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Thread: Powering the Computer

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    Powering the Computer

    I have just built a computer and all the parts are installed besides the graphics card. I am about to test it out to see if it will turn on but I am concerned that I may have attached something incorrectly. What can I do to make sure nothing short circuits or gets ruined? Is there any risk of this happening normally? What should I avoid doing?

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    At some point you have to take a leap of faith, do not "test" your new computer with everything assembled. Remove any usb devices expect keyboard/mouse, remove any add in card in a slot... save the graphics card... which I would have plugged in for my test not left out. Disconnect any hard disk/DVD drive.

    Basically Board, keyboard, mouse, graphics ONLY.

    Before you start things up,
    1) is the ATX power connector connected to the board? If you have a 24 pin connector on your board have are you using a 24 pin supply?
    2) Is the additional power connector connected, its either a 4 or 8 pin connector and looks a bit like the main ATX one.
    3) Is the additional power to the graphics card connector connected?
    4) Is the ram properly installed with the clips locking the dimms in place?
    5) If you have installed any chassis USB connectors do not use the at this time, only use the ones build into the board.
    6) Make sure your CPU fan is connected up, and plugged into the right connector.

    If the computer powers on... Great! Now turn it off. and UNPLUG it, the board is live even with the power off.
    Plug in the hard disk and DVD and power on again
    Go into the bios and see if it detect them... Great now install your OS.

    Mistakes you might make.
    1) Computer HD or Power light does not come on, these are Diodes so can be connected up the wrong way round, it does no harm, turn the machine off and unplug it. Pull off the light connector, and plug in the other way round.
    2) USB wired up wrong. Be very careful wiring these things up, partitularly if you case does not supply polarised 10 way connector. My case has them all as single pins, a right pain! Make sure you test them first with something you don't need anymore like an old key drive.

    If you have additional add in cards, install them one at a time, making sure your computer starts, UNPLUG when you install them as the board is always live.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Nothing to fault with the above, but I'd press the on/off button after unplugging the psu (from the mains) to make sure any capacitors in the PSU are discharged. (There is often an LED on the Mobo that is on whenever the PSU is plugged in - make sure that is off)
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    Re: Powering the Computer

    So is there anything that might ruin some components that I make sure I do correctly?

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Not really. Shorting will normally trip protection circuitry on your PSU which resets itself. As long as everything is in place you shouldn't have any trouble.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    All the advice above is excellent, the only thing I'd add is to remember that with the way most components/connectors are designed these days it's actually very hard to connect thing up wrongly. So relax, so long as you really didn't have to force anything you've probably put it together correctly!
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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Thanks, that gives me some peace of mind.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Also, is it okay to have lose cables? Because one of the cables I have coming from my PSU forks into multiple cables and some of them are unconnected to anything. Is this okay?

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    It's usual to have spare sockets hanging around
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Yep, and if you look the conductors are recessed into the connectors so the can't short on the case for example. Just tuck them somewhere out of the way and make sure they don't obstruct fans.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    It's harder than you think to break components through simple installation these days. Most of us have done something crassly stupid building a PC at some time or another. Personally mine was putting on the heatsink the wrong way round so it wasn't seated on the processor properly & the thermal cutout kept switching it off. Wiring up the USB wrong (which oolon mentioned in post#2) is also a fave. Best one I saw was when a mate bolted the mobo directly to the backplate or the case without standoffs

    At the end of the day, problems are more likely to manifest later through faulty or worn-out components. Just wait, you'll be a Hexus Pro in no time at all, and you'll wonder what it was you were worrying about
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    I saw was when a mate bolted the mobo directly to the backplate or the case without standoffs
    That's a good one, I remember a friend of mine helping me build my second ever PC (the first one I watched a (different) friend build), and he assembled the case for me and left out the standoffs, fortunately the board just did not start, we took it out put the spacers in and everything was great.

    Varmint please repeat after me, computers really are as easy to put together as they seem. I am always amazed by the number of people who think it must be hard.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by oolon View Post
    Varmint please repeat after me, computers really are as easy to put together as they seem. I am always amazed by the number of people who think it must be hard.
    QFT! But you always get a good sweat on with your first build We've all been there.
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    It's harder than you think to break components through simple installation these days.
    I once decided it would be a brilliant idea to install some new memory after getting back from the pub. I forgot to turn the power off and ended up electrocuting myself (not badly) and frying one stick of ram.

    Please remember, don't try and build your PC after more than four or five pints
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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    Please remember, don't try and build your PC after more than four or five pints
    Sage advice - don't drink and build.
    A good cup of tea can work wonders though. If you have a problem where stuff seems like it's not going to fit and you're starting to get frustrated, walk away make some tea and post the problem here.

    By the time you've made the tea, either you'll have realised where the problem is, or one of these blokes will.

    I had a very embarrasing moment trying to affix the heat sink brackers upside down...For some reason they just wouldn't fit !
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: Powering the Computer

    Avoid coffee if you're not used to drinking it though - it can make your hands tremble which is annoying when working inside a PC.

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