Anyways, I'm about to switch residences and will be traveling by car. What is the best way to transfer my desktop without harming the precious goodies inside? Should I dismount my heatsink? Place it in the trunk/seat? Wrap it in the memory foam pillows? Thanks in advance
Nothing as drastic as taking it apart, I'd say. I'd just try to approximate what Newegg or Dell does - find a box slightly bigger than the case, put some foam rubber on the bottom, stick some foam rubber between the sides and on top, than tape it shut. Just make sure there's not enough room for it to bounce around inside the box, is the key. Also I'd lay it flat so it won't fall over.
Also - if it's an old computer, when you get there and suddenly the monitor won't turn on, try replacing the CMOS battery on the motherboard. A lot of times when people move, that's the first time their machine has been unplugged from the wall in years, and the BIOS resets itself and goes back to the default graphics adapter. The battery is supposed to prevent that, but won't if it's gone dead in the meantime.
I always laid my pc down on the passenger floorboard using towels underneath and on every side as a cushion for movement. Now that i have my business, I have a special "tower box" i built in the trunk that protects with foam on all 6 sides, but i never had a problem the other way.