Installing the hardware


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Motherboard checks good? Time to finish installing the hardware!

Normally installing the hardware is fairly simple, but occasionally you will get the awkward one.

Now that the motherboard is in and is operational you can move on to set up of any additional fans, hard drive(s) or SSD (Solid State Drive), CD/DVD drive, floppy drive (if you bought one).

If you have additional add on cards such as a sound card or special peripheral card leave those out until after the Operating System is installed, it will make the OS install and any troubleshooting easier.

Installing the hardware

With IDE hard drives/SSD you will have to set the Master/Slave jumpers before installing them in the case. The same for a CD/DVD drive. (see the resources section if you have IDE drives)

If you have SATA HARD drives/SSD then find the # 1 SATA connector on the motherboard, pick out the drive you want to install your OS on and connect it to the # 1 connector. With SATA it doesn't matter which drive is the boot drive, this just makes it easier to find in the BIOS Boot menu. There are no jumper settings on SATA drives, cool.

If you have a floppy drive install it, the cable will have three connectors, two close together and one at the far end, the one at the far end connects to the floppy drive interface header on the motherboard. The other end connector should have a 'twist' in the cable (that is the cable is split and a small section has been twisted over then inserted in the connector) this indicates the first or 'A:' drive, connect it to your floppy drive.

Install/mount your extra fans, these fans may have a small power connector that will connect to the motherboard making them controllable by the BIOS and software that comes with the motherboard from the manufacture. (check the user/installation manual for locations to connect the fan power cables).

Connect all your power connections to your drives.

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You will need some cable ties to make your cables streamlined inside the case. If you have any IDE or Floppy drive cables try to lay or route them close to the side of the case. Round cables are better for smooth air flow in the case.

The idea is to keep your cables as tidy as possible this will keep them from impeding the air flow through the case, the lower the air flow the hotter your computer will run.

Everything installed? Tight? No extra screws in the case, that would be a bad idea...

Power it up! It should once again go to the BIOS screen. Here you need to check that the BIOS can see the hard drive(s) and the CD/DVD. (If it doesn't power up check your power and interface cables, one is not seated all the way).

Go to the Boot Device menu, select your CD/DVD drive as your first boot device, floppy (if you have or want) as your second device, and the hard drive you are going to install your OS on as the third.

Some people set the hard drive as the first boot device but if the drive doesn't have a boot partition and OS or you have problems with the OS that is installed then the CD/DVD will never start, the computer will go in to a 'Startup Loop'. That is it will try to boot from the hard drive fail, restart, fail, restart...


IDE Master/Slave jumpers (see this page for jumper settings)

Now that you have completed installing the hardware your next step for building a custom PC is to insert your OS install CD/DVD in the drive, save your settings and restart.

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Installing the hardware

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