A motherboard is arguably the most important part of a computer. All the components of the computer are plugged into the motherboard. So, it becomes very crucial to install the motherboard correctly for the proper functioning of your PC.
The motherboard is also the bulkiest component in a computer. Positioning it on its case and aligning the ports and screws can be a bit complicated. The cables that run through the CPU do not support your cause either.
However, we have listed out a step by step process to help you install the motherboard without any fuss.
- Steps for How to Install Motherboard
- Step 1: Prepare your Tools
- Step 2: Unpack the Board
- Step 3: Measure where the Motherboard goes
- Step 4: Screw in the Standoffs
- Step 5: Remove Unnecessary Bits
- Step 6: Install I/O Shield
- Step 7: Slide the Motherboard into Place
- Step 8: Screw the Motherboard
- Step 9: Identify and Plug-in the ATX Connector
- Step 10: Identify and Plug-in CPU Power Connectors
Steps for How to Install Motherboard
Whether you are installing the motherboard on a new PC or replacing the old motherboard with a new one, the following DIY installation guide will make the process a lot simpler.
Step 1: Prepare your Tools
Whether you are installing the motherboard or any PC components, the first thing to do is to ensure that you have all the tools. In this case, the main tool you will need is a long, head screwdriver with a magnetic tip for easy screwing and unscrewing.
A pair of needle-nose pliers will also come in handy when you have to fish out any screws dropped on the PC case.
Also, wear safety accessories such as an anti-static wristband while doing the installation. Check if you have adequate lighting and do the installation on a non-conductive surface.
Having the motherboard manual handy when you are doing the installation will also prove to be very useful if you have any questions about the board.
Step 2: Unpack the Board
When you open the motherboard’s box, you will see a lot of cables. You will also see a driver CD and a metal blanking plate. Take out all these components and keep them on one side.
You will find the motherboard enclosed in an anti-static bag resting on the top of an anti-static foam. Slide the motherboard from the bag but do not detach it from the foam just yet.
Step 3: Measure where the Motherboard goes
Check where the screws of the motherboard will be fitted on the PC case. Push aside all the internal cables to make way for the motherboard to be installed. Remove the motherboard from the foam and slide it into the case.
Then, push the rear ports of the motherboard against the blanking plate. Check where the screw holes in the motherboard fit against the case and take a note of it. Remove the board and place it back on its foam.
Step 4: Screw in the Standoffs
While installing the motherboard, you have to ensure that it does not come into contact with the conductive chassis of the PC case as the board is a sensitive piece of equipment. For this purpose, you have to install the standoffs first before installing the board.
The standoffs are male screws that come with a female head so that you can screw the motherboard directly. Some cases come with pre-fitted stand offs saving you the trouble. But, the fittings may not suit your motherboard.
Check the motherboard manual to find out which standoffs you have to screw and the locations you have to screw them. Then, screw them accordingly using your hand.
Step 5: Remove Unnecessary Bits
The next step that you have to do is to remove unnecessary parts from the blanking plate.
If you want to remove the metal bits, you should rock them gently until the metal snaps. If you want to remove the flap covering the ports, you should bend the flap inwards to give enough clearance for the motherboard ports to pass underneath them.
Step 6: Install I/O Shield
The I/O shield is the black or silver panel that protects the rear ports of your motherboard. Some motherboards will have the I/O shield pre-installed. If that is the case, then you don’t have to do anything. You can proceed to the next step.
But if the shield comes separately, then you will have to install it. You should insert the I/O shield into the rear gap.
Step 7: Slide the Motherboard into Place
Slowly insert the motherboard in the case in such a way that all its screw holes align with the risers underneath. In case they are not aligned properly, ensure that you have not screwed the risers into the wrong place.
Due to pressure from the backplate pressing against the motherboard, the motherboard will be slightly off from the risers. You do not have to worry about that. However, the motherboard’s ports should align with the backplate.
Step 8: Screw the Motherboard
Once you have aligned the ports and screw holes, start screwing the motherboard in. First, start screwing at the corners so that the screw holes line up with the risers. Be cautious not to put too much pressure on the motherboard. The screws have to be tight enough for the motherboard to be secure but not too tight that it may cause the board to crack.
After screwing at the corners, start screwing in the other holes. You do not have to screw all the holes. Screw until you feel the motherboard is secure in its place.
Step 9: Identify and Plug-in the ATX Connector
Once you have installed the motherboard, you will have to plug-in the ATX connector. The moderns have a 24-pin connector while the older motherboards have a 20-pin connector.
You have to plug the appropriate ATX connector on your motherboard. The matching connector on the motherboard will be located by the IDE ports. It has a clip on it to securely hold the ATX connector in place. You have to gently press the ATX connector to get it to clip in.
Step 10: Identify and Plug-in CPU Power Connectors
The latest motherboards come with a secondary power connector. The board will either have a four-pin connector or an eight-pin connector. You will only get the eight-pin connectors in the market. So, you have to split it into two if your motherboard has a four-pin connector.
Most motherboards will have the secondary power connector near to the processor socket. Slide the connector into the plug and apply gentle pressure to get it secured in its place. You will hear a ‘click’ sound once the connector is locked.
You can install the motherboard first and the other components later or do it vice versa. However, installing the motherboard first is simpler as you do not have to deal with other cables and connectors. You will also have more room to use your hands while fixing the screws.
How easy was it to install the motherboard using our DIY installation guide? Share your experiences with us in the comments section. Also, post your thoughts and ideas in the comments box.