Shuttle K48 DIY

I recently started another DIY project. Unlike my previous Core i7 storage server, this is a small form factor desktop. The main component is a Shuttle K48 barebone system which includes motherboard and power supply. Here are the parts:

Shuttle already has an excellent quick start guide with color photos. I’ll just tell you about my experience with it without doing a step-by-step guide again. The built quality of the system is solid and I am surprised to find the case is made of aluminum which is better at dissipating the heat.

When I first bought the parts, I didn’t buy a CPU cooler because the Core 2 Duo already comes with a stock CPU cooler. I first tried to install it without success. I just cannot get all four pins pushed in. I really hate the design of the push-pin for the stock Intel cooler. Finally, I decided to ditch the Intel CPU cooler and buy the one from Masscool. The new CPU cooler uses spring loaded screws to mount. You have to take the motherboard out to install the Masscool CPU cooler. Remember to take the power supply out first before doing so. Even with the extra time needed to take the motherboard out, I think this is a better choice than the aweful stock Intel cooler.


All parts except the Masscool CPU cooler.


Got everything assembled.

One note about the Masscool CPU cooler. The cooler has a 3 pin connector and K48 cannot adjust the speed of it. The fan always runs at full speed and it’s noticeable compared to the case fan. So, if you are concerned about the noise, you might want to pick a CPU cooler with a 4pin connector.

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  1. Are you able to boot from USB flash drive? I made a bootable USB flash drive with Ubuntu, but I can’t get my K48 to boot from the flash drive. I first tried making the first boot device USB-FDD, second boot device CDROM (which does work), and finally the Hard Drive. That didn’t work. I then tried USB-HDD and USB-ZIP as the first boot device, but no such luck.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Yes, I was able to boot from a USB device. Press “ESC” when the machine boots up and select the USB device from the menu. It’s treated as a hard drive.

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