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[ The PC Guide | Procedure Guide | Configuration Procedures ]

External Peripheral Connection Procedure

This procedure provides basic instructions for connecting the PC's external peripherals to the system case. You will use this procedure when assembling a new PC that you have either made or purchased. I do not attempt to cover the connection of every conceivable peripheral, just the more common ones.

Procedure Overview:

  • Difficulty Level: 1 (Very low).
  • Risk Factor: 1 (Very low).
  • Hardware Required: You may require a screwdriver to connect some devices, typically a flat blade.
  • Software Required: None.
  • Time to Perform: 5 minutes or less in most cases.
  • Preparation / Warnings:
    • If you are performing the initial connections to the PC while in the middle of a new PC assembly, you will probably not have some of the peripherals in the machine yet that I refer to here. In particular, the modem and sound card may not be installed yet.
    • Don't over-tighten connections that use screws or you may have problems when disconnecting peripherals.
    • Don't force connectors such as those on keyboards or mice into their sockets or you may damage the motherboard that the socket is attached to.
    • You should be using some sort of power protection device. Make sure it is plugged into the wall.

Procedure Steps:

  1. Connect Power to Monitor: Attach the power cord to the back of the monitor and connect it to your power protection device.
  2. Connect Monitor to Case: Attach the video cable to the monitor and to the system case. On modern systems the cable will have a male connector on both ends, each of which has 15 pins. Note that on some monitors, the data cable is integrated into the monitor itself instead of there being a detached cable. Some newer high-end monitors also may use five round BNC connectors to attach to the monitor instead of a D-shell 15-pin connector.
  3. Connect Power to Case: Attach the power cord to the back of the PC and plug it into your power protection device.
  4. Connect Keyboard: Attach the keyboard to the back of the system case using the round connector. Depending on your system you will have either a large-diameter five-pin connector or a smaller six-pin connector. The connector is keyed and can only be inserted one way. On ATX systems, make sure you use the correct connector, because the keyboard and mouse connectors are the same size and shape.
  5. Connect Mouse: Attach the mouse to the back of the system case. Depending on your mouse you will have either a D-shaped 9-pin connector (serial mouse) or a small, round, six-pin connector (PS/2 mouse). If using a PS/2 mouse, make sure you use the correct case connector, because the keyboard and mouse connectors are the same size and shape.
  6. Connect Phone Line to Modem (if applicable): If your system has an internal modem in it, connect the phone cord to the appropriate jack. Most modems have two jacks; one is to connect the modem to the wall and the other is a "pass-through" for you to attach a phone to. You want to attach to the one that is normally labeled "Line" or "Wall" and connect the other end to your phone jack on the wall.
  7. Connect Sound Devices to Sound Card (if applicable): If you have a sound card in your system, you will want to attach either your home stereo or your computer speakers to it, depending on which you are using. You may also wish to connect a microphone. The sound card should have several round ports--all of which naturally are the exact same size and shape :^)--so choose the correct one. There are often two different outputs, one labeled "Speaker out" and the other "Line out". The first one is usually better for speakers and the other for a home stereo. The microphone jack is often labeled "Mic In". Some systems of course have integrated speakers and/or microphone, which simplifies this step considerably.
  8. Connect Printer (if applicable): If you have a printer, connect the printer cable to it and then the other end to the parallel port on the back of the PC. This connector is D-shaped and will only go in one way.
  9. Connect Other Peripherals (if applicable): Depending on your system you may have other peripherals you will want to hook up as well.

Next: Physical Installation Procedures

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