Building your computer is always an exhilarating process. Depending on the components, the motherboard can be of varying sizes; but no matter what size you end up with. Let’s find out how to install a motherboard step by step?
It will probably take some time to install it correctly and find placement for all those cables.
The most important thing that we need to pay attention to when constructing a computer is making sure everything fits together securely in place permanently.
How To Install A Motherboard Step By Step?
The motherboard is the basis of your computer, and it’s arguably one of the most important parts.
So if you’re installing one for yourself or upgrading an old system, make sure that you take care when putting in all those little screws!
Installing a motherboard can be difficult. It holds your entire system together in one place and contains various vital components and many different ports.
Which allows other parts within the system such as RAM or graphics cards to connect to it via PCIe.
1. The Preparation
Before you install any PC component, it’s important to get all the tools and protection needed.
You’ll want an anti-static wristband and a non-conductive surface before installing anything inside your computer case.
With a long screwdriver (preferably magnetized at one end) as well as needle nose pliers in case screws get dropped inside your case.
It’s also advisable to use good lighting so that you are sure that you are installing your motherboard and other components correctly.
2. Unpacking the Motherboard
Open the motherboard packaging, and you should see a lot of cables – most likely with labels like “motherboard” or “power supply.”
Start by taking all these components out from the box, but don’t worry if they aren’t labeled since this guide will help you understand how to install each of them.
Now take off any packaging tape and plastic wrapping surrounding what will become your new motherboard; this is where everything starts for a PC.
So it’s important not to mishandle anything at this stage and be careful while handling each component.
3. Preparing the case
You have to prepare the case with your old motherboard removed (if any) and dirt or dust inside vacuumed out.
Next, turn the case upside down and shake it to make sure that there is nothing inside that could hinder your installation, such as screws.
Once done, install the power supply (PSU), which came included with the kit, or you bought separately if not provided by the manufacturer.
You can either install the PSU before inserting the motherboard first on the bottom of the chassis then mounting it after installation for easier access during the wiring process; alternatively, you can also do it when you are done attaching the motherboard to the casing.
4. Open your case
Open your computer case and then remove both side panels for easy access to the motherboard tray. The process is actually quite simple.
You just have to unscrew a few screws, disconnect some cables that are plugged into it, and slide out the metal tray holding all of those components in place.
Once done, installing the new motherboard should be no problem! It’s important to remember that you’re not just building a computer but an entire system.
Hence discharging any static electricity before working on your PC or handling its motherboard is essential to prevent electrostatic damage from occurring during the installation.
5. Install the I/O shield
All motherboards come with a metal plate with cutouts for the back connectors and ports. This metal plate is called the I/O shield (Input/Output shield).
The I/O shield snaps into the back end of the computer case. The purpose of this little board’s existence? To protect all those precious, delicate wires from tangling.
The instructions for installing an I/O panel vary by case, but most include a default shield that needs to be removed and replaced with the one that came in your motherboard box.
One corner holds each side of the board and protects circuits from shorting out on metal parts inside your computer like screws or other components. If you install the I/O shield correctly, it will snap into place.
Installing the I/O shield is an important step in ensuring your motherboard doesn’t get damaged. The panel will cover up any ports on the back of the board and help it stay safe from dust, water, power surges – anything that might affect your PC.
6. Find and Install Standoff
Standoffs keep the motherboard above the case, which helps prevent it from shorting out and aids in cooling. Some cases will come with standoffs pre-installed while others do not.
Your motherboard should also include its own set of standoffs you can use instead if needed. The motherboard standoffs protect your computer’s most important components from getting damaged.
Match the holes on your motherboard with those of standoffs on the case, which will be found in its corresponding location.
Your board should have all available spaces occupied by a standoff to keep it secure and stable, but remember: every case is different!
To start, line up the motherboard so you can see where there are open spots for standoffs. Standoffs screw into their corresponding holes, but some are simply pushed in like pegs.
Always install your standoff screws or push-in anchors according to manufacturer instructions, carefully ensuring they line up correctly.
7. Install the Motherboard
Place the motherboard on top of standoffs. Make sure that all the holes line up with each other and screw your board into the place firmly while being careful not to over-tighten them during the process.
Since that can damage components inside or cause stress points which can break some structure within the motherboard (e.g., bending processor pins) – and we don’t want any accidents happening here.
8. Connect the Power Supply
A power supply is the first component that you will connect to your motherboard. The plugs are notoriously difficult and frustratingly hidden, but if you know how it should be done, it becomes easy!
Make sure that both of the 20/24-pin connectors and 4/8-pin 12V connectors are attached before going on with any other steps in your build; refer to the documentation if unsure about which cables need connecting where.
9. Connect the front panel
The front panel of your computer is the place from where you start your computer. You can turn on your PC with a button, look if the hard drive is functioning when accessing data, or just see that power indicator light up.
To do this, locate the wires of the following and connect them to their respective pins on the motherboard:
- Reset switch
- Power switch
- Hard drive (HDD) LED
- Power LED
10. Connect other components
After you are done attaching the power supply and front panel, it is time to place in CPU (if needed), RAM, and cooler. Once you have done this, go ahead and attach any hard drives or optical disks that need a power supply connection.
Make sure not to plug anything into incorrect ports because they can cause a spark.
11. Connect the fans
Connect your CPU fan to its designated pins on the motherboard. For optimal airflow, make sure you connect a chassis fan in each of the appropriate locations; many motherboards will have two or more sets for this purpose.
12. Connect the front USB ports
Connect any USB ports to the appropriate connector on the motherboard, which will typically be labeled, and make sure that plugs go into pins in order.
Also, ensure that you’re plugging them incorrectly and that they are not upside down or backward. Once done, return the side panels of the case back to their original position, screw them tightly together, and then plug everything else such as mouse or keyboard.
The moment of truth. You hit the power button, and your PC starts to boot up, but it doesn’t end there! Your motherboard is new, which is why it will need some time adjusting before everything can run normally.
If you followed all the above steps correctly, you shouldn’t encounter any problem, and if you do, you always have the option to contact the manufacturer’s customer support services for assistance.