How to Build a Computer
AMD Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor
Part 5 - Boot, Setup, and Monitor the Computer
Last updated: 4/20/2001
47. Unbox your monitor in a way similar to
that used to unboxed the computer case . Be careful not to break the
styrofoam. Attach the monitor base according to the user instructions. Make
sure it is locked into place and won't come off. Set the monitor on
the workbench. Plug the power cord into the monitor and into an active
outlet (or into a surge protector). Attach the monitor's video cable
to the back of the AGP display adapter. Turn the monitor on, verify
that the power LED lights-up, and let it warm-up.
I use a known-good shop monitor.
The computer is now in the "minimum bootable configuration" (MBC): Motherboard,
CPU, heatsink-fan, memory, video card, power to the motherboard (keep the
power cord disconnected), Power-on switch, Speaker connected, monitor, and
nothing else--no drives.
the power supply to be sure that the 110/220 volt switch is in the correct
49. Unwrap the computer's power cord, plug it into
the computer and into active outlet.
I leave it wrapped and use a shop cable.
50. While watching the CPU fan, hold your breath
and push the Power-on button. If the CPU fan does not start spinning,
immediately pull the power cord out of the computer. Otherwise, the
computer should boot, issue one short beep, and you should see something
on the monitor.
At this point we gleefully say, "we have a Computer." I
have a computer. How about you? If you don't see anything on the display,
immediately turn-off the computer and unplug the power cord from the
back of the power supply, check-over everything and verify that your
monitor works. If you hear one long beep, followed two short
ones (it might be three short with other motherboards), the display adapter
is not properly seated or is defective. Make sure the power cord
is not connected to the computer before attempting to reseat the board
(or installing or removing any boards). See our FAQs on trouble-shooting
a dead computer...
51. Turn-off the computer by pulling the power cord from
the power supply.
52. Unpack and plug-in the keyboard.
The receptacle is labeled on the I/O panel. I
use a known-good shop keyboard at this stage. Many mice and keyboards
are color coded to match the color code of the motherboard receptacles.
53. Plug-in the power cord and push the Power-on
switch. The computer should boot and you should see stuff on the screen...
54. When prompted, push the Delete key to go into
the CMOS setup.
55. Adjust the CPU settings if it can be done in
the CMOS setup.
It is the Softmenu III Setup for this motherboard. All
you have to do is change CPU Operating Speed to the correct value.
56. Save and Exit, reboot, and go back into the CMOS
57. Go to the System Monitoring part of the setup
(PC Health Status for this motherboard) and start watching the CPU temperature. Let
it sit there quite a while (half an hour) until temperatures stabilize, or
it gets too high (over 50° C is too hot for my taste).
58. While waiting, feel the outside the back of the
case, behind the power supply and the chassis fan to make sure they
are pushing-out air (quietly).
This particular power supply adjusts the airflow automatically
to the temperature inside the case. It probably won't be blowing
much, if any at all, with the case open and everything not in it yet.
59. This is what we got for readings for the two
computers we built:
1.1 GHz Athlon Processor.
One side open: Ambient 20° C/68° F, Case 26° C/78° F,
Case closed: Ambient 20° C/68° F, Case 25° C/74° F, CPU
1.0 GHz Athlon Processor
Case Closed: Ambient 22° C/72° F, Case 31° C/ 88° F,
CPU 46° /114°
According to the AMD Socket A Athlon specifications,
the maximum die temperature is rated at 90° C for the 1 GHz CPU and 95° C
for the 1.1 GHz part. These specifications are the same for processors
with 200 and 266 MHz front side buses. Of course I would never
run a processor anywhere near that hot.
60. Exit and Save, and Pull the power cord after
it starts to boot.
the pdf version of this article
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