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INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Introduction to Hardware Engineering
A Practical Study Guide
Module 2
Prepared by:AGABI FRIDAY
Computer Science and Engineering Department
This Study guide is organized into three Chapters:
Chapter One: Computer Hardware Identification
Chapter Two: Computer System Assembly
Chapter Three: Computer System Troubleshooting and Maintenance
Chapter One
Computer Hardware Identification
A computer system contains the following components/devices:
Tower or Desktop case
Motherboard
Processor
Memory
Graphics Card
Sound Card
Modem & NIC
Floppy Disk
Hard Disk
CD-ROM / DVD ROM
PC Speakers
Monitor
Optional Extras
CD-Writer
ZIP Drive
TV-Card
A desktop or tower case is required to hold all your components together. It is your personal preference on which one
you decide choose. The desktop or tower cases come two in form factor AT and ATX. Nearly all the cases made
nowadays are ATX as the motherboard manufacturers make majority of their motherboard in the ATX form.
ATX Tower Casing
Motherboard
A motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that connects your processor, memory and all your expansion cards
together to assemble a PC.
The processor
The processor also known as CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of a computer.
Memory
Memory is the name given to silicon chips that stores volatile computer data. Volatile means that the contents of
memory will be lost if the power of the computer is switched off.
Graphics card
Graphics card provides display output to your monitor. Your graphic device will most likely come on your motherboard.
Sound card
If you require sound for your PC then you will need a sound card. Sound controllers also come with system board
nowadays.
Modem
Modem stands for Modulator Demodulator. It converts digital signals to analogue so that it can travel via your
telephone line, and vice-versa. A modem is an essential item if you are intending to connect your PC to the internet
using dial-up access. It is also on the board of most computers.
Ethernet Cards
Ethernet cards are usually purchased separately from a computer, although many computers (such as the Macintosh)
now include an option for a pre-installed Ethernet card.
FDD
You need a FDD to access floppy disks.
Hard disk drive
Hard disk drive stores all your data including operating system, applications, user files and documents.
CD-ROM drive
Nearly all operating systems and applications software comes on CD. It is therefore essential to have a CD-ROM drive
for installing your applications.
PC speakers
Monitors
CD Writer / DVD Writer
CD Writer / DVD Writer is a very good option for a backup device.
ZIP drive
If you need to transfer large files from one PC to another, you will find floppy disks quite useless due to their limited
storage capacity. A ZIP drive could be your answer as ZIP disks can store 100 or 250 MB depending on which model
you choose.
TV card
A TV card gives you the option of watching TV on your monitor.
Chapter Two
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO COMPUTER SYSTEM ASSEMBLY
If you are thinking of building your own PC, or need practical information about PC hardware or software, you have
come to the right place. With easy to follow step by step guide combined with many images even a beginner can build,
configure and setup their own PC.
This section gives you an opportunity to learn more about Personal Computer hardware and software. We provide
clear easy to follow step by step instructions on how to build your own PC, according to your own specification. By
building your own PC you get exactly what you need and can save yourself allot of money compared to buying a new
manufactured PC.
At the end of the guide you will have a fully functional PC that should hopefully meet your individual needs. We also
provide advice and instructions on installing a specific hardware, this can be useful if you already have a PC and want
to upgrade or add certain hardware.
The information is placed under appropriate category. The Hardware section provides information about all the
required PC hardware such as motherboard, CPU, memory etc. It provides guidance to help you decide which
hardware is suitable for your needs. Our illustrated step by step guide shows you how to assemble a PC from scratch.
The software section shows you how to setup a new hard disk using appropriate software, so it's ready for installing an
operating system. Installation guide for Windows XP is provided so that your system is up and running quickly and
smoothly. If you encounter any problems the troubleshooting section should take care of things. So what are you
waiting for, start building a PC today.
Hardware Information
To build your PC from scratch you will need to purchase all the necessary hardware. The first thing you must consider
before you start to shop around for your PC hardware is the specification of the hardware. You should think about what
you are going to use your PC for, before buying fancy expensive hardware. Otherwise you will end up buying hardware
which offers advance features that may not be necessary for your needs and end up wasting your money. For
example, you may be using your PC for word-processing, spreadsheet and browsing the web. You would not gain
much benefit by purchasing an advance 3D graphics card or having a top of the range processor. A simple graphics
card and a mid-range processor will satisfy your needs.
Below is a list of all the hardware required to build your system except the obvious requirement, keyboard and mouse.
The purpose of each is hardware is explained along with some guidance to help you choose your hardware. Select the
required hardware for more information.
Tower or Desktop case
Motherboard
Processor
Memory
Graphics Card
Sound Card
Modem
Floppy Disk
Hard Disk
CD-ROM / DVD ROM
PC Speakers
Monitor
Optional Extras
CD-Writer
ZIP Drive
TV-Card
Desktop or Tower Case
A desktop or tower case is required to hold all your components together. It is your personal preference on which one you decide choose. The desktop
or tower cases come two in form factor AT and ATX. Nearly all the cases made nowadays are ATX as the motherboard manufacturers make majority of
their motherboard in the ATX form. All cases come with PSU (Power Supply Unit), space to mount your FDD, CD-ROM, HDD etc. The case that I would
be using for demonstration is an ATX Midi Tower case as shown below.
Motherboard
A motherboard is a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) that connects your processor, memory and all your expansion cards
together to assemble a PC. Most motherboards made nowadays are ATX. An ATX motherboard has the standard I/O
(Input/Output) connectors such as PS/2 ports, parallel ports, serial ports, etc, built onto the motherboard. Old AT
motherboard on the other hand uses I/O cards and cables which needs to be plugged into the motherboard, which gets
a bit untidy. AT motherboard requires AT keyboard and AT power supply. ATX motherboard fits into an ATX case and
comes with an ATX power supply. The following is a pictures of an ATX motherboard.
As you have seen from the enlarged image, the motherboard comes with various expansion card slots and connectors.
It comes with 3 different expansion slots, 1 AGP, 5 PCI and 1 ISA slot. The AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) is where
you would connect and AGP graphics card. The PCI slots is where you would connect cards such as sound card,
modem, tv card etc. The ISA slot is quite an old type of bus which is handy if you got some old hardware such as an
old ISA modem or sound card. The other connectors includes the Intel socket 370 CPU connector, the DIMM slot for
SDRAM, IDE connector for connecting your HDD, CD-ROM or other IDE devices, and FDD connector.
The processor
The processor also known as CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the brain of a computer. The faster the processor, the faster it will execute
instructions and run your programs. The leading CPU manufactures are Intel and AMD. Whichever manufacturer you decide to choose you will
have to make sure that you purchase a compatible motherboard.
Before buying your CPU consider what the system is going to be used for. If you are going to use your system for word-processing, browsing
the web or other basic tasks, it may be sufficient for you to use an Intel Celeron or an AMD Duron processor, both of which are available at a
very competitive price.
If the system is going to be used for spreadsheet, databases, graphics and playing advance games then you should consider an Intel Pentium
4 / Pentium D or an AMD Athlon 64 / Athlon 64 X2 processor. Pentium D and Athlon 64 X2 are both Dual Core. Which means they have two
CPU in one Chip. They are also 64 Bit and will support the new Windows Vista Operating System. These processors are very fast and are
capable of handling most of your computing needs. For building our demonstration PC we will be using an Intel Pentium III 866Mhz Socket 370
processor, as shown on the following image.
Memory
he name given to silicon chips that stores volatile computer data. Volatile means that the contents of memory will be lost if the power of the
switched off. Memory stores some of your operating system and application data while it is being run. The more memory you have in your
more application you can run simultaneously and will provide an overall better system performance.
Memory comes in many form. The older system uses SDRAM, while the current system uses DDR-SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous
Dynamic Random Access Memory). Depending on your CPU bus, you have to use SDRAM to match your CPU bus speed. For example, PIII
750 runs at the bus speed of 100Mhz therefore you need SDRAM that run at 100MHz, known as PC100 SDRAM. However if you are going to
use PIII 866 you will require PC133 SDRAM which runs at 133Mhz bus speed. You also have to make sure that your motherboard can support
these speeds. New generation of memories are currently out. Intel P4 use rambus memory known as RDRAM and the new AMD processors
use DDR2 SDRAM. Some of the well known memory manufactures are Crucial, Kingston and Samsung.
The following is an image of an PC133 SDRAM that will be used for our demonstration PC.
Graphics card
Graphics card provides display output to your monitor. There are many graphics card manufactures out there who
release a new card into the market nearly every three to six months as it is one of the most competitive hardware
market. While choosing a graphics card consider what you would be using it for. For 2D applications such as wordprocessing,
spreadsheet etc, a basic graphics card with around 8MB or 16MB graphics memory will be sufficient for
your needs. It will also allow you to run your monitor at various resolutions. However, if you require 3D functionality for
running 3D applications or playing 3D games you will require a 3D graphics card with at least 128MB or even 256MB
of video memory.
You can buy graphics card with a PCI , AGP or PCI-Express bus. However, most current motherboards have AGP or
PCI-E slot and you should therefore use an AGP or PCI-E graphics card if your motherboard has an AGP or PCI-E
slot. PCI Express graphics card offers much higher graphics bandwidth which results in higher performance. The
current top end graphics card are made by Nvida (Geforce cards) and ATI (Radeon cards). The graphics card that we
will use for our demonstration PC is a GEFORCE II 64MB AGP card as shown below.
Sound card
If you require sound for your PC then you will need a sound card. As basic sound cards are very cheap it is
recommended that you consider a sound card. It offers many benefits such as running multimedia applications with
sound, listening to wave, midi, and MP3 music files or even play your audio CD's. If you are thinking of playing games
on your PC then having a sound card is a must. Most current motherboards also have basic built in sound. One of the
most popular sound cards are the Creative's soundblaster range. We will use a Creatives Sounblaster Live 1024 for
our demonstration PC as shown below.
Modem
Modem stands for Modulator Demodulator. It converts digital signals to analogue so that it can travel via your
telephone line, and vice-versa. A modem is an essential item if you are intending to connect your PC to the internet.
There are many kinds modems out there based on the Rockwell/Connexant v.90 chipset. There are two kinds of
modem, software and hardware. Software modems uses your CPU resources to perform its tasks and is run on a
virtual COM port. Hardware modem performs its tasks using the onboard chipset and therefore does not take up the
CPU resources. It also runs on a physical COM i.e. communication port 3. Software modems, which are also known as
winmodem can only run on a windows operating system, while the hardware based modem can run on other operating
systems like linux. External modems are mostly hardware based and connect to the serial port. You can also get
external modems that connect to the USB port, however most of these are software based.
Analogue modems are currently on the decline as they are being replaced by Digital modems which are used for high
speed broadband internet. Also known as ADSL modem or ADSL routers. ADSL modems are mostly external although
you can get Internal ADSL modem's. Many people are also using Wireless ADSL routers as it offers an excellent way
to share internet connections with multiple PCs. Some common ADSL Router suppliers are Netgear, Belkin and DLink.
I have decided to use a Connexant 56K v.90 software modem for our demonstration PC as it performs quite well in
terms of download.
Ethernet Cards
Ethernet cards are usually purchased separately from a computer, although many computers (such as the Macintosh)
now include an option for a pre-installed Ethernet card. Ethernet cards contain connections for either coaxial or twisted
pair cables (or both) (See fig. 1). If it is designed for coaxial cable, the connection will be BNC. If it is designed for
twisted pair, it will have a RJ-45 connection. Some Ethernet cards also contain an AUI connector. This can be used to
attach coaxial, twisted pair, or fiber optics cable to an Ethernet card. When this method is used there is always an
external transceiver attached to the workstation. (See the Cabling section for more information on connectors.)
FDD
You need a FDD to access floppy disks. Although floppy disks are limited in capacity, only 1.44 mb, every old PC is
almost guaranteed to have a FDD. Floppy disk drives and now coming the end of their life span as some current PCs
are built without a floppy drive. This is due to the popularity of USB Flash drives. Floppy disk is ideal for storing small
files and documents, creating boot disks, and transferring small files. It really does not matter which make of FDD you
purchase as they are cheap and performs the same task.
Hard disk drive
Hard disk drive stores all your data including operating system, applications, user files and documents. It is a nonvolatile
storage, which means the contents of the HDD is not lost if the PC is switched off.
There are three different types of HDD, which are IDE/ATA, SCSI, SATA (Serial ATA). Majority of home PCs are
equipped with IDE Hard drives. SCSI hard drives are mostly included in servers and powerful workstations as they
offer better data transfer rate which results in better performance than the IDE drives. However modern SATA drives
are not far behind SCSI drives in terms of performance with the introduction of the newer SATA 300 drives.
The price of IDE/SATA drives have fallen quite dramatically in the recent years. You can buy a very large drive for a
competitive price. It is better to buy a drive which is quite large as it works out cheaper. A recommended entry level
drive would be 80 GB to 120 GB. The major HDD manufacturers are IBM, Seagate, Maxtor, Western Digital and
Fujitsu. For our demonstration PC I have chosen use an IBM ATA100 drive as shown below.
CD-ROM drive
Nearly all operating systems and applications software comes on CD. It is therefore essential to have a CD-ROM drive
for installing your applications. Certain programs requires the CD to be in the CD-ROM drive for that program to run.
For example, various encyclopedia and games. CD-ROM can also be used for playing standard audio CD's on your
PC.
If you are intending to watch DVD movies on your PC then you would require a DVD-ROM which can perform all the
tasks of a CD-ROM as well as play DVD movies.
CD-ROM's come in various speeds, the faster drive, the faster it will install your applications. DVD drives specifies two
types of speeds, one for the software installation and other for the DVD extraction. For example a DVD drive with
16x32x specification means that it is a 16 speed DVD and 32 speed CD. Some of the CD/DVD-ROM manufacturers
include Toshiba, Poineer, Hitachi, LG and Samsung.
PC speakers
A quality sound card would not be much of a benefit without a decent pair of PC speakers. Most PC speakers are
magnetically shielded so that it does not interfere with your monitor, but there are some budget speakers out there that
are not shielded, so check before you buy. If you are just going to use the speakers for basic sound and music and are
not one of those people who play CDs on a PC then you can get away with a budget PC speaker. However, if you play
games and CD's then you should consider a speaker system with a sub-woofer. These would produce high quality
sound suitable for most tasks.
Monitors
It is important that you get a quality monitor that is comfortable to view. Monitors come is various sizes and refresh
rate. 17" monitor are becoming entry standard monitor. 15" monitors are OK if you are running it at a low resolution and
not using it for long hours. As monitor prices have dropped in the recent months it is recommended that you consider a
17" or 19" monitor. You can run these monitors at higher resolution and refresh rate, which means they are more
comfortable to view and you can work with them for long hours. Monitors are measured diagonally. If a monitor is 17" it
does not mean that it is the actual viewable area. Some 17" comes with a viewable area of 16" which is good where as
others can be as low as 15.6". Monitors consist of thousands of pixels (the tiny dots you see on the screen). Smaller
pixels produces high definition sharp display. Settle for something which is at least 0.25 mm dot pitch. If you purchase
a 17" monitor make sure it can handle refresh rate of at least 85 Hz at 1024 * 768 resolution. A 19" monitor should
handle at least 1280 * 1024 at 85 Hz.
Currently the most popular viewing device are TFT Flat panels. They are now more affordable than before. Most
people prefer TFT Flat panels as they save lot of desk space. They are also more comfortable view.
CD Writer / DVD Writer
CD Writer / DVD Writer is a very good option for a backup device. It allows you to backup the contents of your HDD
onto a CD-R, CD-RW & DVD-R disc. It also allows you to backup your existing application CD's. As blank CD's are
very cheap, it is an affordable backup device.
Like all other PC hardware a CD/DVD Writer comes in various speed. A 32 speed drive can write a full 650MB CD in
around 4 mins and a 52 speed drive can write it in around 3 mins and so on. CD-ReWritable's are available in IDE and
SCSI interface. You will require a SCSI card if choose to get a SCSI model.
CD / DVD Writer is more than just backup device, you can use it to create your own Audio CD, Photo CD, Video CD
etc. You can also use your CD or DVD meida just the way you use hard drive, using the usual drag and drop file copy.
Most CD/DVD writers are bundled with software which can perform all the tasks I have mentioned.
ZIP drive
If you need to transfer large files from one PC to another, you will find floppy disks quite useless due to their limited
storage capacity. A ZIP drive could be your answer as ZIP disks can store 100 or 250 MB depending on which model
you choose. ZIP disks look similar to floppy disks but are slightly larger. Data can be written and read from a ZIP disk
much quicker than a floppy disk. ZIP disks can be used in the similar manner to floppy disks which makes it a simple
easy to use backup device.
Zip drives have now become obsolete due to writ able CD and DVD. A much more popular option is to use USB Flash
drive also know as Pen Drive.
TV card
A TV card gives you the option of watching TV on your monitor. TV cards are quite useful as it offers more than just
watching TV. You can connect your VCR to the TV card so that you can watch video's too. One of the useful things
about having a TV card is that you can use it for capturing Video. Using the necessary software you can capture video
in various format such AVI or MPEG files. One of the popular TV card is Haupauge WinTV PCI as shown below.
Older TV cards were all analogue device. Now you can get Digital TV cards which allows you to view Digital terrestrial
TV channels. You can even get Digital Satellite and Cable TV cards.
Assembling the Hardware
If you have purchased all the necessary hardware your are ready assemble your PC. Before unpacking your
components from its original anti-static bags you must put on your anti-static wrist strap, which will discharge your self.
It is important that you discharge yourself or there is a danger that you can damage your components by anti-static
shock by touching the components. If you don't have an anti-static wrist strap you can discharge your self by touching
the metal edges of your ATX case, although this is not recommended.
Now you can proceed to the first step Motherboard Installation.
The first thing you should do is unpack your ATX case. Take off the cover of your case so that you can access the
inside. Place the case on a desk so that you are looking down towards the open case. Your case should come with
motherboard mounting screws. If your ATX back plate it not already fitted you can fit it by placing your plate near the
ATX back plate cut out and pushing the plate outwards, it should clip on.
Now place your motherboard on top of the mounting screw holes. Make sure your ATX devices on the motherboard
such as PS/2 and parallel port are facing towards ATX back plate cut out. Gently push your motherboard towards the
cut out, every devices should fit easily into its corresponding cut out, as shown below.
The screw holes on your motherboard should align with the screw holes on your case. Place your screws that came
with the case into the appropriate holes and gently screw it on using a screw driver.
The motherboard is now securely mounted to the case. You can now place the ATX power connector to the
motherboard. Your ATX case should come with a power supply unit (PSU) and should already be mounted to the case.
The ATX power connector is shown on image below.
Place the ATX power connector on top of the power socket on the motherboard. Push down the power connector and it
should clip onto the socket. If you try to fit the power connector the wrong way round, it won't fit, it will only fit one way.
So, if the power connector does not go in, it should go in the other way round.
Next - Processor (CPU) Installation
Locate the processor socket on your motherboard. I am installing an Intel PIII 866 processor on a socket 370 as shown
on the following image. The installation would be slightly different if you have a different processor i.e. Slot1 PIII CPU,
P4 CPU, AMD Slot A / Socket A CPU etc.
Raise the brown lever on the socket and slowly put the processor in place. You have to make sure the pin 1 of your
CPU goes into the pin 1 of your CPU socket otherwise the CPU would not get into the socket, so don't try to force it in.
It will go in gently if you fit it correctly. Now close the brown lever which will securely hold the CPU in place. If you
bought a retail boxed CPU it would include a heatsink + fan. If you bought an OEM CPU make sure you got a fan that
is correct for the speed of your CPU, otherwise your CPU will overheat and behave abnormally or could be damaged.
Take off the plastic cover from the bottom of the CPU fan that covers the heat transfer pad. Now place the CPU fan on
top the CPU and push down the metal clips on the fan so that it clips onto the CPU socket.
CPU fan has a power connector which needs to be connected to CPU fan power socket on your motherboard as
shown on the image above.
Finally, you have to specify what frequency (speed) your CPU is running at. This can be done using jumper settings, or
on some modern motherboard it can be done in the BIOS, or your motherboard may have automatic detection for your
CPU frequency. Please refer to your motherboard manual for more details. The motherboard I am using (Abit BX133)
has a dip-stick jumper setting and it can be setup in the BIOS. I have left the jumper setting to default as I will use the
BIOS to specify the CPU frequency. The CPU runs at the bus speed of 133Mhz therefore I will use the settings 133 *
6.5(multiplier) under the BIOS, which will the run the CPU at 866Mhz.
Next - Memory Installation (SDRAM)
Installing memory is quite simple. Find the SDRAM or DDRAM banks on your motherboard, they should look similar to
the banks below. Notice the memory banks has a white clip on each side. Make sure you release the clips so it bends
to each side.
Hold each corner of the SDRAM placing it on top of the bank 1. You will notice that the SDRAM has a cut at the bottom
side, it is there to prevent the memoy going in the wrong way round. If you are holding the SDRAM the incorrect way
you will not be able insert it. Gently push down the SDRAM and it should clip on to the memory bank. The two white
clips will now become straight holding each corner of the memory. If you have more that one SDRAM perform same
steps as above but placing the SDRAM in memory bank 2 and so on.
Next - Hard Disk Drive Installation
If you look at the rear side of an IDE hard drive it should look similar to the image below.
The IDE/ATA connector is on the left hand side which consists of many pins. Next to the IDE connector is the jumper
setting for the drive. The jumper should be set to Master, which is the default setting for a new HDD. Any other device
sharing the same IDE cable should be set to Slave. Different HDD has different jumper settings, please refer to your
HDD manual for more information. On the right hand side, next to the jumpers is the power connector. Every device
except FDD uses this type of power connector. Figure 1 and 2 below shows what an ATA 66 and a power cable looks
like. The ATA 66 cable which is also known as UDMA 66 cable is an advance IDE cable, which offers higher
performance and data integrity than the standard IDE cable. ATA 66 cable consists of 80 conductor cable where as the
standard IDE cable consists of 40 conductor cable. I am using an ATA 66 cable because the above HDD is an ATA
100 drive which requires an ATA 66 cable.
Figure 1 - ATA 66 Cable
Figure 2 - Power cable
Place your hard drive into the HDD mounting slot of your case, make sure the IDE/ATA connector is facing outwards.
Screw the HDD to the case using screws provided with the HDD or the ATX case.
Insert the ATA 66 cable into the ATA connector of the HDD. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable is connected to pin 1 on
the HDD connector. Pin 1 is the red or pink strip on the edge of an ATA cable. Most new IDE/ATA cables are designed
so that it will only go in one way which will correspond to pin 1.
Push the power cable into the power connector as shown. The power cable is designed to go in one way, so you
shouldn't have any problems.
Connect the other end of the ATA 66 cable to the primary ATA socket of your motherboard as shown. Make sure the
pin 1 on the cable connects to the pin 1 on the ATA socket.
That's it you have successfully installed a HDD.
Next - Floppy Disk Drive Installation
The rear side of a floppy drive looks similar to the following image.
The black connector on the left hand side is the floppy disk connector. It is different from the IDE connector and uses a
different cable. The small white connector on the right hand side is the power connector for the floppy drive. Figure 1
and 2 below shows what a floppy drive cable and floppy drive power connector looks like.
Figure 1 - Floppy drive cable.
Figure 2 - Floppy drive power cable
Place the floppy drive into the FDD mounting slot as shown. Screw the drive securely into place.
Insert the floppy drive cable into the floppy drive connector. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable connects to the pin 1 on
the floppy drive connector. As you already know by now that pin 1 is the red or pink strip on the edge of the floppy drive
cable. Most floppy drive cables are designed so that it will only go in on way, so you can not connect it incorrectly.
Push the floppy drive power cable to the power connector. This will only go in on way.
Finally connect the other end of the floppy drive cable to floppy drive connector on your motherboard. Make sure pin 1
on the cable connects to pin 1 on the connector.
Next - CD-ROM/DVD-ROM Installation
If you look at the rear side of your CD / DVD-ROM it should look similar to image shown on figure 1.
Figure 1
On the right hand side you have the power connector. Next to power connector you have the IDE connector. On the
left hand side near the IDE connector you have the jumper settings for the DVD-ROM. The jumper is set to Master by
default. I am connecting the DVD-ROM on a separate IDE cable therefore I will leave the jumper setting to Master.
However if you are sharing an IDE cable with another device like HDD, then you would have to set jumper to Slave, as
your HDD would be set to Master. Next to the jumpers you have the CD Audio-Out socket. One side of your audio
cable connects to this socket and other side connects to the sound card cd-in socket. This would allow you to listen to
Audio CD's on your computer.
Figure 2
Mount your CD/DVD-ROM drive into its mounting slot. Use the supplied screws to screw the drive into position.
Figure 3
Connect the IDE cable to the drives IDE connector. Make sure the pin 1 on the cable is connected to pin 1 on the
drives IDE connector. Pin 1 is the red or pink strip on the edge of an IDE cable. Connect the other end of the IDE cable
to the IDE socket on your motherboard as shown in figure 4. Again, make sure you conncet the cable to pin 1. The IDE
socket could be your primary or secondary socket depending which socket you choose. If your HDD is on the primary
IDE socket and your secondary IDE socket is free, then it is better to use your secondary IDE socket for the CD/DVDROM.
Figure 4
Finally connect the power cable to power connector and connect the audio cable to the CD Audio-Out socket as shown
on figure 3.
Next - Graphics card installation
Most modern graphics cards are AGP based and connects to the AGP bus of the motherboard. An AGP bus (slot)
looks like the following image. The brown slot is where you connect your AGP graphics card.
Place your AGP card on top of the slot and gently push it down. The card should firmly sit into position.
All you need to do now is to screw the metal plate on the front of the card to the ATX case. Use the screws supplied
with case and screw the card to the case.
Next - Sound card Installation
Most modern sound cards are designed with the PCI interface and connects to the PCI slot of your motherboard. A PCI
slot looks like the slots on the following image.
Place your sound card on top of a chosen slot. Gently push down the card so it sits into position. Once the card is
seated correctly into position, screw the card on to the case.
Finally insert the audio cable into the CD-IN socket. The other end of the cable should be connected to Audio-out
socket on your CD/DVD-ROM drive.
Next - Modem Installation
Find a free PCI slot on your motherboard (assuming your modem is a PCI modem). Place your modem card on top of
the slot and gently push it down into position.
Once the card has seated correctly into position, screw the card to the case using the screws supplied with the case.
Now you have installed all the prerequisite hardware devices. You can either proceed to the finalising stage, or you
may want to install optional devices like a ZIP drive, CD-RW drive or a TV-Card. If you do not want to install these
devices you can now proceed to the finalising stage.
Next Finalising stage
Now that you have installed all the necessary hardware there are still few more things you need to do before switching
on your PC for the first time. Your ATX case has a power switch which turns the PC on, a reset switch for resetting the
system, a power LED which comes on when the PC is switched on and a hard drive LED which flashes when data is
being written or read from your hard drive. You also have an internal speaker.
Figure 1 - Power and Reset switch
The switches and LED's need to be connected to its corresponding connectors on the motherboard. Please refer to
your motherboard manual to locate where the connectors are. Different motherboards place the connectors in different
locations. The connectors for the switches and LED's are normally grouped together. They should look similar to the
image below.
Figure 2 - Switch and LED connectors
Every cable is normally labeled, they are normally named as follows, but could be slightly different on your system.
Power switch Power / PWR-SW
Reset switch Reset
Power LED Power LED / PWR-LED
Hard drive LED HDD-LED / IDE LED
Speaker SPK / Speaker
The connectors on the motherboard are also labeled but may be too small to see. Instead refer to your motherboard
manual which would provide details on which pins you should connect the cables to. The image below shows how the
pins may be organised on your motherboard.
Once you have connected all the cables to the correct pins on the motherboard, you are ready to switch the PC on. At
this point you can close the cover of your ATX case but don't screw it on just yet as you might have possible problems
that needs rectifying. Connect all the cables to back of ATX case. These includes the main power cable that connects
to the power supply. PS/2 mouse and keyboard that connects to the PS/2 ports. Monitor cable that connects to the
graphics card port, etc. Finally the moment has arrived. Switch on your monitor first. Your ATX power supply might
have a main power switch at the back so make sure that is switched on. Now switch the PC on by pressing the power
switch on the front of the ATX case. If you have performed all the tasks without any mistakes and providing that none
of the main components are faulty, the PC should boot. When the PC boots you should see the name of the BIOS
manufacturer, such as AWARD BIOS displayed on your monitor. Your CPU type, speed and the amount of memory
should be displayed as shown on image below.
If your motherboard has a plug and play BIOS and is set to automatic device detection by default, then you would see
your IDE devices being detected followed by a prompt complaining about missing operating system. If your
motherboard does not detect the hardware, then you need to proceed to the BIOS setup screen by pressing DEL or F1
or F2 depending on your motherboard. Congratulations you have completed building your own PC. You now need to
proceed to the software section which explains how to setup the BIOS, Hard disk and install an operating system.
If things did not go smoothly and your PC does not switch on then go to the troubleshooting section for possible
solutions.
Software
After assembling your PC you need to setup the BIOS, hard disk, and load an operating system to get your PC up and
running. The tasks required are as follows:
1. BIOS Setup
2. Hard disk partition and format.
3. Installing Windows 98 / ME
4. Installing Windows XP
Award BIOS Version 6.00PG Setup
This is the BIOS setup for Award BIOS v6.00PG. If you have a different version of the Award BIOS their would be a lot
of similarities. If your BIOS is AMI or Phoenix then the common BIOS features would have some similarities. Whatever
BIOS you have, this setup guide should give you an idea about how to setup a BIOS. Please note that setting up BIOS
incorrectly could cause system malfunction, therefore it is recommended that you also follow the BIOS guide provided
on your motherboard manual.
Click on any of the BIOS setup options below to setup that feature.
Softmenu III Setup PC Health Status
Standard CMOS Features Load Fail-Safe Defaults
Advanced BIOS Features Load Optimized Defaults
Advanced Chipset Features Set Password
Integrated Peripherals Save & Exit Setup
Power Management Setup Exit Without Saving
PnP/PCI Configurations
Softmenu III
Softmenu III is where you can setup up the CPU without setting jumpers on the motherboard. You can setup the CPU
simply by selecting the speed i.e. Pentium III 750 from the list. This ensures that the CPU bus, multiplier, voltage etc, is
correctly set for that particular CPU. However you can manually setup each feature if required. Once you have finished
with the setup press ESC to return the previous menu. See figure 1.
Figure 1: SoftMenu III Setup
Standard CMOS Features
Here you can setup the basic BIOS features such as date, time, type of floppy etc. Use the arrow keys to move around
and press enter to select the required option. You can specify what IDE devices you have such as Hard drive, CDROM,
ZIP drive etc. The easiest way to setup the IDE devices is by leaving it set to auto. This allows the BIOS to
detect the devices automatically so you don't have to do it manually. At the bottom, it also displays the total memory in
your system. See figure 2.
Figure 2: Standard CMOS Features
As you can see from figure 3, there are numerous advance settings which you can select if required. For most cases
leaving the default setting should be adequate. As you can see the first boot device is set to floppy. This ensures that
the floppy disk is read first when the system boots, and therefore can boot from windows boot disk. The second boot
device is the Hard disk and third is set to LS120. If you want to boot from a bootable CD then you can set the third boot
device to CD/DVD-ROM. See Figure 3.
Advanced Chipset Features
Here you can setup the contents of the chipset buffers. It is closely related to the hardware and is therefore
recommended that you leave the default setting unless you know what you are doing. Having an incorrect setting can
make your system unstable. If you know that your SDRAM can handle CAS 2, then making changes can speed up the
memory timing. If you have 128MB SDRAM then the maximum amount of memory the AGP card can use is 128MB.
See Figure 4
Figure 3: Advanced BIOS Features
Figure 4: Advanced Chipset Features
Inegrated Peripherals
This menu allows you to change the various I/O devices such as IDE controllers, serial ports, parallel port, keyboard
etc. You can make changes as necessary. See figure 5.
Figure 5: Integrated Peripherals
Power Management Setup
The power management allows you to setup various power saving features, when the PC is in standby or suspend
mode. See figure 6.
Figure 6: Power Management Setup
PnP/PCI Configurations
This menu allows you to configure your PCI slots. You can assign IRQ's for various PCI slots. It is recommended that
you leave the default settings as it can get a bit complicated messing around with IRQ's. See figure 7.
Figure 7: PNP/PCI Configurations
PC Health Status
This menu displays the current CPU temperature, the fan speeds, voltages etc. You can set the warning temperature
which will trigger an alarm if the CPU exceeds the specified temperature. See figure 8.
Figure 8: PC Health Status
Load Fail-Safe Defaults
If you made changes to the BIOS and your system becomes unstable as a result, you can change it back to default.
However if you made many changes and don't know which one is causing the problem, your best bet is to choose the
option "Load Fail Safe Mode Defaults" from the BIOS menu. This uses a minimal performance setting, but the system
would run in a stable way. From the dialog box Choose "Y" followed by enter to load Fail-Safe Defaults.
Load Optimized Defaults
Like the Fail-Safe mode above, this option loads the BIOS default settings, but runs the system at optimal
performance. From the dialog box Choose "Y" followed by enter to load Optimized Defaults.
Set Password
To password protect your BIOS you can specify a password. Make sure you don't forget the password or you can not
access the BIOS. The only way you can access the BIOS is by resetting it using the reset jumper on the motherboard.
Save and Exit Setup
To save any changes you made to the BIOS you must choose this option. From the dialog box choose "Y".
Exit without Saving
If you don't want to save changes made to the BIOS, choose "N" from the dialog box.
Hard Disk Setup - Partition and Format
This procedure explains how to setup a new hard disk. Warning - if you are setting up a hard disk which contains data,
the following procedure would completely erase your hard disk and the data would be unrecoverable.
Before a new hard disk can be used it needs to be setup. This involves partitioning and formatting the hard disk.
Windows 98 or ME boot disk contains the required software to perform this procedure. FDISK.EXE and FORMAT.COM
are the files required in your bootable floppy disk. Start the partition and format procedure by booting your PC using a
Windows boot disk. Make sure you set the BIOS so that the boot sequence is set to detect the floppy disk first. If your
system has no problems booting you will be presented with a Windows boot disk menu. This gives you the option to
start the system with or without CD-ROM support. At this stage you do not need the CD-ROM support, so choose the
option to boot without CD-ROM support. You should end up in the MS DOS prompt A: (A drive). From A: command
prompt type fdisk. You will be presented with following message:
Choose "Y" to enable large disk support.You will now be presented with the FDISK main menu as shown below.
From the menu, choose option 1 - Create DOS partition or Logical DOS drive. Another menu will present the following
options.
Choose option 1 - Create primary DOS Partition. FDISK verifies the integrity of your drive and will ask you if want to
use the maximum available size of your hard disk to create the primary partition and set it active. To keep things simple
we will create one large partition. Choose "Y" to use maximum available space. When the partition has been created
successfully you will be notified by the system. Your drive is now known as C: (C drive). Press "Esc" to return to the
menu. Press "Esc" again to exit FDISK. You need to restart your system for the changes to take affect. Leave boot disk
in the drive.When the system reboots, choose start without CD-ROM from the boot disk menu. While booting from
floppy disk you might get error message like "Invalid media type reading drive C" this is OK for this stage as the hard
disk is not formatted.
From A: command prompt type format c:You will get a message saying "WARNING, ALL DATA ON NONREMOVABLE
DISK DRIVE C: WILL BE LOST. Proceed with Format (Y/N)?".
Don't worry about the message as you do not have any data in the new hard disk. Choose "Y". The format will proceed
and would show you a progress indicator. The time it takes to format a hard disk depends on the size and speed of the
drive. This could be around 5-30 minutes. Once the format is complete you need to reset your system. You are now
ready to install an operating system.
Installing Windows 98/ME Operating System
This procedure demonstrates how to install Windows ME operating system. The procedure to install Windows 98 is
very similar to ME. Since Windows ME is the latest Windows 9x family operating system, it will be used to demonstrate
the installation procedure.
Boot your system with Windows 98 or ME boot disk. When the system starts you will be presented with a menu which
gives you the option to boot with or without CD-ROM support. Select the option to boot with CD-ROM support. This
would create a RAM drive and load a device driver to support your DVD/CD-ROM. The RAM drive is assigned to D: (D
drive) and your CD-ROM should be assigned to E: (E drive).
Place the Windows ME CD into the drive. At A: command prompt type E: and press enter. Then type setup. At his
stage Windows runs DOS based scandisk to verify if your hard disk has any problems. If there are no problems
Windows proceeds with the setup and launches the Windows ME setup wizard as shown in figure 1.
figure 1: Windows ME Setup Wizard
After agreeing to the license agreement Windows will ask you to type in your product key. The default directory to
install windows is c:windows, I recommend that you leave it as default. Next you would be given four types of
installation options which are Typical, Portable, Compact, and Custom. Choosing typical would install the most
common components and is suitable for most people. If you want to specify which components to install then choose
custom. You would be presented with few other dialog boxes such entering your name and company name, option to
create a Windows ME boot disk before file copy process begins. After completing the copying process Windows
restarts and boots from the hard disk, make sure you remove your floppy disk from the drive. It will detect your plug
and play devices and would present a few more dialog boxes. Just read the instructions on dialog boxes and proceed
as required. Windows would restarts again after completing final setup stage. This does not mean everything is
completely setup. Some of your hardware device may have conflicts or may not have drivers loaded as Windows does
not contain those drivers.
From device manager you can check if all the drivers has been loaded or if there are any conflicts. From the start menu
select Start -> Settings -> Control Panel. Click on the System icon and then from the System Properties window
select the Device Manager tab. This lists all the devices as shown in figure 2.
Figure 2: Windows Device Manager
If there are any yellow exclamation mark "!" next to any of the listed device, it means that no drivers or incorrect drivers
has been loaded for that device. Your hardware should come with manufacturer supplied drivers. You need to install
these drivers using automatic setup program provided by the manufacturer or you need to manually install these
drivers. If you do not have the drivers, check the manufacturers website to download them.
To install a driver manually use the following procedure:
1. From the device manager double click on the device containing the exclamation mark.
2. This would open a device properties window.
3. Click on the Driver tab.
4. Click Update Driver push button. The Wizard for updating device driver pops up as shown in figure 3.
5. You now get two options. The first option provides an automatic search for the required driver. The second
option allows you to specify the location of the driver. If you don't know the location of the driver choose the
automatic search which would find the required driver from the manufacturer supplied CD or Floppy disk.
Windows would install the required driver and ask you to restart the system for the changes to take affect.
Use this procedure to install drivers for all the devices that contain an exclamation mark. Windows is
completely setup when there are no more exclamation marks in the device manager.
Figure 3: Installing Device Driver
Installing Windows XP Professional
This procedure demonstrates how to install Windows XP Professional. The procedure to install Windows XP home
edition is very similar to the professional edition. Since Windows XP Pro is more advance operating system, it will be
used to demonstrate the installation procedure.
The best way install Windows XP is to do a clean install. It is not difficult to perform a clean installation. Before you
perform the installation I recommend that you check Windows XP Compatibility List to ensure that your hardware is
supported by XP. If your hardware is not on the compatibility list you can check your hardware manufactures website to
download the drivers for Windows XP. Save all the necessary drivers onto floppy disks or CD before you start the
installation.
All versions of Windows XP CD are bootable. In order to boot from CD-ROM you need to set the boot sequence. Look
for the boot sequence under your BIOS setup and make sure that the first boot device is set to CD-ROM. If you have
an older PC and your BIOS does not support boot from CD-ROM then you need to create boot disks using 6 floppy
disks. You can download the following program from Microsoft which will create the 6 floppy setup disks:
Windows XP Home Edition - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?releaseid=33290
Windows XP Professional - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?releaseid=33291
If your computer can boot from CD-ROM then you can perform the following steps to install Windows XP:
1. Start your PC and place your Windows XP CD in your CD/DVD-ROM drive.
2. Your PC should automatically detect the CD and you will get a message saying "Press any key to boot from CD".
3. Press a key to boot from CD and Windows setup will begin. Windows will start copying preliminary setup files to your
computer.
4. You will be asked if you want to perform a new installation, repair an existing installation, or quit. In this case, you
will be performing a new installation.
5. You will be presented with the End User Licensing Agreement. Press F8 to accept and continue.
6. Select the partition where you want install windows. You will have the opportunity to create and/or delete partitions
or just allocate the available disk space to one partition.
7. The next screen asks if you wish to use the NTFS file system. This is the recommended file system. If you choose to
use FAT32, you will not have all the security and stability features of Windows XP.
8. Choose to format the partition to either FAT32 or NTFS. You'll also see two additional choices to perform a quick
format of each option. Stick with doing a full format. When asked to start the format, press the "F" key. The formatting
process may take quite a bit of time depending on the size of your HDD.
9. The setup program will automatically start copying files after the partition is formatted and you will see a setup
progress bar.
10. After this is complete the computer will restart. Leave the XP CD in the drive but this time DO NOT press any key
when the message "Press any key to boot from CD" is displayed. In few seconds setup will continue.
11. Windows XP Setup wizard will guide you through the setup process of gathering information about your computer.
12. Choose the region and language.
13. Type in your name and organization.
14. Enter your product license key.
15. Name the computer, and enter an Administrator password. Don't forget to write down your Administrator password.
16. Enter the correct date and time.
17. Choose workgroup or domain name.
18. Register Windows XP if you've installed all the current hardware on your machine.
19. Add users that will sign on to this computer.
20. Log in, to your PC for the first time. You now need to check the device manager to confirm that all the drivers has
been loaded or if there are any conflicts. From the start menu select Start -> Settings -> Control Panel. Click on the
System icon and then from the System Properties window select the Hardware tab, then click on Device Manager.
This lists all the devices as shown in figure 1.
figure 1: Windows XP Device Manager
If there are any yellow exclamation mark "!" next to any of the listed device, it means that no drivers or incorrect drivers
has been loaded for that device. Your hardware should come with manufacturer supplied drivers. You need to install
these drivers using automatic setup program provided by the manufacturer or you need to manually install these
drivers. If you do not have the drivers, check the manufacturers website to download them.
To install a driver manually use the following procedure:
(a) From the device manager double click on the device containing the exclamation mark.
(b) This would open a device properties window.
(c) Click on the Driver tab.
(d) Click Update Driver push button. The Wizard for updating device driver pops up as shown in figure 2.
figure 2: Installing Device Driver
You now get two options. The first option provides an automatic search for the required driver. The second option
allows you to specify the location of the driver. If you don't know the location of the driver choose the automatic search
which would find the required driver from the manufacturer supplied CD or Floppy disk. Windows would install the
required driver and may ask you to restart the system for the changes to take affect. Use this procedure to install
drivers for all the devices that contain an exclamation mark. Windows is completely setup when there are no more
exclamation marks in the device manager
Troubleshooting
Below is a list of common problems experienced while assembling a PC. Please check the list which could have the
possible solution to your problems.
Problem: The PC does not boot, the power and HDD LED does not come on, there is no display on monitor.
Solution: Check that your main power cable is plugged into the ATX power supply. Make sure you have connected the
ATX power connector to the motherboard. Check if the cable for the power switch at front of the PC is connected to the
correct pins on the motherboard.
Problem: The power LED comes on but the PC does not boot, there is no display on monitor.
Solution: Check if the processor is firmly into the socket. Check CPU jumpers to verify if CPU frequency is correctly
set.
Problem: The PC does not boot, but is beeping.
Solution: Different BIOS manufacturers use various number of beeps to indicate faults with various hardware. In an
Award BIOS motherboard you will get following beeps:
1 long 2 short: Graphics card is not securely into place, or faulty.
1 long 3 short: Graphics card is not securely into place, or faulty video memory.
Continuous beeps: No memory, or memory not securely into place, or could be faulty.
Continuous high/low beeps: No CPU, or CPU not securely into place, or could be faulty.
Please refer to your motherboard manual to confirm what the beeps are trying to tell you.
Problem: The PC boots but the CPU speed is incorrect.
Solution: The CPU frequency jumper setting is incorrect. Refer to your motherboard manual to set it correctly.
Problem: The HDD is not being detected by the BIOS.
Solution: Check if you connected the IDE cable to the motherboard correctly, is pin 1 on the IDE cable connected to
pin 1 on the IDE sockets on both motherboard connector and HDD connector. Check if the HDD jumper is set to
master and any other device sharing the same cable is set to slave. Please refer to Hard disk installation section for
more details
Problem: I can not access my CD/DVD-ROM in DOS mode, hence can not install Windows.
Solution: CD/DVD-ROM device driver is not installed. Install the manufacturer supplied device driver. If you do not
have a device driver disk, you can use the windows boot disk which will provide access to your CD/DVD-ROM, so that
you can install Windows.
Chapter Three
Computer System Troubleshooting and Maintenance
There are two types of people who need to learn computer problem troubleshooting.
1. PC users who want to troubleshoot their computer problems.
You may be having a computer problem which you need to do a quick computer troubleshooting and fix it. This is a
vast area.
2. Those who want to learn computer troubleshooting in-depth.
Probably you want to start from very basic and learn up to advance techniques and do computer troubleshooting like a
pro. Then below information is for you.
Computer Hardware Troubleshooting
This computer hardware troubleshooting section will help you if you have a computer problem and need a quick fix.
It is hard to separate computer hardware with the Operating System. So this section will also have tips for computer
software troubleshooting.
The computer hardware troubleshooting steps listed below are only for PCs with Windows Operating System.
Basic Computer Hardware Troubleshooting Guidelines
Ideally, once you have installed your hardware, you can simply use it—over and over again—without any need to dig
into the Windows settings and make changes. Unfortunately, all too often, this ideal falls somewhat short of what
actually happens. Sometimes, you have to reconfigure your hardware. Other times, you must reinstall it in order to get
it to work. At still other times, you don't have a problem at all; you simply want to upgrade the software components to
take advantage of new or improved features. Windows XP offers a number of wizards and dialog boxes to help you
work with your hardware's drivers and settings. The most important tool, Device Manager, provides a central focus for
this chapter.
Windows XP also contains a number of tools for maintaining your system. Because your hard drives constitute the
single most important hardware component to maintain, this chapter also covers hard disk maintenance tools. Between
the Device Manager and the hard drive utilities, you can keep the hardware on your system working smoothly.
What is Device Manager and how to use it for computer hardware troubleshooting?
Without a doubt, the Windows Device Manager serves as your best friend in uncovering and solving hardware
problems. Device Manager displays a list of all your hardware arranged in categories with each item accessible by
locating the correct category and expanding it by clicking the plus sign (+) to its left. Device Manager's usefulness
comes to the fore when a device malfunctions. To open Device Manager (in Windows XP), click start button, rightclick
My Computer, and choose Properties. From the resulting System Properties dialog, click the Hardware tab.
In the Device Manager section of the dialog box, click the Device Manager button. After a brief delay, the Device
Manager utility will open.
Your first survey of hardware status takes place immediately, according to the following views:
If all categories display closed, with no individual devices showing, Device Manager does not know of any
malfunctioning hardware. The device still might not work, but, from the standpoint of Windows XP, it works just fine.
If Windows XP sees any device as malfunctioning, Device Manager opens with that device's category automatically
expanded to reveal the problem hardware. After upgrading to Windows XP or installing it for the first time, you should
expect one or more devices to display as nonfunctioning, awaiting drivers.
REPAIRING HARDWARE DEVICES
Device Manager gives you two major options for configuring your hardware devices: configuring the resources it uses
and changing the drivers associated with it. Of these two, updating the driver happens more frequently because
Windows XP has proven itself notably adept at managing system resources. Still, you can adjust system resources
manually if you come across conflicts with the result that you can solve virtually all hardware problems from within
Device Manager, except those in which the hardware itself does not work because of mechanical malfunction.
Tip: If a hardware device stops working completely and you can't solve the problem in just a few minutes, you might
have a mechanical problem instead of an electronic one. Consider removing the hardware device, and installing it in
another PC if one is available. If the hardware still doesn't work and you still get no response from it, you can assume
that it has bitten the dust and can be discarded or, in the case of expensive hardware devices such as printers or
monitors, sent to a repair shop.
Computer hardware troubleshooting: Step by Step Troubleshooting RAM (Memory)
It's rare but RAM modules can cause problems. Unfortunately, it's not always certain that the memory errors being
reported by your system is actually due to problems with the RAM modules. Even worse is that an unstable system can
be due to many problems including RAM failure.
Step 1: Back up all important files and data. You should be doing this on a regular basis anyway but if your computer is
showing signs of failure don't wait any longer to perform this job.
Step 2: Start simple and analyze the problem.
• Have you added or replaced RAM?
• Is it installed properly?
• Have you moved the computer? RAM modules can come loose.
• Is it a new computer? RAM modules might not have been inserted properly.
• Have you installed any new hardware upgrades?
• Have you installed new software or might there be a virus problem?
• Have you changed or installed patches for your operating system?
• Do you have the correct RAM type?
• Is the RAM module connectors tin or gold?
• When your computer starts (boots) does it report the correct amount of RAM?
• Does your system properties report the correct amount of RAM?
• Are there any POST messages that indicate RAM problems?
• Does the system report Parity errors or address failures whilst the system is running?
• Do you get a Windows error message "exception error OE at>>0137:BFF9z5d0" or something similar?
• You've tried everything else!!!
Any one of these can indicate a problem with the RAM module or something connected with it.
WARNING: Before you start troubleshooting remember that you are dealing with electricity that can KILL. Only work
inside the computer case when the power has been switched off and disconnected. Never open the power source.
Step 3: S

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