Today's lab will involve both the disassembly and the reassembly of a working computer. The computer is functional at the start of class. For full credit it should be functional at the end of class.

IMPORTANT: Electrical safety is paramount. DO NOT reach into an open, energized computer!
IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws! Don't strip the screws!
IMPORTANT: Don't force pieces in/out of the computer/motherboard!


The physical computer is comprised of numerous components that each have a specific function. Among the more important are the ones you will see and touch today:

1. CPU      4. Motherboard
2. RAM (memory)      5. ODD (optical disk drive)
3. HDD (hard disk drive)      6. Power supply

While the computer is made up of these (and other) components, a computer user also needs to be able to identify the physical ports on the computer. For instance, you need to know what a USB port looks like so you don't try to plug something wrong into that port! Here are some physical ports you should be able to identify on any computer:

1. VGA (analog video)
2. USB
3. RJ45 (ethernet)
4. Audio
5. DVI (digital video)
 Note: all of these pictures are clickable. Use them!

Disassembly

  1. Preparation. (read this entirely, before you perform any actions)

    1. Clear off two adjacent desks and move them together (this will be your work area).

    2. Obtain these items: 1 computer, 1 monitor, 1 video cable, 2 power cords, 1 screwdriver.

    3. Place the computer on its side, fan vent side up, on one of your tables.

  2. Verifying that the computer works.

    DO NOT do this yet, but you will be listening/looking for the following:

    NOW you may do these steps:

    1. Place the monitor on the other table.
    2. Connect the monitor to the computer using the video cable (you do not need to screw in either end).
    3. DO NOT yet plug power cords to receptacles.
      DO connect the power cords to the monitor and computer.
    4. Flip the power rocker switch on the computer to the OFF ( O ) position.
    5. Plug the computer and monitor power cords into a power receptacle.
    6. NOW flip the power rocker switch on the computer to the ON ( | ) position.
    7. If the computer does not start: press the ON/OFF button on the front - the blue light to its left should light, you should hear the fan start and the HDD spin up, and after a few moments the NCS start screen and then the Windows start screen should appear.
      If the NCS or Windows start screen does not appear, press the power switch on the monitor.
    8. STOP HERE and contact your instructor if the computer does not power on or if the Windows start screen does not eventually appear. Otherwise, proceed.

  3. Powering down.

    1. Press AND HOLD the ON/OFF button on the front of the computer until it turns OFF.
    2. Flip the power rocker switch on the computer to the OFF ( O ) position.

    3. Unplug both ends of both power cords and the video cable, and set them and the monitor aside.

  4. Opening the case. IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    1. Remove the TWO screws that fasten the computer's access panel (you will put them back shortly).

    2. Check that the case lock is in the unlocked position.

    3. Move the green plastic slide lock to the left (unlocked) position.

    4. Remove the access panel by sliding it towards the back of the computer. Set it aside.

    5. Put the TWO access panel screws back into the case (screw them back in).

  5. Removing the front panel.

    1. Slide the front of the computer just off the edge of the desk.
    2. Lift the two latches just behind the front panel.
    3. Remove the front panel and set it aside.
    4. Slide the computer back onto the desk.

  6. Locating components PRIOR to removal.

    At this time, every team member should locate (but not remove) every one of the items listed below.
    You will LATER (not now) be removing the ones listed in green.

    • Motherboard
    • CPU cooling fan.
    • Clock backup battery (V).
    • USB connector (BB).
    • Ethernet device (F).
    • Case cooling fan.
    • Graphics card (H).
    • HDD, HDD power connector, HDD data connecter.
    • ODD, ODD power connector, ODD data connecter.
    • Power supply.
    • Three (3) motherboard power connectors (S [2 pieces], J).
    • Two (2) RAM modules (O, P).

  7. Removing the case cooling fan.

    1. Disconnect the case cooling fan power supply cable from the motherboard.
    2. Press the latch on the fan, slide the fan towards the bottom of the case, remove the fan and set it aside.

  8. Removing the graphics card. IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    Locate these items associated with the graphics card:

    1. Remove the ONE screw fastening the graphics card to the case (you will put it back shortly).
    2. Grasp the graphics card by its heat sink. Rotate the outer top end of the card upward, such that the card pivots on its bottom inner end. Once the card is fully rotated toward the inside of the case (about 45 degrees), free it as follows: while using a finger or thumb to pull the plastic latch away from the card, slide the card towards the back of the case. Lift, remove, and set it aside.
    3. Replace the fastening screw in the case.

  9. Removing the audio cable plate. IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    1. Remove the ONE screw fastening the audio cable plate to the case (you will put it back shortly).
    2. Remove the plate from the case.
    3. Replace the fastening screw in the case.

  10. Removing the HDD (hard disk drive). IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    1. Disconnect the power and data cables from the HDD.

    2. Remove the TWO screws fastening the HDD to the case.
    3. Remove the HDD by sliding it towards the center of the case.
    4. Replace the screws in the HDD and set the HDD gently aside.

  11. Removing the ODD (optical disk drive). IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    1. Disconnect the power and data cables from the ODD.

    2. Remove the TWO screws fastening the ODD to the case.
    3. Remove the ODD by pressing the two rail tabs at the front of the case and sliding the ODD out the front of the case.
    4. Replace the screws in the ODD and set the ODD aside.

  12. Removing the power supply. IMPORTANT: Keep meticulous track of all screws!

    1. Disconnect the two adjacent pieces of the motherboard power cable (S) from the motherboard (the shorter piece is towards the center of the motherboard).

    2. Disconnect the motherboard +12V power cable (J) from the motherboard.

    3. IF IT IS PRESENT: Disconnect the front case fan power cable (W) from the motherboard.

    4. Remove the FOUR screws that fasten the power supply to the computer case. Have someone just hold them: you will be replacing them shortly.

    5. Pull the power supply away and rest it on top of where the HDD and ODD get inserted.

  13. Removing the RAM.

    1. To free a RAM module, carefully press the two side tabs on the RAM slot. The module will pop up.
    2. Remove the RAM module and set it aside.
    3. Repeat for the second RAM module.

  14. Inspection.

    1. Have your instructor inspect your work.

Reassembly

Note: Reassembly order is NOT just the reverse of all the disassembly steps!

  1. Perform steps 13 - 9 again, in that (reverse) order (i.e., 13 first, then 12, etc.), connecting/installing vice disconnecting/removing items.
  2. Replace the case cooling fan and connect its power cable.
  3. Replace the graphics card: remove the fastening screw in the case; align the copper card connecters with slot H and press down firmly. You do not need to fiddle with the plastic latch, and if you have the card aligned right it will snap down into place. DON'T FORCE IT! If you have difficulty, call your instructor over. Replace the fastening screw in the case.
  4. Replace the front panel.
  5. Remove the access panel fastening screws from the case. Replace and refasten the access panel.
  6. Perform Disassembly step 2 again. ← i.e. turn it on!
  7. Have your instructor veryfiy that it booted Windows.
  8. Perform Disassembly step 3 again. ← i.e. turn it off!

Cleanup

  1. Police your area for loose screws.
  2. Return the monitor, power cords, video cable, and screwdriver to the back of the room.
  3. Return the computer to the back of the room, segregating it as directed by your instructor if it is now non-functional.