Building Own Computer - Installing Motherboard

By: Chuck Lunsford

If you've been following along then by now the CPU, fan and memory should already be installed onto the motherboard. Installing the whole setup as one piece is tricky but very doable. REMEMBER to take your time. Motherboards, especially those with extra weight included, crack easily if dropped.

Start by locating the holes on the motherboard and the holes on the case or motherboard mounting plate. I find it is easier to hold the board just above the mounting plate and see how all the holes are going to line up. Move any components out of the way if you have to. If it looks OK visually then you should be alright.

Screw the metal spacers into the holes in the case or mounting plate that lined up with the holes on the motherboard. Tighten them by hand in most cases or use a small wrench (usually a 3/16 socket). If you are using snap-in spacers simply push them through the back of the case until they click into place.

Now slide the motherboard into the case. Make sure everything lines up. If you have a case with a detachable motherboard mounting plate, simply place the board over the previously placed spacer screws on the plate, and make sure they all line up with holes through the motherboard. As you do this, you will need to make sure that the Input/Output (I/O) connectors face backwards and properly align and go through the holes in the back of the case. Some cases have a flimsy removable plate in this back area that allow you to poke out the holes you need. When this step is complete, you should have a motherboard sitting in your case, with everything aligned and the I/O connectors should be sticking out of the holes through the back of the case without being twisted or crimped.

Now go ahead and tighten the board down...gently. Tighten the screws down by hand first as mentioned earlier, finish them with a screwdriver. Make sure you do not tighten them too much. Just make them snug so that the board doesn't wiggle around in the case. If you were installing the board to a removable mounting plate, install the motherboard mounting plate back into the case.

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