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What's needed[edit]

  • Target machine
  • Safety equipment: Eye protection, gloves, dust mask
  • Tools: Screwdrivers + and -, large and small hex-head drivers
  • Tray for small parts
  • Bins for fasteners, etc


Where conditionals are expressed, refer to session leader or label.If you are doing teardown, don't make assumptions / decisions about case parts, components or other bits unless you are also the person who tested the machine! If there are no labels, ask. If there's no one to ask, pick a different machine.

We need to provide guidance for first-time tearers-down. Always make sure a senior volunteer is available for guidance,

  1. Ensure nothing is plugged-in to the machine.
  2. Ensure eye protection and gloves.
  3. Remove all external case screws, sort and bin.
  4. Pop case cover and remove.
  5. Disconnect power supply from motherboard and all peripherals.
  6. Remove internal cables, sort and bin them.
  7. Remove internal peripherals (HDD, optical drives, card readers, anything that lives in a drive bay.) If HDD is Refurb, put in Pending Wipe area. (blue box)
  8. Remove slot screws, slot blanks, and expansion cards.
  9. Remove all internal screws. Sort and bin.
  10. If we'll recycle the case, remove drive bays and any other removable case parts.
  11. Remove mainboard. Pull CPU with heatsink, pull RAM. If mainboard is recycle, pull CMOS battery. If CPU is Refurb then keep the heatsink with it; otherwise remove heatsink.
  12. If case is recycle:
    1. Remove any remaining fasteners.
    2. Pull off front panel.
    3. Use violence to reduce case to small parts.
    4. Chuck parts in recycle box.