Hardware Repairs

This will be a general guide to simple hardware repairs and replacements.

Before Beginning

Before taking apart a computer make sure you have at least some knowledge as to what is inside of the machine. Make sure the machine is either on an anti-static mat, or you are grounded with an anti-static wrist-strap.

Hard Drive Swaps

Removing a hard drive is a fairly simple task. Begin by making sure the machine is unplugged from any and all sources.

  • Make sure you are grounded
  • Open up the side door of the case
    • The door will have a fan port or air holes
  • Unplug the SATA cable and power cable from the hard drive
  • Look for a way to remove the hard drive from the bay
    • Each cases bay is different, it could be 1 screw holding the drive in place, or 4
  • Once the drive is removed, set it aside gently
  • Replace the drive by doing the instructions in reverse
  • Reconnect your cables, make sure they are secure

Power Supply Swaps

Power supplies can go bad, or the fans inside can. Or you may require more power than your current unit.

  • Make sure you are grounded
  • Open up the side door of the case
    • The door will have a fan port or air holes
  • Unplug ALL power supply cables from the motherboard, hard drives, disk drives or GPU's
    • Take care to make sure you don't touch any capacitors or exposed parts of the motherboard, you don't want to risk shocking it or yourself
  • Once all of the cables are unplugged, remove the 4 screws from the back of the case, which hold the power supply to the case
  • Gently remove the power supply from the case
  • Set it aside
  • Double check that the new power supply meets your wattage needs
  • Take the new power supply, and install it in the same place
  • Install your screws
  • Plug everything in
    • 4 or 8 pin CPU Power
    • 20 or 24 pin Motherboard Power
    • 6 or 8 pin GPU Power
    • SATA Power cables for hard drives or disk drives
    • Molex cables for Fan Power
  • Connect all of your inputs and outputs and power up the machine, making sure everything sounds and acts normal

GPU and Network Card Swaps

Swapping out a GPU or a Network card is pretty simple.

  • Make sure you are grounded
  • Open up the side door of the case
    • The door will have a fan port or air holes

If you are removing a network card, simply remove the screw holding the card to the case and remove the card.

If you are removing a GPU:

  • Remove the screw holding the GPU to the case
  • Remove the power cable(s)
  • Unlock the GPU by either moving the tab connected to the PCI-E slot, or holding it out of the way
  • Gently remove the card

  • To re-install the card, simply reinsert it in the appropriate slot.
  • For GPU's reconnect the power cable(s)
  • Re-install the screw to hold it down to the case
  • Close the tab on the PCI-E slot

Memory Swaps

Memory swaps are one of the simpler tasks one can do.

  • Make sure you are grounded
  • Open up the side door of the case
    • The door will have a fan port or air holes
  • Push down on the tabs next to the RAM modules
  • When they are both depressed, it will push the module up, and you can remove it.
  • You can only use what module the motherboard is rated for
    • I.e you can't install DDR2 RAM in a DDR3 motherboard
  • Simply reinsert the new modules, push down firmly and the tabs will close themselves

-- JohnGilbert - 2015-02-27

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Topic revision: r3 - 2015-03-05 - JohnGilbert
 
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