Desktop assemblyYou wont need many tools to assemble your computer, in fact the only one you must have isthescrewdriver and an anti-static wristband (very useful), but if you can get most of the followingtogether,you find things go a little easier.Basic toolsBefore you begin building or refitting a computer, you will need some basic tools:1.#2Phillips-head (cross-shaped) screwdriver2 Needlenose pliers3.Anti-static Wrist Strap4.A large level working spaceOptional, but useful toolsSome other tools and equipment can come in handy as well, such as:1.Spring action parts grabber.2.Electrical tape3.Wire or nylon ties4.Flashlight, preferably hands-free5.A second, working computer to swap parts, look for tips, ask for help online, downloaddriversand patches, etc. - very useful6.A can of compressed air - useful when working with older parts that have collected dust.Abetter alternative but also more costly, is a vacuum cleaner designed for cleaningelectronics.PreperationProper preparation is the key to a successful build. Before you begin, make sure you have allthetools you will need, secure a clear, well-lit workspace. Gather all the components you¶ll beusingand unpack them one at a time, verifying that everything that is supposed to be there isactually present. At this point you should leave the parts themselves in their protective anti-staticbags,and assemble all the accompanying manuals. Now I know you want to get started, but trustme,read the manuals, check the diagrams, make sure you understand where each part goes andhowit attaches. If there is anything you don¶t understand, now is the time to do a little extrainternetresearch or call the manufacturer with your questionsFind a dry, well-ventilated place to do your work. You should have plenty of light andif possible, you should choose an area without carpet on the floor, as carpet tends to generate alot of static. An unfurnished basement is a good work location.Safety precautions are importantfor your own security. Please read the safety precautionsthoroughlySafety precautions1.Static electricity is the biggest danger to the expensive parts you are about assemble. evena tinyshock, much too small for you to feel, can damage or ruin the delicate electronictraces, manytimes smaller than a human hair, that make up your CPU, RAM and other chips. It¶s importantto use your anti-static wrist strap to prevent damage to thesecomponents. Once you have thepower supply installed in the case, clip the end of thewrist strap to the outside of the powersupply. (Never plug your computer in while youare connected to it by a wrist strap.) This willensure that you, the case and the power supply are all connected to a common ground, in otherwords there will be no inequalityof charge that will allow a spark to jump from you to the case.It¶s also helpful to have anantistatic mat to set the case and other components on.
2. Nobody but you is at fault if you shock your components with static electricity. Makesure thatyou take the precautions in the previous paragraph to ground yourself fromstatic electricity.(Note: if you really must work on a computer and havent got proper anti-static equipment, it isusuallyOK if you make sure that you dont move about much;are not wearing any static-prone clothing;handle components by the edges; and regularly(once a minute or so), touch a grounded object.).Thecase metalof your PCs power supply will usually be a suitable grounded object. As noted above, touch itevery fewminutes while you are working on your PC if you haven¶t got a wrist strap.3.Turn off your computer and switch off your Power Supply at the wall before installingor removing any components - if power is flowing to components as they are installedor removed, they can be seriously damaged. In order to have a computer properly grounded,youneed it plugged in at the wall but turned off at the power supply and at the wall.4.Never cut the grounding pin off your power cord. This "safety ground" stands betweenyou andpotentially lethal voltages inside the power supply.5.Be wary of sharp edges! Many lower-end PC cases have sharp, unfinished edges. Thisisespecially so on interior surfaces, and where the case has been cut or punched-out. Usecare andtake your time to avoid cutting your hands.If your case has this problem, a littletime with somesandpaper before you begin construction can spare you a lot of pain.6.Dismantling discrete electronic components such as your Power Supply or Monitorisdangerous. They contain high voltage capacitors, which can cause a severe electric shock if youtouch them. These hold a charge even when the unit is not plugged in and arecapable ofdelivering a fatal shock.Constructiontart by putting your case down on your work surface, with the case door facing up, and open thecase.MotherboardFind themotherboardstandoffs (spacers) that should have come with the case. They are screws, usuallybrass, withlarge hexagonal heads that are tapped so you can fasten screws into the top. These hold themotherboard up off thecase preventing a short-circuit.Set these aside.Remove the I/O Shield from the back of the case where the ports on the back of the motherboardwill fit, and put inthe I/O Shield that came with your motherboard. There may be small metaltabs on the inside of this face plate, if soyou may have to adjust them to accommodate the portson the back of the motherboard.Some case styles make it difficult to install the motherboard or the CPU with the power supplyinstalled. If the powersupply is in your way, take it out and set it aside (well put it back in later).Now locate the screw holes on your motherboard and find the corresponding holes on themotherboard plate (or tray)in the case. Put a standoff in each of these holes on the tray and position the motherboard so that you can see theholes in the top of the standoffs through thescrew holes in the motherboard.Now is the time to make sure the ports on the motherboard are mating with the backplate you just installed, andmake any necessary adjustments. The small metal tabs are intended to makecontact with the metal parts of theconnections on the back of the motherboard and ground them, but you may have to bend these tabs a bit to get theports all properly mounted, this is wherethose needlenose pliers may come in handy.Now fasten a screw through each of the motherboard screw holes into the standoffs underneath.These screws shouldbe snug but not tight, there is no reason to torque down on them, hand tightis fine, otherwise you can damage themotherboard.Once the motherboard is installed, its time to plug the other components.CPUInstalling the CPU, and the CPU¶sheatsink and fan, are by far the most difficult steps you¶llhave to complete duringyour build. Here, more than anywhere else, it will pay to read theinstructions carefully, look at the parts, study the
diagrams that came with your CPU and/or third party cooling solution, and make sure you thoroughly understandwhat you are going to dobefore you try to do it. During the process, if anything does not seem to fit or make sense,put the parts down and look things over carefully before you proceed. Some operations, especiallyinstalling theheatsink/fan combination, can require pretty firm pressure, so don¶t be afraid to push a little harder if you¶re sureeverything is set up correctly.The details of the installation process differ in slight but important ways for each manufacturer¶s processors, andeven within a manufacturers product line. Therefore, for these details, youshould rely on the instructions that areprovided with the CPU.The two things that go wrong the most often and most expensively (minimum of a killed CPU,sometimes more) inbuilding ones own computer are both related to the CPU and its cooler:1.Switching the computer on "just to see if it works" before adding any CPU cooling unit.Without cooling, CPUsheat up at extreme rates (a CPU heats up anywhere between tentimes and a thousand times as fast as a cooking areaon your stove!) By the time you seethe first display on the screen, your CPU will already be severely overheatingand might be damaged beyond repair.2.Mounting the CPU cooler improperly. Read the instructions that came with your CPUand cooler very carefullyand ensure you are using all components in the correct order and correct place.If you buy a third party cooling solution for your CPU make sure you get one that is compatiblewith the CPU youhave. Most brands come with multiple mounting brackets that will suit manydifferent chipsets, but its best to checkfor compatibility just in case.If using thermal paste, apply it only to the CPU die (the square piece of silicon in the middle of the CPU) and do sosparingly -- most modern CPUs take no more than a dab of thermal paste thesize of a grain of rice. Some people dolike to wipe some onto the heatsinks surface and thenwipe it smoothly off so that bits of it may get into tiny holesfor better heat transfer. See ArcticSilver Instructionsfor more info on how to apply and remove thermal paste/grease.(It waswritten to b e specifically for Arctic S ilver paste, b ut the same techniques canbe applied to other brands ofthermal paste.) If using a thermal pad supplied with your cooler, make sure you remove any protective tape fromthe die just beforeinstalling and do not get it dirty - and do not combine thermal pads withthermal paste, its either one or the other.Then, check that you install the cooler in the rightorientation and that you set it flat on the CPU die without exertingundue pressure on any edgesor corners - the latter can make small pieces of the die break off, killing the CPU.One option you may consider, before installing the heatsink, is to "lap" the heatsink, whichmeans to smooth out thebottom surface. To do this, you will need a very flat surface; a piece of thick window glass will work. Fasten yoursandpaper on the flat surface, invert the heatsink onthe sandpaper and sand in small circles, applying minimumpressure. Check frequently and whenyou see a uniform pattern of scratches, switch to finer grained sandpaper (thenumbers go up asthe sandpaper is finer, so something such as220is coarse while2000will be very fine.)Remember that you are not trying to remove any material, just polish out surface irregularities. If you get it right,you should have a surface which feels completely smooth to the touch (but don¶ttouch it, the oil in your fingers cancause corrosion of the fresh surface) with a mirror finish.Some companies producing heatsinks lap the surfacethemselves, so if the surface already lookslike a perfect mirror, leave it alone. A lapped heatsink is more effective asit will have better surface contact with the chip.Tighten the cooler using only the specified holding devices - if you did everything right, theywill fit. If they dont fit,check your setup - most likely something is wrong. After mounting thecooler, connect any power cables for the fanthat is attached to the cooler.As an aside to the instructions above, it has been my personal experience that fitting the CPU andheat sink is bestdone on a supportive surface (a telephone directory on a table in my case) prior to installation, to avoid excessiveflexing of the motherboard.If youve got the CPU and its cooler installed, and the motherboard in the case, you¶re over thehump, there just afew more easy pieces to go before that momentous first power-up.ServerThe server is used quite broadly ininformation technology. Despite the many Server branded products available(such as Server editions of Hardware, Software and/or Operating Systems), intheory any computerised process thatshares a resource to one or more client processes is aServer. To illustrate this, take the common example of File
Sharing. While the existence of fileson a machine does not classify it as a server, the mechanism which sharesthesefiles to clients bythe operating system is the Server.Similarly, consider a web server application (such as themultiplatform"Apache HTTP Server "). This web serversoftware can be run on any capablecomputer . For example, while alaptopor Personal Computer is not typicallyknown as a server, they can in these situations fulfil the roleof one, and hence be labelled as one. It is in this casethat the machines purpose as aweb server classifies it in general as a Server.In the hardware sense, the word server typically designates computer models intended for runningsoftwareapplicationsunder the heavy demand of anetwork environment. In thisclient± server configuration one or moremachines, either a computer or acomputer appliance, share information with each other with one acting as ahostforthe other.While nearly any personal computer is capable of acting as a network server, adedicated server will containfeatures making it more suitable for production environments. These features mayinclude a faster CPU, increasedhigh-performanceRAM, and typically more than one largehard drive. More obvious distinctions includemarkedredundancyin power supplies, network connections, and even the servers themselves.Between the 1990s and2000s an increase in the use of dedicated hardwaresaw the advent of self-containedserverappliancesOne well-known product is theGoogle Search Appliance, aunit which combines hardware and software inan out-of-the-box packaging. Simpler examplesof such appliances includeswitches,routers,gateways, and printserver , all of which are available in a near plug-and-playconfiguration.Modernoperating systemssuch asMicrosoft Windowsor Linux distributionsrightfully seem to be designed withaclient±server architecture in mind. These OSes attempt toabstract hardware, allowing a wide variety of software towork with components of the computer. In a sense, theoperating system can be seen as serving hardware to the software, which in all butlow-level programming languagesmust interact using anAPI.These operating systems may be able to run programs in the background called either servicesor daemons. Suchprograms may wait in asleep statefor their necessity to become apparent, such as the aforementioned Apache HTTP Server software. Since any software which providesservices can becalled a server, modern personal computers can be seen as a forest of servers andclients operating in parallel.TheInternetitself is also a forest of servers and clients. Merely requesting aweb pagefrom a few kilometers awayinvolves satisfying astack of protocolswhich involve many examples of hardware and software servers. The least ofthese are therouters,modems,domain name servers, and various other servers necessary to provide us theworld wideweb.Switched-mode power supplyAswitched-mode power supply(switching-mode power supply/SMPS, or simplyswitcher)is an electronic power supplyunit(PSU) that incorporates a switching regulator in order to provide the required output voltage. An SMPS is a powerconverter that transmits power from asource (e.g., a battery or the electrical power grid) to a load (e.g., a personalcomputer). Thefunction of the converter is to provide a regulated output voltage usually at a different level fromtheinput voltage.Unlike a linear power supply, the pass transistor of a switching mode supply switches veryquickly (typicallybetween 50kHz and 1 MHz) between full-on and full-off states, whichminimizes wasted energy. Voltage regulationis provided by varying the ratio of on to off time.In contrast, a linear power supply must dissipate the excess voltageto regulate the output. Thishigher efficiency is the chief advantage of a switch-mode power supply.Switching regulators are used as replacements for the linear regulators when higher efficiency,smaller size or lighterweight are required. They are, however, more complicated, their switchingcurrents can cause electrical noiseproblems if not carefully suppressed, and simple designs mayhave a poor power factor .