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How to Remove a PC Case

Part of the Upgrading & Fixing PCs For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you want to upgrade or fix a PC, you need to remove the case to get to the inner workings. The steps in the following list tell you how, and the figure shows the key components.

  1. Turn off the computer, monitor, and peripherals.

    Make sure that everything normally attached to your computer is turned off and unplugged. Your computer’s easier to move around that way.

  2. Unplug your computer from the wall or Uninterruptible Power Supply.

    Unplug the power cord from the back of your PC, too.

  3. Remove the screws from your PC’s back or outside edges.

    Many PCs use two large thumbscrews along one edge, as shown in the figure. Some new models have sides that simply flip down when you press a release.

  4. Remove the PC’s cover or side panel.

    On some computers, the cover slides toward the front; others come out the back. You might need to pull pretty hard.

  5. While the case is off, take your PC outside and use a can of compressed air to blow out all the dust from inside. Clean away the dust balls clinging to any outside vents, as well.

    To replace the cover, reverse these steps.

    The working end of a PC tower.
    The working end of a PC tower.
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