Build a PC Step #5 - Installing Expansion Cards, Installing PCI Cards

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Install Adapters

-Now that your drives are in and ready lets put in those pesky cards.

-You should have a sound card, modem, video card. Now this is similar to installing the memory modules. You need to look at what expansion slots you have. Here is a little description incase you need it.

PCI Slots- this slot is white and fairly small.

AGP- this slot is similar to the PCI but is closer to the CPU and is brown in color. This will house your Video Card only!!

PCI Express x16- this is new and latest slot on the latest/newest motherboards only, it is a long slim black slot that holds the PCI-e graphics card.

PCI Express x1- this is the new type of PCI slots for add on cards, there are not many as of writing this but its something for the future.

-Match your cards with the expansion slots. The cards themselves will have a description of its format PCI, AGP etc. Simply decide which slot you want to use and remove the medals expansion covers from case. Push card in evenly till it seats. Screw card down snug.

-Installing A Sound Card - -Installing A Video Card - -Installing A 56K Modem-

-If you bought a AGP video card it will only work on the AGP slot so don't worry about putting it in the wrong place. It is keyed to fit there only and you will be short of room for it in a PCI slot.

-Also as another note about installing the cards. If the card doesn't seat flat against the case don't screw down to tight. This is just slack in the card itself. Just snug it and you will be fine. The main thing is that the card is seated in the slot and you don't want it to move up or down in the slot.

Hook It all Up

-Now we need to hook up all the IDE cables and power. This is a spot that you can mess up easily if your not paying attention. The cables have ends that are slotted and simply push into the back of your drives and then on the motherboard.

CD-ROM/Hard Drive

-Now you will notice a cable that came with the motherboard. You should have one that is slightly bigger that the other. If you are using one hard disk as master and 1 CD-ROM as slave you can use one ribbon cable if it is long enough to reach both drives and the motherboard. Go ahead and find the primary IDE controller. This is a slot on the motherboard. The blue connector goes to the motherboard and the middle one to master and the last one to slave. The ribbon cable will go in one way unless forced. You will notice a notch cut into the slot and a notch on the cable itself.

-Plug one end of cable into the CD-ROM (follow notch). There is a red line on the cable itself and usually points toward the power hook up on the drives. Again follow the notch of the drive. Now with that plugged in, follow cable to the hard drive. You will use the same cable to plug into the hard drive. Again follow the notch and make sure the red line points to the power hookup of drive. With Hard Drive hooked up take the end of cable and plug into the motherboard. This again is notched and plugs in one way unless forced.

-Installing A Hard Drive-

-Installing Optical Drives: CD-ROM-

Hook Up Floppy Drive

-The floppy is the same as the rest. The problem is the cable is not always slotted for easy installation. I have found that connecting it like the rest usually works. Just pay attention the red strip on cord is facing the power connector of the drive and the other end of cord is like rest on board. You will see when you get there of what I mean. The floppy controller is usually around the other IDE controllers. Its slot is smaller that the rest. Refer to your motherboard manual again if unsure of the slots location.

Hook Up Power Leads

-Now that you are getting overcrowded with wires and cords we need to hook up power to the drives.

-From the power supply you will see a string of power leads. One string may have 3 or more power leads on it. Take notice of the leads. They are keyed one way so not to install wrong, but like all else they can be installed wrong if forced. Pay attention to the shape of lead and the back of the drive. Simply push the power led into the drives connector. Now take note that the floppy power connector is different and is smaller so don't freak out if you cant find the power lead. Simply find a free connector for the floppy and your done.

Also from the case there might be USB ports, sound, and firewire wires. These plug directly to the motherboard, if the cables are not fitted together already, each wire will have a label on it saying what it is. Refer to the motherboard manual to see where these go.

Step #6 - Installing Computer Peripherals, Installing Monitor and Sound Cards



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Getting Started

Component Shopping
Electrostatic Discharge


Build A PC

1. Preparing the Computer Case and Motherboard
2. Computer Processor and Computer Memory Installation
3. Install Motherboard Into Case
4. Installing Hard Drive, Installing CD-ROM and Floppy Disk
5. Installing Expansion Cards, Installing PCI Cards
6. Installing Computer Peripherals, Installing Monitor and Sound Cards
Double Check
First Boot
Load Windows


Extra Stuff

Installing Device Software



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