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Introduction to Personal Computer Hardware


  1. Study Guide
  2. PC Components
  3. Computer Disassembly
  4. Labs and Activities
  5. Lab-Disassemble a Computer

Chapter Description

In this sample chapter from the Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials Labs and Study Guide Version 7, you will review the definition of a computer, safety guidelines, computer components, and the process for disassembling a computer. Lab–Disassemble a Computer

In this lab, you will disassemble a computer using safe lab procedures and the proper tools. Use extreme care and follow all safety procedures. Familiarize yourself with the tools you will be using in this lab.

Recommended Tools

Safety glasses

Part retriever

Antistatic wrist strap

Thermal compound

Antistatic mat

Can of compressed air

Flat head screwdrivers

Cable ties

Phillips head screwdrivers

Parts organizer

Torx screwdrivers

Containers for storing computer parts

Hex driver

Antistatic bags for electronic parts


Part 1: Preparation

  • Step 1: Power Off the Computer. the computer and disconnect the

    Turn off the power to the computer and disconnect the power cable from the wall and the power supply.

  • Step 2: Open the Computer Case.

    Locate all the screws that secure the side panels to the back of the computer. Use the proper size and type of screwdriver to remove the side panel screws. Do not remove the screws that secure the power supply to the case. Put all of these screws in one place, such as a compartment in the parts organizer or small cup. Label the compartment or cup with a piece of masking tape on which you have written ‘side panel screws’. Remove the side panels from the case.

    If you have a camera or smartphone, take a picture of the inside of the computer case to be used as a reference when reassembling the computer.


    What type of screwdriver did you use to remove the screws?


    How many screws secured the side panels?


  • Step 3: Antistatic Wrist Strap.

    Put on an antistatic wrist strap. Connect one end of the conductor to the wrist strap. Clip the other end of the conductor to an unpainted, metal part of the case.

    If you have an antistatic mat, place it on the work surface and put the computer case on top of it. Ground the antistatic mat to an unpainted, metal part of the case.

Part 2: Parts Removal

  • Step 1: Remove the Hard Drive.

    1. Locate the hard drive. Carefully disconnect the power and data cables from the back of the hard drive.


      Which type of data cable did you disconnect?


    2. Locate all of the screws that hold the hard drive in place. Use the proper size and type of screwdriver to remove the hard drive screws. Put all of these screws in one place and label them.


      What type of screws secured the hard drive to the case?


      How many screws secured the hard drive to the case?


      Is the hard drive connected to a mounting bracket? If so, what type of screws secure the hard drive to the mounting bracket?


    3. Gently remove the hard drive from the case. Look for a jumper reference chart on the hard drive. If there is a jumper installed on the hard drive, use the jumper reference chart to see if the hard drive is set for a Master, Slave, or Cable Select (CS) drive. Place the hard drive in an antistatic bag.


      What is the jumper setting of the hard drive?


  • Step 2: Remove the Optical Drive.

    1. Locate the optical drive (Blu-ray, DVD, etc.). Carefully disconnect the power and data cables from the optical drive. Remove the audio cable from the optical drive if there is one connected.


      What kind of data cable did you disconnect?


      Is there a jumper on the optical drive? What is the jumper setting?


    2. Locate and remove all of the screws that secure the optical drive to the case. Put all of these screws in one place and label them. Place the optical drive in an antistatic bag.


      How many screws secured the optical drive to the case?


  • Step 3: Remove the Power Supply.

    1. Locate the power supply. Find the power connection(s) to the motherboard.

    2. Gently remove the power connection(s) from the motherboard.


      How many pins are there in the motherboard connector?


    3. Disconnect the power cables from any case fans.

    4. Disconnect the power cable from the video card if it requires one.

    5. Disconnect any other power supply cables from where they were connected.


      If there were additional cables disconnected, to what were they connected?


    6. Locate and remove all of the screws that secure the power supply to the case. Put all of these screws in one place and label them.


      How many screws secure the power supply to the case?


    7. Carefully remove the power supply from the case. Place the power supply with the other computer components.

  • Step 4: Remove Adapter Cards.

    1. Locate any adapter cards that are installed in the computer, such as a video, NIC, or sound card.

    2. Locate and remove the screw that secures the adapter card to the case. Put the adapter card screws in one place and label them.

    3. Carefully remove the adapter card from the slot. Be sure to hold the adapter card by the mounting bracket or by the edges. Place the adapter card in an antistatic bag. Repeat this process for all of the adapter cards.

      Note: Be very careful when removing video adapters. There is often a locking tab on the slot that must be released before the card can be removed.

    4. List the adapter cards and the slot types below.

      Adapter Card

      Slot Type





  • Step 5: Remove Memory Modules.

    1. Locate the memory modules on the motherboard.


      What type of memory modules are installed on the motherboard?


      How many memory modules are installed on the motherboard?


    2. Remove the memory modules from the motherboard. Be sure to release any locking tabs that may be securing the memory module. Hold the memory module by the edges and gently lift out of the slot. Put the memory modules in an antistatic bag.

  • Step 6: Remove Data Cables.

    1. Remove all data cables from the motherboard. Make sure to note the connection location of any cable you disconnect.


      What types of cables were disconnected?


    2. You have completed this lab. The computer case should contain the motherboard, the CPU, and any cooling devices. Do not remove additional components.

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