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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Chapter 2. Working on PCs

Popping the lid of a PC for the first time can be pretty intimidating, but there's really no need for concern. There's nothing inside that will hurt you, other than sharp edges and those devilish solder points (fortunately much reduced in recent years with increased surface mounting of electrical components). There's also nothing inside that you're likely to damage, assuming that you take the few simple precautions detailed in this chapter.

Some PCs—particularly those from big-box stores—have seals that warn you that the warranty is void if they're broken. This isn't so much to protect them against your ham-handedness as it is to ensure that you have to come back to them and pay their price for upgrades. We advise people to break such seals if they need to, do their own upgrades, and fight it out later if they have a problem that should be covered under warranty.

We've never heard of anyone being refused warranty service because of a broken seal, but there's always a first time. If you have a sealed PC that is still under warranty, the decision is yours. Note that some individual components inside, such as hard disks, are a special case. Breaking the seal on a hard disk does actually destroy it and will without question void the warranty. And, unless you are qualified to do so, don't ever open up a power supply or CRT monitor. Dangerous voltages await you inside. ...

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