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

Connecting cables

By: Sander Sassen

When we’ve ‘successfully’ installed our peripherals and add-on cards, hooking the cables up wrongly is another great way to do some more damage. Most modern motherboards come with floppy and harddisk cables that have a pin-alignment system, which is supposedly meant to prevent us from hooking up the cables in the wrong way, well they were mistaken. It is still very possible, and recommended, for example, to plug the floppy cable into a harddisk connector, which will make booting from floppy rather difficult. Also the pin-alignment systems are usually made out of plastic, and as with all plastic, if you apply enough force it gives a little. Thus we are able to mis-align those connectors; we only need to apply a little more force. Also take notice that mis-aligning the cables on both sides results in a perfectly working system which is not the objective here.

Power and IDE cables

Fig 5. The correct way of routing cables inside a case, no cable ties are required for a perfect finish.

Cables are also great to stop fans from spinning, clutter up your case, and plugging one extension cable, like the kind used on CPU Coolers, into another is almost a guarantee for a messy interior. Therefor cable ties should be avoided at all cost. Just leave all those cables hanging loose, and, if possible, bring ‘m nearer to any add-on cards with onboard connectors. One might just be long enough to contact one of the powersupply’s plugs, which will, 99% of the time, result in some small scale fireworks. Also, an ATX powersupply plug is not supposed to be mis-aligned with the motherboards connector, but in this case, such a misalignment might prove to be just what the doctor ordered. It’s best to try this with cheap powersupplies, as they usually lack a secondary fuse and ‘overcurrent’ protection. Be advised to keep a finger on the powerswitch and have a fire-extinguisher handy as things may get ‘hot’. One other great way to render a properly functioning powersupply unusable is by setting it to 110 volts and run it off a 240 volt outlet. Or, alternatively, stick large metal objects with insulated grips, like screwdrivers, through the holes in the casing, touching live parts in the process.

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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