Having wired everything up and assembled all the components, many people will normally jump the gun to plug in the power and turn on the computer, however if you’re about to do this – the most important thing we can advise you is to wait just five minutes and check everything is OK.
The reason why it’s important to double-double check is that building a PC is no small task. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to plug-in that small innocuous cable, and sadly, that small innocuous cable might be something important. To make sure you have no unexpected nightmares – follow our step-by-step checklist below.
- Is the CPU cooler secure, and is the fan plugged in properly to the mainboard?
- Is the memory seated correctly?
- Are all the expansion cards and graphics cards seated correctly?
- Does the graphics card have a power connector? Is it connected?
- Are the 24 pin power and 4 / 6 pin power connectors plugged in securely?
- Are the drive cables connected properly? Are the drives screwed in securely?
- Are the SATA cables inserted properly on the mainboard? (primary master, or lowest numbered port for your hard disks, secondary or higher for DVD drives)
- Are the system’s cables tidy and not obstructing fan blades & airflow?
- Are all system fans connected properly?
- Is the front panel wired up? Are the front audio / USB connectors connected?
Thankfully, it’s just a quick checklist, but it’s something that will save you from having a real nightmare if for example, you forget to power-up the CPU’s fan. Computers aren’t cheap, and by spending a few extra minutes to double check your build, you might just save hours later on.
Once you have checked everything is OK, it’s time to plug in the power cable to the back of the computer from the mains. For now, don’t close your computer’s case because we need to check that when you turn on, there’s full power to fans and everything else.
The moment you turn on the computer – the CPU fan should spin. That’s the single most important thing to check for. After turning the PC on, you should also see that the disk activity lights, power lights and all buttons work. If they don’t chances are you have mixed up the order in which the cables go on the mainboard.
Don’t worry however, because it’s a simple fix. Just unplug the computer from everything (including monitor, speakers and anything that’s powered) and fix the problems. If you have more than one, take it one problem at a time, and you’ll be up and running in no time.