01 September 2013

507. (re)assembling a Dell C521 -- pictures

I finally got around to getting a new (well, refurbished) power supply for my old Dell C521. While the PSU worked fine, on trying to shut down the computer before it booted linux I managed to get the power button stuck. As it turns out, it's not that easy to access things on the front panel on this particular model...

So I took everything apart. EVERYTHING. Except for removing the front panel, ironically. If this post has a lesson for anyone else it's that you shouldn't be afraid to attack (gently) your desktop with a screwdriver. Computers ain't magic.

Anyway, here are some pictures from me reassembling it. For most people it will probably be more useful to look at these pictures in reverse.
Empty case. The arrow indicates where the screws for the panel go. I forget to attach them the first time I reassembled the case...

The plastic bits go to the lights on the front panel

The arrow indicates the front button thingy which I had to attack (gently) with a screw driver to get the power button to release.

The power button. Not sure why I took a picture of it, but there you go.

Front panel screws.

The (very dusty) fan swings out in the direction shown by the arrow. Because of this, you must remove the mobo before removing the fan, which you need to remove in order to remove the front panel. Not a very good design.

The mobo gets stuck in the fabric, so you might need to poke it with a narrow plastic pen or something like that in order to get it to release when removing it. Lift up this side and then slide out the mobo when dismantling.

Another odd design feature -- the heatsink must (more or less) be removed in order to reach the front panel. Also, the CPU is in dire need of a clean and some thermal paste.

The heatsink is now attached -- the plastic bit funnels the airflow from the fan at the front across the heat sink.
The PSU is now in place, but not connected

The P1 main power connector

ATX12V (labelled p2 here) in place

The HDD in place

The CD/DVD ROM in place

PCI and PCI-E in place (and nvidia graphics card and a DTV 1000S tv card)

And it's back in one piece.

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