How to Take a Computer Apart Safely

By Larry Amon

Inside of a computer
i computer chip image by Marina Bartel from

Computers are connected and put together relatively simply in a modular way compared to most other types of electronics. Computers are still very complex, and understanding how they work takes some time and effort. However, disassembling a computer can be done somewhat simply and quickly if you are mechanically inclined.

Make the area safe by placing the computer on a stable work desk. Unplug the computer from the wall outlets. If you don't have an antistatic wrist strap, release any static electricity by grounding yourself by touching the metal part of the case.

Open the case by removing the screws on the left side computer door. The door is usually attached on the back of the case by several Phillips screws.

Unscrew the cards on the back of the case. Lift the cards out carefully. Disconnect the power supply from the motherboard by unplugging the connector on the motherboard. Do not open the power supply. Unscrew the power supply from the back of the case and pull the power plugs out of every piece of hardware. Set the power supply aside but do not open it as this may cause electrocution. Disconnect any cable from the motherboard to any hardware. Unscrew the motherboard from the case and carefully lift out the board.

Remove the other side of the computer case. Detach the drives from both sides of the computer case. Slide the drives out. The computer should now be apart. The CPU and CPU fan can be removed from the motherboard by lifting up and pulling the CPU fan out and then opening the CPU bar that holds the chip in place. The RAM can also be removed by pulling the tabs open on the side of the RAM slot holders and pulling the RAM straight up.