Last week, we discussed choosing your parts for your PC based on your budget. If you missed it, go back and take a look at Part 1 of building a PC, before reading further. A laundry list of PC parts were assembled together for this build. Since all the required parts are now gathered, it’s time to move on to the next step “Post.”
POST does not mean “begin editing”. It actually refers to Power On Self Test routine. This is a testing method your PC uses to makes sure everything is function correctly. Basically we are going to assemble the bare minimum parts outside the case, to double check and make sure everything is running fine. There is nothing worse than assembling your entire PC, only to discover you have a bad motherboard, or processor.
First, you need to find a large surface to work on that is clutter free. Then you need to make sure your body is grounded, as static electricity can damage your components. Many people purchase Electo Static bands. These are inexpensive, and can save you plenty of headaches. Simply wrap the band around your wrist, and attach the other end to a ground source, such as the metal portion of your case.
The next step is to place your motherboard onto a non-conductive surface, in order to work with it. Many people use a wooden table. However, I prefer to use the box it came in. The box has some give in it when connecting you components, and is less likely to damage your board. Try not to use excessive force when assembling your parts.
The next step is to place your processor into the motherboard socket. This MUST be done very carefully as the pins break easily ! Refer to your manual to make sure your processor socket, and motherboard socket align perfectly. Do not slam, or try to push your processor in, as this will surely damage the pins. Instead simply hover the processor slightly above the socket, and drop it in ever so carefully. Absolutely NO Force is needed!
Once you have your processor seated into the socket. The rest is actually fairly easy. Simply go ahead connect CPU fan, (if you are using an aftermarket fan, then don’t forget to add the thermal-paste that came with the fan. A pea size is all that is needed.) Then continue to add the RAM, the Graphics Card and power supply. Once you have all these parts assembled, you are read to perform your first POST test.
The Asus mother board in this situation, actually has a power button on the board. This makes it super easy to turn on. There is no need to short the switch in order to get the board to power up. Once the monitor is connected, hit the power button, and watch in amazement as the motherboard tests all the components currently connected. Once booted you should see a black screen appear with text saying something like “Disk Boot Failure”. This does not mean you have run into trouble. It simply means everything works, and the PC is just looking for a boot disk, that you have yet to install. If you don’t get anything on the screen, well then it’s time to grab a pot of coffee because you will have to trouble shoot each part.
Now that you have passed the POST Test, time to assemble your parts into the case. This is a simple task, but can easily be the best place to damage your precious parts.
Tips for Assembling
- Take your time it’s not a race.
- Make sure you are still wearing the Elector Static Band.
- Use Standoffs for the motherboard.
- Place the case on it’s side so you can easily place the mother board into the case.
- Take your time and tie up all the cables as neatly as possible, This will make sure any upgrades or swapping out of components can easily be done later. It will also allow you to have more air passing through freely, keeping your PC cool.
After you have everything assembled here comes the moment of truth. Start it up again and watch your creation go through POST. If it passes then Volia ! Nothing was damaged upon installing your parts into the case. It’s a great time to take a break before installing the operating system.
To Begin installing your OS, first power up your PC, and hit the DEL key to jump into the BIOS of the motherboard. Some boards may ask for F4 or something else, it will prompt you on a slash page upon intial start up.
Once in the BIOS, you now have the ability to assign the Boot Priority for the computer. Select the Blu Ray / DVD Drive, then place your Windows 7 Professional disk into the drive. Once you save and exit the BIOS, the PC will reboot, and automatically begin to read and install Windows. Once you have completed installing Windows, don’t forget to go back into the BIOS,and change the Boot Priority selection to your hard drive. If you forget this step, you will confused as to why the computer continues to not boot up correctly.
Installing and updating drivers are the next logical step. A good safety measure is not to download drivers on your freshly installed Windows machine, because there is no anti-virus on it. The safer way to download the drivers is to use another machine, and use a USB key to transfer the drivers over to your PC build. There is nothing worse than getting a virus on a fresh install.
- Motherboard combo or individual drivers for chipset , LAN, USB , Audio , Thunderbolt.
- Graphics Card.
Now that you have completed all of these necessary steps, go ahead and install the rest of the software you need in your edit station. However, don’t forget to add an anti-virus software before surfing the world wide web. On this PC build I have installed Avid Media Composer, and various Adobe software such as After Effects and Photoshop. Once you have completed installing all your software, sit back and enjoy your new PC!