Recently I organised a new computer for my little brother. As usual, I recommended Dell because of their in-home warranty, which helps considerably considering I’m in a different state and can’t help with hardware issues.
He has a Macbook at the moment, which is probably a decent unit, but when I’m trying to give technical support or deploy updates or extra software it can get a bit troublesome considering my experience is primarily with Windows systems.
We went with the Studio One desktop computer from Dell, because it has that Mac look-and-feel to it, but comes with Vista OEM which should keep us both happy. Here it is below: –
Anyway, the main concern with this system, was it’s upgradability and serviceability, so when it arrived at my office last week one of the first things I did was determine what components were used, and how to replace them.
The Dell Studio One is a self-contained system, where the PC components are stored in the same housing as the LCD panel (directly behind it), so it’s not as simple as just opening up a standard ATX case and replacing dead RAM or a hard drive. Here’s how you can do some basic servicing: –
- Disconnect the system from power, and unplug any peripherals
- Place system system LCD panel down on to a soft cloth or the original foam bag out of the box
- On the bottom edge of the system, there is a groove on either side of the stand where you can use soft leveraging to release the back panel from the first two clips (the clip locations are marked in the image below)
- With the first two clips released, gently work around the edges of the panel until all clips are released, as per the locations in the image of the removed panel below
- With the back panel removed, you will have exposed the interior metal panel which covers the system components – You may also notice that there are clear markings on this panel to indicate the location of the internal components, as well as the screws to remove to get access to the components (I have marked the component locations in blue, the screw markings in yellow and the screws themselves in red in the picture below)
- Remove the screws as marked in the image above to remove this panel to expose the main board of the system, and the majority of the sytem components
- The hard disk drive is a standard 3.5″ sized SATA II disk (320GB pictured here)
- The system memory is SO DIMM, notebook size (3GB pictured here)
- The optical drive is a slot loading, SATA DVD-ROM drive
- The CPU is a standard 2.94GHz Core 2 Duo processor
You’ll probably also notice that the main board and cooling system is much closer to a notebook than a desktop machine, so this limits some upgrades, but your major components and readily obtainable from just about any retailer.
When you’ve finished servicing your system, be sure to use the provided cleaning cloth.