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This is the first time I have ever built a computer.

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Malpine Walis

Disabled
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Location
Banned Camp
I have all the parts and I am ready to get started. I will be puting it all together tommorow.

I would like to be cool as a moose and twice as hairy but I have a case of last minute nerves.

I would like to hear from anyone who has been in there before...

Thanks in advance
 

RoadWarrior

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Okay, first you get a 44 gallon oil drum filled with crushed ice, then you tip a jug of vermouth in, shake and then drain the ice dry. Now throw in the rest of the ingredients, shake well, or STIR if you are particular, garnish with a cherry and a tres chic little cocktail umbrella and serve. . . . . .

Hmmm I might have been confusing that with a martini recipe. :D

Okay, best way to do it.

1) get a friend to help. Any friend that can read, get him to double check your interpretation of the engrish in the manuals and help spot obvious booboos.

2) Start simple, just start with motherboard, CPU, properly seated cooler, RAM, and graphics card in your case. Install those, make sure everything is seated correctly, check with a small mirror held alongside the slots that everything is sitting down right if you can't see. A flashlight is useful too.

3) Plug it in and power it on with just those components installed, monitor attached. If you get a boot screen you are doing good. Turn off. Pull out the plug. If you don't get a boot screen turn off pull out the plug, reseat everything, check the fan connections, dishcharge the CMOS ram as instructed in the motherboard manual. Try again.

4) You can basically just add everything once you have the basics working, however read install instructions for all your hardware carefully, some hardware prefers to be installed after windows is installed, and likes to have it's drivers installed first before you install the hardware. Any problems, just take out stuff one piece at a time until it works or you are back at 3)

Points to remember:
*Discharge any static frequently or use a wrist strap.
*don't panic
*dont do anything inside the machine while it is plugged in, on 486s you could do this, not on modern machines.
*Get a friend to help, but don't turn it into a party, no beer until you have the case screwed shut!
*Go slow, double check everything, get your friend to check too.

Dunno if that was too basic, thought it might be useful, good luck,

Road Warrior
 

CyberFed

Member
putting a computer together isnt as hard as people once believed it to be basically its a giante jigsaw puzzle, things only going in one place and only fit on way for the most part, the only thing you might goof up is putting the IDE cables in the wrong way and if it doesnt work when you boot it up then you know to switch them, just take your time and remember that minor force is sometimes needed to place certain components in like the ram and pci cards, good luck!!!
 

IFMU

The Xtreme Senior Nobody
Joined
Jun 21, 2001
I would say that RW pretty much covered it all pretty well there... I think that about covers it that I can think of. And just a little FYI, if you dont have the antistatic wrist bands (which most people dont) Just touch the inside (unpainted) metal of the case before you touch anything. Its simple enough. I remember the first one I put together, you will be very suprised it wasnt harder than you thought by the time your done. As its been said, read the manual, double check everything, and most important, take your time. Dont rush it, thats how so many (inculding myself) mess it up somewhere.

Good luck and let us know how it fares once its together!~!

IFMU
 

Tambo

Registered
Joined
Jun 4, 2001
Well, I can't add much onto what the others said except these minor details:

1. those damn annoying case wires... the ones that plug into the mobo for led, power, reset, all that fun stuff. I always seem to forget them and go nuts finding why the comp won't start.

2. the floppy cable. yes, the documentation should tell you, but sometimes doesn't. basically, if your floppy doesn't work off the bat or if the power led on it stays put, flip the cable as many ways as you can think of until it works. (or you could just look up the correct way somewhere, but that would take all the fun guesswork out of it.)

3. take the time to understand ide chains, jumpered setting, etc. you may already, but if you don't, it's well worth the couple of mins it takes to reread all the docs.
 

RoadWarrior

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Most of the trouble with floppy cables comes from the stupid advice (probably comes from A plus hardware training manuals) that "pin 1 is closest the power connector" Now, in about 95% of the cases with harddrives and IDE devices it is, most new IDE devices have it that way, however, floppy drives seem to be about 60/40. So there is a stronger chance of getting it the wrong way round. The best plan is not to trust that rule and check for pin marking on all devices. The red stripe on the cable is pin 1. On the motherboard and on the drives, pin one may be indicated by; a one (wow really!) or a dot, or a little arrow, sometimes it's just a box, or solid square printed on the PCB around the base of that pin.

The floppy cable may have 3 3.5in connectors on it or a combination of 3.5 and 5.25 edge connectors, the correct orientation is to have the straight through part of the cable at the motherboard end, and between the end two connectors, or the end pairs of connectors at the other end, which is the drive end, you will see the cable is seperated and twisted over, this is to select between A: and B: drives. The endmost connector on that end is the A: drive. With the red stripe aligned to pin one on the drive and motherboard, that should work first go. Be careful plugging in the power cable on the floppy drive and other drives. They are keyed to go in one way only, but the plastic on the shells of the sockets is so soft and flexible these days that it makes it possible to force it in the wrong way.

All of the ribbon cables in a PC follow the red stripe is pin one convention.

Road Warrior
 

David

Forums Super Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2001
Before you build it, check all the parts and manals and wires etc are there and are all compatible with each other.

Common mistakes:
- make sure the plug is in, the outlet is on, and the PSU is switched to the correct voltage before starting. 115v for US, 230V for europe.
- Make sure the clear BIOS jumper is in the correct position before trying to boot. This can be really frustrating if you forget it :eek:
- Double check every connection, and all jumpers. Make sure the master/slave settings on the drive are correct.
- Make sure the CPU fan is plugged in before turning on the system. This is absolutely vital - double and triple check this
- Check the pin layout for the LEDs and switches. Make sure they are on the correct pins and the correct way round.
- If possible, leave spaces between PCI and AGP cards. This allows for better airflow, especially around the graphics card which can get really hot :eek:.
- If something doesn't work, dont panic or get frustrated. Check all connections, fittings etc and try again. I find it helps to leave a problem for 15 mins and come back later, refreshed of ideas.

Building the PC:
As RoadWarrior said, get the following set up first:
- CPU & cooler
- RAM
- Vcard
- Motherboard
- PSU

If that boots then you are laughing. If it doesn't, check all connections, make sure the CPU is in the socket/slot correctly and that the RAM and Video card are pushed fully and evenly into their slots. Don't force them too hard. Try switching the RAM sticks about the slots. Try various slots for the RAM. If possible, try a different stick of RAM.

If the basic system boots, put the mobo in the case and screw it in completely. Make sure it boots. If it doesn't, check that everything is fitted properly and the case grounded.

When that is done, install Hard Disk, CDROM drive and floppy drive. Boot the system and install OS while everything is running at stock speeds. OS should install fine. Then shut down and add a PCI card/other device. Install the drivers for that device. Add all extra devices (modems, NICs, SCSI cards etc) one at a time, checking that the system is still stable.

Once the system is complete I would suggest that you test it for stability. Download 3dmark2001se from www.madonion.com and run that a couple of times. Try [email protected] for a few hours - http://folding.stanford.edu - which will put full load on the CPU. We are team 32. Watch the temperatures. If it goes above 55C check all your cooling kit and consider adding another case fan or two.

Good Luck and have fun!

David.
 

RoadWarrior

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Location
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Yeah the CMOS jumper has gotta be responsible for a very high proportion of newbie motherboard retrurns. Some manufacturers ship them in the closed/clear position to save CMOS battery life, so they must be set to the normal position to boot. Also some are shipped in the normal position, but clearing the CMOS when a board refuses to boot, or as a matter of course when assembling a PC is good practice for two reasons.

i) Sometimes the CMOS RAM gets scrambled from default values when in transit. This might be due to Airport Xray scans or other strong magnetic disturbance.

ii) some suppliers might test the board, they may do this with a CPU that has different defaults than the one you are using, this can prevent a boot with some boards that do not automaticaly configure to the installed CPU every boot.

regards,

Road Warrior
 
OP
M

Malpine Walis

Disabled
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Location
Banned Camp
crystaldon said:
Stop, do not pass go. Go directly to:
http://www.a7vtroubleshooting.com/index.htm and look things over. Don't make the "jumper on the clcmos" mistake, go get the latest bios, etc. Good luck.

Thanks for the tip. When I saw that, I immediately grabbed the manual to see what it was telling me. Actually mine does say to use the jumper to clear and no jumper to run.
 
OP
M

Malpine Walis

Disabled
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Location
Banned Camp
Success!!!

It booted into the bios the first time. :D :cool: :D However, the front fan is making a terrible noise. Gotta fix that somehow but everything looks fine!

Edit:

The fan noise is gone now. I had cut the drilled out fan vents an replaced them with grills. I did not bother to dress up the one in front because it is hidden by the bezel. I had a little tab of metal that the blades were rubbing against.

If that is the worst problem I have to deal with, I am doing pretty good.
 
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