Introduction: How to Build Your Very Own PC!

I know there are lots of people here who want to know how to build a PC, and no Instructables on how to do it, I am going to change that for all your computer fanatics out there, I will give a lot of details, and more about the PC. I will show you how to build a simple, but good system for under $250! That's pretty good by todays standards even though the parts I'm going to be using for this are old (BUT! still good). This is for beginners so now flaming please!

WARNING: THIS COMPUTER IS ANCIENT, A new tutorial, with steps will be coming soon, videos included this time :D

Also Serious problems have been found with this Instructable, feel free to share you knowledge as Mr. IT Guy did, not being mean just forgot the name. I will remove this tutorial when my new one comes out with videos and more updated parts.

WARNING: REMEMBER TO WEAR STATIC PROTECTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Step 1: History of the PC

Here is some history on the PC, I know most of you are gonna skip this, but some won't.

Here is the link for the page: PC History

But those who can't access that link I will write out the basics of it here:

The first PC was a microcontroller kit made by Popular Electronics, it didn't have a keyboard at all or even a monitor, just a bunch of switches. The first GUI based computer to hit the market was the Apple II, it was complete with a blazing fast 16Mhz processor, 1MB of RAM, and a 40MB-80MB hard drive, this was considered the first "personal computer" since it was adopted very fast, and was very cheap. Then came the best selling computer of ALL time, no not back then, ALL time. THE commodore 64!!!It was equipped with a blazing fast, 64K RAM Module! WOW! Here is how the commodore main screen looked like: Commodore 64 Screen

This is a very basic history of the PC, this is the basic background you should know, for more detail go read the link I gave earlier.

First Picture is a Tennis game on the Commodore 64, and the second is the Commodore 64.

Step 2: Get Your Parts!

Finally you get to order your parts! I am going to make a list with the approximate price of the part, and any other notes, also the site I bought it from, I will also list all the tools your require. Note: I am telling you how to build the very minimum, on my next Instructable, I will show how to upgrade this computer. I won't include shipping prices in my approximations.


CPU: Celeron 2.20Ghz Socket 478, $20, Ebay, Notes: The socket 478 is very important, the motherboard I used is only compatible with socket 478, socket 478 means there are 478 pins on the processor.

RAM: Corsair SDRAM DDR 400, $25, RAM

Motherboard: BIOSTAR P4M80-M4 Socket 478 Micro ATX, $80, Motherboard Note: Sometimes the motherboard isnt green like in later pictures but is red, no worries as long as it says P4M80-M4 somewhere on it.

Hard Drive: Western Digital 250GB, 7200 RPM, 8MB Cache, $60, Hard drive

Disk Drive: Asus CD-ROM IDE/ATAPI 52X, $10, CD Drive

Floppy Drive: Mitsumi 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive, $5, Floppy Drive

CPU Cooler: Ultra Fire socket 478 CPU cooler, $10, CPU Cooler

Case with Power Supply: Sunbeam Silver/Black Steel; ATX Mid Tower w/ 450 Watt PSU, $70, Case with PSU

You will also need: Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse (USB plug and play ONLY), a operating system, and some extra IDE cables, jsut in case.


Needle nose plyers
Screw driver

Now for the hard part... waiting.

Step 3: Prepare the Case

Take the case you ordered, it should have come with a bag of peices, take the little risers out, look at your motherboard and allign the holes with your case (some cases have pull-out motherboard trays), not all of the holes will be there but most will. Before placing the risers into the case, double check them with the board, sometimes risers can be tricky to place inside the case holes, I like the take some vasoline and spreading it on the hole the riser will go into, after getting the risers in, clean off the vasoline, completely. Now take the power supply that came with the case, if it is already installed skip this step, take your PSU and allign it with the special slot for the PSU, screw in the screws for it, make sure the switch on it is off, and it is set to your countries voltage rating, either 115 volts (USA), 230 volts (UK).

Step 4: The CPU and Cooler

Take the BIOSTAR you ordered, if you ordered it from newegg, it is a open box product, so it might be missing a few things, DO NOT attach the motherboard to the tray yet! Go get your CPU and ULTRA Fire cooler, look closely at your CPU's pins, clean them off with a brush , and check for bent pins, if there are bent pins return it and get a new one. Now look at your motherboard CPU socket, there is a little lever, pop that lever up at a 90 degree angle, the look at the bottom of your CPU, there should be two missing pins in one of the corners, match those up with the two missing pin slots on the socket, place your CPU VERY GENTLY into the socket, very little force should be applied, once the processor is completely inside the socket take the lever and place it back in its normal position, you have no sucessfully intalled the CPU, now open up your coolers box, it WILL come with thermal grease, that stuff isnt optional it's required! Open up the little packet and squeeze it onto the CPU, then grab something like a buisness card and spread it across the CPU's top. Grab your ULTRA Fire cooler, and line it up with the socket, place it over the CPU and drop it on, then use the clamps, and clip them on in a diagnol way, to minimize tension on the board, then take the 3pin power pin from your cooler and plug it into the 3 pin connector on the board, now you have inserted your CPU and Cooler!

Step 5: The RAM

Now were gonna install the RAM for our computer, you should always read the motherboard manual for what kind of RAM it supports and what is the maximum RAM it supports, In our case it supports DDR 400 RAM and 2 GB Maximum. Now lets grab that Corsair RAM we ordered, unlock it by pushing hte clicks back, line the indent up with the bump on the RAM socket, this bump/indent keeps your from inserting it backwards. Now push the RAM down into the socket until the two clips snap back into their locked position.

Step 6: Preparing the Motherboard Tray.

Now take the motherboard that we just finished setting up, and match your risers up with the holes on the motherboard, once your do that GENTLY place the motherboard on the risers and screw it in. Now slide the tray back into the case, make sure the PCI, AGP, and the connectors (The I/O) line up with their correct area on the case.

Step 7: Preparing the Case

Now take your hard drive and insert it into the internal 3.5" bay, take some screws and screw it into the bay. Next go get your floppy drive, do the same thing except on the external 3.5" bay, remove the plate covering the bay, disk drives and floppy dries all slide in from the front not the back. Then grab your CD-ROM and do the same thing you did with the floppy except in the 5.25" bay, remember to slide it in from the front, and to remove the faceplate covering the bay, remember to screw them in, on both sides.

Step 8: Combining Your Case With the Motherboard

Now grab all those cables that came with your drives. Let's start with the IDE cables, look on the back of your hard drive, and insert the IDE into the ATA Connector as shown on the picture. Now go get your needle nose plyers and switch the jumper on it to cable select, (It is easier if you remove the drives from the bays when you do that.) Cable Select can sometimes be abreviated into CS. Take the other part of your IDE cable and put it into the ATA on your board, make sure it's on the first connector. Now take your CD-ROM Drive and do the same thing that you did with the Hard Drive, remember to set it to cable select, and place it in the second ATA connector. Now for the tricky part the floppy drive has a special cable that should have came with it, its smaller than a normal IDE cable, and has a twist in it. Set your floppy's jump to cable select if htere is the option, make sure the part of the cable that has a twist in it goes closer to the floppy that is very important, the other part goes onto the connector on the board, which on this board is next to the PCI busses. Now for the final part of the case, this case comes with extra usb ports, plug those into the USB connectors on the board, as shown in the yellow square under the PCI Busses, Then grab all the LED's and Button connectors, look at the motheroard manual on how to place them on your board.

Step 9: The PSU

The final part until it's time to close up your case, I won't go into tons of detail about this part as I did on the others, if your PSU came with a 3 pin fan cable plug it into the second connector on your board, if it doesnt, you can plug and of the fans that came with your case into it. Then get your 4 pin sqaure CPU power cable and plug it into the board, on this board it is located right next to the CPU cradle, this cable should have 2 yellow wires and 2 black wires, then get your 24 or 20 pin motherboard power connector and plug it into the giant connector on your board, make sure they both click into place. Then get your floppy connector power connector, and connect it to the back of the floppy, and after that get the 4 pin molex and connect it to your hard drive and CD-ROM.


You have plugged everything toghether on your system, you can now close up your case.

Step 10: Starting Up Your System

This part requires a good knowledge of the BIOS and CMOS, if you do not have this go to your local techno geek and ask for help. Now it's time to start up your system, press the button, if it starts up good job, if it doesn't.... well then try to check all your connections and, try again, if it doesn't work check all your parts if they are damadged. Now when your system starts up it should say something like: CMOS ERROR, PLEASE CHANGE SETTINGS. So go into your BIOS and set everything up for how you want it, a very important thing to remember is your boot-order. Once you set your CMOS and BIOS save it and restart your system, it will say BOOT FROM CD, somewhere on the screen during loading, so go get your Operating System CD and place it in the CD-ROM Drive, install it and your done! HORAY! You finished! If you need more help go on this page: the people there will help you a lot if your system has problems.