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 4

We now have the Solid State Drive (SSD), and Optical Drive installed and are nearly ready to install the Operating System.

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

First we will connect up the case fans as well as the fan controller and temperature display that is included with this case (Zalman Z9 plus).

There are four fans included with this case with one intake fan at the bottom-front, an intake fan on the left side, an intake fan at the top of the case and an exhaust fan at the top-back of the case. There is also an exhaust fan built into the PSU (Corsair CX750M Modular). For this article i will just connect the bottom-front intake fan, the left-side intake fan, and the top-back exhaust fan.

Zalman Z9 Computer case fans & Temperature display. There are two 4-pin Chassis fan connectors on this Motherboard (ASUS Z87-K) but as this case (Zalman Z9 plus) has a Fan controller then i will plug the bottom-front fan and the left-side intake fans into the fan controller and plug the top-back exhaust fan into the Motherboard. This will allow me to control the two intake fan speeds via a control wheel under the Temperature display.

The actual Fan controller and Temperature display need to be powered and this is achieved by adding a 4-pin molex cable from the modular PSU to both the Fan controller and Temperature display connectors. Please consult your Computer Case manual for more information.

Both intake fans have blue LEDs built in which produce the blue glowing effect. The Computer Case also contains a temperature sensor which can be placed anywhere in the case, which gives an idea of the temperature inside the case.

Setting up the BIOS and installing the Operating System
Switch off and replace all the covers on your Computer case remembering to reconnect the Front Panel connector before replacing the front of the case. Connect the Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Power, then boot into the CMOS set-up screen (Del or F2) to view the BIOS settings. Check that the case fans are working okay. Make sure the BIOS includes your Optical Drive and Solid State Drive in its listings. Set the Boot Sequence so that it boots from your Optical Drive first and then your Solid State Drive second, then save the BIOS settings. Insert your Windows 7 disk into the DVD Drive, reboot the computer, and follow the on-screen instructions for installing the operating system to your SSD.

Next, use the disk that came with your Motherboard to load all the software and drivers for the Chipset, LAN, USB, and Audio etc. It is worth visiting the ASUS website to see if there are any updated drivers. We should then go to 'Windows Update' and download all the latest patches for the Operating System.

More information about installing the Operating System, and Drivers.

Once the Operating System has been installed then you will have a working computer. We still have a few more components to install though including additional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) for all your data, Graphics card, Sound card, Wi-fi card, and as this Computer Case only has USB 2.0 ports on the front then i will add two USB 3.0 ports via a readily available front panel bracket.

Hard Disk Drives
The Solid State Drive (SSD) is ideal for installing the Operating System and a few frequently used programs that benefit from the extra speed but it is a good idea to add a couple of Hard Disk Drives (HDD) for all your music, photos, video, data etc because of the lower cost and increased storage capacity of a Hard Disk Drive.

SATA Hard Drive Connectors & Cables.

I will add two Hard Disk Drives including a 3.5 inch 1TB 6Gb/s drive, and a 3.5 inch 2TB 6Gb/s drive. As they are both 6Gb/s drives then they will benefit from the fast 6Gb/s SATA ports on the Motherboard (ASUS Z87-K). Two extra SATA Data cables will need to be bought which should be long enough to reach from the 3.5 inch drive bays to the Motherboard SATA port and also be rated at 6Gb/s.

Hard Disk Drive screws & rubber mounts.

Add the screws and rubber mounts (included with the case) to both Hard Disk Drives so that they will fit into the 3.5 inch drive bays. The Computer Case manual provides details on doing this. Connect a SATA power cable from the modular PSU to both the Hard Disk Drives. The connectors will fit only one way. Then run two SATA data cables from two spare SATA ports on the Motherboard to both the Hard Disk Drives. Again, the connectors will fit only one way.

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

Now that both Hard Disk Drives have been installed, replace the Computer Case covers and connect the Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and Power, then boot the Computer onto the CMOS setup page to confirm that the BIOS can see both Hard Disk Drives. Next, boot the computer into Windows and open 'Disk Management' to partition & format both of your Hard Disk Drives.

More information on Hard Disk Drives.

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