The Safety Introduction from the basic deconstruction page applies here. In particular, wear safety glasses: no heatsinks are permitted in your eye.
What to remove?
Your objective is to remove as much as possible from the motherboard: batteries, processors, memory modules, daughtercards, heatsinks, fans, large transformers, faceplates, and any other large bits that aren't made with a substantial amount of gold.
Any screws, plastic clips, faceplates or other hardware must be removed from the motherboard.
Not all batteries look like batteries. Here are a few examples of batteries or devices which contain batteries. Remove anything that looks remotely like one of these.
This is the most common battery you'll find on a motherboard. Wedge a screwdriver in there and pop it out for later sorting.
Real Time Clock (RTC)
This one can be hard to spot, and many motherboards don't have one of these. This device, if present, maintains the system time. It has a built in battery, so pry it off and put it with the other batteries for later sorting.
Some older motherboards have Ni-Cd batteries soldered on. Given the age of devices which included these batteries, they've probably leaked some toxic gunk. Wear gloves.
Pull the processor. This can be tricky, depending on whether you're dealing with a slot-mounted CPU or a socket cpu. Both kinds have a lever or a catch (or two) you have to find and release before they'll come off. Just remember, this is recycling. If you gouge the motherboard, damage a CPU or break a bracket, no one cares. Just don't hurt yourself. All mounting CPU hardware must be removed.
Most motherboards will arrive at your station without memory modules. If you see any, pull and set aside.
You'll see all kinds of stuff, but most motherboards won't have cards or other devices attached by the time they reach you. If you happen accross a weird, unidentifiable hunk of something attached to a motherboard, pull it off and ask about it. Then update this page with what you learn.
It's not just the processor that has a heatsink. Almost every PC motherboard's Northbridge chip has a heatsink glued to it. Pry that sucker off.
What do I do with all this stuff?
After a few hours, you'll have a pile of clean(er) motherboards in the gaylord in front of you, and a bunch of stuff. Here's what to do with all the stuff.
(This section is incomplete)
- CPU's: in buckets. slot CPUs and socket CPUs must be sorted separately, and slot CPUs must be extracted from their plastic housings.
- Memory: in a separate bucket.
- Heatsink/fan assemblies: to PSE for further disassembly.
- Metal, including passive heatsinks: (more on this later)
- (more to be added later)