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Homework 2

Documenting the demolition lab from Monday, February 7th.

  • By Julianne Roseman


I worked with Signe and we took apart a Dell Optiplex GX620, model L305P_00.

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Getting Started

Here is the first picture we took that shows the side cover off the computer.

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Power Supply

The power supply is easy to find because it is where many of the wires come from. We found it in the upper right-hand side of the computer next to the CD / DVD rom.

103b al p2.jpg 103b al power.jpg

This power supply could output 305 watts... before the computer got sent to demolition hell. I wonder what the computer did to end up with our class instead of in computer heaven.


Our computer was equipped with a CD / DVD player that also had writable capabilities.

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It was located in the upper left portion of the computer, where one would expect to find the CD drive.


This is where a lot of things live in the computer. It looks like a board with a bunch of lines like city streets and it takes up the most space in the computer. The lines transmit information, much like wires.

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There are some key elements on the motherboard, including the processor, the RAM, and the video card.

Smaller parts on the motherboard, such as the two in the table below, cannot be forgotten.

A small battery keeps track of the time and date like a watch. 103b al batt.jpg
Hiding under a protective metal case, a crystal determines how fast the processor will work. 103b al see.jpg


The processor executes commands and is central to the functioning of a computer. It is located under the heat sink, which keeps the processor cool.

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The processor in our computer was an Intel Pentium 4.

Video Card

This part of the computer generates the images that are displayed on the screen. It is attached to the back of the computer on the motherboard.

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In terms of memory, the hard disk plays a vital role. But a computer also uses RAM, or random access memory. RAM provides fast, short-term memory when the computer is in use. However, RAM does not save information when the computer is turned off.

This computer had two RAM boards, each providing 512 MB of storage or 1 GB. The RAM was made by Samsung.

103b al ram.jpg

Hard Disk

The hard disk is my favorite part of the computer. It was in the bottom left of the computer, hiding in a case that makes it look less exciting than it really is.

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After opening the case, though, you can see that the hard disk looks like a record player with a really shiny circular disk. This one could hold 250 GB of data.

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This short video from YouTube shows a hard disk in action. Watch Me!

Comments on the Lab

This lab was fun and informative. The only bad part was the dust. Not having enough of the right tools to actually take apart the computer was a bit of a pain, but hardly worth really complaining about. I was surprised by how hard you had to pull on some items to get them to separate from their usual resting place and surprised when various people demonstrated tricks that allow the user to easily remove a piece. I enjoyed taking parts of the computer out and seeing how heavy some pieces were because it allowed me to think of how computers and laptops may be designed to weigh less.