When you decide to move to a new place, chances are your desktop PC is coming along for the ride. But packing and moving can be harsh on what's ultimately a collection of delicate electronic components. Fortunately, the following shows how you can safely move your desktop PC.
1. Back Up Before You Pack Up
To minimize the risk of massive data loss, it's always a good idea to back up all of your data before packing your desktop PC. Cloud storage services offer a reliable way to back up your critical data prior to your move. You can also use an external hard drive with enough space to hold your original data.
When you're ready to move, don't toss the hard drive into the moving van with the rest of your belongings—take it with you and keep it in a safe, secure place. Don't forget to remove all CD-ROMs, SD cards, or floppy disks from your computer and put them in a safe place.
2. Add Plenty of Padding
A bumpy long-distance ride can easily dislodge and damage PC components, spelling a quick end to an unprotected desktop PC. If you want to keep your PC intact, you'll need plenty of protective padding. In fact, you'll need enough packing to keep vibration and shock to the bare minimum.
If you have a habit of keeping original packaging around, don't hesitate to reuse your desktop PC's original box. The original box will contain the formed cardboard and/or rigid Styrofoam (if you haven't thrown it away) needed to hold the desktop firmly in place. If you don't have any Styrofoam, you can try carving your own form-fitting pieces from large, solid blocks.
3. Use Static-Resistant Packaging
Static electricity is the deadly enemy of any electronic device. Using the wrong packing material can create enough of a static charge to accidentally damage and even destroy your electronics. Not only should you remain properly grounded when handling and packing your electronics, but you should also use packing material specifically designed to resist static electricity buildup.
4. Keep Your Cables Together
To keep your desktop PC's cables from going rogue during the move, carefully wrap them up and use zip ties to prevent them from unraveling during transport. Keep all of your cables in an anti-static plastic bag and either place them inside the box with your PC or tape them to the side of the box. You should also label each cable to remember where it was initially connected.
5. Consider Disassembly for Easier Transport
While it's tempting to leave your entire desktop PC intact, you may risk damaging certain components during the move. Aftermarket CPU coolers and video cards can be heavy enough to damage their own sockets and slots during transport. Water-cooled desktop PCs can spring leaks as fittings and joints flex and separate due to shock and vibrations.
If you're worried about how your PC's components will hold up during the move, consider disassembling and packing them separately. If your PC case uses a tempered glass door, for instance, place the door in a separate, well-padded box. If you have a water-cooled PC, drain the coolant and store the radiators and pumps in separate boxes. Older platter-based hard drives should also be removed and packed separately.
6. Don't Forget About Your Monitor
Depending on your type of PC build, the monitor is one of the most expensive peripherals in your arsenal. Monitors are easy to scratch and crack, so it pays to pack your monitor properly. Use your monitor's original box and packing or pack the monitor in an appropriately sized box with plenty of anti-static padding.
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