Solved: Please help me identify the parts of my computer (PICS)

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Captain_Kash

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If you guys could label each part with a photo editor program or something for me, that would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping that soon I can get good enough with hardware that I may build my own tower, since my current PC is a little outdated. Thanks much in advance :D

Here are pics of my PC:

http://photobucket.com/albums/c384/Captain_Kash/?action=view&current=SideTop.jpg

There are 4 pics if you may need different views.
 
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Maybe you could tell us what it is you wish to do, trying to mark a few photos is not really a practical way of trying to learn. If you wish just to identify componant parts there is lots of information on the web just do a google search.
If you wish to update your computer you will need post the specs of your computer and you get the help required.
 
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Hm. HP tower?

I can't give you an MS paint job, but you can print this out and read it as you look at your PC.



The metal box in the upper left corner with the teal label is the power supply. It sucks a specified amount of wattage from the wall outlet and distributes it accordingly among all of the components in the PC.

The white plastic plugs at the end of the wires coming out of the power supply are called molex connectors. They supply power to the individual devices in your system. Hard drive, disc drives... et cetera. They all need power to operate. There is also a larger 20 to 24 pin connector that plugs into your motherboard to give it power.

The large white plastic thing is a vent shaft for your heatsink fan. It redirects hot air from your heatsink out the back of the tower.

If you were to remove that plastic piece, underneath you would find the heatsink. It's a black 80mm fan mounted on top of a metal box with hundreds of ridges. (Google image search PC heatsink and you'll understand better.) It's mounted on top of your processor, which transfers all of its heat into those metal ridges which is subsequently blown out by the fan...

....which then goes into the plastic shaft, and out the back of the case.


Obviously, the processor is under the heatsink. It is mounted into the motherboard, which is the large circuit board mounted to the inside wall of your computer case. Everything plugs into the motherboard... even your keyboard and mouse, believe it or not. All of the connectors poking out of that rectangular section on the back of your tower (monitor plug, ps/2, USB, etc) are built into the motherboard.


The wide, flat cables are IDE cables. They connect your 3.5" and 5.25" drives (hard drives and disc drives, respectively) to the motherboard. Basically, it's the medium by which those devices communicate with the motherboard. You'll notice that one end of each cable goes into those devices, and the other ends of both cables go into the motherboard.

Those white plastic slots at the bottom of the motherboard are PCI slots for PCI cards. Basically, they're expansion slots for your computer. If you wanted to install a wireless card, new ethernet card or maybe a card with more USB slots, that's where it would go.


The rectangular chips with the plastic pieces on both sides of them is RAM... or system memory, however you want to call it.
 

Captain_Kash

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Thanks for that writeup, RedHelix.

What I'd like to do is install these hardware, if possible:

I wouldn't know whether there is extra room for a second hard drive or if I'll have to replace the current one. In any case, this is the baby I'm hoping to get for the PC:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148022

Also, there are two RAM sticks in there for a total of 384MB. What I'd like to do is trash the 128 the PC shipped with and put a 256 in its place, for a total of 512. Here's the RAM stick that I'd like to use:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820146014

And then, finally, I'd like to install a new disk drive, possible a DVD burner or the like. Is there enough room for this too, or should I use a USB external hard drive and then put that DVD burner in that little gap? Thanks.
 

Captain_Kash

Thread Starter
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Do you recommend that I take apart the computer and examine each hardware to get a feel for it all? What would I need? Gloves? Thanks much.
 
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Jun 13, 2005
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From your pictures, I don't think you may be able to fit in another hard drive into your PC. However, seeing as you have a free 5.25" bay, you could buy a 3.5" to 5.25" adapter for the hard drive. They only cost a couple bucks. If you get a DVD burner, you will have to replace the current cd or dvd drive if you want an extra hard drive also or just run dual optical drives with only 1 hard drive. For the RAM, you can stick that 256mb chip along with the other one.
 
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Based on the picture you've shown us, you might be able to install a second hard drive, given a couple of things. I see that you have an unused slave connector dangling around. That's good. I can't see any in the picture, but if you also have an unused molex connector hanging in there, you can install another one no problem. Otherwise, a molex splitter could be an option but I would never recommend using one.

But if you do have the two connectors you need, before you install the new drive you'll have to move your existing floppy drive and hard drive up one level in the mounting bracket at the front of the case. This is because the new hard drive is going to have to be mounted under your current one, so that slave connector will seat properly.

You will also have to move the jumper pin on the back of the new hard drive to either "Slave" or "Cable Select" configuration. It sounds complicated, but instructions on where to put the jumper pin are actually printed right on top of the drive for you.

Once it's in, you simply right click "My Computer", go to Manage, then Disk Management, and you'll see your new drive. Simply right click and format it to FAT32 or NTFS and you're good to go.
 
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All of the instructions except for the disk management shpeal apply to the DVD burner as well... unless you want to swap it out with your existing disc drive, in which case the jumper should be Master or Cable Select.
 
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You can only squeeze so much into a pint pot, another option instead of buying addons and adapters etc would be to buy a new case and transfer everything over including all the extras you want then you know they will fit, also it would be a good learning curve on how computers are put together. New cases are not expensive these days
 
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