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Thread: Any last minute advice or tips on the best way to build a PC from scratch ?

  1. #17
    A shadowy flight. MSIC's Avatar
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    All good advice.
    Mine is - dont put the sides of the case on. Every time you do, you'll realise something needs to be changed, and you'll have to take them off again
    Annoying but true!
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  2. #18
    Network|Geek kidzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alsenior View Post
    if it doesn't slide in easy don't force it
    Whilst generally true, if you are a weak little bugger like me, you need some force (well, more that usual) to get stuff like a HSF on properly, expansion cards sometimes need a firm push from me also.

    Which reminds me, if an expansion card seems to be refusing to plug in properly, at the front - check the backplate is straight, I was chucking a machine together yesterday to have a play about with Windows Home Server and the Radeon 9200 refused to go in, the bottom of the backplate was bent slightly outwards, a quick rebend and it went in easy enough
    "If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much room!"
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  3. #19
    Far Superior To Meths EvilWeevil's Avatar
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    Another thing - I just gently tilt the case from side to side before plug it in or powering up to make sure there aren't any loose screws or other things that could potentially short something. Paranoid I know, but worth it

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  4. #20
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    Don't panic if it doesn't work first time. I can't count the number of times I've started effin' and blindin' when a system hasn't worked, only to realise I forgot to connect the power button.

    Quote Originally Posted by alsenior View Post
    if it doesn't slide in easy don't force it
    Obligatory Steve Carroll from The Office quote:

    'that's what she said'

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    A big thank you to everyone for all the advice! I've got most of it put together now, but am not sure I've used the right screws for the right parts. The screws came with the case (Akasa Eclipse 62), and there are about six different types.

    There were also some washers which look like they're made of paper - I used these for the screws which secure the mobo (ie. to protect the mobo). However, while fitting the hard drive I was thinking that maybe I should have used the paper washers for the HD. The only other alternative supplied is a metal washer - would this be OK for the HD ?

    I have read that a lot of people use rubber grommets for the HD. I assume the grommet isolates both the HD and the screw from the chassis ?

    I post again later with more details about my first build experience, and whether it booted first time.... or not

  6. #22
    Are you Junglin' guy? jamin's Avatar
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    Can I just add, use an antistatic wrist strap, connect one end to something you know is grounded like bare metal on a radiator (Not a painted surface for obvious reasons) before handling any of the components. ESD (Electro Static Discharge) is the biggest killer to RAM, Motherboards and CPU's (although with CPU's in my experience incorrectly fitted HSF are just as big a killer, whoops valuable lesson learnt!) Just walking on a carpet can develop a 3000 - 4000v potential in your body. Do you want to risk discharging this through your shiny new C2D?

    I know a lot of people will say that they have "never used a wriststrap and never had any problems" However, do you want to take a gamble with your new pride and joy for the sake of 3 quid for a disposavle jobby. And you wouldn't believe how many of those who haven't used one end up RMAing something 6 months later. Static damage doesn't necessarily manifest straight away as a total failure.

    If you can't / don't / won't use a strap then (standard "I take no responsibility" caveat applies) you can reduce the risk by following these pointers (Although this works adequatly I in now way endorse or recommend not using a strap)

    Do not handle your components more than is absolutley necessary, only handle when you need to. ie. Don't take your new mobo out of the box to make your mates jealous. Only take it out when you are ready to fit it!

    With the power supply installed in the bare case, plug the power lead into it and the mains outlet, BUT leave it switched off at the mains. (The Earth pin still remains connected through to the PSU even if the switch is off) This will gorund the case.

    Before Handling any component either touch the grounded case or something that you know is grounded ie a radiator. Once you have touched and grounded yourself try not to move around, dance, run or starjump more than you need to, as the more you move the more chance there is of static building up. The whole idea is to keep the potential voltage difference between you and your kit to zero or as close as possible.

    For gods sake don't wear a shell suit! And nylon wigs are a no no too.

    Bottom line, yes I am paranoid, I work with optical/electrical circuit packs worth up to and in excess of £15000 and Anti Static precautions have been drummed into me, I have seen plenty of these fail prematurely where they have been handled incorrectly. And I have blown a stick of RAM and a GFX card over the years in my own rig whilst being careless.


    All the major retailers sell anti static kits for barely more than a pint of beer costs. Not much considering how much you have just spent! Not trying to scare you mate, just making you aware of the possible risks.
    Beer is life, life is good!

  7. #23
    Senior Member this_is_gav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Defenestration View Post
    There were also some washers which look like they're made of paper - I used these for the screws which secure the mobo (ie. to protect the mobo). However, while fitting the hard drive I was thinking that maybe I should have used the paper washers for the HD. The only other alternative supplied is a metal washer - would this be OK for the HD ?
    Yeah the paper washers are for the motherboard - but only need to be used if the screws or standoffs are going to be making contact with any of the tracings on the motherboard. It's been a long time since I saw the motherboard which didn't protect itself. Still, there's no harm at all using the washers.

    As for the hard drives, just leave the washers, unless your case has some funky mounting mechanisms (I've no experience with the Eclipse 62). If it's just a case of screwing the hard drive into the case, then just do that - no need for washers.

  8. #24
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    See if you need to reset your motherboards Cmos before using it (caused headaches with my dfi )
    (\__/)
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  9. #25
    Asking silly questions menthel's Avatar
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    The hdd's in an eclipse just need to be screwed in. They don't need any washers.
    Not around too often!

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