Useful Tips

How to open a computer case

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Lesson 2. The case of the system unit.

As you know, the body of the system unit in its size is divided into desktop (desktop), and mini-tower or tower (see the Reference part of this book). Currently, mini-towers are most widespread in our country, when the height of the hull is greater than the width.

When choosing a system unit case, it is necessary that it meets the following criteria:

1.Hardware compatibility with power supply and applicable motherboard.

2. The internal space should allow the installation of the necessary computer components.

3. The dimensions of the system unit are acceptable for optimal placement on or under the desktop.

4. The location of the internal devices ensures their proper cooling.

5. Maintenance of computer units should be convenient, and access to them should be optimal.

6. The quality of the housing must be high enough so as not to cause injuries when handling it.

7.Material of the case and its chassis are strong enough for reliable fastening of computer components and provides multiple replacement of blocks.

8. Appearance and design of the case satisfies your taste.

Ceteris paribus, it is better to give preference to vertical bodies than horizontal ones.

Of particular importance is the selection of suitable ventilation inside the system unit:

1. It is advisable to use a fan with a diameter of at least 80 mm.

2. The fan located on the back of the system unit provides additional cooling for the computer. If there are more than one on the back wall, then they should work in one direction - either both blow air or both draw in. Recently, in some cases, the principle has been used when, for better cooling, one fan works to draw in air, and the other, on the opposite side, to pull out.

3. Inside the case, try to carefully lay the wires so that they do not interfere with the normal movement of air.

4. If the system unit is vertical, then it is better to use a fan inside the power supply unit with air intake from the bottom panel to cool it, since then along the way there is a fan located below the motherboard, on which the most heated devices are located - the processor and the chipset (chipset for control tires).

5. Do not block the space near the fan inlets; otherwise, the cooling efficiency of the devices located inside the system unit will drop sharply.

Previously, the standard was the AT type (a typical arrangement of connectors on the back wall side is shown in the figure above). Currently, the most common type of enclosure is ATX (an approximate arrangement of connectors on the rear panel is shown in the figure below).

· The ATX standard was developed in 1995 for the unification of connectors, the configuration of system unit devices and the improved airflow of computer devices. This format assumes a motherboard size of 30.5 x 24.4 cm. The size of the motherboard may differ from the above in the direction of decreasing values ​​vertically or horizontally. Over time, new ATX sub-standards were introduced with the following motherboard sizes:

· Mini ATX - 28.4 × 20.8 cm

· Micro-atx - 24.4 × 24.4 cm

· Flex ATX - 22.9 × 20.3 cm

Correspondingly, the chassis of system units are also developed for these boards, which are smaller in size than the ATX chassis.

However, despite the abundance of types of cases and their external design, methods of installing internal devices in them are quite the same. Consider this with the ATX case.

In order to provide access to the internal devices of the computer, you must:

1. If the computer is turned on, then turn it off programmatically with saving the necessary files or by long pressing the power button.

2. Disconnect all cords connected to the system unit. It is advisable to first disconnect the power cables, and then the data wires, having previously released the connectors from the connectors (if any), unscrewed the screws along the edges of the connectors or unfastened the mounting brackets.

3. Unscrew the four (or six) screws (s) located, as a rule, along the edges of the rear wall of the system unit and remove the side panels of the case by sliding them back in the direction from the front surface of the unit.

The figure above shows where the screws are for the old AT unit. ATX block may have different screw arrangement options. The figure below shows how to remove the cover of the AT case.

The ATX system unit can have different types of disassembly. Consider one of them. Typically, the back of a unit has two screws on the right (to remove the left side panel) and two screws on the right (to remove the right side panel).

In order to remove the right panel, unscrew the two screws on the right side of the rear panel of the system unit and then remove the cover, as shown in the figure below.

There may be an option when there are no screws on the back wall, as shown in the figure below.

As you can see in the figure, the screws on the rear wall are used only for the power supply, and there are no screws in the right and left parts of the rear block.

In this case, the top cover is removed. A top view is shown in the figure below.

As a result, we will see the inside of the system unit, as shown in the figure below.

Assemble in the reverse order. Almost all the plugs are arranged in such a way that it is impossible to insert the connector in the wrong place, that is, the number of pins on the connector corresponds to the number of holes in the plug and vice versa. The exception is the connection of the keyboard and mouse, but they have their own colors to indicate a pair: plug - connector (green for the mouse, purple for the keyboard).

The main elements inside the system unit can be seen in the figure below. Near the front panel, there is a compartment on top that houses drives with a 3.5-inch form factor. These include various types of CD and DVD drives. Below is the compartment where the 2.5-inch form factor drives are installed. These include drives for floppy disks (on older computers) and hard drives. You can install multiple hard drives. At the top left in the figure is the power supply, and below it is the motherboard - the main element of the computer.

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Preliminary preparation

Until you get started, remember to turn off the computer through the start menu and turn off the power. Be sure to unplug the cord from the outlet. Disconnect all devices connected to the system unit (monitor, mouse, printer, keyboard, etc.). Now that you have de-energized the device, you can proceed to the opening itself.

We open in Russian (with soul and attention)

When a person hears the definition of “in Russian,” then an association is immediately created of a certain scope and special attitude to work, which is characterized either in the complete absence of interest, or in full dedication to the cause. We are now talking about the second option. Before you begin, understand that you are responsible for your technique. If you have never before disassembled the system, remember that there is a risk. Do something wrong - the computer may not start when you reassemble it. Therefore, we ask you to relate to the matter in Russian, that is, with love and attention.

So, let's begin

The case consists of a painted metal cover and a front panel. It is this cover that we need to remove in order to get to the insides of the computer. The front panel is, in simple terms, the “face” of the system unit on which the drive, USB port, etc. are located.

To get started, look around. Most often, the case is held by four to six bolts located on the back wall of the system unit. They can be unscrewed with a Phillips screwdriver. If the bolts sit firmly and do not lend themselves, use pliers.

If you decide to open the cover in order to get to the motherboard, it is best to put the system unit on the floor to make it more convenient to work. Attention, caution should be exercised at this point! In no case do not put the system unit on the carpet, as the parts are very sensitive to static electricity. Do not touch the boards until you are grounded, otherwise the accumulated charge in you can easily lead to the death of the boards.
You can ground yourself with an antistatic wrist strap or holding a metal object in your other hand. Pay attention to the contact panel of the motherboard. It is located on the back of the case (in the same place as the bolts). You will recognize it by a large number of different ports. Turn the system unit on its side so that the contact bar is located at the bottom and looks sideways.

The matter remains small: using a Phillips screwdriver, unscrew the bolts that hold the painted metal cover. Then we shift a few centimeters back from the front panel, and then carefully lift it up. That's all, you coped with the task yourself!

Brief remarks

1. The panel of contacts of the motherboard is also bolted. If you only need to remove the cover, then you do not need to touch them.
2. Make sure that you have de-energized the equipment and disconnected all possible wires. No need to hold the start button, and even more so pull the cord out of the socket. Turn off the computer as follows: “start” - “shutdown” - turn off the power button on the back of the system unit - disconnect the power cord and other accessories. Done.
3. Be sure to ground before working with microchips and cables. To do this, just hold on to the metal frame inside the system unit. For the future, you should buy a grounding bracelet.
4. Do not put the system unit on the carpet; he will not like it very much.
5. To remove the cover, you need to make a little effort. Be careful. It is not at all necessary to bend her so that she succumbs. Most often, it is not easily removed in the case when one bolt is missing somewhere or there are additional fasteners. If you again looked at the structure, found nothing, and the lid still abuts, try to find the answer on the forum where your model is being discussed. Or call the wizard.
6. Do not plug a “bare” system unit into a power outlet. If you need to check the results of your work, be sure to put the lid back on.
7. Check for warranty stickers. If you accidentally damage them during an autopsy, the warranty will become void. Do not tear the sticker. We said above that there is a risk. It would be very annoying, in addition, to remain without a guarantee. It is wiser to contact the service center, where the cover will be removed, and upon completion of work, a new sticker will be glued, which will indicate who opened the computer and when. In this case, the warranty will not be lost.