Moving Computer Equipment

Most businesses today will need to move their computer equipment for one reason or another.  For example you might be having a sidewalk sale, or a trade show, or even shutdown a location because of seasonal constraints. For each of these situations, moving equipment may be necessary.

Here are some Rules of Thumb to Consider:

Before unplugging anything, an equipment and cabling diagram should be made.  Then anyone setting the equipment up, knows what needs to be setup and how to connect it together.  Your diagram should include all necessary cables, peripherals (including cash drawers and pole displays), routers or hubs, power outlets needed, and all the computers that go along with the setup.  Make sure to label any cables that are not already clearly marked.  If the cable has connectors that look similar on each end mark each end separately by the device it is for.  We have seen cabling issues be one of the most common problems.  If you just throw the cables in a pile in a box then odds are that you WILL NOT be able to sort them out later at the new location.  They look too similar for this to work.

“So it is also important to physically label all cables and peripherals so they can be installed on the correct ports and PC’s they go with.  When labeling your cables, be sure to label both ends of the cable.  You know need to know you have the right printer cable going to the right printer and the correct port on the PC.  I would recommend using stickers or writing directly on the component itself.  Make sure the labels will not peal off too easily, or they will end up in the bottom of the box.  You can get labels designed for this purpose.”

As an example, when I am tasked to disassemble and re-assemble a system for a customer, I always start with a detailed diagram of the current setup.  Once the diagram is complete, I will start to label the cables,  I like to use numbers (letters can be used also, so long as you keep it consistent).  I will start by marking the cable at both ends, then mark the PC and the peripheral with the same number.

When it comes time to put things back together I know exactly what cable belongs to what printer and to what PC and the port it plugs into.  l do this because it is easy to mistake a modem cable for a printer cable. They look exactly the same and will fit, but the difference is in the cable.  The modem cable will not work with the printer because the pining is different.

If you plug the printer into the wrong port, it will not work because the Retail Software, or OS, will not know that the printer was moved to a different port.  CounterPoint, for example, will send the print-out to the same port as before, but there is no printer there now.

Another thing to keep in mind, especially if going to a trade show, or sidewalk sale is to make sure there are adequate utility hookups.  Check the power source, phone lines, Internet connection for credit card authorizations, and proper counters that fit and hold all of your equipment safely.

I recently had to setup a customers system that closes a location seasonally, and brings all the equipment to a warehouse, so regular overnight polling can still take place. This is done to keep the system current for when it reopens in the summertime.  Besides not creating a diagram, they also did not label any cables, PC’s ,or peripherals.  This added a considerable amount of time to get the system backup and running.  If the proper steps were taken beforehand, instead of taking most of the day to set this up, it would have taken a couple of hours.

If your business is planning on moving equipment, you may need some help creating a diagram or labeling.  Send me an email or call the the CCS Support Department at 800-672-4806.  We will make an appointment to have someone come on-site and help with the process.

Hope you had a safe and fun Memorial Day

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