Project: Hardware Manual


You and a partner will take apart a PC computer and then reassemble it. You will document this process by taking photos and notes. After successfully reassembling the machine you will create an illustrated step-by-step that a junior team member could use to assemble the computer and do some basic troubleshooting.

The Assignment: Create An Assembly Manual

Choose a partner to work with. This is a group assignment, you will build the machine together but you will each hand in your own version of the manual. Each group will have a working machine to disassemble and reassemble. Once you get your machine, test it to make sure it works and label your machine. Have your teacher check that it can load the BIOS. Your teacher will review the safety requirements before you start. 

Make labels for all of the items you will need to label. Start take the following out: RAM, CPU, DVD, HD. Do NOT remove the power supply or motherboard from the case. Do NOT remove any connectors from the motherboard or make any other changes to the computer without DOCUMENTING it. 

Take a picture of your machine fully dissassembled with each of the main parts labelled (print out labels, cut them out and place them beside the part when you photograph the dissassembly. Re-assemble and test. Have you teacher check the condition of the machine.

Create a step-by-step manual with pictures illustrating and describing the steps that a user would have to go through in order to assemble the machine from the basic systems. Include the following sections with details of assembly: case, motherboard and power supply, CPU and heatsink, RAM, HD, DVD. Be sure to include the make, model, type, etc of what each part is.

Include a table of contents. Include detailed steps for each item with any specials notes about preventing damage, etc. Make sure to include pictures of your system. 


Title Page
Table of Contents
Photos and Other Graphics
Disassembled Labeled Parts Photo
Assemble Steps (4x)

  1. Make sure you have a clean workspace and you have all the necessary tools.
  3. Turn the power off to the machine and remove the power cable from the power supply.
  4. Double check that you have removed the power cord. Remove the covering from the computer case. Place it somewhere safe underneath your workspace. Make sure people won’t trip over it.
  5. Touch the power supply to ground yourself.
  6. Familiarize yourself with all the parts, wires and cables inside the case. Pay special attention to how the parts are oriented and connected to each other. Fill out the disassembly chart with as much information as you can.
  7. Begin to take apart the machine in the order below - label each part with the # on your disassembly chart. Make notes of each step and include details of how things are attached
  8. Remove the HD.
  9. Remove the DVD
  10. Remove the RAM
  11. Remove the CPU with the HEAT SINK attached.
Create labels for each of the parts your removed. Place labels beside each part and take a picture of the disassembled machine for your report. Take any close up pictures that you think might be useful in your report (eg. motherboard, with RAM and CPU, close-ups of where ribbon cables attach, etc.)

  1. CPU
  2. Heatsink
  3. DVD
  4. HD
  5. RAM
  6. Motherboard
  7. Northbridge
  8. Southbridge
  9. EPROM Battery
  10. One of each cable (IDE, power)