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Build Or Buy
Building Your Own Computer - Part 1
Building Your Own Computer - Part 2
Building Your Own Computer - Part 3
Building Your Own Computer - Part 4
Building Your Own Computer - Part 5
Building Your Own Computer - Part 6
Building Your Own Computer - Part 7
Computer Accessories Part 2
Hard Drives - Part 1
Hard Drives - Part 2
Motherboard - Part 1
Motherboard - Part 2
Building Your Own Computer - Part 4
If you are installing the motherboard in a case with a removable plate, the only thing you need to do to prepare the motherboard for the case is to install the memory. Press the tabs on either side of the memory module slots back and insert the RAM. Memory modules are notched so it is not possible to put them in the wrong way. When they are in place, gently lift the tabs to secure the module into place. The motherboard plate can now be installed into the case. There are two ways that the case is designed to accomodate the motherboard and that is to either swing or slide it into place.
If you are working on a case without a removable plate, the motherboard must be installed in the case first, after which the CPU and memory can be installed as explained above.
With the motherboard in place, attach the main power cable from the power supply unit to the motherboard. This is a rectangular connection that is slotted and can not be installed incorrectly.
The next step is to attach all the small wires to the LED, the power switch, the reset switch and the internal speaker. These wires are clearly labelled and are attached to the motherboard with small plugs which have two or four wires.
Video CardsNow attach the drive cables, which are flat ribbon cables that usually have three connectors attached to them, to the motherboard. One connector is attached to the motherboard and the other two are attached to the hard drives or optical drives. Floppy drive cables are standard for any type of motherboard. You'll be able to distinguish the floppy drive cables because they are thinner than the cables for the hard drives or the optical drives and they also have a twist in them.
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There are two different types of cables for hard drives depending on whether your motherboard has ATA or SATA controllers. The traditional ATA (or EIDE) cables can connect two drives and are limited to 18 inches in length. SATA cables, on the other hand, have just one connector and can be as long as 40 inches.
Both ATA and SATA connectors are keyed so that it's impossible to connect incorrectly. Attach the required cables to the motherboard before installing the drives.
CPUYou are now ready to install the hard drive, the floppy drive, and the CD and/or DVD drive. Start with the floppy drive, as it is the smallest and least accessible in the case. Remove the face plate of an appropriate floppy disk bay. The case should have a 3.5" bay specifically for floppy drives. If this isn't the case, you'll have to install it into a 5.25" bay using an adapter front panel.
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Insert the drive from the front of the case and secure it using two screws on either side. Make sure the front of the drive is flush with the front of the case.
Once the floppy drive is secured, attach the twisted ribbon cable using the connector after the twist for one floppy drive or, if you are installing a second floppy drive, drive B is attached before the twist. Make sure that pin 1 is connected to cable 1 (marked in red).
Computer Accessories Part 2Now get ready to install the hard drives and the optical drives.
The previous article looked at some computer "accessories" that, although often overlooked, are nonetheless essential .....