How to Build a Shuttle Barebones

Discussion in 'Articles / Guides' started by Graeme*Kustom*, Aug 18, 2005.

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  1. Graeme*Kustom*

    Graeme*Kustom* Administrator

    Apr 23, 2001
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    by Steven Allen


    Many people are deterred from buying a SFF system because they believe they are too complicated and fiddly to set up compared top a full ATX. With this guide I hope to show that this is not true.

    The shuttle I am building for this guide is specced as follows,

    A Shuttle SB61G Barebones
    Intel Celeron D 335 Socket 478
    Crucial PC3200 DIMM 512Mb
    Western Digital 200GB Caviar SE IDE
    Shuttle CR40 Silver DVD-RW
    Keysonic Silver Keyboard with Trackpad
    TV/DVI Out Card for SB51 CV-21
    Netgear DG834 ADSL Router.

    Shuttle Barebones are an excellent choice for anyone who would rather not spend hours pouring over components. All that’s needed to get a barebones system up and running is a CPU, some RAM, some drives (hard drive and optical) and a video card, if one isn’t already present onboard. The text descriptions on the Kustom site give plenty of advice for which components are suitable for which motherboards, so choosing couldn’t be simpler.

    Step 1. Make sure you have everything. This might sound like silly advice, but building a Shuttle is a very structured process. Because of the size constraints, some components fair a lot better if installed before others, so it’s a good idea to build it in one sitting, rather than put some pieces in, then have to remove them again, in order to put others in.

    Step 2. Once the lid has been removed, remove the drive cage. Keep your screws safe as they are quite small and easy to lose.

    Step 3. Carefully unhook the tension bracket over the CPU heatsink. There 2 hinged clamps and 2 fixed clamps (Various barebones models have different brackets. Its always a straight-forward method for removal and if you get stuck, the documents included with the system will point you in the right direction). Once this is out of the way, unscrew the 4 thumbscrews at the back of the fan.

    Step 4. With the drive cage and the heatsink away, you should have a little bit of manoeuvre space. Use this to make sure all the cables are connected to the board, such as this silver ribbon and the front USB ports.

    Step 5. The processor is fitted in exactly the same manner as a full ATX. Just make sure you observe the chip placement direction, as the corner mark can sometimes be hard to see on a SFF.

    Step 6. While you have space, install the RAM into which ever slot you like. If you feel like the distance between the front panel and the RAM is too small for you to fit an IDE cable later on, fit the cable now and tuck it away. (note, this only applies if you have an IDE HDD and the optical drive’s IDE cable is already installed)

    Step 7 (optional). If you have a video card or a Shuttle TV-OUT like I do, unscrew both backplate screws, lift the hinge and push out the appropriate backplate. The card is installed in an identical manner to ATX graphics cards, just push gently until its snug. Lower the hinge and screw it back down.

  2. Graeme*Kustom*

    Graeme*Kustom* Administrator

    Apr 23, 2001
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    Build Process Continued...

    Step 8. Take the screw pouch from the supplied box (the one seated nicely in the foam packaging) and find 4 screws the same. I went for the flat headed screws, but it shouldn’t make much difference, unless the cage scrapes against another portion of your case. Make sure the connectors are pointing into the case, not into the front wall. Now would also be a good time to set your jumpers, if needed.

    Step 8b. As with the HDD, screw the optical drive in place. Sit this cage to one side now, we’ll come back to it later.

    Step 9. I have found that the plastic that come with the processor is ideal for spreading heat paste. Cut a section off, preferably with a flat edge (or 45o angle if you prefer). Squeeze a sizable portion of paste (though not too generous. You want just enough paste to cover the chip) on to the processor and spread with the plastic tab.

    Step 10. Place the heatsink back down. Ensure there is good contact with the processor, and nothing preventing it from touching.

    Plug the fan connection back in before placing the fan in, as the fan itself hinders accessibility. Slide the fan back over the grill and attach the thumb screws to the rear.

    Reattach the tension clip to the heatsink

    Step 10b (optional). You may want to remove the fan grill to reduce noise a little. Just remember to screw the fan screws back in, as they hold the fan steady in place.

    Step 11. If you already installed the IDE cable, untuck it from where you put it. If not, attach it now, if necessary. If you require a floppy, the connector on the board is under the power supply and may be hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

    Step 12. Connect the IDE to the drive and lower the cage so it is close enough to connect the power plugs. Connect the optical drives IDE and power now too. Once connected, lower the cage in to the case and push forward until the screw holes align and then secure it with the screws you removed earlier.

    Step 13. Slide the lid back on, screw it together with the thumbscrews, then affix the feet to the underside. Turn it back up the right way and admire your new creation.
  3. Chenks

    Chenks Registered Trader

    Jan 5, 2002
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    congratulations on resurrecting a 2 year old post !