Installing a Motherboard

Installing a motherboard for the first time intimidates most people, but it’s really pretty easy if you do it by the numbers. Before you get started, prepare a well-lighted working area, ideally one with all-around access. The kitchen table (appropriately protected) usually works well. Have all tools and parts organized and ready to go. Open the box of each new component, verify contents against the manual or packing list to make sure no parts are missing, examine the components to ensure they appear undamaged, and do at least a quick read-through of the manual to familiarize yourself with the products.

Tip

See also Chapter 28, for photographs of this process.

Removing the Old Motherboard

If you are replacing a motherboard, you must remove the old motherboard before installing the new one. The exact steps vary according to the motherboard and case, but use the following general steps:

  1. Power down the PC and all attached devices. Disconnect all external cables other than the power cord, noting which cable connects to which port. Then move the PC to your work area and remove the cover from the case. We can attest that one wayward case screw can destroy a vacuum cleaner, so put the screws safely aside. An old egg carton or ice cube tray makes a good parts organizer.

  2. If the PC power cord is connected to an outlet strip, surge suppressor, or UPS, turn off the main power switch on that device, and turn off the main PC power switch as well. This removes power from ...

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