Assemble and stage your components carefully. You will be handling sensitive electronics that can be damaged if dropped, or mishandled
STATIC ELECTRICITY CAN HARM THE COMPONENTS:
1. Take Inventory:
Before you start, take inventory of your parts. Do not begin assembling your computer if you don't have everything you need. Begin the step-by-step process once you have determined you have everything you need.
2. Make Space, Make Time:
Building a PC take space - about a dining room table worth. So make sure you have plenty of working room and a few hours to proceed with minimal interruption. Work on a flat, stable table top surface or bare floor, where you have room to layout all of the items.
3. Prepare Grounding Protection:
Use an inexpensive antistatic wrist strap (they are often priced at less than $6) is the perfect preventive measure if you have no alternative to working on carpet. Remember, a table top or bare floor is always the best place to build your system. Make sure you are wearing your antistatic wrist strap correctly (it does you no good at all if you do not wear it!), and you are ready to proceed. Look Figure 2 for details.
4. Have the Drivers Ready:
Assuming you have another internet connected PC, download the latest drivers from the vendors' websites for each component you will be installing. Sometimes drivers are updated between the time the component was manufactured and the time you are installing it. It is always best to have the latest. Copy them to a CD for easy access.
(Click the picture to enlarge)
In order to install the memory modules, insert them into the proper sockets (Figure 7) and push down firmly but evenly until the clips on both sides of the socket pop into place. If your motherboard supports dual-channel memory, consult the user manual to determine which pairs of RAM sockets you should use. The motherboard and the CPU are the brain and nerve center of your PC, so selecting these components is the most important decision you'll make.
Making the proper connections is crucial to successfully assembling your PC system. Fortunately, manufacturers provide color-coded power cables and unique connector shapes to make the job easy.
You are going to be doing work that requires attention to detail and can be quite frustrating if you do not go into it with the right attitude.
ENSURE THAT ALL ELECTRICAL POWER TO THE SYSTEM IS TURNED OFF BEFORE APPROACHING, INSPECTING OR TROUBLESHOORTING
Now it is time to install your drives. This is an easy process, but it requires attention to detail.
The flat, wide ribbon cables that Parallel ATA drives use to carry data can restrict airflow inside your case, robbing your system of valuable cooling; and functionality aside. Rounded data cables available at your local PC store look much nicer, and they don't impede airflowmble and stage your components carefully.
Some drives ship with both the older connector and the SATA power connector. In that case, use one power connector or the other, but not both. The capacity of hard drives continues to increase: You can now hold over 1TB (Terabyte or 1,000GB) of data on a single drive. But though you don't have to compromise on the drive's size, you still have a few choices to make when picking a hard disks.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) hard drives do not always include cables, software, or hardware (screws, brackets, etc.). Mounting hardware may be required, but this usually comes with barebones kits.
Many motherboards have additional sound connectors or ports housed on small add-in boards. Some of these plug into slots on the motherboard; others screw into the back of the case in place of slot covers. Usually the additional ports are not essential to your PC's operation. For example, if you install a sound card, you do not need connectors to the motherboard's built-in sound chip. Check your motherboard manual to determine what each of these boards does.
Check your PC Set Up:
It is time to turn on your system and check your PC set up!
Before Installing the OS
You may be "cloning" a PC, and want to copy the same configuration. To do this you would use a "ghosting" tool to create an exact copy of the data from the first PC on the new one. Follow the instructions for the software to perform this operation. Some create the clone before the OS is installed, some afterwards.
Installing the OS
You are just a couple of steps away from using your new custom-built personal computer. Now you will install the operating system and then update your drivers, and install the different programs.
If your machine hangs while installing Windows, there may be a problem with one of the components. Try removing everything except the core components (motherboard, processor, one memmory module, and hard drives). Then once you have successfully installed Windows, begin reinstalling each component one by one to isolate the source of the problem.
Once Windows is up and running, the last step in this process is to update your hardware drivers. This is not an optional procedure.
Insert the CD with the latest drivers (downloaded from the web, or provided otherwise by the manufacturers) and install them starting with the drivers of the motherboard and graphics card and then moving on to the less critical ones (mouse and sound card drivers). Windows comes with basic drivers to get you up and running, but specific or updated drivers are vital. Several reboots later, you should have a fully updated PC!
After installing the operating system, you will need to install the software you will be using, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, and others. Some software will require registration or validation, so have the original discs with the software registration or license key ready. After installing the software, you may need to validate the software with the manufacturer or published via the web or by phone. Once this is all done, you are ready to use your new PC!