How To Install Motherboard
by Rustam Iqbal
How To Install Motherboard
Looking at a motherboard while building a PC can feel overwhelming. The sheer amount of connectivity leaves one clueless about where to start. Our beginner’s guide on how to install motherboard is easy to follow and will take you step-by-step until completion. We will discuss everything from selecting the right tool, tips to avoid damage to your components, and setting the environment right for working with electronic enclosures.
Step-By-Step Guide For Beginners
Motherboards provide pathways for hardware to connect and communicate, making it complex and difficult to understand. Whether you want to build with an Intel CPU or AMD CPU. There are many types of motherboards in the market, but the installation process is almost the same. The minute differences make it challenging to assemble. We have made sure that those tiny details are incorporated into our guide. Careful installation is crucial, as you might end up with a dead motherboard with no boot if you do not eliminate the risks while installing. Using proper tools, antistatic surfaces, and understanding the alignment of standoffs with the help of professional tips can result in a successful build.
Step 1: Prepare Your Tools
Whenever assembling anything with microelectronic components, it’s essential to use an antistatic mat or wristband. It will ensure that there is no static charge in your body that could cause damage to the electronic components. Clean your working surface and make sure that the environment is not dusty. Ensure that the lighting conditions are good, as there will be hard-to-reach places, and having good luminance can make assembling easy. It is good to use gloves to avoid any fingerprints on the hardware.
Place the mat on a well-lit surface. Put your PC case on its side so that the internal of your case becomes accessible. You will mainly use a long Philips head screwdriver with a magnetic tip for screwing and unscrewing parts of your motherboard. Find a pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers, as dropping a screw inside the chassis is common, and it almost always becomes difficult to reach it in the corners. For cable management, we recommend buying cable ties that blend in with your build and are available in various colors these days.
Step 2: Unbox The Board
Modern motherboards come with loads of accessories; when unboxing, you will see an antistatic bag in front of you. There will be a motherboard inside with a layer of foam underneath. Keep that aside without taking anything out. You will find antennas, cables, and necessary screws packaged with an instruction manual for a motherboard with WiFi.
Take your hardware out of the antistatic bag and the foam. Place it on top of the antistatic mat, or you can put it on top of the antistatic bag. There might be a protective layer of plastic on the shiny components of your motherboard; you can remove them at this point.
Step 3: Measure Where The Motherboard Goes
When you look at your chassis, you will find an opening at the back where the rear ports will go. It is called the blanking plate. Now pick up your motherboard, separate it from the foam and, take it inside the PC case, align it with the opening at the back of your PC case.
Now push it against the blanking plate area. Note it’s where the holes of your motherboard align with the holes on your chassis. Take the board out and place it back on the foam.
Step 4: Screw In The Standoffs
Your board doesn’t just sit inside the PC case on the motherboard pan. It is suspended over it with the help of standoffs. They are metal male head screws with a female head. PC cases come pre-fitted with the standoffs, but you must change their position according to your motherboard. You found the right location to install your standoffs in the previous step.
Metal contact with the sensitive motherboard surface other than the screw hole points can lead to damage. So correctly aligning the holes is essential. Ensure you have correctly installed the standoffs in the correct location, as in step 3. You can verify the location with the motherboard installation manual. Keep count of each part.
Step 5: Remove Unnecessary Bits
There might be some unwanted parts on the blanking plate. Identify the unnecessary bits by observing the ports of your motherboard and the rear portion of your PC case. If there are flaps, bend them inward to allow the ports to pass. However, the installer can rock unnecessary parts back and forth to snap. Ensure you do not leave any loose metal parts inside the case, as it may cause a short circuit.
I/O Shield Installation
I/O shield comes inboxed with the package. Some motherboards come with a pre-installed I/O shield which makes the process easy, and you can skip to the next step. However, if your motherboard has a separate shield, you must install it on the rear gap. Your IO shield will have some prone on the IO shield, which is meant for grounding the ports.
The bigger ones will go on top of the motherboard ports, and the small ones should touch the port visible from the back. First, align the shield with your motherboard ports to see the orientation of the installation. Now take the shield and push it against the rear opening inside the chassis. You should hear a snap. Make sure it’s adequately aligned and snapped into place from all corners. It will require some force and finesse.
Step 7: Slide The Motherboard Into Place
Now that we have our standoffs adequately aligned with the screw holes on our motherboard. After the IO shield is installed correctly, we can slide our board into its place. Push your motherboard against the ports and ensure that the large prone of the shield are on top of the ports, and small prones touch individual ports.
As there might be some pressure from the backplate on the motherboard, your standoffs might not align. Gently and carefully apply force against the back plate after you have ensured alignment.
Step 8: Screw The Motherboard
After alignment has been achieved and you can see the risers through the screw holes we can start installing the screws. Start with the screws at the corners near the back plate. Do not use excessive force on the motherboard for alignment; be sure you are not pushing against anything odd. Pass screw through the board into the standoffs.
Do not tighten the screw entirely. Just install two screws at the edge of your motherboard near the IO shield. Now the motherboard will keep itself aligned with the screws. Stop applying force and screw in the remaining screws. Do not over-tighten your screws, as it may cause the motherboard to be damaged. Tighten each screw bit by bit. Avoid screwing a single screw in one go.
After you have completed installing the screws, all of them have been tightened correctly. Please pick up your case, move it around, and flip it in different directions to ensure that there is nothing loose or left inside the compartment that may cause damage.
Step 9: Identity & Plug-in The ATX Connector
Make sure that you have a PSU installed before this step. You can find the 24-pin female port on the motherboard or a 20-pin port, depending on the generation of the components. It will supply power to the slots and different expansion cards connected to the motherboard through this port.
After finding the port, look for a cable from the PSU (power supply unit). It should be the male equivalent of the 24-pin or 20-pin connector. Now plug the connector into the port. You will not be able to install it in any other orientation due to the design. Some force will be required to snap its place. After you hear the snap, the power supply to the board is complete.
Step 10: Identity & Plugin CPU Power Connectors
Newer versions of the motherboard require separate CPU power connectors. As they require excessive power when running in overclocked conditions. You will need to find the 8-pin, 8+8pin, or an 8+4pin port depending on the motherboard and the corresponding connectors from the PSU.
Aligning them is also easy as the installer cannot insert them in any other orientation, and similar to the 24-pin connector, it also needs some force to snap into place.
After successfully installing your motherboard, do not hurry up and plug in the power supply to see if it works. Double-check the steps performed and review the tips again to ensure you do not end up with a dead motherboard. Loose metal pieces left as debris or negligence may cause a significant loss. Motherboards are vital components of your PC build; without them, nothing will work. Go through the manufacturer’s instruction manual to ensure everything is in place and there are no steps left.
Building your PC is satisfactory, and you know that everything is in its place ideally. We recommend moving around your case for the final time to ensure that there are no loose parts inside it. Observe the back plate repeatedly, so there are no metal contacts in odd areas. Make sure all the ports are plugged in correctly. After that, we can plug in the display and power it to see if it boots. We know your build is fantastic and hope it was an easy step-by-step journey to completion.