Computer Hardware:
     • Tools, Static & Cleaning
     • Form Factor
     • PC Case & Fans
     • Motherboard
     • Processor (CPU)
     • Power Supply Unit
     • RAM
     • Hard Drive
     • Solid State Drive
     • Optical Drive
     • Floppy Disk Drive
     • Graphics Card
     • Sound Card
     • Network Card
     • Computer Monitor
     • Keyboard & Mouse
     • Laptop / Netbook
     • Building a Computer
     • Overclocking

Operating System & Backup:
     • Operating System
     • Drivers
     • Windows Tools
     • User Accounts
     • Backup
     • Windows 10

Internet & Network:
     • Internet
     • Wi-fi or Cable
     • Improve Broadband Speed
     • Network Computers

Computer Peripherals:
     • Printer
     • Scanner
     • External Hard Drive
     • USB Flash Drive

Computer Security:
     • Anti-virus
     • Anti-Spyware
     • Phishing
     • Firewall

Common PC Problems:
     • Slow Computer
     • Hardware Failure
     • Software Failure
     • Printing Problems

     • Windows Shortcuts
     • Glossary of Terms
     • HTML Colour Picker
     • Number Base Converter

Building a Desktop Computer part 3

We now have the CPU, Cooler, and RAM installed into the Motherboard and the PSU, and Motherboard have been fitted into the Computer case.

Remember to follow anti-static procedures when building your new computer.

The next job is to wire the Front panel connectors into the Front panel headers on the Motherboard. The Front panel connectors should all be labelled (consult Zalman Z9 plus case manual) and will include the following: Power SW (Power Switch), +Power LED, -Power LED, HDD LED (Hard Drive LED), and Reset SW (Reset switch). This particular case (Zalman Z9 plus) also has four USB 2.0 ports on the front of the case as well as a headphone, and microphone port, and so will have two USB 2.0 Front panel connectors (each USB 2.0 connector powers two USB 2.0 ports), and an Audio Front panel connector.

Front panel headers and connectors.

The Front panel headers are found at the bottom-right of this Motherboard (ASUS Z87-K) and are labelled but you should also consult the Motherboard manual which details how the connectors fit into the headers. The USB 2.0 connectors fit in the USB 2.0 headers and will fit one way only. If you intend to use the on-board Audio then you can plug the Audio connector into the Motherboard or if you are going to add a Sound Card then the Audio connector plugs directly into the Sound Card. You may find it neater to tie all these wires back using cable ties.

Now is probably a good time to test that your new computer is working okay and that there are no problems before we continue with the build. Connect the Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Power. You should see a Standby Power LED light up on this Motherboard (ASUS Z87-K) which lets you know that there is power to the Motherboard. Switch on the Computer (check that the PSU switch is in the ON position) and make sure that the CPU fan is working okay and then you should be able to boot into the CMOS set-up page to see the BIOS settings (press Del or F2 when booting) which should give you information on the Motherboard, BIOS, CPU, and RAM. If everything went well then switch off the computer, unplug the Power, Monitor, Mouse, and Keyboard and we will continue building the computer.

Solid State Drive, Optical Drive, and Operating System
The next components to add are the Primary Drive which will contain the Operating System, the actual Operating System software, and an Optical Drive so we can install the Operating System on the Primary Drive.

We will use a Solid State Drive (SSD) for our Primary Drive as they are much faster than a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and the new Computer will boot up much quicker. For this article i will use a Crucial 120GB 6Gb/s 2.5 inch Solid State Drive (SSD), a standard black SATA DVD Optical Drive, and Windows 7 64-bit OEM Operating System.

DVD Drive, SSD Drive, and Operating System.
In the Zalman Z9 plus case there are a few options for installing a 2.5 inch SSD. There is a bracket in one of the 5.25 inch drive bays which can be used or there is a place for the SSD under the right cover so that it will sit under the Motherboard. For this article i will use a 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch bracket to mount the SSD and place it in one of the 3.5 inch drive bays.

First i will install the DVD Drive and to do this i will need to take off all the covers of the Computer case including the sides and the front. The front of the case unclips (see Computer case manual) but be aware that it is connected to the case by the Front Panel wires and you can unclip these wires via a connector if needed.

We will mount the DVD Drive in the top 5.25 inch drive bay which is under the USB ports. You will need to remove the plastic cover and also front fascia so that you can insert the DVD Drive into the front of the case (see Computer Case manual). Make sure the DVD Drive is flush with the front of the case and use the included screws to secure the drive into the case.

Next, fit the SSD to the 2.5 inch to 3.5 inch bracket and add the screws and rubber mounts (included with the case) so that it will fit into a 3.5 inch drive bay. The Computer Case manual provides details on doing this.

We now need to connect SATA power cables to the DVD Drive and also the SSD. The power leads are included with the PSU and will fit only one way. You will also need to connect SATA data cables to both the Data Drive and SSD. The Motherboard (ASUS Z87-K) includes two SATA 6Gb/s data cables which can be used but you will need to buy more SATA 6Gb/s data cables for additional drives.

SSD and Motherboard SATA ports.

The photograph above shows the SATA power and data connectors on an SSD and also the six yellow SATA 6Gb/s ports on the Motherboard.

Plug the SATA cable into SATA 6G_1 on the Motherboard and the other end into the SSD data port. The other SATA cable will plug into SATA6G_2 and into the DVD Drive data port. These cables will only fit one way.

Remember to keep your power and data cables as neat as possible by tying them out of the way with cable ties.

More information about the Optical Drive, and Solid State Drive.

MENU (Building a Computer):
1. Part one 2. Part two 3. Part three
4. Part four 5. Part five 6. Part six