To All First-Time Computer Builders

Thursday, November 10, 2011
"It's alive!  IT'S ALIIIIIIVE!! MUAHAHAHAAAA!!"  As the fans lit up and began to whir, this was my exclamation.  To what had a given life to?  My first home built computer, I have aptly named him Berserker, if you ask me why, my reason will simply be, "because it's cooool."  I learned several things while working on this project.

 The first lesson, is actually a question:  Why don't more women build computers?
The biggest part of building a computer is shopping.  You must compare prices, brands, socialize about the quality and others' experiences with the products, and you have an excuse to spend a lot of money!
Secondly, once the parts arrive, we women-folk have a tendency towards smaller finger size, fiddling with all of those small cables, pins, and pieces, doesn't it just make sense that smaller fingers would be advantageous?
And lastly, if something doesn't work no matter what you've tried (including reading the directions) and a part is bad, you get to (excuse my language) bitch about it.
Seems like a fantastic deal on all counts of women building computers.

Second lesson is just a few nuggets of information for first-time, paranoid builders like myself that I wish someone had just told me beforehand.

1.  The processor, when being locked into place, is supposed to make that terrifying crunching sound and provide some resistance.

2. Stand posts behind the motherboard are important, I didn't make this mistake thankfully, but it's a good reminder regardless, like remembering to ground yourself often.

3.  SATA data connectors are the short ones, SATA power are the long ones.

4.  Check the polarity when connecting the chassis's button pins into the motherboard, for some models it makes all the difference.

5.  Remember to plug in the power cords to your GPU.

6.  If the computer simply won't budge, check the power, if it's not that, reseat the RAM, it will solve a considerable amount of frustration.

7.  Understand the beep code or hex code your motherboard gives you, oftentimes if something is wrong, it will let you know exactly what it is!

8.  Case fans oftentimes come with screws, but the holes they go into are smooth, don't worry, just screw them in and it will work magically (spent an hour on this one querying the great Google oracle).

9.  Keep a log of problems you encountered and solved, it typically will come in handy in the future!

10.  When transferring your data from your old hard drive to your new drive, as long as you have booted from the new drive, you can dock the old one (even if it has an OS installed) with no problem as an external.

 11.  When buying dual or triple channel RAM, always buy the kit, they are guaranteed to work together.

12.  This is a worthwhile challenge and experience!