Assembling computers is a large part of a technician's job. As a technician, you will need to work in a logical, methodical manner when working with computer components. As with any learned trade, computer assembly skills will improve dramatically with practice.
This chapter details the steps used to assemble a computer and to boot the system for the first time. These are some important points to remember:
- Computer cases come in a variety of sizes and configurations. Many of the computer components must match the form factor of the case.
- The CPU is installed on the motherboard with thermal compound and a heat sink and fan assembly.
- RAM is installed in RAM slots on the motherboard.
- Adapter cards are installed in PCI and PCIe expansion slots on the motherboard.
- Hard disk drives are installed in 3.5 in. (8.9 cm.) drive bays located inside the case.
- Optical drives are installed in 5.25 in. (13.34 cm.) drive bays that can be accessed from outside the case.
- Power supply cables are connected to all drives and the motherboard.
- Internal data cables transfer data between the motherboard and the drives.
- External cables connect peripheral devices to the computer.
- Beep codes signify hardware malfunctions.
- The BIOS setup program displays information about the computer components and allows the user to change system settings.
- Computer components require periodic upgrades and replacement parts.
- Additional hard drives can provide fault tolerance and the ability to install additional operating systems.