Introduction: How to Build a Computer - KCTC

Welcome to How to Build a Computer! The following instructions will inform you on how to put together your own computer. Building your own computer is a good idea because you can switch out components and upgrade whenever you need to, something that isn't as easy with a pre-build computer.

Step 1: Safety

Before we begin, let's make sure we are staying safe. When working on a computer, try to eliminate static electricity. This can turn into something called electrostatic discharge that could ruin your computer. To avoid this, do not work on your computer on carpet or wear baggy clothes. It is also a good idea to work in high humidity.

Step 2: Get a Case

You need to get a case for your computer. This will serve as the house for all your internal components.

Step 3: Get All of Your Components

Get all of your parts together. We are going to need a hard drive, RAM, motherboard, power supply, CPU, CPU fan, and graphics card. Let's start with the motherboard, CPU, and CPU fan.

Step 4: Put the Processor on the Motherboard

On the motherboard lift the lever where the CPU socket is, then line up the gold triangle on the bottom of the CPU to the empty triangle area on the CPU socket, then put the CPU into the socket. Once the CPU falls into the socket, put the lever back down.

Step 5: Add a Fan to the Processor

Get thermal paste and put about the size of a grain of rice on the CPU. Then line the fan up so the clamps on the fan line up with the bracket on the motherboard, then set the fan on the CPU and put the clamps over the bracket, then turn the lever to tighten the fan.

Step 6: Install Your RAM

Find the DIMM slots on your motherboard. They are long and rectangular with clamps on both ends. Open the clamps and make sure the notch on the ram is lined up with the notch on the motherboard, then put the ram in and firmly press until you hear a click and the clamps close.

Step 7: Test What You Have So Far

Plug the 24 pin power connector from the power supply into the motherboard as well as the 4 pin CPU power. Then grab a screw driver and touch the 2 power pins together to start the computer (shown in last image); if you here a single beep and then another beep a couple of seconds later that means your computer is working in it's current state, if you hear multiple beeps in a row count how many beeps there are and look in the motherboard manual to figure out what part is not working correctly, then take that part out and put it back in and try again.

Step 8: Put the Motherboard in the Case

Put the standoffs in the case in their correct areas, make sure they line up with the screw holes on the motherboard. Put the I/O shield in the back of the case; then put the motherboard on the standoffs and put screws in the motherboard, securely tighten but not too much that it scratches the motherboard. If you have a graphics card put it into the motherboard, unscrew the expansion slot covers on the case and then put the graphics card into the expansion slot that has a little fin on it which keeps the graphics card in place.

Step 9: Add the Power Supply to the Case

Put the power supply in the case, generally in the bottom, then make sure the fan on the power supply is directed to the bottom of the case, then screw the power supply into the case.

Step 10: Put the Storage Into the Case

Put the HDD's into the area in the case that holds 3.5 inch HDD commonly in the bottom of the case on the opposite side of the power supply, then put the SSD's into the area in the case that holds 2.5 inch SSD's commonly near the place where the HDD's are held and on the back side of the case. After putting the hard drive in the case, plug in the SATA cable both in the hard drive and the motherboard. Next, find the hard drive power cables coming out of the power supply and plug it into the hard drive.

Step 11: Plug Everything In

From the power supply, plug the 24 pin power cable into the motherboard near the ram, then plug the 4 pin power cable into the 4 pin connector near the CPU. Find the cables from the front panel, plug the cables into their respective areas on the motherboard, plug the cord called USB into the motherboard where it says USB. Do the same for all the other labeled cords, most of the plugs should be near the bottom of the motherboard, if you are not sure about some of the locations on the motherboard check the motherboard manual. Also plug in your case fans in the two fan slots on the motherboard.