Introduction: Installing Add-on Cards to Your Computer.

Picture of Installing Add-on Cards to Your Computer.

In this instructable I will show you how to install add-on cards such as a video, audio, or gaming cards to your computer.
Remember, if you don't know what you are doing or you are not comfortable doing this don't do it!!! Because i am not liable for anything you do. Avoid tuching anything you don't need to tuch, everything in the computer is very Sensitive to hand oils.

Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started

Things you will need:
screwdriver (not magnetic)
add-on cards

First you will need to turn off your comuter. After you have done that you need to unplug every cord connected to the computer.

Step 2: The Preinstall

Picture of The Preinstall

First you want to remove the computers cover. When you remove it you will need to remove the covers where the cards will go.

Step 3: Installing the Add-on Card

Picture of Installing the Add-on Card

once the plate is removed carefully insert the card into the correct position and screw in tightly. If it does not fit pull out and try again, don't force, it can dammage the computer and/or card.

Step 4: Putting It Back Together

Picture of Putting It Back Together

now all you have to do is put the cover back on and insert the cords, inster all of them before turning on. mostly everything should be color coated to make it easy. When this is done turn it back on and if the add-on card came with a CD insert it and install any nessary programs. All should be on the disk.


jinventive (author)2007-07-08

When you remove all the cords don't remove the power cord, instead turn it off at the plug instead. This is simply because the power plug (unless you are american) has three prongs one is the earth so when you do open your PC up, touch a part of the metal chassis first to stop yourself from damaging the components through ESD (Electro-Static-Discharge).

earth, wow we must hav a lot of earths lol, i believe the correct term is ground

Earth is anouther term for ground - as the "ground" connection goes to "earth" (well at least theoretically - long discussion on that)

Sorry about that

hondagofast (author)jinventive2007-07-13

You can get cords that plug into the power supply and ground the computer, but do not power it. However, these cost $15-20.

altaria1993 (author)hondagofast2008-07-24

and its useless... really..

Derin (author)altaria19932008-08-20

no its not

altaria1993 (author)Derin2008-08-20

it is, if you just carefully watch what you do..

Derin (author)altaria19932008-08-22

oh yeah,i built my pc without any way of grounding,on a WOOL rug

brian2012 (author)Derin2008-08-22

Haha, gee, I wonder if that could cause a problem?

brian2012 (author)altaria19932008-08-20

-_- Haven't you read this whole conversation? Obviously it is important.

Crash2108 (author)jinventive2007-11-21

American plugs/outlets have ground too.

jinventive (author)Crash21082007-11-25

I thought they didnt as I live in the UK and here we have 3 prong plugs but I wasn't to sure about American sockets. Thanks for that.

brian2012 (author)jinventive2007-07-09

you might be right, but i have heard not to use it on carpet and that should sovle it, but i am not sure.

Scott_Tx (author)2007-06-30

Why not a magnetic tipped screwdriver? They make it a lot easier.

brian2012 (author)Scott_Tx2007-07-01

the magnetic feild can mess up many things in your computer, hard drive, processers, it is best to use a non-magnetic just to be safe

Scott_Tx (author)brian20122007-07-01

Nah, I've tried before with ultra strong magnets and they have no effect on hard drives and cant imagine how they could effect a cpu at all.

ironsmiter (author)Scott_Tx2007-07-03

ther USED to be major issues using magnetic drivers inside PC's... the problem was, we used to use these things called floppy drives. they were/are very sensitive to magnetic fields. magnetic screwdrivers tend to pass on part of their magnetic charge to anything they touch. there was also an issue with some of the early IC chips. without adequate isolation, they could be adversly effected my magnetic fields( ghosts in the machine). With all the radio and magnetic interference in a modern PC.... the circuits are built to take it better, so those worries are pretty well put to rest. Odds are, you're more likely to damage your computer, fishing around for that loose screw, than with the magnetic nature of your screw driver. as to the hard drives... if you ever get a chance... play with one of the magnets taken out of one of them... if a magnet THAT CLOSE to the platters doesn't effect them.. :-) though, to be more accurate, the magnets inside the drive are VERY well shielded, and only extend their field a very short distance. Putting a live degauss coil inside your pc, and turn it on is still a very bad idea.

Derin (author)ironsmiter2008-10-19

i use a magnetic inside my computer with floppy drive and disk inside

brian2012 (author)ironsmiter2007-07-03

You are right, in hard drives there are very strong magnets in them, i just wanted to play it safe so noone will mess up their computer and blame me for it.

Repton3 (author)2007-12-02

Are graphics cards supposed to come with install discs? JUst got a 7600 GS 256mb on-board graphics card (used) from a friend, and he didn't give me a disc.

altaria1993 (author)Repton32008-07-24

they usually do, but its nto a really big problem in your case, as you can just download drivers for graphics cards everywhere :)

brian2012 (author)Repton32007-12-02

some do and some dont even need it. but if it doesn't work go to the website and download the drivers and all the stuff you need

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-06-29

thos are Cards which have chip on em. At first i was like wow, add on chips :-O thats pretty skilled to put 'chips' on your pc that can fit! :-?

thanks man you fixed it.

brian2012 (author)2007-07-01

there, I fixed the card not chip problem, if there are any more problems please speak up.

mrmath (author)2007-06-29

First, I think you mean card, not chip. The chips are the black things with the silver "legs". Second, I alwasy find that installing the cards from the top to the bottom, which you did, works best. This could be a hold over from a by gone day, but I still do it. Third, Always power up the machine and make sure the card works before you put it all back together. That way you won't have to open it again if it doesn't. Shut down and unplug the computer before putting the case base together.

brian2012 (author)mrmath2007-07-01

if yoou power it up with the cover off you will want to make sure you don't tuch anything electrical.

Hungry_Myst (author)2007-06-30

As far as I know, there really isn't any reason to unplug everything.

I can understand unplugging the power chord, but there should be a switch on the power supply to turn off the power to everything. After turning this off, the computer should be un-powered and safe to work with. The advantage to leaving the power chord plugged in (and turning off the master power switch) is that the computer will remain grounded, helping to prevent any static electricity buildup. This shouldn't be a problem, but it does provide a little piece of mind. Tough if you plan on doing a lot of work, or if the power supply doesn't have a switch on it (not the power switch on the computer, a separate switch on the back of the computer, beside where the power chord plugs in) then yes, please unplug the computer.

Unplugging everything else seems like it would be more of a hassle then anything. I could be wrong mind you, but it makes sense.

And grounding yourself by touching the mettle case is a must before you do anything else, including taking the card out of it's package.

ironsmiter (author)Hungry_Myst2007-07-01
here's the reason to unplug the power cord. The cord, while attached to the computer, does provide a grounding path... straight through your electronics, to the "common ground". if you run a UPS or isolating power strip, it's not AS MUCH of a concern... but the potential is still there for unwanted electrical pathing. With the cord unplugged, the only possible short is from you to ground through the PC electronics and case. Thus, if you ground yourself to the case(as you said in the last sentence) there is NO risk of static shorting. From you through the electronics anyhow. The issue of unplugging everything else is a little tricky. some peripherals have bidirectional signals.... meaning even if the pc is off, they may be sending electrical current back to their PC connection. Monitors, printers, and even some sound systems, can all do this. by physically unplugging them, you eliminate the possibility of that low voltage "return signal" from accidentily arcing to something sensitive. the danger to you is minimal, at best(usually 5 volt, and milliampers) but to a sensitive IC.. that can be the kiss of death. now the good news. the odds of you actually frying anything is small. very small. If you work in a relatively normal environment, and ground yourself to the case first..... you'll probably never have an issue. PROBABLY.
brian2012 (author)ironsmiter2007-07-01

i have done this many times, everything works good still, the chances are very small but you never know

brian2012 (author)Hungry_Myst2007-07-01

the only things you should have to unplug is the power, internet/ethernet, and anything else connected to power.

Williz (author)2007-06-29

They are called add on cards and it is best to ground your self by touching your computer case first, you really don't need an instructable if you can't guess hoiw to do this you shouldn't be opening your comp.

brian2012 (author)Williz2007-07-01

that is true, my bad

SerialATA (author)Williz2007-06-29


Mitten (author)2007-06-29

Those are PCI cards, not chips.. The chips are on the cards and the cards go in the slot.

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