I am moving from Egypt to the Netherlands and I need to take my PC with me. I won't be taking the monitor, just the case, but I'm wondering what the best way would be.

Am considering taking it as carry-on because I'm allowed 8kg and at least then I can handle it myself. Has anyone done this before and can give me tips or warn me that this doesn't work? Would putting it in my normal suitcase as checked baggage be a better idea?

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    Keep in mind that at some security checkpoints, they may ask you to turn on your electronic devices to show that they are working, which can be extremely cumbersome with a desktop computer.
    – gparyani
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 7:10

5 Answers 5


If you do take it and store it in the hold, I'd suggest removing the harddrive. You don't want that bashed around by other suitcases.

Taking it as carry-on - as long as it fits in their luggage dimensions (the airline you're using will have this on their website) and is under their weight restrictions (you sure it weighs less than 8kg?), then there's no reason you shouldn't be able to. People take laptops all the time, and yours is just a bigger, bulkier version ;)

However, what I'd pay to see is the looks on peoples' faces at the xray screening checkpoint, where they tell you to remove the laptops from your bag. Naturally, I'd expect you'd probably have to take your desktop out of the bag as well, and it'd be fantastic to watch :)

A quick searched showed me that another guy has done this before, with similar reactions, and from the sounds of it he had no problems at all.

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    "There's no reason you whouldn't be able to." -- Are you sure? Many PCs have parts which could be used as a weapon. The PCI slot fillers come to mind. And it would be easy to sharpen one of those to make a knife. It might not be the most effective weapon, but if I had to defend myself, I'd choose that over a nail file, which is usually prohibited. :)
    – Flimzy
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 1:45
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    Mark, you reminded me of the very old hard drives, when we needed to park the head of the drive prior to moving the disk, using a command in DOS which supplied by the drive manufacturer, forgot the command but maybe it was park.. Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 23:23
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    @Flimzy perhaps, but as of this moment, nail files are not permitted, while computer components are :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 14:45
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    @MarkMayo: I know where to hide my nail file next time, then!
    – Flimzy
    Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 4:20

When I went from US to India, I decided to carry my desktop with me, minus the monitor. The main reason being I didn't find the corresponding motherboard specs in India (although it would be available in a few months!). As I knew how to put together a computer and also knew that I could buy a new case in India, I dismantled the entire computer and took only the components. I decided to carry the hard drive in my carry-on baggage but decided to check in the motherboard and power supply. Everything got wrapped in layers of clothing so that they wouldn't be damaged.

At the US end, there weren't too many questions. When I landed in India, when the luggage got x-rayed, there were questions about an object with lots of wires coming out of it, but when I explained, there was no problem.

Once I put it together, the computer ran without a hitch!


I just took my dismantled desktop through security with me at Singapore Airport, no question asked.

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    went through London as well, the guy opened my suit case, had my show him all components (in the bubble wrap I had put them, no need to remove) and just re scanned everything out of the suitcase. Took 10 minutes and I had to repack but no problem.
    – Eagle1
    Commented Jan 2, 2020 at 15:53

I did exactly that when I moved from Argentina to Canada in 2002. Via the US, so there was Argentinian security at EZE, American security at EZE, again American security in the US, and then Canadian security.

The most annoying ones about it were the Canadians, both at check-in with Air Canada and at security. At check-in, the employee wouldn't believe that it was within the carry-on limits. I had done my homework, so the case fitted (barely) in the measuring basket and they had to let me go through. Security was different; they wanted to apply the same policy than they had for laptops, which was that you had to turned them on. I told them I was completely ok with turning it on, as long as they provided me a monitor and a keyboard; that could have gone bad, but somehow it worked (though I don't recommend it).


I advise that you disassemble the PC, securely wrap the components individually, and leave the case at home. Cases are relatively inexpensive and you can buy a new one at your destination. It will be a small part of the overall cost of your move.

The individual parts will take up much less space than the entire case and will be much easier to carry. You also remove the risk of the graphics card (or anything else) snapping off the motherboard in transit and breaking.

Desktop PCs aren't really designed to take bumps of any kind or be anything other than perfectly upright at all times. I wouldn't like my chances of leaving a tower on its side in an overhead compartment during a long flight.

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