How To Install Motherboard

Now you have received the motherboard and it is time to take an inventory. You need to unpack the motherboard box and make sure that all the components that should be included are present.

You should find a number of small accessories like cables, I/O back plate, Motherboard manual, driver and software CD, adapters and motherboard.

For demonstration purposes I will be using an ASUS M3N78-VM Motherboard but the same applies to any motherboard you choose. Installing a motherboard in your desktop PC case can be very easy as long as you follow these instructions I am about to give you.

If the motherboard is not installed properly you can experience many problems like short circuits, burnt out chips due to over heating, system freezing up, keep restarting, getting error codes or beeps and even not powering up.

The ATX I/O Panel Shield

The I/O panel shield is simply a piece of aluminum sheet with punched out holes and shapes that corresponds to the I/O ports at the back of the motherboard like the USB ports, Firewire, VGA ports (DVI, RGB and HDMI) and all the other ports you see on the back of the motherboard.

Installing Standoff Screws In Computer Case

When you look inside the computer case you will notice a based plate where the motherboard needs to be installed. You will also see some screw holes, this is where the standoff screws (see photo on the right) will be placed to match the holes on the motherboard.

For every screw hole on the motherboard that aligns with the holes on the base plate a standoff screw should be installed there.

You will notice the base plate has more hole than you need. Make sure you didn’t place any standoff screws on the base plate where there isn’t a hole on the motherboard. So if your motherboard has 10 screw holes then there should only be 10 standoff screws installed inside the case.

Note: On some motherboards you will notice two holes side by side but one looks different from the other; so to make sure you have the correct holes just look for the holes with the shinny silver top.

Securing The Motherboard

Now it is time to add the screws to secure the motherboard to the standoff screws but before you do you need to make sure that you have replaced the I/O Panel Shield on the back of the computer case.

Once you done that it is time to place the motherboard inside the case making sure all screw hole and standoff screws are aligned and also make sure the I/O Ports on the motherboard fits gently and nicely with the I/O Panel Shield on the back of computer case.

Once you are satisfies with all alignments you need to install the screws to secure the motherboard. I normally start with the holes near the I/O Ports then the center and so on until all screws are installed.

Warning: Do not over tighten the screws. Remember you motherboard is fragile and installing those screw to tight will damage your motherboard.

Now you have the motherboard installed and secured, it’s time to install the CPU/ processor chip.