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Tech Tips

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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 9-9-2000
   

Tech Tips
by Love2Play

Power supplies

Take the larger connector, usually marked P8 and P9 and connect it to the motherboard in the only place it will go ;-)  To the power supply slot on your motherboard.  And it only goes in one way because of the little bracket that grabs when it's in place.

Next, look at your manual and examine the LED connector placement.  At this time connect the LED to the power switch.

TIP:  DO NOT connect the other LED's yet.  If you get them wrong then your computer may not boot properly for this simple mistake.  We will connect them up after a successful boot.

Now hook up any wires to the case fans.  Then turn your case upright once again.

Installing the Drives

TIP: We are not installing the video card now, it will be in the way of maneuvering inside the case to install the drives. Plan ahead, make things easy on yourself.

Decide in advance your drive configuration.  You can install your hard drive on IDE1 and your cdrom on IDE2 each as a master drive, or you can have the hard drive be the master and the cdrom the slave both on IDE1 (if I lost you, look at your motherboard manual again for IDE1 and IDE2).  Then IDE2 is free to add additional drives easily. Whatever you decide, take a look at the back of the cdrom and the hard drive.  They have jumpers to set them to master or slave. (this is where the needle nose pliers come in) Set the jumper on the hard drive to master (as a shared drive - not single) and the cdrom to slave. 

Normally the position of your cdrom is the top slot.  Makes it easy to access your cdrom without having to lean down.  Install your cdrom in this slot positioning it to the front of the case. Use the screws provided to secure it to the brackets.  Not tightening too forcefully, but so the cdrom drive does not move.

TIP:  If you bought a monster case (really tall tower), you better look and see if your cdrom ribbon cable reaches when the cdrom is installed in the top slot. If not, move it down. Otherwise back up and make your cdrom the secondary master (IDE2 - master drive)  Then each has their own full length ribbon cable, no worries.

Below the cdrom area is the smaller brackets in the case, this is where your floppy drive belongs.  Again, position it in the highest spot. Installing it the same as the cdrom drive.

Assuming you want to do the master/slave, you will want to mount your hard drive as close to the cdrom as possible.  This is where the brackets that come with a retail purchase of a hard drive come in.  If you didn't get any, there's another trip to the store for you.  The cdrom bays are too large for a hard drive with no brackets.  The reason for mounting here is the ribbon cable length.  The hard drive and cdrom will share a ribbon cable.

Ribbon Cables & Power supply

Now attach the ribbon cable to the floppy.  Normally, the red stripe on the ribbon cable faces farthest from the power supply on the back of the floppy drive.  Then the small connector in the group of whitish connector fits (usually) only one way on the back of the floppy drive.  The end that has the twisted ribbon is the connector to the floppy, the other end to the motherboard.  Note, the connector for the floppy drive is the second connector in, not the very end.

The cdrom and hard drive have a basic ribbon cable principal, red stripe towards power supply.  Then you don't mess up. And their power supply also only fits one way.  However, installing them on one ribbon takes some twisting.  The hard drive takes the very end, the cdrom takes the connector just inside. This being interesting since the cdrom is usually above the location of the hard drive. So it takes some twisting. 

Video Card

Make sure the slots are open on the back of the case to accommodate your peripherals. Needle nose pliers time again.  Twist the metal removable plates back and forth to break off if not the type that pop out.

Gently turn your case on it's side once again. Motherboard facing up.

Take your video card (most likely an AGP) and slide it gently to moderately strong into the brown AGP slot (there should only be one AGP slot) while aligning it to the case slot opening in the back.  Make sure that it seats (fits in the slot) evenly and completely.  That the copper "teeth" are not showing from the slot and not crooked. DO NOT push hard.  At this time there is not much under the motherboard, it is flexible plastic and can break.  If necessary, place a hand on the other side of the motherboard using your hand or fingers in the available holes to apply back-pressure to pushing in the video card. Then fasten securely to the case with a screw.

Inventory Time

OK let's review, take inventory here.  Just to make sure everything is where it should be and all connectors are hooked up.  Your checklist:

Case fans - connected
CPU & fan - connected
RAM - seated properly
Power supply to motherboard 
LED for power switch connected
floppy drive - ribbon connected to floppy and motherboard, power supply connected
Jumpers on cdrom and hard drive setup
hard drive - ribbon connected to hard then to cdrom, power supply connected
cdrom - ribbon comes from hard drive out to motherboard, power supply connected
Connect the monitor to your video card port on the back
Connect the keyboard (motherboard  manual....)
Connect the mouse (motherboard manual....)

** Make sure ALL cables are in properly.  NOTHING can be crooked or not seated properly.

Now you are ready to connect the power cord to the back of the computer and then to an outlet.  Preferably a power strip.

TIP:  DO NOT add anymore peripherals at this time.  We are going to first obtain a successful boot and configure the BIOS.  Then when we install Windows, it will be on a simple clean system.  Then add the rest of your purchases.



   


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