Building Your Own PC
Well, here we are at the end of our computer building journey. This last and final article will explain everything else you need to know to finish creating your own computer. So, with no further ado, let’s get started. You won’t want to miss this last section, trust me!
Today, we are going to go over the process of installing Windows XP. Windows XP was chosen simply because it is the most commonly used operating system today. There are several different operating systems available to you, so if you want to use a different operating system, do so at your own discretion.
Before you can start the installation process, you will need to connect your input devices and your monitor to the back of your computer. This process is easy and you may already know how to do it.
The first step is to connect your mouse and keyboard to the back of your computer. Using the picture above, you can tell it is a simple procedure. The locations it needs to be plugged into are marked on the faceplate on the back of your computer. You should have no trouble identifying the keyboard and mouse slots.
The next step will be connecting your monitor to your computer and giving both your monitor and your computer power. The connection for your monitor that is made to your computer looks like the picture below:
Depending on your monitor, you will have to either plug your monitor into one of the two slots. Hopefully, you won’t need any help with plugging the monitor into the wall. After you have done that, you can turn on your monitor.
When we first started this guide and we opened up your case, there should have been a gray or black power cord sitting inside. It looks like this:
As you can see, there are two ends to this cord. One goes to an outlet in your wall and the other connects to the back of your power supply (outlined in red in the picture below).
After you have completed all of that, you are finally ready to turn on your PC.
The first thing you will see when you turn your computer on is a screen like this:
This is what you call a BIOS screen. The BIOS screen will list most of the hardware in your computer, if it is detected. If you did anything wrong in this guide, this screen will let you know about it. Okay, so going on the assumption you did everything right, the next thing you will need to do is insert your Windows XP installation CD into the CD ROM drive. The next screen you will see is one similar to this:
This screen is asking you to press any key if you want to boot up to the CD. You do, so press any key you want. Once you do that, another screen will come up labeled Windows XP Setup. If you look at the bottom of the screen, you will see that it is loading various files. It may take a few minutes for it to complete, so just be patient with it. Once it is done loading, all the necessary files you are going to need will be presented on this screen:
Since this is a new hard drive and nothing is installed on it, you are going to want to hit the Enter key to set up Windows XP. The next screen you should see is this one:
Go ahead and press Enter again. The next thing you will have to do is format the hard drive. Windows will take care of this for you after you select how you want it formatted. There may be several options, but it’s best to just stick with the one highlighted below:
You can either do the NTFS (Quick) format or the normal NTFS format. It really doesn’t matter. Just make sure you format it with the NTFS option. The next screen will look like this:
This process can take anywhere from five to 45 minutes. After it is all said and done, you will have to reboot your computer. This time, when it asks you to “press any key to boot to CD,” do not press anything. Wait for it to bring up the Windows XP installation process.
I will leave that part for you to do on your own. Plenty of documentation comes with your copy of Windows XP to install it, so you shouldn’t have any problems. There are several options that you have to configure and I can’t go through the whole process for each individual configuration, so just read your documentation and you will be on your way.
Okay, the very last thing you will have to do is install all the drivers that came with your motherboard. If you look at the contents of your motherboard box, you should see a CD labeled something like “Motherboard Drivers.” Insert the CD into your CD ROM. Follow the on screen instructions and you will be ready to use your computer however you want!
Congratulations! You have successfully built your very own computer. It was a long process, but you managed. This concludes our series. I hope you all have learned from this and that you will benefit from the information I’ve given you. I encourage you to look back on all the other sections for continued help and direction on finishing your project. You can find the other parts in the Computer Tips archive on WorldStart’s Web site by searching for “Building Your Own PC.” I’m glad I was able to spend this time with you all and hope to be back again in the future with other related topics!
Good luck to you and your new computer!
~ Tony Coffee