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Windows 7: PC Hardware - Nervous About Going Inside

12 Dec 2014   #1
taglock

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
PC Hardware - Nervous About Going Inside

I'm a near total-virgin when it comes to computer hardware. I'm not bad with software but the one thing that stops me getting acquainted with the guts of machines is a fear of breaking what i touch. There are all those little chips and metal rods and screws and things I could accidentally break without visibly noticing. Looking at the motherboard, I would have no way of knowing if something was out of place, right now.

I recently took my PC to a repair shop one time and watched how firmly and casually the guy was shoving the parts around... well what he did worked, anyway!

...but I wish I could just get a sense from someone... if you could find a way to put into words how sturdy/delicate the motherboard, graphics card, hard drive, optical drive etc are.

Unless I'm really pushing and extremely bending things... should i pretty much stop worrying about damaging what I touch?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2014   #2
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

One suggestion I would give, if you can get hold of an old PC, working or not and strip it down and rebuild it. this will give you the best experience of actually handling real parts without any risk - most components will actually survive a fair bit of "abuse", before they break.

One thing you must ensure is your safety -Never work with live equipment - remove the mains cable and press and hold the cas on/off switch for 30 Seconds to remove any residual charge in power capacitors
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12 Dec 2014   #3
shadow2201

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
 
 

I'm with Barman58 in the sense that the best way to learn, is to actually go in and do it. Find an old computer and just take it apart, piece by piece so you get an idea.

I'm a seasoned veteran when it comes to taking computers apart and rebuilding them, and even I still get a lil nervous at times with taking things out and putting them back in. It's all about experience and just being careful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Dec 2014   #4
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

This would be a great watch and learn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bUghCx9iso
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by taglock View Post
...but I wish I could just get a sense from someone... if you could find a way to put into words how sturdy/delicate the motherboard, graphics card, hard drive, optical drive etc are.

Unless I'm really pushing and extremely bending things... should i pretty much stop worrying about damaging what I touch?
There are some components that could easily be bent and damaged--motherboard capacitors for instance. But you normally wouldn't have any reason to touch them at all.

Building is more accurately called assembly. You assemble maybe 10 individual pieces to make a PC. These pieces join together only at certain connection points, such as RAM slots, case standoffs, motherboard ports (where the hard drives and power supply connect by cable), and CPU socket and cooler.

Generally, keep your fingers off the surfaces of circuit boards as much as possible. Concern yourself with the connection points.

Some of those connection points require no more force than gravity--such as putting the CPU into the motherboard socket. Others, such as RAM, require a bit more force to fit. In my experience, the greatest force is required for CPU cooler mounting (in some cases) and attaching the main power cable from the power supply to the motherboard.

Most (all?) pieces are designed to fit only one way--if you flip the component around 180 degrees, it won't fit at all, regardless of force. Much like a house key must be either teeth up or teeth down. If you didn't know that, you might easily break something by applying unnecessary force. So you have to closely examine both ends or sides of the connection point to ensure that you are using the correct orientation and don't have things flipped 180 degrees the wrong way. RAM sticks, for instance, have a notch along the bottom edge that must mate with a corresponding protrusion in the RAM slot. If you have the RAM stick flipped the wrong way, it won't fit and you could either break something or become frustrated.

Anything mounted in a slot is going to require some force--more than enough to break an egg.

Assembly can be more difficult if you are dealing with a cramped case or very stiff cables.

To a novice, CPU cooler mounting might be the most problematic. You may have to deal with Intel's "push pin" mechanism. If the cooler is oversized, it can be cumbersome and you might wish you had 3 hands.

You're usually better off mounting the CPU and CPU cooler on the motherboard before installing the motherboard into the case.

You'll probably shed some blood on sharp edges and swear like a sailor more than once.

Take your time and have a good flashlight. Prepare to drop some screws and have them rattling around unseen, while you cuss and wonder how you will ever find them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #6
taglock

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Wow thanks for the great answers!

It was re-seating the cpu cooler that the repair guy was doing... even he was really struggling with it, so yeh I can already see how that will be the hardest.

All of these posts have helped so much, thanks.

One thing I'm immediately thinking about right now is how I might remove this gtx 570 graphics card I have... when I last tried to remove a graphics card, the screws were much easier to access... these screws are squashed in a small crevice (might post a pic later)... don't know how anyone can reach any tool in there to unscrew those to get the graphics card out!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #7
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

One possible option is something like this .... Rolson 28296 Precision Screwdriver and Bit Set (33 Pieces): Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools, I have all sorts of "odd" tools after years of working with PCs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #8
Wordsworth

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
You'll probably shed some blood on sharp edges and swear like a sailor more than once.

Take your time and have a good flashlight. Prepare to drop some screws and have them rattling around unseen, while you cuss and wonder how you will ever find them.
These things have never happened to me (wordsworth whistles as he walks on by).

I didn't see it elsewhere but one other thing besides all the excellent suggestions above is, if you don't have an electro-static wrist wrap then just make certain you keep yourself grounded. Keep in contact for example with some metal in the computer case. Avoid carpet while working on a computer if you can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Yep video card was my first venture to add
Then I added a new ssd
Then replaced my ram
Then added a ssd to my laptop
It's all pretty easy stuff just a little intimidating because you know Murphy's law

Next a new build piece by expensive piece
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Dec 2014   #10
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

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