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 Keyboarding with Business Applications (4-28-2008)

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Number of posts : 107
Registration date : 2008-01-16

PostSubject: Keyboarding with Business Applications (4-28-2008)   Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:04 pm

How to build a computer

Want to build your own personal computer in twenty procedural steps? I will provide step-by-step information on how to build your own custom computer. You will need to decide what type of computer fits your needs, the functionality, and decide how much money you want to invest on building a custom computer. Depending on what your computer needs are, your outcome of hardware will change. Will the computer be for work or home use? Will it be used for gaming or will it be used for photo/music encoding? That sort of thing. Researching the internet is the best way to find out what is available on the market. When you build your own computer, you will find out that it is cheaper and better than buying a pre-built computer from a manufacturer. Expect to invest at least two days of work to complete the building of your computer, depending on what your connection of internet speed is. Building your own personal computer allows you to have pride in your work and a great sense of satisfaction when the task is completed

Do you need help researching your new computer? If so, then make a thread over in our forums! Registration is completely free and we would be more than happy to help you build your new machine.

First, you will need to choose a case that is to your liking. There is no set standard for a personalized case. Once you have chosen your case, you will need to start looking into what components you will need to fill that case. You will need a reputable brand name motherboard. The best motherboard manufacturers out there today are; Gigabyte, ABIT, ASUS, DFI, and MSI. All five of these manufacturers are good companies because they guarantee their product and have extended warranties.

Second, you will need to pick out a processor (CPU). The type of processor depends on the motherboard you have chosen, if it is made for Intel processors or AMD processors, you will need to buy accordingly. If you decide to use an Intel processor, the Core 2 Duo or better is a must for todayís software demands. If you decide to use an AMD processor you will want an AMD Athlon64 X2 4600+ or better. Just make sure all components are compatible to each other before purchasing any components. Compatibility is very important when building a computer, always check guidelines from manufacturers and product compatibility codes on components.

Third, you will need to pick out the memory for your computer. Memory for a computer is just like a memory for a human, it stores information. By definition memory means ďphysical microchips that can hold data and programming, located on the motherboard or expansion cards.Ē Todayís motherboards have a DDR2-800 (PC6400) memory standard. That does not mean that you have to have DDR2-800 RAM, you could even have DDR2-667 or even DDR2-533 or even DDR2-1066+. DDR2-800 or DDR2-533 are the speeds at which the memory runs in your computer.

In the fourth step, you will need to choose an optical drive for your computer. If you think about it, optical refers to vision or the ability to see. In the computer world, it refers to lasers which can ďseeĒ and ďreadĒ data on CDís and DVDís. If you want to be able to play DVDís on your computer, you will need a DVD-ROM which plays DVDís and CDís. A DVD-ROM or CD-ROM does not have the ability to burn data or music to a disc. For that you will need a CD-Burner to burn CDís or a DVD-Burner to burn both DVDís and CDís. The options are up to the computer user. Though I do feel I must say that todays standards are more towards DVD formats so it would be wise to buy a DVD-ROM/Burner.

Fifth, you need to purchase a video card. A video card projects a visual output onto a monitor. It is also called a display adapter. When purchasing this card refer to the speed of your components being placed into your computer. You will need to get the proper video card so bottlenecking does not occur. Bottlenecking is a stage in a process that causes the entire computer to slow down or stop. Example, if you have dial-up and your Internet service provider (ISP) promises you Internet access at fifty-six Kbps, but your modem can only handle twenty-six/four Kbps, your modem's slow performance would be a bottleneck. This is a common occurrence for slow computers and a lot of aggravation to computer users.

Sixth, you are going to need an internal hard drive. A hard drive stores all of your systems information for your operating system, your personal data, games, etc. It is wise to get a decent size hard drive. At least over 100GB, that way you have plenty of room for all of your files and other information. There are not many hard drive manufacturers out there. The only manufactures available are; Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate, SAMSUNG, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, and FUJITSU. All these manufactures produce a hard drive with quality and guarantee their product. You will have the option for IDE or SATA support. I prefer the latter as IDE (a.k.a. PATA) is starting to be phased out. Motherboards used to come with two IDE ports; one for the optical drives and one for hard drives. Now, they have next to eliminated the hard drive IDE port in favor of SATA hard drive ports.

In the seventh step you will need to get a monitor, keyboard, and a mouse. You will need a monitor that will plug into the video card, this gives you the ability to see what you are doing. The size of monitor is your preference. The keyboard and mouse will help you navigate around the computers interface to type word documents, surf the net, and play games if you wish. There are two types of monitors that you can choose from, CRT and LCD. CRT is an abbreviation for cathode-ray tube, the technology used in most televisions and computer display screens. LCD is an abbreviation for liquid crystal display, a type of display used in digital watches and many portable computers. The type of screen you choose depends on whether you want a clear, vibrant picture for video games or a computer screen for office work. The choice of screen is clearly up to the user.
In the eighth step, you are at the point where you can put the components together to assemble your pc. Make sure you have all you components together, all the documentation, and all the necessary tools needed to assemble the computer. Before you can install the components in your computer case, you must first prepare the case. Have your screw driver handy and the spacers that go onto the bottom of the computer case. When I say bottom of the computer case, I am talking as though the case is lying down on its side.

Now you are in step nine, before you do anything component wise, you need to install all fan(s) that you have for your case. Make the rear case fan an exhaust fan and if applicable, make any and all side fan(s) intake. If you have fan(s) that can go in the front of the case, be sure that the fan(s) are able to get air from a front air vent, if not, the fan(s) are pointless. If you would like, you can make one front fan an intake and the other an exhaust. If you have a fan on top of your case, make it an exhaust. These fan(s) will help regulate proper temperatures inside the computer case and stop there over heating of computer components or damage to the CPU. Make sure you secure the fan(s) with all four screws. If you do not use all four screws, the fan(s) can wobble, causing unnecessary noise or blade breakage.

Now that we have the fans taken care of, we can move on to step ten, building your computer. Now, we install the spacers in the holes that are in the bottom of the case, this keeps the motherboard from touching the case and possibly shorting out. There will be quite a few holes that are in the case. Only install the spacers in the holes that match up with the motherboard screw layout. You donít want to use any more or any less. You can compare the holes visually without a problem. Before you install the motherboard into the caes, you must remove the old I/O (input/output) face plate and place in the one that came with your new motherboard. If you donít, the external devices such as USB ports and onboard Ethernet ports may not line up. Now you may install the motherboard into the case. Make sure all the spacers line up with the motherboard holes. Best thing to do is once they are matched up, place and secure a screw in the middle of the board. This way it keeps everything aligned. You should use at least four spacers, but you will probably use more than that. No matter how many you use, you will end up with holes in the case that you do not use. All the holes that are left are there to accommodate more than one type of motherboard, they come from the factory that way. These holes may be used at a later date for a computer upgrade.

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PostSubject: Part Two   Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:05 pm

Step eleven entails installing the drives inside the case. You will need to remove the front bay covers to accommodate your optical drive. If you have two optical drives, take off two of the drive bay covers. Repeat the same procedure for the floppy drive bay, if you are installing a floppy drive. (but who does this anymore?) Once you have your optical drives in place, secure them down with screws, that way they do not have a risk of falling and damaging any components in your case. Make sure you use short screws that will not penetrate into the optical drive. Otherwise, if you use too long of a screw it could damage the inside of the drive. Now we move to the hard drive. Push the hard drive so that it is flush with the front of the bay and it butts up against the computer case. Secure the hard drive with screws, but do not over tighten. Your drives are now installed properly.

Step twelve, we look at setting the jumpers and or switches on the motherboard. When working with the motherboard and all other components, be very concerned about the possibility of electrical static discharge (ESD) damage. Make sure you are grounded at all times. You can ground yourself by standing still in one spot and touching the outer metal casing of the case. You can also stando n a rubber mat or purchase a grounding strap where one end is strapped to your wrist and the other end clips onto the case. Always use guideline precautions when working on your computer!!! Now, back to the question on whether or not to change the jumpers and switches. The best thing you can do to tell whether or not to change the jumpers and switches on the motherboard, is to consult the manual. The manual will tell you whether or not you need to make any changes with the jumpers or switches to accommodate the proper front side bus speed

Step thirteen, this is where we install the CPU. Make sure you are grounded at ALL times when you install the CPU and all PC components in the PC. In order to install the CPU properly, you must lift up the ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) socket lever. This lever will let you insert the CPU with little or no force at all. Place the CPU on the socket so that the corner with the triangle is aligned with the connection of the lever to the socket. Once the CPU is in place, you must lower the socket lever back down to firmly tighten the CPU into the socket. Do not force the CPU in into the socket, as you could break off the pins on the bottom of the CPU and render the CPU inoperable.

Step fourteen, we now have the CPU in place, and we must apply thermal paste onto the top of the CPU. Most computer technicians will recommend Arctic Silver5 for the thermal paste. Arctic Silver5, Arctic Sliver MX-2, and IC Diamond 7 all do a great job, it lowers CPU temperatures when the CPU gets to hot. Thermal paste is a grease like substance that will help transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink. Only apply a pea size amount of the thermal paste onto the CPU. If you are unsure on how you think you should apply the thermal paste, Google ďArctic Silver InstructionsĒ , it will help give you step by step instructions on how to apply it to both Intel and AMD processors. Once you have applied the thermal paste, it is time to install the heatsink/fan onto the CPU. The heatsink/fan has a clip that goes across the middle of the heatsink. Line up the clip with the retention that is already installed on the motherboards ZIF socket. Lightly press down on all four corners to attach it. Now that the fan is in place, push the clip levers on top of the CPU fan. Follow the CPUís cooler instructions for proper installment of the heatsink/fan.

Step fifteen, now we focus on installing the systems memory or RAM. Most motherboards these days come with four memory sockets. Before you install the RAM, you must pull the supporting arms on the sides of the socket outward. The notches on the edge of each module will help you place it correctly into the socket. Once you are ready to install the memory module, insert it straight down into the socket. Once the module is fully inserted, the supporting arms should pop back into place. If you bought Dual Channel memory, consult the motherboard manual for proper installation for full use of the Dual Channel memory. You must install the same size and type of RAM into the same type of memory bank. Consult the motherboards manual for further instructions. Make sure the RAM you have is compatible with the board. If you have for example 2x1GB Dual Channel memory sticks, one stick would have to go in one memory bank and the other stick in another memory bank. Consult the motherboard manual for proper placement of RAM. Make note of the notches on the bottom of the RAM module. The RAM modules will only go in one way. The notches on the bottom must line up with the bump inside the RAM slot!!!

Step sixteen, now we must attach the cabling to the peripherals that we installed earlier. You need to connect a power cord from the power supply to the case fan. At this time, connect all the power cords to your optical drives, floppy drive(s) and hard drives. Make sure that when you are connecting these cords to the drives that you connect that little four-pin connector to the back of the floppy drive. Without this, the floppy drive will not work. (assuming you have a floppy drive installed) Also, if you are using the standard flat cables instead of rounded cables, take notice to the floppy disk cable, it has a twist in the cable. This will help you differentiate the cable confusion.

Step seventeen, depending on how old or new the motherboard is, you will either need to connect one four-pin auxiliary power cord to the motherboard or two four-pin auxiliary power cords to the motherboard. Make sure you take note of how many auxiliary connections the motherboard has upon purchase so you know to buy a power supply with accomodating auxiliary connections. Without the auxiliary connections, the motherboard will not get power and thus you will not be able to boot. This four-pin cable that comes from the power supply which supplies power to the processor. Without power to the CPU, the computer will not boot up. There will be another cord that resembles that one you just plugged in, but it will be bigger and longer. Usually, it is either a twenty or a twenty-four pin connector that comes from the power supply. This twenty or twenty-four pin connector also gives the power to the motherboard.

Once you have done all this, you will need to connect all the front leads to pins on the motherboard. Each lead is labeled so they are easy to distinguish. Sometimes, there will be corresponding lettering on the motherboard to tell you where the pins go. Consult your motherboards manual to find out where all the pins go. These leads will give you power to your front on/off switch, give you your reset switch button power, and show the status of the hard drives.

Step eighteen, we need to install the video card. If you have an AGP card, make sure that your motherboard has an AGP slot to occupy this card. An AGP card WILL NOT work in a PCI-e slot and vice versa. Make sure that when you install the video card that you take out the PCI bracket on the back of the case that occupies the PCI and video card slot(s). Use the same screw that held the face plate in place. When installing the video card, make sure that you insert the video card straight down.

Step nineteen, now you are ready to plug in the computer and attach any external devices. The first thing I would recommend doing, is taking the cord that plugs into the back of the power supply and plugging the other end into the wall. But first, make sure that there are no cables in the way of any fans. Then, try to boot up the computer. If nothing happens, then you have one of the leads on wrong. If the computer boots up and you hear beeping signals, then something is wrong internally. Usually something is not seated correctly within the computer case. If it is one long continuous beep, it is usually RAM. Take the RAM out and the put it back in. If you hear additional beeps, consult the manual to see what they mean and go from there. If it boots up just fine with no problems, Congratulations! You have just built your new computer. If you want to, you can use bread ties, zip ties, or even rubber bands to keep the cords out of the way of other peripherals. It will also help keep your computer looking neater.

Step twenty, now all you have to do is plug in the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If it works correctly, then you can put on the side case cover. At this point you will want to install your operating system. When intalling the operating system, all you have to do is follow what the on-screen prompts say and you will be on the desktop in no time. Once you get that completed, take the drivers that came with your motherboard and install them (they should be on an included CD), install video card drivers, and install any other drivers that came with any of the components that you have purchased. Remember to reboot after each installation of a new driver. Once you have the drivers in, install an anti-virus program to help keep pesky viruses out of your computer. Install a firewall to help protect your computer from unwanted guests and install an anti-spyware program after you are totally done with the project. Once you get the anti-virus and firewall up and running, get connected to the net. Once on the net, you will want to connect to (assuming you are using windows) Windows update. Install every update they have to offer on the site. This will bring the operating system to the most current version. Make sure you keep your anti-virus up-to-date regularly. At this point, you will want to install all your software that you want to install. (I.e. games, Microsoft Office, etc.)


These are the twenty steps that you need to take when building your own personal computer. When you finally have your personal computer up and running for the first time, it is one of the greatest feelings in the world. There is nothing like building your own computer with your own two hands for the very first time. There may have been frustrating times during the building process, but when all is done, it is well worth it. Congratulations and enjoy your new found computer that you have built with your own two hands. It is a task that you have completed solely on your own and you will appreciate it for many years to come. The satisfaction of building your own computer allows you to look forward to future computer upgrades.
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