Instructables
Picture of How To Disassemble a Computer
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In this Instructable, I will give a full documentation of how to disassemble a desktop PC, for parts. The specific computer that I will demonstrate with is an HP Media Center PC m7640n with a dead motherboard. Every computer is different, but this is a general guide.

If you don't fully grasp what I mean when I am describing something, please refer to the pictures!

Picture Quality Notice (and HD pics!):

Due to the amount of pictures I uploaded, they are of lowmedium quality. Click the "[i]" in the top left corner of a picture, then click "original file: (3072x2304) 1 MB" to see the high quality HD pictures!
 
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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...
So pretty much just unplug every cable from your computer.

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.

Please refer to the pictures if you are confused!
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FlemstoneY8 days ago

Fantastic illustrations,I suggest that you may use arrows point at some features in the diagram

bruceb6413 days ago

Very good instructional manual. Detailed step by step instructions. I love the Pictures. The only thing I can suggest is that you include a list of tools needed.

ed.lones.91 month ago

great instructions....my hp m7250n is loud and reboots without warning...would like to clean it well and rebuild it. It is 10 years old and I have already replaced the power supply a few years ago. (Could I; Would I; Should I) replace any components or add things to it before I rebuild it?

I noticed that the tv card will not pick up the new digital channels from my over the air antenna; it did when they were analog. Trying to cut the cable (Direct Tv) and use this computer for a DVR in the living room. Is this possible?

Thanks again for the instructions!!

ReCreate5 years ago
It would have been much wiser to buy a new mainboard and replace it...
Arbitror (author)  ReCreate5 years ago
Nah, I got a new super computer. 9GB of RAM! But, I used all of the parts from this computer, and hooked it up to another mainboard I have.

i dont believe you

so how did that work out for ya?

9GB of ram? Run cpuz and put the memory tab, take a screenshot and upload it here, I want to see proof...
Arbitror (author)  ReCreate5 years ago
It won't let me add a pic to the comment... I'll try again later...
upload it to www.willhostforfood.com and link to it.
Arbitror (author)  ReCreate5 years ago
You are aware that any more than 4 GB is invisible to windows...right? Well, I recommend that you dual boot XP and 7, And screw vista. With XP, you would get blazing speeds, in fact, you could turn off the pagefile to get even faster speeds, and with windows 7, i think that there are some features to deal with massive amounts of ram. What is your CPU speed? Take a screenshot of the First tab in CPUZ and upload it...
even better, TRI boot them like i did!!! P.S. I have a forum about this so check it out!!! PLZ
Tri boot them? I was planning on Tri booting Fedora, But my HDD is full now...
I was too, but fedora was stupid and wouldn't let me install it, but I could run it. A tip for clearing space, but try running ccleaner. It freed up 19 gigs if space on my drive. That's the only reason I'm tri booting not dual.
Yeah, Fedora and similar oses don't want to install to their own partition, they want to stay on the same partition XP is not XD I can't imagine how a program could clear 19GB of data, I Can count about 40GB of files that i need and are important, all of the files i have are taking up that space.
i don't know either, but it worked magic on my computer. just try it, and i bet you could clear up at least 2-3 gigs.
I'll try it, Where is it at?
I'd try ccleaner.com, but if you can't find it, I'll post a link.
I just tried it, it cleaned about 120MB of data -_- I simply need a new HDD...stupid tiny 80GB-er
Yeah, I guess that my computer is pretty old... Some guy used it before me and filled it with a bunch of crap. I guess results may vary. ;)
Arbitror (author)  tanmanknex5 years ago
So, where can I check this forum out??
If you can't find it under my profile, then do a search for something like " tri boot xp". It won't come up with anything at first so change the filter to forums. If you still can't find it, tell me and I'll send you a link.
Nevermind, here it is.
That's only in 32 bit versions, isn't it? The ram limit?
Yes, In 64 Bit Versions, Which are Unstable, The limit(i think) is 128TB
Arbitror (author)  Arbitror5 years ago
It runs Vista Ultimate with all of it's effects, smoother and faster than Windows 98, and it's even faster than many Linux distros!
CPUZ, Here is the direct download link.
http://www.cpuid.com/download/cpuz/cpuz_151.zip
And open the memory tab, The tab that is labled memory, and click it...
Arbitror (author)  Arbitror5 years ago
"this computer" as in the disassembled one.
Arbitror (author)  Arbitror5 years ago
Not my new one!
JarrettC11 month ago

thank you for your help. I really needed it.

jlucas152 years ago
Thank you so much for such good info. My computer is shot so I want to remove any important info before I take it to recycling. It won't turn on so I can't use any "wipe-out" software. Thought I'd have to run it over with the lawn mower, but this method is much more civilized.
AceS1 jlucas152 months ago

i find that a sledgehammer is much more effective

Haha! More civilized to the lawn mower.
zahidh15 months ago

this is omar farooq the tuttie man

ompune1 year ago
many thanks 4 the info, as i wish to set up a training school in india for COMPUTER, TV ETC RECYCLING where we will teach unemployed science students this work so they can set up small workshops(1-5 EMPLOYEES) on the city outskirts to take the parts apart & sell the plastic, aluminium,copper & melt the costly metals to be given to big recyclers. also removing the pvc from all electric other than from the computer wires by mechanical means.please let me know the size of the shredder in inches for the mother board. any info u can give on any aspect will be welcome as i am still in the learning stage.
many thanx & awaiting your reply
balbir singh
TimRaquet1 year ago
Thanks for the tutorial. This just happens to be the same computer I needed to take apart.
nbwriter1 year ago
I realize this guide was posted May, 2009. But thanks to author for showing how to remove the heatsink fan ONLY. Most online guides focus on removing fan, heatsink and processor. (Removing a heatsink on a Celeron D can cause processor pin damage and new thermal paste is needed if the heatsink shifts even slightly). And thermal paste ain't cheap.

I nearly unlocked the two metal levers on the heatsink, thinking these are part of the fan locking mechanism. Due to Arbitor's guide, it's obvious fan screws just screw into the metal heatsink itself. In my case, I'm just cleaning heatsink fins for better heat dissipation.
MRedu3 years ago
Great guide to salvaging pc parts from a computer thanks!
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