Assemble a Computer

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Building or assembling a personal computer gives you insight into how they work. There are many reasons for assembling your computer. You save money and use parts of your choosing. It also gives you the knowledge to upgrade your system when you need to do so and increases your comfort level when using your computer. Here is how to assemble your personal computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer Chassis
  • Motherboard
  • Hard drive
  • CD-ROM/DVD-ROM or CD-RW/DVD-RW
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Anti-static Wrist Band
  • Non-magnetic Screwdriver
  • Various software and operating system
  • Assemble all the parts you need on a table. Place them on anti-static mats or leave them in the packages you received from the manufacturer. Place an anti-static band around your wrist. Attach the band to any metal part of your computer Chassis to ground yourself. Following manufacturer’s instructions, attach the Central Processing Unit (CPU) to the Motherboard. Secure it with the clip. Attach the CPU fan or heat sink to the top of the CPU. Secure firmly. Attach the power supply to your Chassis if it didn’t come attached.

  • Attach your Motherboard to the Chassis. Align the holes on the corners of the Motherboard with those on the Chassis and attach the motherboard to the chassis with screws provided by the manufacturer. Use Screwdriver to tighten the screws firmly.

  • Install the Random Access Memory (RAM) sticks to the Motherboard. Press down firmly until you hear a click to indicate it is locked in place. Repeat this step if you have multiple RAM sticks.

  • Install the Hard Drive. Your options are IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) or SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) Hard Drives. Make sure your Motherboard and Power Supply support your Hard Drive. Most computers have support for IDE Drives. Using screws provided and Screwdriver, attach the Hard Drive to the Chassis. Be sure to align it with the front of the Chassis to avoid protruding. Connect the Power Supply and Cables to the back of the Hard Drive.

  • Connect the CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, CD-RW or DVD-RW to the Chassis being careful to align it with the front of the Chassis. Use the Screwdriver to tighten the screws firmly. Connect the Power Supply and Cables to the slots on the back of the Drive. Set the jumper on the back of the Drive to slave or master if you’re using more than one Drive.

  • Install your Video, Sound and Network Cards if they are not on-board the Motherboard. Newer Motherboards come with these cards on-board. Confirm they are not on-board before installing a new card.

  • Close your Chassis. Turn on your computer after plugging it to a power source and attaching your mouse and keyboard. Open your CD-ROM drive, place your operating system in the Drive and close the Drive. Follow the operating system developer’s instructions and install the software. Install the drivers for the Motherboard and other on-board devices. Enjoy your new personal computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure you set the jumpers on all your Drives if you are installing multiple Drives. For Hard Drives, set one as master and the other as slave. Do the same with the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drives. You will have issues if both are set to master or slave. Read the manuals you received with the Drives for instructions on how to set the jumpers.
  • Be sure to wear anti-static wristbands and ground yourself when assembling your computer to avoid static electricity damaging your devices. They are available in your local computer and electronics stores.
  • Place all devices on anti-static mats or packages when you're not working on them to avoid static damage.
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