBLE A COMPUTER
STEP 1: UNPLUGGING
The first thing you do, is unplug every cable that's plugged in to your computer. That includes
the following cables:
 Power
 USB
 Firewire
 Mouse
 Keyboard
 Internet
 Ethernet
 Modem
 AM\FM Antenna
 Cable TV etc...

STEP 2: OUTER SHELL/CASING


Now that your computer is fully unplugged, move your PC to a clean work space, preferably a
carpet. The carpet is better than tile, because screws and other small parts will roll around.
NOTICE:
If you are working on a carpet, about every five minuets touch something that is grounded (Sink
faucet\pipe, wire coming from the ground part of a wall outlet). This is so you don't shock your
motherboard or other parts.
First off, unscrew the four screws on the back of the computer. On most computer cases, there
will be large knobs that you can unscrew by hand or by screw driver on the back-right side of
the computer. The left side has small screws because on that side you can't access much on the
inside.
Once the screws are removed, you can remove the side panels. On most computers, they just
slide off. Start with the left side panel (the side that once had the knobs), slide it towards the
back of the computer. Now you can remove the left panel. Just like the other one, slide it
towards the back of the computer.
STEP 3: OUTER SHELL/CASING (CONT.)
In the last step I removed both side panels. In this step, I will be removing the front and top
panels.
Just like the side panels, the top panel slides off. Also like the side panels, the top one slides
toward the back of the computer. The front panel clips on to the metal frame with four tabs, so
you must push them in and slide the whole panel forward.
STEP 4: SYSTEM FAN
Now that the case is off, I will begin to remove the internal components.
Most computers have two fans: the system fan, the one blowing air into the computer, and the
CPU fan, the one blowing air onto the CPU heat sink. I will start by removing the system fan
first. It is located at the back side of the computer, the side with all the component plugins.
First, unplug the fan from the motherboard. You can find the plug by following the wire from
the fan. It should be labeled "SYS_FAN1". Next, you will have to unscrew the fan from the
outside. You should now be able to lift the fan out of the PC.
STEP 5: CPU FAN
Now that the system fan is out, we can remove the CPU fan.
The CPU fan is located right on top of the CPU heat sink, which is a large piece of metal with fins
on the top. The CPU fan plugs into the motherboard in an awkward place, that is hard to access.
But just follow the wires and you should easily find it. It is labeled "CPU FAN1". To remove the
fan from the heat sink, remove the four screws securing it in place.
STEP 6: POWER SUPPLY
The power supply manages all the power for the machine.
The power supply is a large metal box located at the upper-back part of the computer. They
sometimes come with an on/off switch that is acessable from the back of the computer. The
main power cord also plugs into the back of the power supply.
The power supply supplies power to every component in a computer, therefore it has the most
wires out of every other component in the computer. The first thing I will do is unplug every
wire coming from the power supply. The list below is every thing that I had to disconnect:
Motherboard (very large connector/plug)
CD/DVD drive[s] power
Internal hard drive power
Portable hard drive slot power
Once everything is unplugged, unscrew the four screws holding the power supply in place, on
the back of the computer. Next, push the power supply from the outside, then lift it out.
STEP 7: CD/DVD DRIVE[S]
I have one CD/DVD drive, but you might have two. If so, follow this step twice!
The CD/DVD drive is one of the easiest components to remove. First, unplug the ribbon from
the back of the drive. Once that is completed, pull on the tab securing the drive in place, then
push it out from the inside.
If you don't have a second drive, there should be a flat piece of metal covering the drive slot.
Follow the inscribed instructions to remove it.
STEP 8: CARD READER
Most new computers have built in card readers, but old computers almost never have them.
Just like every other component, unplug the wire first. On my computer, there is just one screw
holding the card reader in place. Your computer might have more, so just unscrew them all!
After that, the card reader should be removeable.
Most card readers have a protective plastic cover on the part that you can see from the
external computer, which can be removed by lifting the tabs on the top and bottom. Refer to
the pictures.
STEP 9: HARD DRIVE & PORTABLE HARD DRIVE SLOT
I have included both components together in one step, because in order to remove the hard
drive, you must remove the portable hard drive slot first.
First off, de-attach the connector at the back of the slot, and unplug the other end from the
motherboard. Also unplug the SATA cable from the motherboard and the hard drive. The
portable hard drive slot is secured the same way the CD/DVD drive is, with a tab. Pull on the
tab, then slide the slot out.
To remove the hard drive from the side of the slot, unscrew the four screws securing it in place.
You must be very careful to not drop the hard drive, as it is very delicate!
STEP 10: EXPANSION CARDS
Expansion cards are like small upgrades to your computer.
Expansion cards give a computer new capabilities, once installed. Different examples are:
Bluetooth
Wireless Internet
Ethernet
TV
Different computers come stock with different cards. My computer came stock with a TV and
Ethernet card. If you only have one, remove that one. If you have two, remove the two!
There should be a single screw on top of each expansion card slot, whether it's occupied, or
empty. Remove the screws on the occupied card slots. Once the screws are removed, you
should be able to remove the cards by pulling them carefully upward. Some expansion cards
have cables leading to other parts of the computer, for example, my TV card is connected to the
connectivity center on the front of my computer. You will have to unplug any cables attached to
an expansion card.
STEP 11: CONNECTIVITY CENTER CABLES
Most new computers have a connectivity center located at the front of the computer.
The connectivity center is the area on the front of the computer where there is many input
sections, like usb, firewire, microphone, headphones, video, etc.. I won't remove the whole
connectivity center in this step, but I will unplug all the cables coming from it.
Do that (unplug all cables), then unplug the wires leading from the power button, hdd light, and
power light.
STEP 12: RAM (RANDOM ACCESS MEMORY)

RAM allows for the near instantaneous transfer of information to and from the CPU.
So pretty much, the more RAM you have, the faster your computer runs. Most computers have
4 RAM slots, and two RAM chips. My computer came stock with two, but yours might have
more or less. To remove the RAM, push down on both tabs holding the RAM in place, which are
located at both ends of the RAM. Please see the pictures.
STEP 13: POWER BUTTON & POWER LED + HDD LED
The power button, power LED, and hard drive LED are all within a plastic "chasis".
There is a zip tie holding the wires/cables for the front connectivity center and front power
button/LEDs. Cut it.
To remove the chasis, press in on the tabs that are located on the chasis' side. Refer to the
pictures to see the tabs. Once the tabs are being pressed in, pull the whole chasis out of the
computer.
To remove the LEDs from the "chasis", push them from the front with a screw driver. To
remove the button, you will need to push it from the back, the side with the wires. For
clarification, see the pictures.
Not all computers may be set up like this, so your computer will probably be different. Just use
common sense to find a way!
STEP 14: CONNECTIVITY CENTER
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STEP 14: CONNECTIVITY CENTER
Connectivity Center
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Not every computer has a connectivity center, but most new ones do.
Like I said in step 11, "The connectivity center is the area on the front of the computer where
there is many input sections, like usb, firewire, microphone, headphones, video, etc.". But this
time, I will remove the whole component, not just unplug the cables\wires!
First thing, unscrew the single screw holding it in place. There might be a different amount of
screws, in different locations on your computer, but just unscrew them all! One the screw[s]
are removed, the whole component should slide into the inside of the computer, which can
then be removed.
Just like every other step, refer to the pictures if you are confused!
STEP 15: MOTHERBOARD
The motherboard is well, the mother of the computer! It is what links every component in the
computer together.
My motherboard is fried, but I will remove it anyway. The motherboard links every component
in the computer together. The CPU, RAM, and expansion cards are attached directly to it, and
every other part of the computer is in one way or another attached to it.
The motherboard has seven screws holding it to the frame, which are indicated by large white
circles around them. Remove those seven, then lift the motherboard out of the frame.

Safety Precautions

A few warnings and reminders before you start disassembling your computer tower to keep
both your unit and yourself safe

1. Fully shut down and unplug the computer before you make any attempts to disassemble the
tower.

2. Take off any metal objects on your arms or fingers such as bracelets, rings or watches. Even if
your unit is unplugged, there may still be some remaining electric charge.

3. Make sure your hands are completely dry to avoid damaging any mechanical parts as well as
to avoid electrocution.

4. Work in a cool area to avoid perspiration for the same reason as seen in the previous
number.

5. Before touching any part within the tower, put your hands against another metal surface
(such as the computer casing) to remove static charge, which may damage sensitive devices.
6. Prepare a place to keep any screws you may remove. A container or piece of paper with
labels for each part (casing, motherboard, CD drive, etc) is ideal to avoid confusion between the
similar-looking screws.

7. Handle all parts with care. Place each piece you remove carefully down onto a stable surface.

8. If a component does not come out easily, do not forcefully remove it. Instead, check that you
are removing it correctly and that no wires or other parts are in the way.

9. Be careful when holding the motherboard, it’s underside actually quite pointy and able to
hurt you.

10. Never attempt to remove the power source, a box attached to the side or bottom of the
unit to which all cables are connected.

11. When removing any cables, wires or ribbons, make sure to grasp the wire at the base or
head to keep it from breaking.

12. Be careful not to drop any small parts (particularly screws) into unreachable areas such as
into the computer fan or disk drive.

13. Take note that the three of the most damaging things to a computer are moisture (sweat,
drinking water), shock (electric or from being dropped) and dust (any debris from household
dust to bits of food).