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Should I be worried about taking a homebuilt system to uni?

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June 27, 2012 7:37:52 AM

Hi y'all. I've got a home-built system planned to take uni in 2013, but I've been warned by my parents that there are apparently a fwe dangers involved. So, should I be worried about any of these and, if so, what should I do?

1. The risk of the computer being stolen.
The case will be in my room (which has a lock), and it won't look too flash, but I should be worried about it getting nicked anyway? Are the measures I can take against this?

2. The risk of the computer being damaged in transit.
This seems like something that could be dealt with by removing the hard drive and packing it, along with the case and the monitor in their respective original packaging. Or is it not that simple?

3. The risk of something going wrong with the original build.
This doesn't seem too likely, but if so, what should be done about it?

Are there any other risks I should be woried about?

Ta very much everyone.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 7:49:00 AM

its more or less a trust issue when bringing it to school

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June 27, 2012 7:52:52 AM
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I've done the same thing as you, moved to uni this year and built my own PC here.

1. That really comes down to how secure your room is, and making sure you lock it often. For me the only way they can get in is if they break a window, but I usually have the blinds down when I'm not in so no one can see in. If they come in and take it then there isn't much I can do as the uni doesn't insurance on my belongings, but, same goes for my laptop, guitar, phone etc. so it comes down to whether or not you're comfortable with possible losing it.

2. When I take mine back home (which is a 1.5hr drive in rural Australia) I put it in the boot snug with a doona around it to dampen vibrations. There isn't much you could do other than drive carefully, take the graphics card out and take out the hard drives if you really wanted to. If you have a crash there's probably not much chance it'll survive no matter what you do.

3. It might be more of a pain in the RMA process with shipping more than anything.
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June 27, 2012 9:49:50 AM

The chance of home build stolen is actually lower than wallet, laptop and phone stolen from lecture theatre, cafe, library, etc... so by that convention, you shouldn't bring your wallet, phone and laptop as well.
June 27, 2012 10:27:48 AM

Pyree said:
The chance of home build stolen is actually lower than wallet, laptop and phone stolen from lecture theatre, cafe, library, etc... so by that convention, you shouldn't bring your wallet, phone and laptop as well.


Yeah, that makes a fair bit of sense, but the build I'm going for will be about £100 pounds and will have lots of valuable data, so it will be hard to replace.

Also, I like your signature/information.
June 27, 2012 10:28:31 AM

Sorry, that should read £1000. Don't know why the site won't let me edit that.
June 27, 2012 10:39:01 AM

If you are not going to bring your home build, you are still going to buy a new laptop and bring it (it is still 500 quid if stolen) and you can't play games. If you get a gaming laptop, that's more stupid. You will be even more worried because it will definitely go over 1000. What looks more suspicious? A thief carrying a gaming laptop over 1000 and laptop is everywhere or a thief carrying a chunky home build?

I think you are worrying too much about desktop being stolen. The chance of your home build being stolen is lower than wallet, phone or laptop being stolen.

But I have to agree that if you are so unlucky that the home build is stolen, the backup HDD in the room will also be taken. Consider renting a locker to store backup HDD.
June 27, 2012 10:46:15 AM

You could buy an ugly used case and transfer your components into it. Who's going to steal an ugly beige box?
When shipping the unit make sure you remove the cooler from the CPU and pack it separately. Nothing worse than a solid chunk of copper slamming around destroying sensitive electronics.
June 27, 2012 10:50:32 AM

This is all really great advice guys! Thanks!
June 27, 2012 10:53:22 AM

dfusco said:
You could buy an ugly used case and transfer your components into it. Who's going to steal an ugly beige box?
When shipping the unit make sure you remove the cooler from the CPU and pack it separately. Nothing worse than a solid chunk of copper slamming around destroying sensitive electronics.


(Sorry about the double post, the forums doesn't seem to want to let me edit.)

But that means taking off the heatsink and re-applying thermal paste every time I move it. Surely if it's well-screwed-in, it should be fine? I mean, as long as the case itself doesn't get excessively rough treatment.

Also, My case isn't going to be too flash. It's an antec 300; not exactly a £200 gaming monster, but it gives sufficient airflow.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0017Q8IAA/ref=s9_si...
June 27, 2012 1:34:26 PM

I would guess that you are much more likely to lose or have stolen an iPad, iPhone, or laptop, items that are in high demand. Keep it in a secure location where it is not visible from outside.

If it is really important to you, you could look into getting some form of renter's insurance or check to see if your parents' homeowner's insurance covers your dorm room.
June 27, 2012 2:56:06 PM

bemused_fred said:
Yeah, that makes a fair bit of sense, but the build I'm going for will be about £100 pounds and will have lots of valuable data, so it will be hard to replace.

I wouldn't worry about losing your data because you will have backups located in a safe place right?
June 27, 2012 4:28:13 PM

bemused_fred said:
(Sorry about the double post, the forums doesn't seem to want to let me edit.)

But that means taking off the heatsink and re-applying thermal paste every time I move it. Surely if it's well-screwed-in, it should be fine? I mean, as long as the case itself doesn't get excessively rough treatment.

Also, My case isn't going to be too flash. It's an antec 300; not exactly a £200 gaming monster, but it gives sufficient airflow.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0017Q8IAA/ref=s9_si...


Remember what the CPU cooler is screwed into though; it's a thin, flimsy layer of PCB. Have you seen how some of those delivery people handle goods? Imagine one of them throwing the box and it lands in a funny way. The CPU cooler can tear itself from the motherboard and the first thing it will hit is the GPU.
June 27, 2012 5:58:47 PM

eddieroolz said:
Remember what the CPU cooler is screwed into though; it's a thin, flimsy layer of PCB. Have you seen how some of those delivery people handle goods? Imagine one of them throwing the box and it lands in a funny way. The CPU cooler can tear itself from the motherboard and the first thing it will hit is the GPU.


Oh good lord no, I'lll be moving it myself. I won't let the big nasty men hurt my baby, no I won't! (Curls up in the corner and giggles).
a b B Homebuilt system
June 27, 2012 6:19:21 PM

some people put case locks on there babies and lock then to the wall of the room. it stop most quick thieves from stealing your stuff. there also recovery software that can trace stolen laptops and pc if there powered on and connected to the INTERNET.
i would also look at cloud or online free storage to back your data up to. if you have to get a gmail account and email your main files to youself.
July 4, 2012 7:32:09 AM

Best answer selected by bemused_fred.
!