Cannibalization project

Cannibalization project

Postby Forb » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Okay, so here's the scoop. I have my old desktop case and my old portable laptop hybrid thing. Neither of them work for separate reasons. The desktop is missing a video card and hard drive and has possibly been exposed to water. The laptop has some sort of issue with the disc drive, the hard drive might be corrupted, and I am of the opinion it is most likely a motherboard issue.

Here's where I admit I don't know much about building computers besides assembly. What I would like is some advice and guidance in the process of determining my situation then putting together a functioning computer using the parts I have available to me.

I have to do some other stuff now, so later I'll look at specific model information later. It would be particularly helpful at this stage to tell me anything I should specifically look for pertaining to capability.

Bonus project: The screen on the laptop is actually pretty sweet; if I could separate the monitor to use as a normal one, that would be awesome.
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Re: Cannibalization project

Postby Phauss » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:04 pm

Assembly of the computer is easy and straightforward. But because you already have parts you're going to use, we need to know a few things about them before we can pair up the old parts with new parts.

First things first. Laptop parts and desktop parts are almost never interchangeable. Except for the hard drive, the physical size constraints make the different connections between peripherals and the motherboard completely incompatible with the standardized connections of a desktop. This includes the monitor. There may be an adaptor of some sort for a ribbon-type compression connection (I don't even know the type) that's commonly used with the monitors, touchpads, and keyboards that laptops use, but I highly doubt it. These ribbon connections are almost always model specific.

That leaves us with the desktop parts and a laptop drive. The known goods are processor, memory, and power supply, correct? The computer may have been exposed to water at some point and it's probably ok, but as a whole it's not a known good. There's no hard drive and no video card. The hard drive from the laptop is suspected as good, but it's not known. The good news is that the laptop hard drive can be used inside the desktop if it works.

The thing that will allow us to get most of the required information is the motherboard model. That will tell us the CPU socket (and therefore the supported CPU type), compatible memory (DDR, DDR2, DDR3), type of expansion slots (AGP, PCI, PCI-e), and the connection to the hard drive (IDE, SATA, SATA2, SATA3). If the motherboard is fried, we can find another board with similar specs to match the equipment you currently have. The model of the computer as a whole can be unreliable as different parts are commonly used in the same model of computer. Amount of existing memory is good to know, and it would also be good to know the wattage of the power supply to see if power would be limited with certain video cards.
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