Lab Report Example 3

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Example Lab Report PC Disassembly Lab

Description of what we did in the lab:

In this lab we learned the basics of PC disassembly and reassembly. We started by plugging in power and a monitor to our PC before taking it apart, so we could test and make sure it was running properly. After discovering the PC was up and running, we powered off the system and unplugged the power supply cord. Then we began to remove the case by unscrewing the screws in various areas around the sides.

Once the case was removed we decided to start with removing the internal drives. The hard drive needed 2 screws on each side to be removed before we were able to pull it out. Then we disconnected the SATA power connector, and the connection to the motherboard. The optical drive was also unscrewed. This was connected by a Molex power connector which we removed, along with connection to the motherboard. Also this drive slid out forward from its external bay. The floppy disk drive was easily removed by a screw and by removing the 4-pin Berg power connector.

Next we decided to remove the motherboard. We started by removing the heat sink from the CPU, then removed the CPU itself. We had to unscrew the video card and network card from the back of the case. After disconnecting the 3 pin fan power connector, and the 1 pin connectors for HDD lights and case lights, along with the power/restart button, we unscrewed the motherboard from the computer. Once it was out, we removed the RAM. After complete disassembly it was time to put it all back together. We did this the same way we took it apart, starting with installing internal drives and then putting the motherboard back in place, with the heat sink and fan connected. Making sure the standoff was properly installed allowed our motherboard to perform correct. Once installed we re-connected the SATA and Molex power connectors to the correct drives, and the ATX power connectors to the socket of the motherboard. We then re-attached the case and plugged in the external cords like power and connection to the monitor. After powering on we discovered we had assembled it correctly.

Problems and Difficulties:

On the disassembly side of the lab, we had very little problem removing everything from the case. It was simple to unplug and unscrew what needed to be. On the re-assembly side of the lab we ran into a few difficulties. To start, some of the screws were a little different in size. Trying to put in screws that do not fit is not the correct way to do it, so it ended up with us trying many different screws in many different places. After trying, all went in smooth eventually.

Figuring out which plugs and power connectors went where on the motherboard also proved to be somewhat difficult for us. Thankfully, we were provided a motherboard manual which instructed us on the details to which plugs were used and where. The hardest for us was distinguishing where the HDD lights, case lights, and restart/power pin connectors went. The manual had a blown-up image of where they were plugged in which helped us a lot.

Also some of the plugs and screws were a little difficult to access with our hands. Especially the smaller pin connectors like the lights and power. It took some extra time to get them plugged in, but with patience it was completed.

How we tested our lab:

Before any disassembly we wanted to test our PC to make sure it was running properly. We did that by connecting power and a monitor to the system, and turning it on. It was, so we could continue with the disassembly. After reassembly, we tested it in a few different ways. We made sure before powering on that all plugs and connectors were in the right place. We made sure all the screws were in the right place. A very important piece is making sure the heat sink and standoffs are both attached to the motherboard to avoid overheating and shorting it out. We re-plugged in power and the monitor to the PC, but did not put the case back on so we could make sure everything was running properly. As we powered on we noticed the case lights were on, meaning we correctly installed the pin connectors in the right spot. Secondly, we noticed the motherboard fan was spinning and did not smell any smoke. This meant we correctly installed the heat sink. Soon the system powered on fully and we knew then we were successful.

What we learned:

This lab gave us a lot of new knowledge that is needed to pursue a career in any IT field. Learning the basics of PC disassembly allows us to gain more understanding on how a PC really works. Having a hands on experience in taking it apart, then reassembling it with the troubleshooting of problems in between allows us to gain the skills to reason and figure out what solutions we can come up with for the problems.

Before this lab we had no experience with PC disassembly. Now after completing it we both feel confident and have a deeper understanding to the disassembly and reassembly process. We learned how the standoff to the motherboard works, along with the fan and heat sink of the CPU. We learned which power connectors go where, and how they fit. We also were able to map the motherboard manual. This was a very important tool to learn because in the future we can follow any manual for any PC, allowing us a broad array of skills for PC repair and assembly.

We also learned the importance of patience when re-installing drives and parts inside the computer. Nothing should be forced or jammed in where you think it should be. We learned if a screw is not fitting it is better to try another size of screw, instead of forcefully screwing the wrong size. Also it can be frustrating plugging in the smaller connectors to the motherboard. We learned firsthand patience is key to doing things correctly.

Undoubtedly this lab increased our understanding to not only how a PC works on the inside, but also to replacement and repair of internal drives, power connectors, and motherboards. The knowledge gained is very valuable, and is the first step to becoming a lot more experienced and prepared for further PC information.