This guide will help you begin from scratch and give step by step instructions so that you can get your new PC up and running in a short amount of time. So here we go!
Things to get in place before starting:
Anti-static wrist strap
Set of screwdrivers and pliers
Piece of cloth
CPU Thermal compound (recommended)
Tip: CPU Thermal compound is not a necessity but it is recommended to keep your CPU cool under load conditions by helping heat dissipate faster. It is a must if you intend to overclock your PC.
Note: You can find the meaning of an abbreviation at the end of this article under the heading Jargon Buster.
Step 1: Installing the motherboard
Make sure you have all the components in place and a nice, clean and big enough place to work with.
Put your antic-static wrist strap on to prevent your components from getting affected. Make sure your hands are clean before starting. First we will be installing the motherboard which is a piece of cake to install.
Open the side doors of the cabinet
Lay the cabinet on its side
Put the motherboard in place
Drive in all the required screws
Tip: Most motherboards come with an antistatic bag. It is advisable to put the motherboard on it for some time and then remove it from the antistatic bag before placing it in the cabinet.
Step 2: Installing the CPU
CPU is the heart of a computer so make sure you handle it properly and do not drop it or mishandle it. Also try not to touch the pins frequently so that they do not get dirty. Get hold of your motherboard and CPU manual. You need to place the CPU on the dotted white patch of the motherboard in a particular fashion for it to fit properly. There is a golden mark on the CPU to help you assist. Consult both your motherboard and CPU manual to see which position it fits exactly or you could also use try all the 4 positions.
Lift the CPU lever on the motherboard
Place the CPU properly on the motherboard
Pull down the lever to secure the CPU in place
Warning: Do not try to push the CPU into the motherboard!
Got the thermal compound? Now is the time to use it. Take small amount of it and carefully apply it on the top surface of the processor. Be careful not to put it on the neighboring parts of the motherboard. If you do so clean it immediately using the cloth.
Tip: Thermal compounds should be changed once every six months for optimal performance.
Step 3: Installing the heat sink
After installing the processor we proceed to installing the heat sink. There are different kinds of heat sinks that are bundled with the processor and each has a different way of installation. Look into your CPU manual for instructions on how to install it properly.
Place the heat sink on the processor
Put the jacks in place
Secure the heat sink with the lever
After this you will need to connect the cable of the heat sink on the motherboard. Again look into the motherboard manual on where to connect it and then connect it to the right port to get your heat sink in operational mode.
Step 4: Installing the RAM
Installing the RAM is also an easy job. The newer RAMs ie. DDR RAMs are easy to install as you don’t have to worry about placing which side where into the slot. The older ones, SDRAMs are plagued by this problem.
If you want to use dual channel configuration then consult your manual on which slots to use to achieve that result.
Push down the RAM into the slot
Make sure the both the clips hold the RAM properly
Step 5: Installing the power supply
We will now install the power supply as the components we install after this will require power cables to be connected to them. There is not much to be done to install a PSU.
Place the PSU into the cabinet
Put the screws in place tightly
Tip: Some PSU have extra accessories that come bundled with it. Consult your PSU manual to see how to install them.
Step 6: Installing the video card
First you will need to find out whether your video card is AGP or PCI-E. AGP graphics cards have become redundant and are being phased out of the market quickly. So if you bought a spanking new card it will certainly be a PCI-E.
Remove the back plate on the cabinet corresponding to the graphics card
Push the card into the slot
Secure the card with a screw
Plug in the power connection from PSU (if required)
High-end graphics cards need dedicated power supply and if your graphics card needs one then connect the appropriate wire from PSU into the graphics card.
Step 7: Installing the hard disk
Hard disk is another fragile component of the computer and needs to handled carefully.
Place the hard drive into the bay
Secure the drive with screws
Connect the power cable from PSU
Connect the data cable from motherboard into the drive
If your hard drive is a SATA one then connect one end of SATA cable into the motherboard and other into the SATA port on the hard disk. If your hard disk is PATA type then use the IDE cable instead of the SATA cable.
Tip: If your PSU does not support SATA power supply then you will need to get an converter which will convert your standard IDE power connector to a SATA power connector.
Step 8: Installing optical drive
The installation an optical drive is exactly similar to an hard drive.
Place the optical drive into the bay
Drive in the screws
Connect the power cable and data cable
Tip: When installing multiple optical drives take care of jumper settings. Make sure you make one as primary and other slave by using the jumper. This is not applicable if the drives are SATA drives.
Step 9: Connecting various cables
First we will finish setting up internal components and then get on to the external ones. You will need to consult your motherboard manual for finding the appropriate port for connecting various cables at the right places on the motherboard.
Connect the large ATX power connector to the power supply port on your motherboard
Next get hold of the smaller square power connector which supplies power to the processor and connect it to the appropriate port by taking help from your motherboard manual
Connect the cabinet cables for power,reset button in the appropriate port of the motherboard
Connect the front USB/audio panel cable in the motherboard
Plug the cable of cabinet fans
You are done with installing the internal components of the PC. Close the side doors of the cabinet and get it upright and place it on your computer table. Get the rest of the PC components like monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers etc. which we will connect now.
Connect the VGA cable of the monitor into the VGA port
If mouse/keyboard are PS/2 then connect them to PS/2 ports or else use the USB port
Connect the speaker cable in the audio port
Plug in the power cable from PSU into the UPS
Also plug in the power cable of the monitor
You are now done with setting up your PC. Power on and see your rig boot to glory.
Step 10: Installing the OS and drivers
We are done with the hardware part. Now get your favorite OS disks ready and the CD that came with your motherboard.
Set the first boot device to CD/DVD drive in BIOS
Pop in the OS disk
Reboot the PC
Install the OS
Install drivers from motherboard CD (applicable only to Windows OS)
Voila! You have your PC up and running. Enjoy your journey with your self assembled rig!
CPU – Central Processing Unit
RAM – Random Memory Access
DDR -Double Data Rate
SDRAM – Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory
PSU -Power Supply Unit
AGP – Accelerated Graphics Port
PCI-E – Peripheral Component Interconnect- Express
SATA – Serial Advanced Technology Attachment
PATA -Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment
IDE – Integrated Drive Electronics
ATX – Advanced Technology Extended
USB – Universal System Bus
VGA – Video Graphics Array
PS/2 – Personal System/2
OS – Operating System
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