Pre-Made to Custom Conversion Guide


Table of Contents
I. Reasons for a Conversion
II. Before Beginning – Get all of the Knows!
III-1. The Procedure • Section 1 – Breaking Down the Pre-Made
III-2. The Procedure • Section 2 – Rebuilding the Pre-Made into a Custom
IV. Closing and Aftermath

There’s always that huge base decision to make for a new PC desktop: should it be bought pre-made from a well-known manufacturer, or should it be built from scratch? Let’s go with the basis of not wanting to mess around with constructing one from scratch due to either time constraints or just not wanting to and getting that nice shiny pre-made. Get it all up and running, looks nice and places like a champ for the foreseeable future with no end in sight.

Then that day happens when a part of it decides to just go out far past the warranty being expired. Now what? Only one part of the PC doesn’t work and the rest of the thing works just fine! Could go and replace the entire thing, go and see about repairing the part itself via a service, or could possibly repair it oneself. The first two options are pretty straightforward: replacing it entirely would resolve it, but be costly and take time to get all the old data onto the new system; the second option could be costly and lose the PC for a certain amount of days. As for self-repairing, that is where things get fun!

NOTE: I MUST emphasize that this is NOT a beginner’s project! Do this at user’s discretion and/or comfort level! If one is just curious about the process, then by all means, read on!

I. Reasons for a Conversion

What would some of the reasons be for taking on such a task? Recycling old computers is one huge point, and I’m all into that especially for computers. Well before I ever remotely got into building my own computers, I would either take old pre-made systems and take them apart to be rebuilt again to give them life anew, or take apart broken ones to see about getting them running once again.

Another reason for such a task is to upgrade a part that would be impossible as a pre-made. One of the first systems that I used quite heavily was an old HP Pavilion that I needed to amp up the graphics card to play newer games. Unfortunately, the way it was constructed and the power wattage was far too low for such an accomplishment. That is when I decided to just transplant the entire innards into a whole new chassis with a much more beefy power supply.

Like the scenario previously told before, reason for doing such a task to go about replacing a failed part in a system that runs just fine. That one alone can merit the entire conversion process on its own to avoid the entire replacement, or service fees. For years people would donate parts or full computers to me, because I would recycle them with a new life or, if not, figure out how to utilize their parts for the better. One such computer I got was a far newer HP Media Center desktop computer that was only a few years old at the time. It served its purpose perfectly for a couple of years when all of the sudden, the power supply just up and quit one day. The only course of action to get it up and running again was to replace the power supply completely with a new one, but the way the chassis was designed, I couldn’t put any type of standard power supply back into its place. Yes, I could have just gone out and found any run-of-the-mill power supply that would fit in that spot just to be on my way, but that would just bandage the problem instead of fixing it. Eventually, I would more than likely be in this scenario a couple of years later.

One thing I have learned throughout the many years of working with computers: don’t skimp on the power supply. Make sure that it’s of good quality, wattage, and brand so it will eliminate these kinds of issues down the road. Obviously in a pre-made, that’s not a choice the purchaser has when acquiring it. I decided that if I wanted to put whatever power supply that I wanted into the system at this point, it would need to be converted over to a custom build. Let’s fix this PC up to be better than new!

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