Opening the decTop

12 December 2008

The decTop is a very small computer originally produced by AMD as a Windows CE PC, but now sold by Data Evolution Corporation with no OS. My decTop came with a 11GB hard drive and 128 MB RAM. Both the RAM and HD can be easily upgraded. This short pictorial demonstrates how to open the PC. Click on any picture to see a higher resolution image.

decTop upside down on workbench

This is a picture of the dectop upside down on my bench. Notice the three small indentations under the blue band? There are small plastic latches in these indentations. Use a small screwdriver to unhook the latches. Be very careful: we don't want to break them. When all three are unhooked then you can gently lift that side of the case. There are three identical latches on the other side of the case. Unhook them too, and you can remove the bottom of the case.

the dectop with bottom removed

The decTop hardware is contained in a metal case within the plasticized metal shell. First remove the blue band. Then lift the metal case out of the shell. There are no screws holding it in but you must gently bend the shell above the VGA connector in order to make enough room to get the VGA connector out of it's hole.

the dectop removed from the shell

Carefully pull off the front of the metal case. Be careful of that small transparent plastic optical waveguide. It can fall off and might be difficult to find. Then remove the four screws which secure the hard drive to the case.

the dectop with bottom removed

Now you can gently remove the hard drive. Sorry about the blurry photo. I am a poor photographer. Hopefully you can make out the PC2700 SODIMM at the upper right corner of the board, next to the CMOS battery. The RAM is mounted directly over the Geode CPU.

the dectop with bottom removed

Here's a slightly better photo with the SODIMM removed.

the dectop with bottom removed

So now I can upgrade the RAM and harddrive. To put everything back together just do the same procedure in reverse.