BOOT CAMP 439 (29/08/06)
Build your own Vista-Ready PC, part 4
This week we’ll finishing off the assembly of
the DT MK II computer so without more ado let’s get started.
Begin with the DVD drive. Plug one end of the
grey ribbon data cable (supplied with the motherboard) into the rear of the
drive. It is ‘keyed’ and can only fit one way so don’t force it. Next, slide
the drive into the case from the front, line it up and fix in place using four
screws (two each side) from the bag of fittings included with the motherboard.
Tuck the ribbon cable out of the way for the moment. Now it’s the turn of the
hard disc drive. After checking that the jumpers on the back are set to the
‘Master’ position fit one end of the red coloured SATA data cable to the rear
of the drive, then the short power adaptor cable (also included with the
motherboard). Slide the drive it into an empty bay and fix it in place.
Place the motherboard (on its anti-static foam
pad) on a table -- see also this week’s Top Tip. Press the locking lever on the
side of the CPU socket down and sideways to release it. Open the hinged
retaining clamp and remove the piece of plastic protecting the contact pins.
Holding the CPU chip carefully by the edges remove it from its packing. Remove
the protective cover on the underside and do not touch the contacts!
Two small notches cut into opposing edges of
the chip line up with a pair of lugs in the chip holder, orientate the chip and
place it gently in the holder, no pressure is required. When you are satisfied
that it is correctly seated close the hinged cover and return the lever to the
lock position; it can be quite stiff so firm pressure may be needed.
Now it’s the turn of the fan. Avoid touching
the pad of tacky thermal compound on the underside. The fan module is held in
place by four press-fit pillars. Line them up with the four holes surrounding
the CPU socket then press down gently on the top of each one until you feel it
lock into position. It’s not a particularly good design and I find it sometimes
needs a couple of attempts before the fan feels secure. Plug the fan’s power
cable into the white 4-pin socket close to the top right-hand mounting pillar
Next install the memory modules (or module, if
you’ve opted for a single 1Gb board). Flip open the retaining catches at the
ends of the memory sockets (Socket 1 if you are only using one module). Remove
a module from its antistatic bag, note the position of the notch about halfway
along the strip of contacts, position the module so the notch lines up with the
lug in the bottom of the socket. Slide it into position and apply firm pressure
at each end in turn, to fully seat the module and engage the retaining catches.
Before installing the motherboard it is a good
idea to connect the cables for the front panel switches, lights and sockets, as
they can be tricky to get at once the motherboard is in position Place the
motherboard, (still on its antistatic foam pad) on the side of the case and
take hold of the bundle of twisted wires coming from the front of the case. All
of them, apart from the one marked ‘Speaker’ fit on the System Panel ‘Header’
pins in the bottom right hand corner of the motherboard. Refer to labelling on
the connectors and the diagram on page 18 of the motherboard manual. Observe
the polarity of the power LED (PLED) and hard drive activity LED (HDLED)
connectors. The internal speaker plug fits onto a four-pin header next to the
System Panel Header. The two flat ribbon cables connect to the black USB 45 and
HD-Audio1 headers along the bottom edge of the motherboard, they are clearly
labelled and ‘keyed’ so they cannot be mixed up.
When you are happy that everything is in its
rightful place you can fit the motherboard (don’t forget to discard the
antistatic foam pad). Line up the sockets on the rear of the motherboard with
the escutcheon plate on the case’s back panel and edge the board gently into
position, taking care not to bend the thin metal contact strips in the socket
surrounds. Double check the alignment then fit the six mounting screws (and
this is where a magnetised screwdriver comes in handy).
The next job is to fit the power cables from
the PSU module. There are two for the motherboard; the largest one has a 20-pin
plug. It may have 4 extra pins (for different types of motherboard) but they
simply ‘snap’ off. The plug fits into a white socket just behind the rear panel
USB sockets. The second smaller 4-pin square shaped power plug (not the one
you’ve detached from the main power plug) fits into a white socket in the top
left hand corner of the motherboard.
Fit one of the flat four-pin disc drive power
connectors into the socket on the DVD drive and a second one into the socket on
the end of the adaptor cable connected to the hard drive.
Lastly fit the ribbon data cable from the DVD
drive to the socket next to the memory modules and the HDD cable into the SATA1
socket in the bottom right corner. Finish off by tidying up the wiring using
cable ties; make sure that there are no loose wires anywhere near CPU fan, and
it’s job done!
NEXT WEEK – Build your own PC, part 5
Light Emitting Diode -- low-powered semiconductor device used as
an indicator light in electronic equipment
Technology Attachment, fast, high performance interface used to connect hard
disc drives to PC motherboards
Silicon-based paste, used to assist the transfer of heat from
microchips to a cooling fan or heat sink
Touch a radiator or earthed metal appliance to dissipate any
static charge that may have built up on your clothes or body before handling
the motherboard. Make sure you have plenty of light available and remember,
never force anything, if it doesn’t fit easily you are doing something wrong.
Incorrectly wiring the front panel switches and lights is one of the most
common problems on home build PCs, so take your time and triple-check every
© R. Maybury 2006, 2308
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