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I'm emigrating shortly, and I'm planning on sea-shipping my desktop PC.

I'm wondering what steps I should take to prepare the hardware to give it the best chance of being in good working condition when I get it at the other end.

I'm planning on doing the following:

  • Making multiple backups of the hard-drive, one of which I'll hand-carry when we travel.
  • Removing the heavy CPU heatsink and packing that separately. This is the only component that I could see potentially detaching in transit and causing damage.
  • Leaving most of the other components in place in the case.
  • Packing the case in the packing it originally came in.

But I have these questions:

  • I could potentially remove all of the components, do you think this is worthwhile?
  • Will the shipped hard drive likely be OK? Is there a way of telling the (3.5" desktop) hard drive to prepare itself for travel? (eg to lock the read-heads away from the platters)
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Computers get shipped with all the components plugged in all the time- including the heat sink so stripping it down should be unnecessary. Powering the system should park the heads, so it should be safe to travel. The heatsinks shouldn't come off on their own either.

Using the original case packing SHOULD be sufficient, for most part. I've shipped a older slot1 PIII with no protection at all (got popped onto a pallet and plastic wrapped), and it got from UK to singapore fine, so I don't foresee any issues

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Yeah, in this case I'm concerned about the heatsink because it's gigantic, heavy and not very securely attached (by me) ;) – therefromhere Sep 11 '11 at 23:04
in which case, removing it should be fine. Or secure it better! As long as everything is screwed down tight, you should be fine – Journeyman Geek Sep 12 '11 at 0:16

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