Well, the hardware’s here…at least most of it. Aside from the defunct Hitachi Deskstar I mentioned in Part 1 of this lovely series, everything else has arrived intact and ready to go. So, I thought it might be a good time to post some notes on the assembly process.
First, I should mention that installing a CompactFlash card on the motherboard of the MSI Wind PC is like no other CompactFlash card installation I’ve ever experienced. Given the amount of disassembly required, I’m glad I don’t intend on swapping it out that frequently. Due to the small form factor of the machine and the position of the hard drive chassis, case walls, etc., it is pretty much impossible to install the CF card without completely removing the motherboard.
Some advice for those of you following along at home: the motherboard is attached to the case, not just via the obvious four screws at each corner, but also in another area:
Yes, I know, kind of stupid of me. Anyway, once the four main screws and the RGB connector have been removed, the motherboard lifts out pretty easily. Here’s the bottom of it, which I hope to never see again:
Once the motherboard’s out, installing the CF card is as easy as ever; just slide it right in.
You can also see in the picture up above that I went ahead and installed my 512MB RAM stick; that part didn’t require any major disassembly; just popped it right in.
The next major bit of assembly was the hard drive; at the time I didn’t know it was broken, so I went ahead and installed it. This was quite a bit easier than the CF card, and only required lifting the drive chassis out for a short while to mount the drive properly.
I made sure to connect it to SATA port 1 (the blue cable) per the instructions.
And that’s it! Had the hard drive not been broken, that would’ve been the end of the assembly process. Very easy overall, I’d have to say. However, as I’ll show you in my next post, installing the OS was a bit more interesting.