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  How NOT to install computer hardware 
  Oct 20, 2003, 12:00pm EDT 
 

Mounting add-on cards


By: Sander Sassen

When purchasing an add-on card you will undoubtedly have noticed that most come in a shiny silver wrapping; this wrapping is not for show, but rather is designed to protect the card from static electricity. Static electricity can be used to render just about any electrical component or add-on card unusable. For maximum effect put on a pair of rubber boots, and walk over synthetic carpet; sliding your feet back and forth is a great way to boost static charge. Now take the add-on card out of his protective wrapping and grab it firmly with both hands, and be sure to touch any exposed metal, component pins or other connectors. Repeat a couple of times to increase chances of success. In case you don’t have a pair of rubber boots handy, a wool sweater can be used as an alternative. Rub it firmly across a piece of plastic, abs or nylon is preferred to charge it and then discharge it against the add-on card. Touching any exposed metal, component pins or connectors is recommended. Take notice of the crackling sound, which is a good indication of a job well done.

AGP card in PCI slot

Fig 4. Placing an AGP card in a PCI slot, excessive force is needed to accomplish this feat.

Actually mounting the add-on card in the appropriate slot on the motherboard is another great way of rendering it unusable. When inserting the card into the slot, be sure to mis-align the card and push it down with as much force as possible; hopefully this will result in the slot connector pins being bent down, rendering the slot unusable. Applying force to the add-on card sideways is also a great way to ‘pop’ components off the card. Most are so small that they can easily fit between other components’ pins or even in an adjacent slot connector, inflicting further damage. Obviously, trying to insert an AGP card in a PCI slot and vice versa seems impossible, but might be worth a try; who knows what kind of performance we’d get out of such a combination?



1. Introduction
2. Opening the case
3. Mounting peripherals
4. Mounting add-on cards
5. Connecting cables
6. Configuring the BIOS
7. Configuring the motherboard
8. Mounting the processor
9. Conclusion

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