[ The PC Guide | Procedure
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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.
- 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
- 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.
- Connect Power to Monitor: Attach the power cord to the back of the
monitor and connect it to your power protection device.
- 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
- Connect Power to Case: Attach the power cord to the back of the PC and
plug it into your power protection device.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Connect Other Peripherals (if applicable): Depending on your system you
may have other peripherals you will want to hook up as well.
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