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Scared to swap cases. Advice?

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October 5, 2012 2:59:20 AM

So I recently bought a Storm Trooper case, and have it sitting next to me now, eager to be used.

However, upon looking in to my computer, it's all daunting. I had my mate build it for me about 2 years ago, and assumed it wouldn't be hard to change cases.

I went ahead and bought myself an anti static wrist strap, but heard that the computer needs to be plugged into the mains constantly to earth you? My Mobo is located behind the PSU, so I'd need to remove the PSU to remove the Mobo. I'm scared of damaging it.

Further more, I'm scared of forgetting where all the cables go, the Mobo is labelled to some extent (Sata II, Audio, etc) but is there an easier way to know.

Can I also remove the Mobo with CPU and Heatsink attached, or do I have to remove them? I don't want to detach the Heatsink from the CPU as I don't have spare Thermal Paste.

How fragile are components? I'm scared to even tug a little in fear of snapping, or damaging them.

Any advice?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 3:22:13 AM

You have to take that psu out first. Just be careful while doing it. Get another person to help you if you need it. Do you have the manual for the motherboard? you will probably need than as you will basically just be rebuilding the computer. You don't have to take out the cpu or heatsink. Also try propping the case in a area so the psu can't fall onto the board.
This is a good tutorial for building computers, I used it the first time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls
Also you can leave the ram in. just build the computer on a nonstatic surface and don't where socks.
October 5, 2012 3:27:01 AM

lt_dan_zsu said:
You have to take that psu out first. Just be careful while doing it. Get another person to help you if you need it. Do you have the manual for the motherboard? you will probably need than as you will basically just be rebuilding the computer. You don't have to take out the cpu or heatsink. Also try propping the case in a area so the psu can't fall onto the board.
This is a good tutorial for building computers, I used it the first time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls
Also you can leave the ram in. just build the computer on a nonstatic surface and don't where socks.


I don't have the manual, but can easily download it. I never even considered that.

Is an anti-static surface necessary? I was told once the PSU was out, I wouldn't be earthed and could damage any components I touch, yet on the other hand I've been told that people earth themselves by touching a light switch before hand.

I'll give the video a butchers, thanks.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 3:30:20 AM

Well you don't NEED to have it on an antistatic surface. when I say antistatic i don't mean a bored or bag. I simply mean a laminate counter, wood, etc. Things that don't conduct electricity. Just try to make sure that a circuit can be completed to discharge static.
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 3:36:26 AM

You will still be earthed to the case, so any static will dissipate into that. The PSU being connected to the wall is even better as it dissipates that static to Earth, but its not a necessity.

Non-static surface also isnt necessary, but again its better to have than not. A wooden table, cardboard, the mobo box if you still have it are all good surfaces to use. You can ground yourself by touching almost any plugged in electrical appliance, could do it on your toaster.

Just follow that video and it will be fine. Case transplants are fairly simple.



a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 3:39:04 AM

Yeah, the worst part is getting the case wires correct on the board.
October 5, 2012 3:40:55 AM

Mano I appreciate that massively, the reassurance was great.

My main concern was touching anything and just watching it fry before my hands, or giving myself an electric shock. I'll do it all on my wooden living room table.

474, I know, that was another of my main concerns, unplugging it then sitting there like errr, what went where? I've decided I'll take notes & pictures to help. :p 

Appreciate the help guys. :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 3:48:52 AM

You have to look up maps for the mobo. The hardest part is routing all the wires from the case into the board. Everything else is either well labeled or it is pretty obvious which wire goes where. When looking at the computer if you don't know what you are looking at can be pretty daunting, but there really aren't that many wires.
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 4:11:06 AM

1) Before you remove anything, take some photos. That will remind you of where things go. And unplug the psu.

2) Anti static is not really necessary unless you are in a dry environment where static is everpresent. Before you touch components, just touch the case first.

3) Yes, it is a great idea to download and print the manual first. In particular, you want to see where the front panel pins are and how to reconnect the front led wires. The PWR and reset switches are non polarized, so + and - is not important. If the HDD and pwr led lights do not light, reverse the + and -, no damage will be done.

4) I would leave the cpu cooler attached, and the ram installed.

5) The rear i/o panel is a press fit. You will need to remove it without bending it and install it in the new case.

6) You may have difficulty removing the main power connector. It seems that I always do. You need to press the retaining latch hard so that the connector can be removed. Sometimes you need to use a small flat screwdriver to help pry up the connector.

7) On reinstallation, cables will fit only one way. Don't force anything.

8) I find a #2 magnetic head screwdriver to be invaluable in mounting the motherboard attachment screws. Fat fingers do not work that well. Just be careful.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 4:17:24 AM

I don't think I would use a magnetic screwdriver. Couldn't that mess with the parts? I've never used one with it to be safe.
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 4:21:18 AM

Magnetic screwdrivers are safe to use inside computers, in fact im regretting that I lost mine. Their magnetism isnt strong enough to mess with any components.
Entirely recommend using one, makes general assembly so much less frustrating.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2012 2:48:50 PM

I've used mag screwdrivers all the time. Its not enough to flip any bits. If you are worried then just keep it away from the drives, ram, etc. Things are a lot tougher these days then you realize.
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