Testing your Hardware Installation

It's time to see how well you've done.  We're going to test your hardware installation, before moving on to the software installation.  To do this we have to hook up your outer components, that is the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power supply.

Get out the monitor you want to use.  Preferably a monitor you have tested on another computer that you know works.  Attach the video connector to the back of the graphics card.  Plug in the monitor power cord.

Your mouse if its a PS2 connector attaches to the green colored plug and your keyboard attaches to the purple PS2 connector.  If they are USB connectors, just plug both of them into any available USB port.

First, turn on the monitor.  On your computer connect the power cord to the back of the power supply, make sure the switch is on "0", which means "Off."  Connect the power cord to your electrical outlet.

Here we go.  Switch the power switch on your power supply to "1," or "On."  You should see the power light on the motherboard.  All is well.  Turn the power off by using the front case on-off switch.  Hold it in until the system shuts down.  Push the front panel power switch again to turn the system back on.  Your front panel power light should come on as well as your system.

If all of the above works fine, you've tested you case hook ups, and your power supply.  Let the system run for awhile and an image with the motherboards name should appear on the monitor.  This is called "posting."  If it doesn't post initially, try it a couple of more times, before panicing.  Sometimes on a new board it takes a couple of cycles to get everything in sync.  You'll see people complain on forums about not being able to get their system to "post."   What there saying is they don't get an image on their monitor.



If your system posts, has an image on the monitor, you'll see an instruction to hit a key to enter "set up."  Usually it's either the "delete" key, F1 key, or the F8 key, depending on the manufacturer.  Go ahead and enter set up.  By the way, Congratulations! You did a great job putting your system together.

Set up is a system of menus that configures your bios settings, and where you tell your computer how you would like to configure the computer and let's you set some settings.   You do not have to go into every menu choice, for now, all we want to do is make sure we boot from your DVD drive first and your hard drive second.   This lets you load your operating system from the DVD drive, which is the first thing we'll do when we start the software installation.

In the set up menu, you can look around and make changes if you understand what the choices mean.  They should be explained in your motherboard Users Guide.  The way you change a setting is with the arrow keys on the keyboard, you pick the top menu and hit the return key on the keyboard.  This will open that menu, go to the choice you want to change, and hit a return to see your choices, you change with the arrow keys and the return key.  When you done hit F10 to exit and save your changes.

Use your arrow keys on your keyboard and move to the boot menu page.  This is where you change your boot configuration.   Look for a choice called "Boot Device Priority" or something like that.  Hit the return and you'll see your devices.  Set the DVD to boot first then your hard drive that your going to put the operating system on.  Hit the F10 key.

Bios with Boot Device Priority shown

Bios Setup with Boot Device Priority shown

If you don't post, something is wrong, obviously.  No display means your monitor is not working or your graphics card is not working.  Plug your monitor into another computer to check it out.  No motherboard light can mean either you have a bad motherboard or power supply.  Check your power connector plugs.  You get the idea.

That's it for this post, pun intended.  Congratulations again, on getting the computer to post,  great job.   Put the sides back on your computer case, and let's get ready to load some software on this puppy.   I will pick the rest of the build up under a new category, software installation.  See you there.

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