103b-ah PC Lab

From CSclasswiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Lab Information

103a-ah team.jpg
  • Class Title: CSC 103 How Computers Work
  • Lab Title: Demolition Lab
  • Student Name: Danielle
  • Date of Lab: February 14, 2011
  • Team: Danielle, Kayvia, & Debbie

List of Computer Parts

  • Computer make & model: Dell OPTIPLEX GX620


  • Brand & model number: Intel Pentium 4 650 SL7Z7
  • Location of Processor (on motherboard)

103a-ah processorlocation.jpg

  • Detail of Processor

103a-ah processordetail.jpg


  • Samsung brand with 1024 MB of RAM total
  • Location of RAM (on motherboard)

103a-ah RAMlocation.jpg

  • Detail of RAM

103a-ah RAMdetail.jpg

Power Supply

  • Capacity: 305 watts
  • Location of Power Supply & Detail of Cables (which provide power to different parts of computer)

103a-ah powersupply.jpg

CD/DVD player/burner

  • Our computer had combined DVD & CD drive
  • Location of CD/DVD player/burner

103a-ah cddvd.jpg

Hard Disk

  • Can hold 250 GB of data
  • Location of hard disk

103a-ah harddisklocation.jpg

  • Details of what is inside hard disk

103a-ah harddisk1.jpg 103a-ah harddisk2.jpg 103a-ah harddisk3.jpg


  • Lines on Motherboard are tracks for circuits. They act as wires and create paths for circuits to travel

to and from the RAM, the northbridge, and the processor, etc.

  • Location of motherboard

103a-ah motherboardlocation.jpg

  • Detail of motherboard

103a-ah motherboarddetail.jpg

  • Location of crystal (the crystal functions by generating a rhythm for the processor)

103a-ah crystal.jpg

  • Location of battery (the battery serves to keep the motherboard alive when the power source is disconnected. It powers the internal clock and keeps the various chips on.)

103a-ah battery.jpg

Demolition Process

  • Internal Parts Before Demolition

103a-ah before.jpg

  • Internal Parts Completely Removed

103a-ah empty.jpg

  • Internal Parts Replaced After Demolition

103a-ah after.jpg

  • Computer Re-Assembled after Demolition

103a-ah whole.jpg

  • Team with Re-Assembled Computer

103a-ah team.jpg


  1. First we turned the computer on its side to better handle the contents.
  2. Then we removed the outer panel to get a look at the interior of the machine.
  3. Before removing any components, we photographed the different parts to show their location within the machine.
  4. We removed any items that were not screwed down by disconnecting wires/cables and pulling out individual components (the RAM, the graphics card, the hard disk case, the CD/DVD player, and the power source)
  5. We got a Phillips head screwdriver & removed screws, allowing us to remove items that were screwed down (the motherboard, the heat sink, the processor)
  6. After removing all of the pieces, we photographed them individually & took down any information about their make/model/storage or wattage capacity etc
  7. To reassemble the machine, we carefully placed the items back in their original positions, attempting to connect any wires, replace screws, and lock items into place.
  8. Then we replaced the outer panel & found that everything fit back inside easily!

Challenges, Surprises, and Discoveries

  • One challenge we faced was opening the hard disk. First we attempted to pry the metal casing off of the internal disk. Then with the help of a special screw driver we were finally able to unscrew the star-shaped screws. Unfortunately we missed the two hidden screws and at first had to make another attempt at bending the metal frame to see inside! Luckily at that point Eric came and pointed out the hidden screws. After removing them we were able to see the disk & chip located inside!
  • I was very surprised at the large amount of dust & grime that was inside the computer!
  • I was also surprised at how easy (relatively!) it was to both take apart and re-assemble a very complex machine. We were able to remove most of the machines parts by hand, and nearly all of them using a simple screwdriver!
  • We discovered how well-protected Dell makes its hard disks - not only were the screws holding the case together a very unique shape that couldn't be opened with a standard screwdriver, but several of the screws were hidden under labels and metal sheets. Clearly Dell manufacturers want to make sure that the hard disk is not damaged or messed with!

Additional Information

  • Here you can find a manual that lists different computer parts & their functions.
  • Click here or here for two How-To Guides for disassembling your own computer!
  • Click here to watch a video of someone disassembling a computer!