The motherboard is the backbone of your entire PC or computer which is connected to every other component, so it is vital that you get the things right now to avoid trouble further down the line.
Before getting started
If you want a process to go smoothly, then there’re few things that you can do before ever unpacking the motherboard.
First of all, prepare your workspace. This means that cleaning your workspace to ensure that it is free of any dust. Although the exposed mechanical components are sensitive to particles in the environment and of course, it is possibly obvious to move any liquid or clutter, but a dust or debris-free environment is optimal.
Gather your tools
Another likely obvious tip for seasoned individual, gather and organize the tools that you will need. A Phillips head screwdriver, tweezers, and small zip ties are the things that one does not want to look for while holding the motherboard in place.
We are not talking about your safety, we are talking about your motherboard’s safety. Again, some seasoned users say that they have ever used ESD bands and also have never had any issue.
However, some of us feel that it is better to be safe than sorry. Using rubber gloves prevents any oils from your hand from damaging the components, while an ESD band will prevent static electricity cause damage.
Unpack the motherboard
Firstly, open your motherboard’s box. you will see a lot of cables, a driver CD, and a metal blanking plate with holes cut out and a manual as well. Take these components out and put them to one side as you will need them later on.
In addition, the motherboard will be inside an anti-static bag and resting on the top anti-static foam respectively. Slide a motherboard out of the bag, but leave it attached to the foam. Additionally, place the motherboard and foam on the top of the anti-static and take out the metal blanking plate.
Measure blanking plate
The blanking plate fits into a case and gives you access to the ports that your motherboard has. Although, some motherboard manufacturers use generic blanking plates that fit their whole range of motherboards. With these, you may also need to remove a few metal covers to give access to your motherboard parts.
Moreover, the easiest way to see is to hold the blanking plate up to the motherboard until the cut-outs match the ports on your motherboard. Also, the blanking plates should be pushed against the motherboard with the ridge pointing out, so any text is reliable. It’ll only fit one way, so maneuver it until it is the right way.
Remove unnecessary bits
If you need to remove any parts of the blanking plate, then you’d do that now. You will have two options for doing this. Firstly, you may have to remove a bit of metal in a similar way to the metal blanking plates on your case. These’d be rocked gently out until the metal snaps.
Second, some ports may be covered by flaps. In this case, the flats should be bend inward. And, make sure that you bend it far enough for the motherboard’s port to be given enough clearance to pass underneath.
Install the blanking plate
From the inside of the case, you may need to take a blanking plate and push it into the gap at the rear of the motherboard case. Remember to align it, that it’s the same way up as when you measured it against your motherboard.
However, the ridge around outside of the plate should clip into the hole and be warned that this can be really fiddly and the blanking plates do not always fit perfectly. It’d, however, clip into the place and remain stable without any support.
Measure where the motherboard goes
Next, you may also need to see where the screw holes for the motherboard will go. Lie the motherboard case flat on the desk and make sure that all the internal cables are out of the way as well.
When you have got a clear case, then take the motherboard off its foam backing and slide it gently into the case respectively. And, make sure that its rear ports are pushed up against the blanking plate correctly.
Also, take a note of where the screw holes in the motherboard go and remove the motherboard as well. And place the motherboard back on its foam.
Fit the risers
Next, you may need to fit the risers where you noticed the screw holes. There’ll be included with the case and look like tall copper screws. Their job is to correctly hold the motherboard off the bottom of the case, so it is not shorted out when it contacts touch the metal.
So, the risers simply screw into the pre-drilled holes in the case. You can use as many risers as there’re screw holes in the motherboard which making sure that you screw them tightly into the position with your fingers.
Slide the motherboard into the place
Put the motherboard back into the case and making sure that all its screw holes have risers underneath. If a few are missing, then check to make sure that you have not screwed the risers into the wrong place.
And, you will probably notice that the motherboard has a tendency to be slightly off from the risers. This’s normal and it is caused by pressure from the backplate pushing against the motherboard too.
Simply, lineup the motherboard ports with the backplate and also push the motherboard towards it until the screw holes lineup. This’ll take a bit of gentle force.
Screw the motherboard down
Next, with the motherboard in place, you can start to screw it in. Start with the corners and holding the motherboards firmly, so that its screw holes lineup the risers that you put in.
When screwing the screws in, then do not use too much pressure as you do not want to break the motherboard. Ideally, you also want the screw tight enough for the motherboard to be secure, but not so tight that it feels as though the motherboard is going to start cracking.
In addition, once you have done the corners, then you can put the screws in the other holes. How many you put in is up to you, but you should not to do all of them to make the motherboard more secure and keep going until the motherboard is firmly in place.
Identify ITX connectors
With the motherboard in place, you are ready to connect it to the power supply. There’re two connectors that you will need to the plugin. The first one is the ATX connector, on modern motherboards, you must need a 24-pin power connector. There is only one of these on the power supply.
However, as older motherboards only required a 20-pin power connector, there is usually a four pin-power connector that can be detached. Make sure that this’s connected and that you’ve an unbroken 24-pin power connector.
Plugin the ATX connector:
You must need to plug this 24-pin power connector into the matching connector on the motherboard, which is quite superb. That’d be very easy to find, but it is usually located by the IDE ports on the right-hand side of the motherboard.
Additionally, the ATX connector will the only plugin only one way, so you can not get it wrong. Once it is lined up, the connector should plugin smoothly. There is a clip-on it to hold it in place. This’ll require gentle pressure to get it to clip in.
If you are having to force the cable, then the chances are that you have got the connector the wrong way round. Once the cable is in place, then give it a gentle tug to make sure that it is secure.