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Installing the PCI card

Friday, June 16th, 2006 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Installing the PCI Card

Have you ever purchased some type of a PCI card for your computer? Well, if you have, you may have run into some trouble with the installation process. Although it’s not very hard to install a PCI card, it can sometimes be confusing. So, here is your PCI card guide.

Before we go into anything else, PCI stands for Peripheral Connect Interface. PCI cards are the most current and standard expansion slots that come on computers today. They usually support up to 32 bit cards and they are known for transferring data very quickly. They also take up a lot less space on the motherboard and they are usually white in color. Here is a sample picture of a PCI card slot for you.

Now, on to the installation guide.

The first thing you’ll need to do is install the drivers for the PCI card, so go ahead and insert the CD that came along with your card into your computer. Next, double click on the My Computer icon and find the CD ROM drive that your computer uses and then double click on that. Several folder names will come up. You need to find the appropriate drivers, so look for the folder that says “USB 2.0 PCI Card” and double click it.

Once in there, click on the Via folder. This folder contains three other folders and you will just need to choose the one that is correct for your system. There is one for Macs, one for Windows 98SE and ME and one for Windows XP. Once you choose the correct one, there will be one more folder for you to click on. Double click that and then you will be looking at the folder that contains the actual drivers that you need. Look for the folder that says Setup.exe, double click on it and the driver installation will begin. (Just for your information, there is also a folder that says Read Me. If you want to learn more about the card, etc., you can click on that and read all about it).

This process will reboot your computer, so once it restarts, go ahead and shut it down again so you can insert the actual PCI card. Now, before you go any further, make sure your computer is powered down and that all of your power sources have been disconnected from the server. Electricity plays a major part in installing a PC card, so If you fail to turn everything off, you could be injured yourself or you could damage your computer equipment.

Now, you need to remove the case that surrounds the PCI card unit. To do this, you will just need to unscrew the screws and remove the side panel. This will then give you plenty of room to install your new card. While you’re inside, be aware of static electricity, because a charge could build up, so just be careful when doing this.

When you have the case off, locate an empty PCI card slot. You may have more than one available and if you do, just try to keep one slot empty between the different cards so your computer can still cool off. This isn’t a huge deal and it’s certainly not required for the card to work, but if you have the option, it’s good practice.

Next, you’ll need to remove the screws that hold the PCI slot cover. Once you remove this, you won’t need the cover anymore, but it’s a good idea to hold onto it. Also, make sure you keep ahold of the screws.

You’re now ready to actually put the PCI card in. Remove it from its packaging and be gentle when you’re holding it. Try to hold the card by the metal bracket around it or by the edges. Now, just simply align the card with the open slot, insert the card in and press down on it firmly until the card is placed in there tightly. Now, get the screw from the above step and use it on the PCI card bracket to make sure the card is secure in its place.

After you have all that done, you can just put the side panel back on your computer, screw it into place and then turn your computer back on. You should see the New Hardware Found message in the bottom right hand corner of your desktop. The drivers will then finish installing automatically and you will be all set to use your new card.

Note: These directions are mostly for the PCI cards that WorldStart sells, but if you have purchased a card from another company, make sure you read through their directions just to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

~ Erin

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