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Installing Computer Motherboards

priceattackshop
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Installing Computer Motherboards
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Hi All
This is a quick step by step guide for anybody needing help to install a PC Motherboard, please read the disclaimer before using.

As with any PC hardware, always ensure you take anti static precautions, this is generally taken by wearing an ESD armband, however failing this then always ensure you have a some part of your body in constant contact with the metal case of your PC (this will discharge the static you may have).


PLEASE NOTE: this information is not an industry accepted method; these are my own personal fixes that I have determined through many years of handling IT equipment. With the exception of any readers who have bought from my ebay shop PriceAttackStore run by PriceAttackShop, bear in mind these hints may invalidate any warranties you may hold, but if they should I would recommend attaining a refund from your seller and shop elsewhere!

First off, ensure your PC is unplugged from the mains supply and then allow 1 minute for any residual electricity to disseminate from the boards inside

Remove the cover from your PC to gain access to the motherboard.

IMPORTANT! Remember your anti static precautions from this point onwards until the final step, and DO NOT place any PC components on the carpet, if possible use a piece of card or a wooden table to lay any parts you remove.

First off unscrew and remove any cards connected to your old board, then proceed to unplug all the cables from the board.

On some PC cases you will need to remove the HDD caddy, unplug all the cables from your HDD before removing, it only takes a second and can prevent wrenching the cable sockets, if you need to remove the PSU I would again unplug all the cables, it will make it easier in any case.

Now remove the memory and proceed to unscrew the board

Once removed I would now (if needed) remove the processor, the reason why I choose to remove the processor out of the case is that quite often the CPU cooler clip is against the PSU, making it harder than it needs to be to remove, this is not true for all cases so if you prefer to remove the CPU inside the case, go ahead.

CPU coolers/heatsinks can be very tricky and difficult to remove, before doing so I would suggest seeing a practical example on Youtube. If you type in your cpu type and 'how to remove cooler" there should be some video demonstrations on how to remove it.

NB: I would not recommend installing the CPU cooler outside the case as the cooler, due to its tightness tends to pull the board upwards, like a bow, so it is best to fasten the board first to prevent this.

Now assembly, place the motherboard into the case, before screwing the motherboard down, compare the screw placements with the fittings in the case, sometimes a fitting will need to be removed as it will be in contact with the circuitry, once you are happy with your fitting placement and your I/O shield is in place screw the motherboard down, its normally best to screw the back centre screw first (just below or behind the I/O shield ports) and then the top or bottom corner, this should align the board without too much fuss of adjustment for screws.

Once this is done, install your CPU and fasten the cooler (clean the old coolant paste and reapply, this is crucial to the smooth running of your PC and cannot be understated). After this proceed with installing memory and connecting any wires that you had since unplugged, including if applicable, the HDD caddy and PSU. After these are screwed back into place and cables have been reconnected install your graphics card and attempt boot.

Once the post screen has been attained install any remaining cards you may have, don’t forget to unplug the mains whilst doing so.

 

Troubleshoot

Question: ‘My motherboard is completely dead’

Answer: If the motherboard is completely unresponsive there is a variety of possible causes for this, the list below is what I consider the most likely to the least and I suggest following it step by step.

1) Power supply has been switched off either at the mains or the small switch at the back of the PC (this is not on every PSU so this may not apply to you).

2) The power button/switch at the front of the PC is not connected or incorrectly connected, in this case I would unplug the forward connectors for lights etc and simply run a screwdriver across each pair of terminals and you should hopefully stumble across it. Normally though this is clearly marked on the motherboard, if not it is usually the 2 pins near the ‘missing’ pin.

3) Unplug the mains (if you haven’t already done so) and remove the small coin shaped CMOS battery, once removed using a paperclip or similar metal object ‘short’ the 2 battery terminals together for approx 40 seconds, once done plug the mains back in and retest, if it has or has not worked power down, unplug the mains and replace the battery.

4) Inefficiently applied coolant paste or insecure/unbalanced heatsink, take another look at your cooler, make sure it is level and that the CPU fan cable is connected to the CPU fan terminal on the board (not for example the system fan connector), if the CPU fan is not connected the board may not power up as it is detecting what would be a critical fault, if the CPU cooler is not level or paste is not correctly applied the PC may have realized this and prevented booting so damage cannot occur.

5) A hardware conflict or a faulty piece of hardware, unplug everything except your CPU cooler and PSU, this includes memory and graphics. If the PC powers up and gives an error code switch off and place 1 stick of memory in the pc with a graphics card, if it doesn't switch on again unplug the memory and see if the beep returns, if it does your memory is likely to be at fault.

6) PSU is faulty, first make sure your separate 4/8 pin block is connected, if it is try using another PSU. If the symptoms change search through this guide for the applicable problem if it hasn't cured it straight away.

7) If none of the above work the chances are the motherboard or CPU is faulty and you should contact your seller for advice on how they want to proceed.

Question: ‘My motherboard is powering up but there is no display?

Answer: If the motherboard is doing this there is a variety of possible causes for this, the list below is what I consider the most likely to the least and I suggest following it step by step.

1) Unplug the mains (if you haven’t already done so) and remove the small coin shaped CMOS battery, once removed using a paperclip or similar metal object ‘short’ the 2 battery terminals together for approx 40 seconds, once done plug the mains back in and retest, if it has or has not worked power down, unplug the mains and replace the battery.

2) Inefficiently applied coolant paste or insecure/unbalanced heatsink, take another look at your cooler, make sure it is level and that the CPU fan cable is connected to the CPU fan terminal on the board (not for example the system fan connector, if the CPU cooler is not level or paste is not correctly applied the PC cannot boot.

3) A hardware conflict or a faulty piece of hardware, unplug everything except your CPU cooler and PSU, this includes memory and graphics. If the PC powers up and gives an error code switch off and place 1 stick of memory in the pc with a graphics card, if it doesn’t switch on again unplug the memory and see if the beep returns, if it does your memory is likely to be at fault.

4) Despite the likelihood of a faulty memory module it is not a foregone conclusion, if you have another graphics card try this.

5) Coolant paste has gone underneath the CPU, causing an issue. Try cleaning it if this has occurred.

6) PSU is faulty, first make sure your separate 4 pin block is connected. If it is try using another PSU, the PSU gives 3 different voltages, sometimes one of these can ‘drop’ and still give the appearance of a working PSU, if the symptoms change search through this guide for the applicable problem if it hasn’t cured it straight away.

7) If none of the above work the chances are the motherboard or CPU is faulty and you should contact your seller for advice on how they want to proceed.

Question: ‘My motherboard came without a CPU bracket, what should i do?’

Answer: This is not as serious as it sounds as there are so many various cooler types anyway, either remove your old one from the previous board or simply search eBay or another outlet for ‘CPU bracket’, most are available for less than £5 including postage, just be sure you have the right one.

Question: ‘I have bent the pins on my 775 board! What can I do?’

Answer: Sadly not much can be done. This will likely have invalidated the warranty. IMPORTANT: The following is not advisable and may damage your CPU! If you still want to continue to try what i find best is a slender flat head screwdriver, a steady hand, and some patience and see if you can ease it back into position, it can be done as I have done it myself several times, but if you feel the pin is not straight enough don’t try it, you may damage your CPU.

Question: ‘My HDD are not being detected’

Answer: This is a rare fault, it could be down to the cable you are using. There are 2 IDE cable types, 40wire and 80wire, if you are using the older 40wire cable your HDD may not be detected, if you are using 80wire IDE and the drives are setup correctly (see my guide on installing Rom/HDD drives) then the fault is down to the motherboard, you will need to return it to the seller.

Question: ‘My sound card and/or network port, built into the motherboard, are not detected’

Answer: If you enter bios normally under either ‘Peripheral devices’ or ‘Onboard Devices’ there are settings to enable or disable the sound card and ancillary features, simply set as you require. If you do happen to make a mess of it and the PC doesn’t boot, unplug the mains, remove the coin battery and once removed using a paperclip or similar metal object ‘short’ the 2 battery terminals together for approx 40 seconds, once done plug the mains back in and retest, if it has or has not worked power down, unplug the mains and replace the battery.

Well I think that’s all the troubleshooting, If the problem cannot be resolved above I would send it back to your seller, or if this is not possible have it repaired professionally or you may send it to ourselves for safe and proper disposal.

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