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Building A PC: Step By Step Guide


by A. Camballe - 11th Jun 2009
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Installing Your Components


Installing the Hard Drive:
After the optical drive, you will want to install your hard drive(s).

Remember to ground yourself by touching the metal case before you handle any of your computer’s electronic components, it saves them from possible static discharge which can destroy hardware. An elasticated anti static wrist strap is a great purchase to ensure a safe build and they are reasonably priced.


To install the drive, you will need to find the internal drive rack of your case. Each case has a different method of mounting the hard drive and can vary from a simple screw in (as we saw with the optical drive) to removable brackets and cages.

Refer to your case manual for the specific method to install your hard drive into your particular model.
The SilverStone TJ10b utilises removable, clip in cages. Once the cage is removed the hard drives slide in and are secured with screws in a similar fashion to the optical drive.


Installing the I/O Panel:
The next component you want to install is the I/O panel that comes with the motherboard.


To install the I/O panel cover, all you need to do is snap it in from the inside of the case as shown in the pictures above. Be sure to check that the panel is installed right-side up as it can easily be put in upside-down by mistake. Simply look at the back ports on the motherboard and see if they line up, if it happens to be upside-down, pop it back out and turn it around.

Installing the Motherboard Standoffs:

Last things you want to install before we move on are the motherboard standoffs. They are the hexagon shaped screws that go down onto the bottom of the case and keep your motherboard in place and away from the metal surface that would mean certain death for your motherboard.

Generally, a standard ATX motherboard uses 9-10 standoffs while your computer case comes with as many as needed to fill every hole at the bottom of your case, you most likely will not need to use all of them for your system.

Again, remember to ground yourself by touching the metal case before you handle any of your computer’s electronic components, it saves them from possible static discharge.


It may be a little tricky to figure out where to place the standoffs, especially if you are not sure which screw hole is the right one. Simply take it step by step:
  1. First, count the number of screw holes on your motherboard, then grab the same number of standoffs.
  2. Then, try looking at the positions of those holes and matching them to your case, starting from the four corners and working your way to the center, making sure to note where the I/O panel is and the motherboard slots are. Your case manual may detail specific information on standoff placement.
  3. Lastly, if you are still not sure where the standoffs should be, take two 8 ½ x 11 sheets of paper and tape them together along their longest sides, so that the entire motherboard can fit on it, set your motherboard on the paper. Then with a marker or a pen, mark on the paper where all the screw holes are. Take the paper and lay it on the bottom of the case, use it to correctly place all the standoffs.
That’s it for your case mounted components, next is motherboard preparation.
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