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* * * Homegrown PC * * *

   
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cheechm
First Officer
First Officer

Pro Member

Joined: Apr 26, 2006
Posts: 312
Location: My Home, London, United Kingdom
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:45 pm 

* * * * * * * *Guide on Building A Homebuilt Computer* * * * * * * *
To be short
(1) Remove EVERYTHING from the case
(2) Set the motherboard on a non conductive surface. Something like the box the motherboard came in is good.
(3) Install CPU + heat sink.
(4) Install RAM
(5) Install hard drive
(6) Install CD-ROM drive
(7) Install GPU
(8 Connect monitor to GPU
(9) DON’T CONNECT ANYTHING ELSE. Remember the power connector on the CPU fan.
I don't know if anyone has done this on these forums, but I thought I would give some information to people who want to build computers, or think they want to but aren't sure if they should risk it!
To start of you need components! I ain't going to go into any faf about it for FS, I will just use an example.
Tools Required
Screwdriver
Tweezers
Flashlight (Not always needed)
Hardware Required
PC Case
Floppy Disk Drive
Hard Drive
CD-ROM Drive
Processor
Processor Cooling Fan
Motherboard
Memory Modules
Power Supply
Video Card
Keyboard & Mouse
Monitor
(Most electrically sensitive hardware comes in a static bag which is designed to protect the electronics from static electricity shock. Leave your hardware in these bags until you are ready to install them.)

Step One - PSU
You need to put the power supply in the case. Line it up to put it in with the fans facing out of the case and the wires facing inwards.
Put the PSU into the case. It can take a bit of fiddling to get it in.
When you have got the PSU in the case check that the screws line up. Then tighten the screws to put the PSU in place.
You have to make sure of one thing: There is a little switch on the back to change the voltage. In the United States, its 120. Overseas countries it is most likely 220. If you use 220, make sure the cord is rated for it. It should say on the side of the cord.

Step Two - CPU
You have to check the pins on the back of the CPU first. Check they aren't bent. If theya are you may need a new processor!
Open the socket. You do this by pulling the lever up.
Locate Pin 1 on both the CPU and the socket. This is easy, but vital. The mark may be a little dot on one corner, a slightly notched corner, or a mark at one of the pins under the chip. The mark on the CPU must be matched up with the mark on the motherboard CPU socket.
Insert the processor. The CPU should literally slide into place.
Close the socket by just closing the lever. You will probably feel some resistance. This is normal and it should close anyway. If you really need to lean on it, though, check to be sure the CPU is installed correctly. When down, make sure the lever snaps into place.

Step Three – Heatsink
Attach the fan to the heat sink. This step is almost always already done for you.
Clean the top of the processor. Ensure that the surface of the processor is clean and free of dust and finger oil. Do the same to the bottom of the heat sink. Apply the Heat Sink Compound. If you are not using a heat pad on your heat sink, apply a very thin layer of heat sink compound to the top of the processor core. Attach the heatsink. Press down gently.
Secure the heat sink. Most newer heat sinks use a set of clips on each side to fasten itself down. These clips attach to a pair of tabs on each side of the socket. Attach the power cable to the fan.

Step Four - Memory
Ground yourself first. Pick up the memory by the edges. Decide which slots you are going to place it in. The module slot will have a small plastic bridge which will be off-center in the socket. This matches up with a notch in the pin array of the memory module itself and ensures that you insert the module in the proper alignment.
Lock the memory in place. The ejector clips need to be closed to keep it in place. If they do not close it is probably because you have put it in the wrong way etc. . .

Step Five – Motherboard
Put you case on its side and clear all the wires to put the motherboard in. If you have a removable plate you should take the plate out now for an easier installation. Fine the screw holes on you motherboard, and also on your case.
Screw the standoffs into the case. Take the motherboard by the edges and align it with the case. Lower the motherboard into the case. Sit it on top of the standoffs you just installed so that each standoff lines up with a screw hole on the motherboard. Tighten the board down by screwing the screws into the standoffs. Don’t tighten the screws to much so you don’t crack the motherboard. Now check all the slots on the motherboard line up with the case.

Step Six – Power
* * * For this bit you may need the manual* * * Connect the 20/24 pin wire from the PSU to the motherboard. Connect what would probably a 3 pin wire to your CPU fan. Connect the power switch. This is connected to your motherboard, not the PSU. Make sure it is the right wire; otherwise your system might not start. Connect the reset switch. It can be plugged in any way, just make sure you connect it to the right pins. Connect Power LED. Connect the hard drive activity LED. Some come on a 2 pin plug. Others come on a four pin plug, sometimes only two of the pins actually doing anything. Connect the PC speaker.

Step Seven – Hard drive
You can put your hard drive in any free bay in your case but a consideration need to be taken into place! Hard drives generate heat and this means you must try and keep it as far from other hardware as possible.
Choose the bay, and slide the hard drive in. Be sure the connectors face toward the back of the case. Fasten the hard drive into place using the screws. Try doing this with a magnetic screw driver for most ease. Connect the power supply then the IDE ribbon or the SATA connector. For IDE there are 3 connectors on one wire. Use the two which are closest together for the hard drive (either one doesn’t matter) and the other one to connect to the motherboard. With SATA the cable goes to an SATA slot 1.

Step Eight – CD Drive
Choose which drive bay you wish to install the drive in. If you can remove the drive rails so then you can slide the drive into position. Slide the drive in. Then push the drive all the way in until the clips on the drive rails snap into place. When tightened into place, make sure the front of the drive is flush with the front of the case. If the front bezel is off the case on installation, make sure you don’t make the mistake of making the drive flush with the case frame. It needs to stick out a little so it will be flush with the bezel when you re-attach it. Also make sure it appears straight. Now screw the drive into place. Attach the power supply to the drive. Now attach the IDE ribbon (different to hard drive ribbon) and attach that to the motherboard. Attach the audio cable from you CD drive to the motherboard.

Step Nine – GPU
Insert the video card in the slot. You might need to rock the card in, inserting one end first, then rocking the rest of the pins into place. When the GPU is in place you will need to close the ejector clips. If the GPU has a fan, connect that to the power supply on the motherboard.

Step Ten – Check
You need to check all of what you have just done!

Nick Very Happy
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99jolegg
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jun 26, 2004
Posts: 5424
Location: UK
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:51 pm 

Looks like a detailed guide which will be useful for referencing / as a sticky Thumbs Up!

Still, I wouldn't have the courage to make my own PC Fear
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RadarMan
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Aug 25, 2003
Posts: 19170
Location: U.S.A
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:01 pm 

I would very much like to build my own PC.
I would know that all the parts are the best that can be bought, nothing would be second class.
Unfortunately if while building it I get an error on first boot-up how would I know as a newbie if it's my fault or one of the parts is faulty.

I have to think about it a little more.

Radar

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Greekman72
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 7050
Location: Hellas
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:14 pm 

RadarMan wrote:
I would very much like to build my own PC.
I would know that all the parts are the best that can be bought, nothing would be second class.
Unfortunately if while building it I get an error on first boot-up how would I know as a newbie if it's my fault or one of the parts is faulty.

I have to think about it a little more.

Radar




If you do it very careful Its hard to do a mistake if go by the book... Wink
I had the same thoughts when i build my first system...Now i have build the 3 of mine and 4 for some friends.

Besides we would never learn if we don't try... Wink
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99jolegg
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jun 26, 2004
Posts: 5424
Location: UK
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:19 pm 

My worry is that if I bought all of the components, couldn't get it to work, I'd have no functional computer, no internet to shout for help and I'd be £1000 or more poorer Laughing
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Greekman72
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jun 15, 2005
Posts: 7050
Location: Hellas
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:27 pm 

99jolegg wrote:
My worry is that if I bought all of the components, couldn't get it to work, I'd have no functional computer, no internet to shout for help and I'd be £1000 or more poorer Laughing


I 'll give you my phone number Jon Very Happy

I ensure you that its not so difficult than it seems to be.Cable connectors cannot plug wrong unless if you broke them...
Im sure you know how to use a screwdriver and I'm also more that sure that you know excellent English Wink in order to read the MOBO's and CPU's Installation instructions(I mean about the hardware installation)...After all of these its a piece of cake...Trust me. Wink
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cheechm
First Officer
First Officer

Pro Member

Joined: Apr 26, 2006
Posts: 312
Location: My Home, London, United Kingdom
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 7:49 pm 

RadarMan wrote:

Unfortunately if while building it I get an error on first boot-up how would I know as a newbie if it's my fault or one of the parts is faulty.


What many people who build computers have are spare parts, for instance spare RAM (which could be 32MB, but it is just to test!) etc. . .


Nick Very Happy
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RadarMan
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Aug 25, 2003
Posts: 19170
Location: U.S.A
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:02 pm 

cheechm wrote:
RadarMan wrote:

Unfortunately if while building it I get an error on first boot-up how would I know as a newbie if it's my fault or one of the parts is faulty.


What many people who build computers have are spare parts, for instance spare RAM (which could be 32MB, but it is just to test!) etc. . .


Nick Very Happy


Very good point.
My system would be completely new, I would still have this older functioning PC.
A friend who builds his own is after me to do it also.
He want's to connect with me on ICQ so if I have a problem he can "walk me" through the solution.

Radar

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tomthetank
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Aug 24, 2003
Posts: 3582
Location: Newport S/Wales
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:36 pm 

Building your own PC is very rewarding and very nerve racking at the same time
The 1st power up is the worse,I have bult more than an a few now,only once did any fail to boot up
There is help at hand from your mobo in the beeps it emits before it loads the O/S Arrow

Building it yourself has the advantage of you know exactly whats under the hood and a quick trip to the makers website would also help

Sometimes its harder to diagnose a fault on a PC that was working
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Liono
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jan 17, 2005
Posts: 1614
Location: Northwich (Cheshire) England.
Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:14 pm 

Building a computer is the best experience you can get, if you like PC's. I've built 3 so far. My one, one for my boss and a close friend. There has been no problems at all. Not even the BSOD either.

All booted ok the first time.

The best thing you can do is the following

Connect the CPU, Heatsink, VGA, RAM and boot the PC. If something goes wrong you will know it's one of the following, apart from the Heatsink.
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Tailhook
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 8477
Location: El Dorado
Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:03 am 

cheechm wrote:


Hardware Required

Floppy Disk Drive




Misleading. You don't need a floppy drive unless you're a member of the flat earth society.

Here we are, serious flightsimmers, eagerly anticipating FSX and Vista, already having sleepless nights over the ramifications of it all yet at the same time willing to make great sacrifices and daring to make great changes.

But parting from an obsolete technology (Floppy Drive) and starting to use a thumb drive instead -- no, we can't have that.



Skipping the floppy drive nostalgia saves money and time and effort - why make things difficult?
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Tailhook
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Oct 12, 2005
Posts: 8477
Location: El Dorado
Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:32 am 

RadarMan wrote:

Unfortunately if while building it I get an error on first boot-up how would I know as a newbie if it's my fault or one of the parts is faulty.

Radar


Obviously this is the most dreaded scenario. This is why Liono's advice to
Connect the CPU, Heatsink, VGA, RAM and boot the PC. If something goes wrong you will know it's one of the following, apart from the Heatsink.
cannot be overemphasized. I'd like to add that the keyboard has to be connected, otherwise the PC won't boot.

The above components are the bare minimum needed to get a display on the monitor.
We are using common sense here similar to when we re-install FS. The Sim first - test drive... only then we install add-ons one by one and test after each add-on individually because it makes trouble-shooting easier.

When we apply the same common sense method while building the PC, instead of groping in the dark, we're in control and happy Very Happy

IMO the most daunting and time-consuming aspect when building a PC for the first time is the choice of parts / components. If enough time is invested in researching compatibility, requirements etc., the biggest hurdle has been overcome.
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RadarMan
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Aug 25, 2003
Posts: 19170
Location: U.S.A
Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:30 am 

Thank you gents for the words of wisdom, duly noted and appreciated.
By the way long live the floppy!
Storing Word Docs on it so much easier than burning them or trying to keep them on a huge thumb, drive, they are just to large.
What are you spending, $20 or less. More than worth it...take that Steve Jobs! Whip
Anyway when I bought a box of 150 (full rebate) they have lasted me eons, in fact I have 151 left. Rolling Eyes

Radar

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cheezyflier
Captain
Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Mar 13, 2007
Posts: 588
Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:18 am 

RadarMan wrote:

Anyway when I bought a box of 150 (full rebate) they have lasted me eons, in fact I have 151 left. Rolling Eyes

Radar


you must be the trickiest man in the world Laughing
now, if you can learn/teach me to do this same trick only with $20 bills,
we can all have sweet computers! Shocked
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Concorde105
First Officer
First Officer

Pro Member

Joined: Sep 03, 2006
Posts: 202
Posted: Thu May 22, 2008 8:00 pm 

cheezyflier wrote:
RadarMan wrote:

Anyway when I bought a box of 150 (full rebate) they have lasted me eons, in fact I have 151 left. Rolling Eyes

Radar


you must be the trickiest man in the world Laughing
now, if you can learn/teach me to do this same trick only with $20 bills,
we can all have sweet computers! Shocked


Yeah! Teach us how to do that!
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belgeode
Chief Captain
Chief Captain

Pro Member

Joined: Jun 22, 2007
Posts: 2032
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posted: Fri May 23, 2008 1:40 am 

Wow way to dredge up old posts there...
US AIR TALES- Stories of one man's virtual life as a pilot
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Avsim1
Trainee
Trainee

Pro Member

Joined: Mar 21, 2015
Posts: 2
Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:06 am 

Thank you for the tutorial. I will be replacing my motherboard next week with a Gigabyte and i7 processor. This will allow me to operate X-plane and fax and also DCS World. Video tutorials would further benefit a newbie. Making a high end flight sim machine shouldn't be too difficult. Should it?
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