Do you have expensive computers, video game consoles, entertainment systems, or other electronics that aren't easy to set up? With multiple cables, fragile systems, and hefty replacement price tags, you need to make sure that your next move is both efficient and safe for your valuables. Here are a few preparation tips to make your next more less stressful for you and less damaging to your electronics.
Cable Management In Transit
Proper cable management makes it easier to track down the proper cable for a specific piece of hardware or network connection, but it also makes assembly and removal a lot easier.
Many skilled hobbyists and professional computer designers (those who bother with cable management, that is) use zip ties, twist ties, or industry-specific cable sleeves to keep their cables together. As you plan on moving your belongings to a new home or business building, it's a good idea to amplify these tie-off techniques with labels and sectioned packaging.
Tie off each cable and label it with its use. Although some cables may be obvious for simple computer designs to skilled computer users, having a lot of USB cables and network cables can quickly complicate things. Just because you can eventually figure out where everything goes doesn't mean you need to spend your time lifting cables, moving your fingers along the cable to find the source, and getting the right thing connected one at a time.
In addition to labeling, keep all cables packaged in a box with their paired device. This is important because multiple computers can become a nightmare when it comes to pairing specific cables with specific systems, and even more confusions when you're dealing with video game consoles that use many of the same cables. Televisions and entertainment systems can make things annoying as well, as many electronics use the same black power supply cord that was once limited to desktop computers.
Safe Packaging And Isolation For Computer Systems
For basic computers, you just need to make sure that movers label the box as fragile. Careful handling is standard, and this will prevent most of the inner components from being smashed or crushed in transit.
Custom-built computers or systems with a lot of interface cards are a bit more difficult to deal with. If you built your system and lack a set of industrial sealing and bracket tools, know that your video card/graphics card and possibly the motherboard will be a floppy potential projectile during the move.
Most expansion cards are held in place by a single mounting screw and the thin wafer of electrical contacts that slide into a slot. During a move, the card can move up and down with slight bumps and jolts that may happen in transit. Movers can do a bit to isolate such damage, such as dampening the packaging and being as careful as possible during the drive, but you can solve the problem easily by taking the card out.
Motherboards are a bit trickier to take out, but you can protect your system by fully installing and properly tightening all screws. You need at least 5 standoffs and screws--one for each corner, then one for the center--for basic stabilization, so add a few more screws if you're risking it with a half-built system for convenience. Don't tighten them too tightly, or the motherboard may crack.
To figure out different techniques available for keeping your electronics safe, contact movers and explain what you need to pack.