How to Pack A Gaming Computer For Storage
Protect Your Computer from Harm
Building a gaming computer yourself represents a substantial investment of time, money, and energy. Picking out the right parts, determining capability. All to make sure your over clocks are high and your temperatures low. There is a delicate relationship between parts can be disrupted, and what is worse, your data can be destroyed making it sometimes impossible to recover. Extra care should always be taken when a gaming computer needs to be relocated. This means care needs to be taken to the next level when storing or shipping your computer to your next esports competition.
If you have never built a computer before or opened one up and don't know the difference between a GPU, PSU, and HDD, this blog may not be for you. Please take extra care when handling your computer and its components. Make sure all anti-static measures are in place before opening your computer up to avoid electrical damage. Storage Rentals of America is not responsible for any damage or lost data that may occur while packing.
Back Up All Data
The first step is always the same when working on your computer. It is essential to back up everything on the computer. Once the data is safely stored in a separate and secure drive (or cloud storage solution), then it important to store it and carry it apart from the computer. Consider using cloud storage for saving important documents that you may need immediately and for an additional layer of data backup. By taking this extra step it will prevent both data stores from being lost or misplaced at the same time.
Disconnect All Computer Cables
Turn off your computer if you haven't already and disconnect all peripherals. Power cables, dongles, USB cords, it all needs to go. This should leave you with a desktop tower, the monitor or monitors, and the assorted devices such as keyboards, USB joysticks, network cables, external storage devices, and more. Most peripherals should be neatly stacked in a box with rigid sides and ample packing. All cords should be loosely coiled to prevent damage and placed with them. The screen or screens are likely to be the most difficult pieces to ship, so they will be saved for last.
Should I Disassemble the Interior of My Computer When Packing?
A Case for Leaving Everything in Place: There is a lot of debate online on whether one should disassemble a gaming computer before shipping it. Some recommend that you leave it as it. The reason is that everything is already secured properly in the case and if larger manufacturers like Dell and HP ship computers fully assembled, why can't you. The counter argument to this is that they do a lot of testing on their shipping to ensure it gets to their destination with no complications. A costly luxury many of us do not have.
A Case for Disassembly: Others recommend pulling out the GPU, PSU, and HDD out of the case at a minimum and placing them in anti-static bags. The reason some individuals recommend removing the PSU is due to the weight of it which causes an uneven distribution of weight. Some cases hold it in place by only four screws. That can place a lot of strain on the back of the case. If your PSU has a lot of support, you may be fine leaving it attached.
Like many of us the GPU is one of the most expensive components that in our rig. So if this gets damaged, you'll go back to using integrated graphics as you wait for a replacement. Besides it being expensive, you want to avoid any unnecessary strain from the PCIE slot if it's jostled around during transportation.
As for the hard drive, you may want to remove it to prevent data loss in the event the delivery company is rough with your box. SSD may want to be left in as they are less fragile than normal disk based hard drives however the threat of data loss is still present in case they lose your package.
Packing Up A Desktop Tower
A PC is particularly easy to ship. Pack it into a cardboard box a little bit bigger than it with enough Styrofoam or other packing material to immobilize it completely, and it should be fine. With the components taken out, use anti-static bags that came with your parts or look for ESD safe material. You may have to purchase them from your local computer supply store or borrow them from a friend. Once you have computer packed, take care to not throw it, drop it, crush it, kick it, or trade it in for video game console. Packaging should be extremely sturdy and durable regardless of its handling.
Shipping and Storing A Monitor
The screen or screens will generally be the most difficult part of any computer shipment. Extra wide or curved screens need extra care with packing to prevent warping or bending during transport. If you still have an old, heavy CRT style computer monitor, you may want to consider upgrading. Before packaging, disassemble the stand the monitor sits on.
Naturally the display area is the most vulnerable spot. Even a tiny scratch or dead pixel can have long-term detrimental effects on one's gaming experience. Obviously the original packaging that the screen came in will be far preferable to any other shipping method. It will be lighter and safer than anything that can be devised. Lacking that, begin by covering the screen with a soft microfiber cloth and then a piece of cardboard. Make certain to put as little pressure on the screen as possible while protecting it completely. Then encase the monitor in a cardboard box and ship it somewhere that it does not have much weight on it.
Can I Use Bubble Wrap to Pack My Computer?
No, packing material should be ESD safe to prevent static electricity from building. Other packing materials to avoid include Styrofoam, plastic bags, newspaper, and tissue paper.
Climate Controlled Environment
Treat your computer carefully and be sure to place it in a climate-controlled environment. Freezing temperatures or extreme heat can damage all electronics. In doing so your gaming computer should survive in storage for as long as it needs to be there, and then it will be able to handle the subsequent move in fine shape.
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