Having recently heard about the woes of some families getting along with a tiny netbook and some obscure Linux, I decided to build a real computer for them for Christmas using components I left behind after various updates. I thought it would be an interesting article to document the build process with photos, so here it is.
This is not a how-to article — I couldn’t write about how to build a computer from scratch in one article. Instead, I will give advice and describe the process in a whirlwind manner, but you should perhaps think of this more as a motivation for you to try the same. The whole process took about 2 hours.
If you haven’t seen them yet, we have some fantastic free guides on the subject:
- Your PC Inside and Out Part 1 — Chassis, Power Supply, and Motherboard
- Your PC inside and out. Part 2. Processor, RAM and video cards
- An Idiot’s Guide to Building Your Own PC
Here’s what I put together to work:
- Asus p5B motherboard, Intel dual core processor and 2 GB RAM. It’s left over from my last update, so it’s already built.
- A standard ATX case that I’ve been sitting boxed for about 10 years.
- 380W PSU with various Molex and SATA connectors recently purchased for less than $50.
- A nice 17″ Dell monitor I salvaged from a trash can at Kyoto University last year, plus a USB mouse and keyboard.
- Choice of 160GB SATA hard drives (I’ll use 3 for this one).
- Multi-DVD RW drive (IDE).
So let’s go. The first step is to open the case and add spacers to the motherboard.
These screw into holes in the case and raise the motherboard, and must match the form factor of the motherboard being used.
Connecting Chassis Switches
This is probably the hardest step of all. Before attaching the motherboard to the case, I made sure to write down a quick jumper pin diagram for the switches and case LEDs as they are hard to see when the motherboard is installed. They can be found in the lower left corner if you are looking down at the car and they look like this:
Here you need to connect 5 things:
- Reset switch
- Power indicator
- Hard Drive LED (sometimes IDE LED)
+ LED wires have color or Red color a black or white . They match up to the corresponding pins on the board. It could be very risky.
In some cases, the USB ports are on the front, which must be connected to the motherboard in order for the pins to work next to the switch pins we just connected. If you are unlucky, you will have a set of 8 cables that must be connected one by one to the appropriate jumper.
Quick search on google my «usb asus p5b pinouts» led me to this helpful diagram: