now i wipped this up in just a few days so dont be to harsh Step-By-Step Computer Guide Getting started: Make sure that you look at your manuals throughout the entire proces many computers are different in many ways, this guide in not meant to be followed directly but instead to give you an idea of what you will be doing. Building a computer isn’t a monumental task and can be done with ease if you just plan out what you want out of your computer and with a basic knowledge of computers. One of the first things you want to think about when building a computer is what it will be mainly used for. Main Use: First you will want to decide what kind of computer you are going to want. Depending on what you will be using your computer for it can change the machine completely. Whether it will be used for surfing the web, watching movies, playing games or maybe video and song editing all of these things can change your computer completely. Planning out what you want out of your computer is a very important step in building a computer; by doing so you could possibly save money and really getting the perfect computer for your needs. Selecting Parts Needed After you decide what type of computer you will be building you will want to select the parts needed for your computer. Here are a few essentials for a computer: Case Motherboard Hard Drive RAM memory Power Supply Processor Optical Drive Keyboard Mouse Monitor Operating System Some Non-Essentials: Video Card (for gaming computer) Sound Card (if no onboard sound card) Heat Sink (if not included with CPU) When picking parts you have to make sure that all of the parts are compatible with the motherboard and that you pick a power supply that meets the needed wattage for all of your computer parts. You are then going to what to pick out the needed parts to fit your computer needs and decide you budget. Budget: Depending on the type of computer you want the price range will very. If you are looking towards a basic PC for surfing the web and daily tasks you will want to buy the most basic of things, and the price of your computer will be reasonable cheap. Some recommended specs: AMD Sempron or Intel Celeron Processor 256MB - 512MB of RAM 40GB+ IDE or SATA Hard Drive Motherboard with onboard video and sound Inexpensive Case and 300+ watt Power Supply DVD / CD burner/drive combo Inexpensive 15" - 17" LCD Monitor Inexpensive Keyboard and Mouse Inexpensive Speakers Basic Inkjet Printer Another type of computer will be for business use. These types of computers will perform task using software that will need more processing and memory than the average computer. Some recommended specs: AMD Athlon or Pentium 4 Processor 512MB - 2GB of RAM 250GB+ SATA Hard Drive Motherboard that allows for adequate memory 256MB AGP or PCI Express Video Card Case and 400+ watt Power Supply DVD / CD burner/drive combo 17" - 19" LCD Monitor Keyboard and Mouse Inexpensive Speakers Inkjet or Laser Printer The highest end type of computer is a gaming computer; this type of computer will require some of the most high end parts for your computer if you would want to run the newest games. Some recommended specs: The latest AMD or Intel Dual Core based Processor 2GB of RAM + 500GB+ SATA Hard Drive Motherboard that allows for large amount of memory, video card linking, and overclocking 1 or 2 512MB AGP or PCI Express Video Card(s) that have the option to link with another card Full Tower Case and 600+ watt Power Supply Multiple DVD / CD burner/drive combo drives 19"+ LCD Monitor Wireless Keyboard and Mouse When you have a budget set in stone you will want to start looking for the best prices available. This is not hard to do but can be time consuming, but it can worth your wile. Building The Computer: The first thing you are going to want to do is to find a good place to put the computer together. A good place to build your computer would be a kitchen table or any other large flat surfaces with plenty of lighting so that you can see what you are doing. If at all possible DO NOT BUILD ON CARPET! When building your computer the number one cause of failures when building computers is static shock. The easiest way to stop static shock from happening is to ground yourself by wearing a grounding bracelet on your wrist. If you cannot get a grounding bracelet another thing you can do is to touch an unpainted part of your computer case before handling any components. After finding a place to build your computer you will need to get all of the needed tools, look in the manuals that were included with your parts to find out the needed tools. Most of the needed tools will be a screwdriver and maybe pliers. Installing Power Supply The first part you are going to install into your computer is the power supply. Power supplies are usually placed on either the bottom or top of the case in the back depending on your case. Here are the steps to installing the power supply. 1. First you need to set the power supply’s voltage to 115v, if it is not already 2. Mount the power supply to the upper back part of the case by inserting the power supply through the side of the case, and then sliding it on the support rails in the back. 3. If you have everything lined up correctly, you should be able to attach the power supply to the case with the four screws in the back that hold it in place. Now that the power supply is installed you will now install the motherboard. Installing the Motherboard Before installing the motherboard you will need to screw in the stand off screws into the side of the case. 1. Before putting the motherboard in put on the I/O panel in the back of the case. 2. Then place the motherboard onto the standoff screws so that they line up with the holes in thee motherboard. 3. Then screw the motherboard in place and you are done installing the motherboard. Installing the CPU and Heatsink Before installing the CPU you should look it over to ensure that you have gotten a CPU that is in good condition. If there are any pins on the bottom of the CPU it is defective and you need to replace it. Also do not touch the pins with your bare fingers. 1. Unlatch the socket on the motherboard by pulling the lever up. 2. You should see a small triangle on one corner of the socket. You will need to match this up to the triangle on the processor, so the triangles are oriented and in the same position. Once you have these lined up, simply set the CPU onto the socket and gently move until it falls into place. You shouldn't have to force the CPU in the socket, and if it is not going in easily, something is wrong. Check the pins for damage if it is not sliding in correctly. 3. Push the lever back down to secure the CPU into the socket After the CPU is installed into your motherboard you will need to install the Heatsink. 1. Make sure to remove the plastic cover that is over the bottom of the heatsink. This plastic cover is to keep the thermal grease in place with shipment. You need to remove the plastic cover so the thermal grease can attach to the CPU and improve heat transfer. 2. Place the heatsink and fan combo squarely on the CPU 3. Attach the mounting brackets from the heatsink over the tabbed parts of your CPU socket. Many times this is a small square tab sticking out on each side of the socket. It will probably be necessary to use a flat screwdriver to push down when attaching the second side. 4. There may be a large lever that you need to turn clockwise and push down to finish attaching the heatsink. This makes sure that the heatsink is firmly attached. 5. Connect the heatsink’s power cord to the motherboard Installing the Memory Installing your RAM is a very easy step. 1. Remove the memory from the packaging and notice the number of pins on the bottom of the memory module. One side will have more pins than the other side, and there will be a large gap in between the two sides of pins. 2. Look at the memory slots on the motherboard and you can see the same pattern, with one side having more pins than the other. 3. Make sure you match the pattern up on both the memory stick and the motherboard, and place the memory into the slot, and firmly push down. 4. The memory should 'snap' into place, and you want to make sure that the plastic tabs at each end of the memory slot are tightly secure to the sides of the memory 5. If you have more than one memory module, repeat the above process to install the remainder of the memory. Installing the Graphics Card 1. Remove the card from the original packaging and look at the slot type on the card. It should match the slot that is on your motherboard. 2. Hold the card in the proximity of where it will be installed in the slot. You will need to remove the back cover plate where the card will stick through the back of the case. 3. Gently install the card into the slot, by pushing until it fits snug into place. There may be an extra tab as part of the slot the wraps around and helps secure the card. Installing the Hard Drive The next thing that you are going to install is the hard drive. 1. Select where you want to place the hard drive within the case, usually there are a couple of spots labeled 'HDD' where the hard drive is intended to go 2. On the top of the hard drive, there should be a diagram telling you how to jumper the drive for installation. 3. If this is your only hard drive, and it is an SATA type drive, then you can set the drive as 'master'. Follow the diagram and place the jumper across the pins to make this setting. Many times leaving a jumper off completely will default the drive as master. 4. If you are installing an IDE type drive with another IDE hard drive or DVD/CD rom drive on the same cable, then set your jumper for master or cable select. Cable select means the computer will auto configure it for you. If you do set the drive to master, make sure you set the other drive you are installing on the same cable to 'slave' by setting the jumper correctly. 5. If you are installing an IDE type drive with another IDE hard drive or DVD/CD rom drive on the same cable, then set your jumper for master or cable select. Cable select means the computer will auto configure it for you. If you do set the drive to master, make sure you set the other drive you are installing on the same cable to 'slave' by setting the jumper correctly. 6. Once you have the drive jumpered and setup correctly, push it into the slot you want and line up the screw holes with the case. Make sure to leave the back to attach connections open, so you will want this facing to the rear. Installing the Optical Drive(s) After you have your hard drive installed you are then going to install the optical drive(s). 1. Remove the front covers on the case. 2. Slide the optical drive into the case from the front. 3. Make sure that the drive is flush with the front edge of the case. 4. Fasten the drive in, whether it is held in with screws or the rails Connecting Everything Together Now that everything has been installed into the computer it is time to connect everything together. This step is not a very difficult step but is an important one to do with lots of care to insure that everything gets connected to where it needs to go. Connecting the Hard Drive: 1. If you bought an SATA hard drive, the cable going from the drive to the motherboard is very easy to install, as the connectors can only fit one way into the drive and motherboard connections. Connect one end to the hard drive, and the other connector to the hard drive, aligning the connectors properly. If you bought an IDE hard drive, more than likely the connectors are tabbed, and can only fit one way into the connection slots. To be sure, when connecting the IDE cable to the hard drive, you want the red stripe facing closest to the power connecter. This is also known as 'pin 1', and is always installed this way. Attach the other end of the cable to the motherboard by installing it into the slot. Make sure both connections are snug and tight. 2. Attach the SATA power connector from the power supply to the back of the hard drive if you have this drive type, or one of the standard power connectors if you have an IDE version. Connecting the Optical Drive(s): 1. As described above, on an IDE cable more than likely the connectors are tabbed, and can only fit one way into the connection slots. To be sure, when connecting the IDE cable to the hard drive, you want the red stripe facing closest to the power connecter. This is also known as 'pin 1', and is always installed this way. Attach the other end of the cable to the motherboard by installing it into the slot. Make sure both connections are snug and tight. 2. Attach a standard power connector from the power supply to the back of the drive Connecting Motherboard: If you have an ATX style power supply, it will have one large connector, and possibly a smaller square connector that both need to be attached to provide power to the motherboard. They can only be attached on way, and each have a tab that needs to be pressed as you push them into their respective slots. You should here a 'click' and you should be able to feel when they are secured. Connecting Graphics Card: If your graphics card requires a connection to the power supply to connect it find the matching connector usually a six-pin cable. Connecting Case Cables: It is difficult to give detailed instructions for this, because every motherboard and case is different. Generally, you should have twisted cables for the speaker, case fan, hard drive light, power light, power switch and reset buttons. You may also have cables for USB ports if your case has them built in. Your motherboard manual will have a detailed diagram on where to attach these. Follow the directions on where these go for a smooth installation. Make sure to attach the wires in the correct orientation; usually each set of wires has a ground so it is pretty easy to figure out which way they go. Connecting External Cables Now that you have finished connecting all of the internal parts together it is time to connect all of the external devices. These include the mouse, keyboard, monitor, and speaker’s ext. 1. To connect you mouse and keyboard you will first have to see what type of cable you have, whether it is a USB cable which in that case you will connect them to any one of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If the cables are PS/2 then you will have to locate the two PS/2 ports on the back of the computer case. They are usually color coded to match up the mouse and keyboard to the right port. 2. To connect the Monitor you will connect it to the graphics card on the back of your computer. 3. Depending on how you plan on connecting to the internet, either connect the phone line to your modem or connect the network cable that runs from you cable modem, DSL modem, or wireless router to the network port on the back of your computer. It will be the port that looks similar to a phone jack, just slightly larger. 4. If you bought a scanner or printer, you can go ahead and connect it now, since Windows will detect and set the drivers for you when you run installation for the first time Plug in Computer: 1. To connect the power supply into a wall outlet all you need to do is plug one end into the back of the power supply, and the other end into a wall outlet. Now that everything has been connected to the computer it is time to boot it up for the first time. BOOT The point of the very first boot up is to test everything to make sure that everything is working correctly. 1. Go ahead and press the power button and watch everything inside of the case to ensure that all of the fans are spinning and that you see video on the monitor. Installing The Operating System 1. Open the disk drive and put the CD on the tray and close the disk drive. The computer should now go into the Windows setup and you will be prompted by messages on screen, follow the prompts on screen and windows will be loaded. Installing Drivers When your operating system is completely loaded the first thing you are going to want to do is install your drivers. To install your drivers you will just have to insert your driver disk’s into the optical drive, let them load and then follow the on screen prompts to install your drivers. After all of the drivers have been installed the computer will now recognize all of your parts correctly and you are finished building your computer. Go ahead and put the side of the case back onto the case, enjoy your new computer!