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Thread: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

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    Senior Member Perfectionist's Avatar
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    Question Complete beginner: How do I remove HDDs from PC?

    Ok, complete beginner to the hardware side of things here (artist), never opened a PC myself til today tho seen it done and have a rough idea of what's what (motherboard, dvd drive, dvd+-rw drive, flash drive, floppy drive, 2 hard disks, cpu {pentium 4 2.6ghz}+heatsink+fan stacked up, graphics card {radeon 9200}, modem card, 2x512mb RAM sticks).

    The computer's totally dead (black screen died in the middle of using it, definitely a problem with the PC and not the monitor as I tried the same monitor on an even more ancient win95 pc - am guessing graphics card issue).

    I have a new PC arriving tomorrow, and looking to salvage the hard drives or at least the data - or even get it working again who knows; it's very dusty hasn't been opened in at least 2 years, thick coating of grey fluff over the graphics card and sides of case, may be why it "died" I'm not sure. Been using a hoover with a sock over the end (to try avoid getting so much suction that it starts pulling components off) to try clean up. Not sure if there's a better or safer thing to get for this kind of thing in future?

    Whole thing's going to the tip to be recycled otherwise, maybe selling off the DVD+-RW or others so not wasted - assuming I can work out how to remove things from the motherboard without breaking anyway.

    I'd post a photo but currently my only internet access is through my Wii (got keyboard plugged into one of the USB slots on the back, virtual keyboard pointy thing is slooow even when you get good at it) unfortunately, so I can't do stuff like uploads.

    Getting the hard drives is the most important thing as the whole PC may well be lost anyway (depending on whether my very unexpert theory of "too much dust" is the cause), I can't do anything with them at all as they are firmly rooted in and there's white-kinda-translucent plastic socket things (4 squares, with 2 wires out of each one matched in colours - 2 yellow, 2 black, 2 black, 2 red) all seem to hook into the PSU so figure they are just power cables, that don't seem to be able to be pulled out (though again I haven't tried hard for fear of bending/snapping something)
    There's also a ribbon cable going from one of the 2 hard disks to the other reading MASTER, and another ribbon cable leading out the other side of the plug from the other hard disk reading SLAVE on the end nearest hard disk and SYSTEM on the end that plugs into the motherboard. Haven't touched those yet, can't see any things for removing the plugs.

    Thanks for any help anyone and sorry for the lengthly post.

    edit:
    Found a page for the old thing with tech specs (both in the customer review and product information, just below the review):
    http://ciao.co.uk/Fujitsu_Siemens_SCALEO_600ix__5633394 - Only thing that's changed from described is the extra 512MB RAM stick and extra (500gb) HDD that I got installed at a shop (not by me) over 2 years ago

    and pic of motherboard (different one but same chipset, looks almost exactly the same to mine except on mine the RAM slots are alternating white and red, and the data ribbon plugs are nearer the RAM ones): http://arch.pconline.com.cn/market/g...30819giga3.jpg
    Last edited by Perfectionist; 06-12-2008 at 04:44 AM.

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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    Can't be bothered to read all that.. sorry lol

    Taking the graphics card out:

    Unscrew the screw that holds it to the case (at the back of the card/case).

    there might be a clip on the end of the socket it is plugged into. These vary but you need to release that and then pull.

    Hard drive, unscrew and screws that are holding it in place (both sides), unplug it and pull.

    To get data off just use the same cables on the new PC to plug them in. Be sure to make sure the new HDD is the one it boots off of though. For this you might need to make the old HDD a "slave" using the pins on the back of it if it has some. There should be a diagram.

    Remember I havn't read your post so if that sounds stupid or is irrelevant I'm very sorry

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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    Got the graphics card out, thanks, but still no clue how to go about getting the power connectors and data ribbons off from the drives without breaking anything - thanks anyway but I'll wait for someone else to answer then I guess

    I tried removing the modem too (to get the dust off it, as it's sideways can't get at it properly otherwise) but there's no plug thing to pull to release it from the long white slot (looks exactly like one on the motherboard photo), I've unscrewed it but doesn't seem to release and again not sure if pulling hard will twist/snap anything. :/
    Last edited by Perfectionist; 06-12-2008 at 04:43 AM.

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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfectionist View Post
    Got the graphics card out, thanks, but still no clue how to go about getting the power connectors and data ribbons off from the drives without breaking anything - thanks anyway but I'll wait for someone else to answer then I guess

    I tried removing the modem too (to get the dust off it, as it's sideways can't get at it properly otherwise) but there's no plug thing to pull to release it from the long white slot (looks exactly like one on the motherboard photo), I've unscrewed it but doesn't seem to release and again not sure if pulling hard will twist/snap anything. :/

    If by the data ribbons you mean the IDE cables - coming out of the hard drive and into the motherboard, then it will be stiff but it just needs a tug and wiggle ( )
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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    I'll give that a try now thanks, what about the other things the power cables (I described em in the first post, the white blocky things)? And any idea about the modem?

    edit: or anyone else, seeing as he's gone offline already gah
    Last edited by Perfectionist; 06-12-2008 at 06:26 AM.

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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    I take it by the 'white things' you mean the molex plugs?
    They have 4 wires going into them and are plugged into the drives. just pull and maybe give a wiggle...best to pull the plug if you can grip it rather than just yanking on the wires.
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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    Yeah I described better in the first post, but I'll say it again it's 4 squares with 2 matching colour wires coming out of each square hole, 2 yellow, 2 black, 2 black again, then 2 red - some of em attach to the other hard drive, guessing shared power to avoid needing another cable from PSU.

    I'll try just pulling them harder then thanks, if it won't break em.

    With the ribbon (IDE cables), the plugs are very small and hard to get a grip on, any recommendation/standard practice to get em out? I thought about using a screwdriver to lever out, but worried I'd bend/snap pins... :/

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    Re: Complete beginner: How do I take HDD, graphics card out of PC?

    They just need a firm tug, but not at an angle - pull them out straight (hope you get what I mean). Do not use a screwdriver.

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