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Old 12-23-2006, 10:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tony's Easy Guide to Building Your Own 1337 Rig (LOTS of photos!)

Hey everybody, if you are new or need guidance in building your own kickass rig, then look no further!

This is a worklog of my little cousin's comp she received for Christmas. I built this computer during a school day so some pictures might be rushed. Please contact me if a picture is unclear or you have a private comment on my guide. Please do not use any of my pics without my permission.

This guide assumes you have the necessary components and leisure to put together a computer.

First Things First

Prep Work

1. A Phillips Screwdriver is usually all you need to build a computer and for those few out there who do not know what it looks like...

2. Make sure you have a clear, open work area to build your computer, and if you can prevent yourself from building on carpet to help minimize static discharge.

3. Probably the most obvious component are the components itself, make sure you have all the parts necessary to build a complete computer; they are (not limited to):
-RAM (memory)
-Cd-rom (cd/dvd burner, cd burner, etc)
-Operating System

1. Take your time, would you rather take a few hours building or a few days fixing a frivolous mistake?

2. DO NOT use excessive force, most of the computer build does NOT require strength (work - for you physics lovers), perhaps the only steps that might need an extra amount of force are parts that use a retention mechanism (stock processor fans, aftermarket processor fans, fans on aftermarket cooling, usually associated with 939 and am2 systems).

3. Ground yourself prior to building, this eliminates the threat of electrostatic discharge that can zap all your precious shiny parts.

4. Keep all spare parts, manuals, cds, and boxes. Why boxes you ask, well because if a part goes bad, some manufacturers need the box to be able to return the item and it saves on shipping.

5. Make sure you have fun, this is supposed to be an enriching activity. Everytime you experiment with something new, you gain experience and some day you can help others with your skills.

NOW time to build your own custom PC

Parts used are as followed:
AMD 3200+ 939
Asus A8N5X
Crucial Ballistix (2 x 512)
WD 80 GB Harddrive
Samsung 18x Lightscribe DVD Burner
Leadtek (Winfast) 7300GT
Coolmax V-500 PSU
Scythe Ninja Rev.5 CPU cooler
Logitech x-230 Speakers
Logitech cordless media elite
Old and ugly Dell monitor

All parts are of quality and are recommended(surprisingly even the $28 500 watt psu from coolmax - extremely stable rails)

1. Take your case out of its box and take off both side panels (usually done by removing screws or releasing latches).

2. Locate the I/O shield plate found on the back of your case and DESTROY it (meaning push it out)

3. Locate the brass motherboard standoffs and the complementary screws and place them in accordance to your motherboard size in your case.

4. Next find your motherboard box and find the I/O shield plate that came with it and remove those annoying metal blockers that prevent access to the LAN port and ps/2 port. Then push it into the back of the case as followed

5. Then remove the front bezel you wish to place your CD-ROM in and slide it in from the front and secure it with the necessary screws or tool-less latches. Make sure of a snug, nice looking fit.

6. For the consequent step, find your power supply and place it in the correct orientation in the case and secure it to the back of your case using screws.

7. Okay, now get out your motherboard and place it on top of the anti-static bag it came with. Then according to the manual, release the RAM latches that is needed for your sticks (usually color-cordinated).

8. Now carefully take out the ram (try not to touch the gold connector) and find the notch and make sure you line it up with the slot or you will regret it. Once it is lined up, use even force to push it in place. You should here clicks to confirm it is snug.

9. Next, find the lever on your motherboard which locks the processor in place and lift it to a vertical position.

10. Then, take the processor and avoid touching the gold pins and line up the corner arrow on the processor and motherboard. The processor should just fall right in place and then place the level back to a prone position. (NO FORCE REQUIRED)

11. The next step requires your processor fan which comes with your processor if you bought it retail. Follow the instructions presented to you by the cpu manual and this step might require some strength to lock the fan on the motherboard. I used an aftermarket cooler, so I applied some thermal grease and spread it around, then placed the cooler on the processor and used the latch provided to secure it to the mainboard.

12. Next carefully place the motherboard in the case and secure it with screws provided with your case. To do this, place the I/O part of the motherboard first and fit the connectors to fit the I/O shield plate and then align the motherboard. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.

13. Then find your harddrive and place it into a 3.5" drive bay and secure it with screws or tool-less latches.

14. Now find your S-ata cable and plug it into your board and harddrive, tuck it in a crevice if you choose to make your case look tidy.

15. The following step needs the power cables coming from the power supply. Find the 20/24 pin connector and place it into the motherboard, then the P4 pin (4 pin- square) connector and do the same.

16. Next use the molex connectors and connect them to any devices in your case that needs them (cd-rom, harddrive, fans, etc)
Note: when connecting power to the hardrive and a sata and molex connectors are allowed, plug only ONE power source in or your harddrive might be damaged.

17. Now connect all fans and make sure your cpu fan, northbridge fan, etc are connected <if needed>.

18. Now get your IDE cable that came with your motherboard and connect it to your motherboard from your CD-ROM

19. Now remove a rear expansion metal plate and align your video card and place it into its proper slot. Connect it to a power source if required.

20. For the next step, find your power, reset, speaker, usb, frontpanel connectors, etc connectors that are found in your case and using your motherboard manual place them in the correct position.

21. Finally make sure everything is connected and close the case.

22. Now to set up your computer, connect your monitor, keyboard, and mouse only.

23. Then power on the computer and press the button to get into bios (usually the Delete button) and change the boot order to: 1st - cd-rom 2nd - harddisk and disabled for the rest.

24. Now open up your cd-rom and place your operating system cd in the tray, close it, and now save changes done to the boot order and wait for it to restart, then when it says "push any key to boot from cd" press any key. Let windows load.

25. Then when this message pops up, press Enter.

26. Now for this step, press F8 to agree.

27. Then press enter to create a partition and enter again to format and wait. This is time to get some cookies and watch some tv. Come back in several minutes because watching the formating process is more boring than watching paint dry. Your computer will restart by itself.

28. Let windows load and enter the information it requires as time progresses.

29. Perhaps the most vital step, install drivers FIRST (motherboard - > video card -> soundcard -> w/e next) then your programs.


(pink room eh? its my little cousin not mine lol)


Thanks for reading my guide and if there is any unanswered questions look at your manuals and use your best tools (your intuition). If you encounter problems consult and attempt troubleshooting strategies. Hope you enjoyed my little easy guide =D


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Old 12-23-2006, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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it seems pretty good. maybe it could be a sticky but i think we already have a guide to build your own rig. but i dont think another one will hurt.


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Old 12-23-2006, 11:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Its good that you explained about the pink room, I was starting to get ideas.

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Old 12-23-2006, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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nice to see people taking the time to write this up. It wil doubtlessly become a nice resource on tf.

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Old 12-24-2006, 06:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Well done.
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Old 12-24-2006, 07:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i don't know what to do here . it's a good guide but we already have a guide stickied. time to ask my moderaterly pals
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Old 12-24-2006, 09:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I think this guide is better. Except, at the beginning it says some things are neccesary up there, but they aren't totally 100% neccesary, like videocard and sound card ;p
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Old 12-24-2006, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think it's a pretty good guide, has some useful safety instructions (leaving your motherboard on its anti-static bag, describing the force required to place specific parts, etc.)

Some steps were a little less in-depth, like "connect your power supply using screws" or "slide in your CD drive". Although with a little common sense most can figure out how to place these items in their own situation.

Also nice: the inclusion of instructions on how to set up, install and configure your software. Overall, nice guide.
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Old 12-24-2006, 10:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Ya, I agree it is really good. Maybe you could put 2 stickies, more info for the newer guys couldn't hurt.

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Old 12-24-2006, 05:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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But there's already so many stickies in High-End Hardware, having a duplicate of one already present feels like a bit of a waste of valuable space. Normally, you aren't supposed to write a guide when there's already a guide clearly available. And if you do, it normally needs to be significantly different that the present version.

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