Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

HELP CHANGING MY PC CASE TO A NEW CASE!


  • Please log in to reply

#16
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Hi superstar

Don't panic.

The case you are looking to buy says it supports ATX & micro ATX form factors, so your motherboard will fit in the new case. I know, because I have done it myself. The power supply in your vectra is SFX (not ATX) so this may well prove to be a problem, as I tried to tell you earlier. The new power supply that comes with the case probably won't work with your system because of the lack of a 3 wire PSU fan connector. If the new PSU doesn't work, then you will have to use your original PSU. This will phsyically fit BUT you'll probably find that the screw holes that mount the PSU to the case, don't line up.

Other less important issues are :
You will need to use the back I/O plate from the original case. This is the thin metal plate that surrounds the ports (i.e keyboard/mouse ports, printer port, USB etc) on the rear of the case. This means you need to pop the plate out & swap it with the one in the new case.

Also, as you have already noted, the connectors on the motherboard for the power & reset switches will be different. On the vectra, you have a single connector with lots of wires (see pic below) but on the new case, you will have lots of little connectors with just 2 or 3 wires each (i.e one for each LED or switch). All you need to do is pop the plastic front off the case of the Vectra. Then for each LED or switch, locate the wires coming from it & trace back to the motherboard. Make a note of which pins on the board those 2 or 3 wires connect to. Once you know this, it's simple to hook up the new connectors when you transfer to the new case.


As for the CPU heatsink/fan question...

You're not upgrading the CPU, right? So you may as well just use the heatsink that is currently fitted. As you may no longer the plastic shroud fitted after moving to the new case, then you may want to mount a fan on top of the heatsink to provide additional cooling. Just go for the biggest fan that fits on the heatsink. If your motherboard doesn't have a 3 pin CPU Fan connector on it, then you will need to use a fan that has a 4 pin molex power connectors instead (like the power connector that you plug into a hard drive, for example). The fan will have 2 connectors however, one female (socket) & one male (plug). See the last picture you posted of the heatsinks/fans. All the ones you could see had these molex connectors on.

When you mount the fan on the heatsink, make sure you mount it the right way up, otherwise it will blow air in the wrong direction

Attached Thumbnails

  • vectra_front_panel.jpg

  • 0

Advertisements


#17
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
Thanx Samm, I understand a bit more. I hope I don't run into problems with the power and led connections! lol. This is the only part I'm worried about tho. I'm probably over reacting as this is probably going to be an easy task.

I bought a new 370 socket heatsink with a fan attached to it for my p3 chip in my HP Vectra. I bought it since I won't be using the current psu in my vectra. I found a way to get around still using my hp vectras psu in my new case. & that is to jumper the fan connection comming out of the psu. I tried it on my psu in my vectra right now (the one that came with my vectra). & the system boots fine. The jumper just tricks the system! So I will be using the new 350 watt psu that comes with my new case. I have to wait until monday to get the new case though. That's when its in stock.

How will I take off/snap off the I/O plate from my vectra to use it in my new case? What kind of force or tool is needed? (I don't want to break it)

In the rare opportunity that they don't get the new case within a reasonable time what type of cases can I use for my vectra? (I want the ones that stand). Can you name the ones I can use? That way I can look for a backup case in case they don't get the one I want in stock soon.
  • 0

#18
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Thats good news about the PSU fan trick. Which of the pins did you have to jumper in order to make it work?


Re. cases - any case that supports the ATX form factor should be OK with your motherboard. As ATX is still the most widely used form factor, then this means just about any case you buy should be fine.

Re. the I/O plate. They just unclip from the case. You won't be able to remove it until you have removed the motherboard, but after that it should be fairly straight forward to figure out. Some I/O plates have several clips or hooks which you can see quite clearly. Other plates just have 4 ridged edges - these ones normally just push out (push into the case with motherboard removed, rather than outwards). The clipped ones may require sliding out, instead of just pushing.

Either way, they are not difficult, just be careful & don't use too much force!

BTW, for future reference, normally you do not need to replace/sqap the I/O plates but the Vectra (as well as a lot of other proprietry systems) use non-standard plates - i.e the I/O port layout is different to standard motherboards therefore you have to use the I/O plate that fits that system.

When you go to fit the new heatsink, check to see whether it has thermal paste already applied. This will look like a white square on the underside of the heatsink. Do not touch it. If there isn't any thermal compound on the heatsink (i.e just bare metal) then you will need to apply fresh compound. The heatsink may come with a small tube of compound or you may need to buy some seperately. If you need help with this, let us know.
  • 0

#19
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
My new heatsink with attached fan did come with a compound in a little bag on it's own. I have'nt opened it. I do not know what it's for. I am already using my new heatsink in my vectra on my p3 chip.

Is this a bad thing for me to be using it with no compound? Am I ruing the chip or heatsink?

The heatsink I have has a plastic fan, and an aluminum heatsink with a copper bottom (that copper bottom touches the p3 chip).

My p3 chip still has what appears to be discolored old compound from it's old heatsink (that I replaced with the new heatsink).

Should I scrape off the old discolored compound still on the back of my p3 chip? And how do I do so without ruining the chip?

Should I reapply? How do I do so? & what does this work for?

Or should I leave the new heatsink on the p3 chip as I said it has some fairly old dried up compound on it it. It's kinda crackled off and looks yellow but it's still there. lol

What should I do?

Or should I just leave it alone?

My heatsinks one that chip right now pretty tightly but I'll take it off if I have to. It's on real tight though.

Oh and "Samm" as far as the fan connector trick I used. I just jumpered used a two pin jumper on the first two or the three fan connector pins on my mobo. You'll have to try it vice-versa, as you may be looking at your pc from a different angle. Theres only three pins so you can't mistake trying it one way or the other with a two pin jumper.

Edited by superstar, 16 March 2006 - 10:29 PM.

  • 0

#20
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
I understand your reluctance to dismantle the heatsink again so I suggest this....

If you have a way of monitoring your CPU temps, then use the monitor to keep an eye on the temperatures & let me know what your cpu temp is under load.

If you don't have any way of doing this, then I really do recommend that you renew the thermal compound. To do this, please follow the instructions below EXACTLY...

1) Disconnect all power to the motherboard, discharge your static & remove the heatsink/fan assembly.

2) Remove the CPU from the board & place on an anti-static bag. Remember not to touch the pins & only hold the cpu by the edges when cleaning. If you have easy access to the cpu when fitted in the motherboard, then you could leave the cpu in place instead & only remove the heatsink assembly.

3) Use a plastic card with a bluntish edge to gently scrap off the old thermal compound from the CPU die & heatsink. (eg an old credit card is ideal).

4) Remove the remaining traces of compound with a suitable cleanser e.g xylene based cleaner, acetone, mineral spirits or high purity isopropyl alcohol. Whatever you use, just apply a very small amount to a lint free clean cloth & rub the cpu die/heatsink with it, so that nothing actually gets wet.
DO NOT use oil or petroleum based cleaners. If in doubt, your local computer store or electronics store should sell something suitable.

5) Apply a small blob of the new compound to the top of the cpu die. Using the edge of a CLEAN credit card (or similar), spread the compound evenly over the die to a very thin layer. Scrap off any excess compound. You should end up with the whole of the die evenly & thinly covered with compound. Do NOT apply compound to any part of the cpu other than the die.

6) Reinstall the cpu & heatsink immediately.



PLEASE REMEMBER that this is a delicate procedure & you MUST use an appropriate cleanser etc. Also, as you have already found out, the heatsink requires a lot of pressure on the clip to install. The risk you run when fitting the heatsink when the motherboard is already installed in the case, is cracking (damaging) the board. Remember that there is a gap between the motherboard & the case with only stand offs supporting the board. This means that the board will bend under pressure. SO BE CAREFUL. Whenever possible, it is always best to fit the cpu & heatsink BEFORE installing the motherboard in the case.


Either way, it's risky. Everytime to start dismantling core components from the system, you run the risk of the whole thing not working again. On the other hand, without renewing the compound, you run the risk of overheating the cpu. If you notice the system randomly rebooting or shutting down or locking up, then this may be a sign of it overheating. Its your decision.
  • 0

#21
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
Thank you again Samm for telling me more information.

I currently still have the new heatsink I bought clamped onto the p3 chip in my mobo. I have'nt placed the compound on the p3 chip just yet. I was told that a p3 800mhz chip does'nt generally get hot. So I have'nt done that yet. I wanted to wait to do it until I place this "hp vectra vl400" pc in the new case, when I get it this week comming up because as you said it is hard to fit in the new heatsink it kinda has a tight fit and I don't want to break the mobo. Is it safe for me to wait?

I understand the process of compounding, one thing I want to know is what is the die?
Is that the middle part of the p3 chip?

& you said I can use alcohol, can that be rubbing alcohol like the one for first aid?

& how long does the compound take to dry?

& most importantly... what is the purpose of the compound???????

all this computer work has got to be the most exciting part of my year so far! thnx!!! Love it!!!


If you have a way of monitoring your CPU temps, then use the monitor to keep an eye on the temperatures & let me know what your cpu temp is under load.


I dunno what that means but I run "everest" and for overclock it says cpu clock 797mhz, original 800mhz.
I dunno what that means either but I hope that is the temp no?

Edited by superstar, 17 March 2006 - 09:07 PM.

  • 0

#22
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
I think waiting until you transfer the board into the new case, is a really good idea. Just remember to renew the thermal paste etc whilst the board is out of the case. Place the board on a flat surface when you reinstall the heatsink. That way you won't bend the motherboard.
However, as I mentioned before, if you notice any strange behaviour (such as the system rebooting itself or shutting down), then you probably need to do the thermal compound straight away.

The die is the smaller square or rectangular bit on top of the CPU. (The blue bit in the picture below)

p3.gif

The purpose of the thermal compound is to basically to fill in any tiny scratches & imperfections on the base of the heatsink & the surface of the die. If these scratches aren't filled in, then that means there are gaps between the heatsink & the die which are filled with air instead. As air is a very bad conductor of heat, gaps like this result in poor heat transfer (remember that heat transfers away from the cpu to keep the cpu cool) & can result in over heating.

It is true that Pentium 3 chips (and older) do not tend to run as hot as newer cpus but even so, thermal paste should still be used.

Rubbing alcohol will be fine. Just make sure you only use the tiniest amount & apply it to the cloth, not directly to the cpu.

Thermal paste does not dry as such & you certainly don't wait for it to dry after applying it. Once the paste is applied, the heatsink should reinstalled immediately. Also be careful of contaminating the paste. i.e don't touch it with your fingers, use a plastic card or similar that has also been cleaned with rubbing alcohol, to apply the paste.
  • 0

#23
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
After I put the compound on the die and attach the heatsink will I be able to remove the heatsink again? & if so does this mean I have to reapply the compound?

By the way I admire your intelligence. Your the first girl thats helped me with computer issues. Not that I'm being sexist. I just mean you simply "Wow" me!

You know more than me I'll tell you that! lol..

Thanx

Edited by superstar, 18 March 2006 - 10:27 PM.

  • 0

#24
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Thanks for the compliment!

Once the heatsink has been installed with the fresh thermal paste, it's not advisable to remove it without cleaning & reapplying fresh paste. That said, as P3's are not so prone to overheating as newer cpus, you would probably get away with it once as long as the paste wasn't contaminated or allowed to dry out.
  • 0

#25
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
Thank you Samm for telling me how to install a heatsink with thermal paste. I did it today because I can't be sure when that case I want will arrive in stock at the store. They said monday, but they've been saying that for the past three weeks. So I went ahead and did the silicone compound on my p3 chip and attached the heatsink as you said. I'm using my pc right now (I had dismantled it entirely), and I seem to have no problems!

With that being said is it advisable for me to be on my pc right now?

I mean I applied the silicone compound and than attached the heatsink, but I left my computer alone and unplugged for about 6 hours. Because I did'nt know if you have to leave them alone to dry together in your case. I did'nt know if you could apply the silicone compound and than just turn on your pc and go about your buisness as normal. One of my friends told me yah you can go ahead and use your pc once you finish applying it and attaching the heatsink. He said I don't have to wait at all and that is why I am on it right now.

Was this a good thing to do? And can I do that in future times with any pc? Just apply/attach and than turn on the pc and go about my buisness?

With that said I'm only going to be on for a bit because I don't want to ruin my pc.

One more question... I want to know the size of my pc/motherboard. I mean I want that case that I said I was getting and that is a micro atx case. Does this mean I have a micro atx size motherboard?

I want to know because just in case they do not have the case I want I', going somewhere else to get something different, and I want to know what I can and can't shop for. All I know is some pc cases are, atx, micro atx, full tower, middle tower. & if my case is the smallest and if its name is indeed micro atx motherboard than I want to know the sizes from small to big in which I can use for this HP Vectra VL400. I just want to know the name of the size motherboard I have so I know which cases I can use for my pc. Please name them for me. Name the size motherboard or smallest size case I have and than name the bigger ones in order by size so that I may know which ones I can use. & so I know which cases are out there and how they are named from smallest to biggest.

Thanx

Edited by superstar, 19 March 2006 - 10:49 PM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#26
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Hi

Yes, it's perfectly safe to use the computer immediately after applying the thermal paste.

Re. the case/motherboard sizes :
Basically, if you have an ATX (i.e full size ATX) motherboard, then you need an ATX case. If you have a microATX board, then it will normally fit in both a microATX case & a standard ATX case.

Micro ATX motherboards are no larger than 9.6" x 9.6" (Intel Specification). Full size ATX boards are 9.6" x 12" & require additional mounting holes for the stand offs.

Hope this helps a bit
  • 0

#27
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
The people at the store where i wanted my case havent gotten my case yet so i decided to go with another store and get this one:

New Case

Will my Hp vectra fit in this case? I think this is a mid tower.

.... Please let me know asap... as my day off is thurday and i am going to pick it up...

let me know the pros and cons of this case.

here is a review i found if you guys care:

Review

Oh and you think I can salvage my power supply from my hp vectra vL400 and still use it in this new case? or should I buy a new psu, and if so what wattage? I plan to use every slot on my mobo soon, and add the most ram i can, two or three fans, and maybe two or three optical drives. Thank you.....

Oh and what is the most ram I can use? How many MB on how many chips?
I have a 800mhz p3. I think this hp vectra vL400 came with 64MB, but when i bought it, it had 192mb. I dunno if hp put in the extra ram chip or if the buisness I bought it from did. I heard that some p3 hp vectras can take two 512mb sdram chips to make 1gb. is that true?
& can I buy a higher type of p3 chip with more power... say 1.0ghz? and still put it in my socket 370 and make it still work with my mobo?

because i want the highest/best/most powerful p3 chip in this.

Thanx for taking the time to answer.

Edited by superstar, 21 March 2006 - 03:09 AM.

  • 0

#28
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts
Ok, lets start with the case :
The case looks fine. I see no reason why your motherboard won't fit in it. It also has 3 places to mount case fans, which is good. On the downside, as you know, there's no psu. If you are certain that you can use a standard PSU by placing a jumper over that 3 pin fan connector, then I would suggest you do that. Your old PSU will not fit easily in the case because the screw holes will be aligned differently. If you buy a new PSU, get a reasonably good one, not the cheapest one available. As for power rating, the higher the better. For your current system (including the proposed upgrades), a 350W power supply should be adequate. If however you plan on upgrading the entire computer (i.e motherboard & CPU upgrade) then you may need a more powerful PSU than this.

Another reason for buying a new PSU now instead of using the old one, is that if you start adding more drives & memory etc, there's a chance that your current PSU won't be able to cope.

RAM :
Your system will support a max of 512MB of memory - thats 256MB max per slot. You will need PC133, unbuffered, non-parity ram. Be warned that these particular machines tend to be quite fussy about the ram they use. This means that you cannot guarantee that any PC133 unbuffered, non-parity ram will work. So make sure when you buy it, that the shop will let you return it if it doesn't work. Alternatively, order it from www.crucial.com. If you use crucial's memory advisor it will give you a list of ram modules that they sell which they guarantee to be compatible with your particular computer.


CPU :
There's a good chance that your system would work with up to a 1GHz Pentium3. However, this can't be guaranteed as it may be limited to clock speeds lower than this. I do know that Vectra VL400's were available with 933MHz CPU's, so your's would almost certaining clock up to 933 if nothing else.
  • 0

#29
superstar

superstar

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 716 posts
So your saying if I got say a pentium 3 chip that was 1ghz it might run lower than that on my motherboard because my mobo can only handle so much ghz?

i mean i dont know much about clock speeds etc. but for example (and just an example! lol), lets pretend i had a 1.5ghz p3 chip. It would run at a lower ghz just cuz my mobo allows only a certain amount? Like lets say my mobo only allowed 900mhz, and the chip was 1.5ghz. it would only take 900mhz is that what you are saying?


Off that topic I got a more serious question. I am getting the new case tommorow. & I am planning to by a new 80GB hard drive. Though I have never bought a hard drive by itself in my entire life. I am planning on getting an 80GB hard drive from a store downtown called "Canada Computers". The hard drives they have for sale are here:

Canada Computers Hard Drive Selection

Can you tell me what kind of hard drive I need for my "HP Vectra VL400". I believe it is IDE no? I don't know what the difference between SATA and IDE is. But I'm assuming I need an IDE hard drive. My technician friend had told me that western digital is the best ones for me. I need a hard drive that can handle massive audio editing work. I am a music engineer & I work on studio compositions at a professional studio and mix them at home. So I need a fast hard drive that can handle that. I'm assuming that the western digital ones under the ide page at that link I just gave you is the best for me no? another thing I dont know what 2mm and 8mm is? Is that the thickness of the hard drive disc?

Please look at the IDE section on that link. & if the western digital section (should be page two on the ide hard drives selection) provides the best extensive work ethic, please let me know what I need to get when I get the 80GB hard drive. does it need to be 2mm 8mm? I dunno.

Please let me know which one would be best for me. I need a 80GB one and if what i need is the western digital ones please let me know what I should ask for when I go and buy it. I need it to be strong and work hard and fast. I need it to last long. & to be the best 80GB hard drive that they have. if western digital is not the best 80gb hard drive to get from there and my tech friend was wrong please tell me and recommend another 80gb brand from the same store. Money is not the issue. I just need the best 80gb hard drive. I hope it is the western digital one though, i like the gold thing, and i like the review they give it.

Please let me know word for word EXACTLY what i need to buy.

Thank you...

(note: if you do not know anything about hard drives do not reply to this question and let someone who knows do it. I am going to be spending my money on this so i need the right one. oh and if that url for the hard drives dies or is wrong just go to www.canadacomputers.com and check out there hard drive selection)

Edited by superstar, 22 March 2006 - 04:57 PM.

  • 0

#30
Samm

Samm

    Trusted Tech

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,476 posts

Like lets say my mobo only allowed 900mhz, and the chip was 1.5ghz. it would only take 900mhz is that what you are saying?


Yes, thats exactly what I'm saying.

Re. your hard drive query...

You're in luck...I've actually built dedicated sound editing/mixing PC's so I appreciate the importance of fast disk acess.
Firstly, you are right in thinking that you need an IDE drive and NOT a SATA drive. Sata drives are faster but your computer does not support them as it has no sata controllers.
Of all the IDE drives listed on that website, you want to get either a Western Digital or Seagate. Do not get a Maxtor or a Samsung. Personally, I prefer Seagate but this is a personal preference, I can't really give you any real reasons why Seagate are better than WD.

Factors that affect the data transfer speeds to/from hard drives, are :

1) transfer rates (i.e the ATA-100 standard). All of these drives support either ATA100 (100MB/sec) or ATA133 (133MB/sec). However, your computer's IDE controller supports a max of 100MB/sec so the max data transfer rate will be limited to this, even if an ATA-133 drive was connected.

2) rpm - (rotational speed). The higher this number is, the faster the drive will be. 7200rpm is the standard for new IDE drives.

3) Cache size. The bigger, the better. Get a drive with a 8MB cache or higher.

4) Other specs to check are things like the average read & write times. These figures are given in milliseconds (ms) and the lower the number, the better.

Given all the above factors, the best 80GB drive on that list, for you to get is the Western Digital Caviar EIDE (WD800JB).

Unfortunately, that site does not offer retail drives, only OEM ones. This means that often the warranty period is shorter (in this case, 1 year). Retail drives normally have a 3 year or even a 5 year warranty.

As for your question about what the 2mm or 8mm spec refers to, I have no idea. I couldn't find that listed anywhere in the specs but it certainly won't be the drive thickness if its 2mm! Do you mean ms instead? If so, then I've already explained that one (milliseconds).

Other advice you may find useful :

If you are planning on having the new drive as the only hard drive in the system, then I strongly advise that:

(1) you make sure the drive is on its own controller (ribbon cable) & the optical drives are on the secondary (seperate) controller.

(2) You partition the drive to create at least 2 partitions, if not more. If you have only one partition (ie just a C drive), then everything (Windows, audio files, other files/docs etc) is lumped together on that partition. This can slow the system down when trying to read/write the audio files.
I suggest you create a primary partition (C drive) just for Windows & the programs, create another partition just for storing audio files and possibly a third partition for Internet downloads, temporary files etc. Doing this not only speeds up the disk access but also makes the system easier to maintain & backup. For example, if for any reason in the future, you needed to wipe the C drive & install a fresh copy of windows, you could do this knowing that all your audio files are safe on another partition & will not be wiped.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP