Removing the Cover
The standard way of removing tower cases used to be to undo
4-6 screws on the back of the case, slide the cover back about
an inch and lift it off. Manufacturers are beginning to come
up with trickier and more intricate methods of assembling these
cases all the time. If there is no manual, then a little time
taken for careful inspection may be in order. Here are some
things to remember:
- Don't Force Anything. If it has to be forced,
it will probably break. If there are no screws on the back
of the case for the cover, check the plastic faceplate on
the front. Some pry off to reveal screws or release levers
(remember, careful inspection). If everything on the front
has its own bezel around it (including the LEDs) then maybe
the plastic front pops off (or maybe the case slides off the
- If you notice a separation between the sides
and the top, then they must come off separately. My favorite
ATX case allows you to remove two screws from the back, then
slide the side panel to the rear an inch and remove it. The
other side removes the same way. It's a good, solid, well
- Make sure any screws removed are for the
cover. You don't want to unscrew the power supply by accident
and have it fall inside your computer. That's a bad thing.
- After the case is removed, place it in
a safe place, where it won't get knocked of a table, kicked
or stepped on and bent.
Removing Adapter Cards
- Again, documentation is very important.
Yes, that 16-bit ISA card will probably work in any 16-bit
ISA slot, but there may be a reason it's in that particular
one. Document the type of card and which slot it comes from.
- Check the card for any cables or wires
that might be attached and decide if it would be easier to
remove them before or after you remove the card.
- Undo the screw that holds the card in place.
- Grab the card by its edges, front and back,
and gently rock it lengthwise to release it. Do not wiggle
it side to side as you can break the card, the slot, or the
solder. Sometimes it helps to grasp the inside corner of the
card with one hand and place a finger from the other hand
under the associated port out the back of the computer to
pry up the one end of the card.
- Once the card is removed, you may want
to record any jumper settings you see, just in case one is
accidentally dislodged. Try to store the card in an antistatic
bag. If you don't plan on replacing the card then a cover
should be installed over the slot opening.
Removing drives is not that difficult. They usually have a power
connector and a data cable attached from the device to a controller
card or a connector on the motherboard. CD-ROMs may have an
analog cable connected to the sound card.
- The power will be attached using one of
two connectors, a large Molex connector or a smaller Berg
connector for the floppy drive. The Molex connector may need
to be wiggled slightly from side to side while applying gentle
pressure outwards. The Berg connector may just pull straight
out or it may have a small tab that has to be lifted with
a tiny flat screwdriver.
- The data cables need to be documented.
Remember the pin one rule. Know where each one goes before
you pull it out and record its orientation (which side is
the stripe on, where is pin 1?). Pull data cables gently and
carefully. In other words, don't yank them off, and pull level
and in the direction of the pins.
- Now you need to do a little more inspection,
can the entire drive bay be removed? Does that particular
drive come out the back of the bay or does it slide out the
front before the bay is removed. If a bay is removable, you
may have to remove some screws or unclip a lever then slide
the bay back and off. If the bay is not removable, there should
be access ports on the other side of the case that allow for
access to those screws (there should be, I've seen some that
you just about have to remove the motherboard to access these
screws). Now you can remove the screws and slide the drive
out the back of the bay. If the drive slides out the front
of the case, then remove the screws and gently slide it forward.