New computer assembled; Next steps?

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I have spent the last couple of months researching about the
components that I want to purchase for the computer that I am
building.  I am now finished buying everything and have assembled all
the components in the case.  The components are not connected to each
other yet.  I have read the mobo manual cover to cover numerous
times, and am ready to get this baby operational.

However, I want to ensure that I do this correctly.  I "sort
of" understand what needs to be done, but need some guidance on
the steps and the sequence.  The components are shown below.

ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe mobo.  2 GB OCZ DDR2 RAM installed in dual-channel
configuration.  Seagate 80GB SATA2 to be used for boot drive.  Two WD
250GB SATA2 to be used for data drive, configured as RAID 0.  One DVD
burner.  One CD burner.  PCI Express x 16 graphics card.  OS to be
installed is Windows XP Home.

Is there a certain sequence to get this up and running?  For example,
do I connect everything first, and then set up the BIOS, or should
components be connected one at a time, and installed one at at time?

There are things like driver updates, BIOS updates to install, setting
RAID 0, selecting the boot drive, etc.

Can anyone give me some guidance as to what should be done first when
I turn on the power?  And subsequent steps?

Thanks very much.

Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?


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What I do...

Attach CPU and memory to motherboard then put the motherboard in the

Hook up power and front panel connectors.

Insert graphics card (if using one), connect floppy, primary HDD and

Install OS and drivers. Update as required.

Install rest of hardware.


Same shit, different day.

Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

Prior to power-up for the first time check cables and connections then do it
again. The nervousness of powering up a 'homebuilt' for the first time ranks
up there with getting married, signing for your first mortgage, and watching
your first born! (not necessarily in that order though).

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Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

Orv wrote:
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 Some people takes their computers to bed too I bet. I compare it to a model
plane on it's first flight. I can always try it again without lawyers feels
or waiting another 9 months :)

Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

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build it incrementally.

after you have the motherboard , powersupply, RAM, video card and cpu with
heatsink and fan connected...
test the machine to be sure it posts...
if that is all working ok start adding the rest of the components

Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

I would not recommend using a raid 0 array as a data drive. Raid 0 is for
performance and has no data redundancy, one drive fails and all of your data
is gone.  It is far better to just keep them as separate drives or even
mirror them in raid 1 for safer data keeping. I use a raid 0 array as my
boot drive for performance and have a large separate hard drive for
important data and image backups.

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Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

philo said:
> if that is all working ok start adding the rest of the components

Never having done this before,  I am not sure what the next step would
be, i.e.,
after I add the next component (a DVD burner for example), I
assume that I
restart the computer, and then do.... what?

Re: New computer assembled; Next steps?

On Wed, 10 May 2006 12:33:11 GMT, no@spam.invalid (Jackpine)

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I'm sure anyone who's been doing it a long time has their
own individual method, and that method may also change
depending on a few factors like how mission critical the
correct operation of the system is, or how long the warranty
is on any specific parts (I mean through the seller, not
manufacturer as a good seller's response to a problem part
can be an order of magnitude faster than a manufacturer's
time till getting a RMA replacement back to you), or how
much the buyer is paying (if someone tells me "build me the
cheapest thing you can I don't care about
quality/reliablity/etc for more cost", I have to assume they
mean that and hours of testing is something overkill for
that system unless it's automated like just running
memtest86+ or looping a gaming benchmark (when applicable).

After all parts are together, run at least memtest86+ for
several hours, preferribly overnight.  Do this after any
bios FSB or memory settings changes or after adding or
removing memory.  Always prior to, not after operating
system installation.  If the memory is instable while
operating system is installed, it might crash but even
worse, it might not and then you may have corrupted files
which are virtually impossible to troubleshoot later,
ultimately meaning problems aren't resolved until a new
installation of the OS after the memory problems were

You don't necessarily need to add on only one component at a
time, but if you skip this step (I often do), then if you
have problems you'll have to then remove the components and
add them back one at a time.  Once all the major components
are installed, memory tested, then use the HDD
manufacturer's diagnostic utility to test the hard drive(s).
Next install the operating system.  Test that the basics of
the OS work, while installing the drivers- preferribly not
the ancient ones that came on the parts CDs, rather the
newer provided by the part chipset manufacturer, or if the
part chip manufacturer doesn't provide a suitable driver,
then the next step is looking for one from the product
manufacturer.  For example if you have a Zytel PCI modem
with a Conexant chip on it, first you go to Conexant's
website seeking the newest driver.  In this case Conexant
almost certainly has the driver, but in another case the
chip manufacturer might not and then you look to Zytel.  The
two worst drivers to use are the original and then the one
from Windows Update (which is usually stripped of many
features that made the product what you chose in the first

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