Tuesday, May 15, 2012

How to Build a New Computer under $200

This article will present a brief tutorial explaining how to repair or build a Windows PC. More instruction will be added as time permits.
Bill of Materials:
  • Motherboard
  • Processor (CPU)
  • Power Supply (PSU)
  • PC Case/ Enclosure
  • Hard Drive (HD)
  • RAM
  • Monitor
  • Key Board & Mouse
  • Blank CD or DVD
  • 2 Power chords 
The most important thing here is choosing the components that will be compatible. A Motherboard is usually compatible to either one of the two dominant processor manufacturers- AMD or Intel. Pick the board for the CPU of your choice. If you're into gaming or visual effects, AMD caters to that market and leaves room for over clocking (speeding up the processor past original settings). Intel shoots for reliability and longitivtiy. It's war choose your side carefully.

Gathering Components:
New Egg is a great start down that path to a new build. They are also friendly on returns in case you mistakenly buy the wrong piece. For price comparisons you also check tigerdirect and mwave. You can save by finding a used Case from a broken or cheap computer on Craigslist, Ebay, thriftstore, or yard sale. The parts inside that will be most useful are the power supply (plug it in, if the LED in the back blinks it's usually dead, if it stays lit it's usually good), the CD/DVD drives (must have a DVD drive if you want to boot anything greater than XP), and the Hard Drive (which should have a minimum of 40 GB to run XP, and have the connection your setting up for whether it be IDE or SATA). These parts alone will shave at least a Benjamin off the price tag.

Now how does this have to do with repair? Simple. Windows being So vulnerable to virus leaves users to discard perfectly good computers. While hardware will eventually bad, usually the problem lies in the OS (operating system). If the PC will at least turn on and show any thing on the screen, most if not all components are working. If the RAM is bad it will indicate in the opening screen or by a series of audible beeps. You'll learn if the hard drive is bad by accessing the BIOS or attempting to install Windows.

Downloading Windows: 
First you need a torrent downloader. Those that have downloaded free music before might remember the days of Limewire, Frostwire, or even Napster. These were just user friendly torrent down-loaders. While there are many, I've used Azureus Vuse for years and found it to be the fastest and most reliable. Once you have this the world is yours in terms of media. Music, movies, and software all here FREE. With Windows downloaded you just saved yourself almost 200 USD. Now on to our library of torrent. There are many sites that supply links to torrent. Better yet one site to list them all. Torrentz has got to be the end all list of torrent. That with the power or Google or Toorgle, you can find anything. Be Careful. Install some trusty antivirus before shoveling through the trenches of torrent. Avast has kept my hands clean for some time. It should to the same for you.

Installing Windows:
First we need to access the BIOS. Usually the beginning screen  right when the PC turns on will display which key to hit to enter the BIOS options. If in doubt hit all the F keys, Escape, and Delete- has to be one of them right!? In the BIOS select Advance Options (it goes under different names, what you're looking for is the boot option- or where the computer will begin searching for an OS). Select the CD/DVD to be the primary boot, and the hard drive can be secondary. Hit F10 and save your settings. Now when the PC is reset it will read the disk with Windows and say "Press any key to boot from cd or dvd" with a black screen. The basic drivers will be installed, then you will be asked to select a drive to install the OS on. Choose your drive, delete all partitions, then do a quick format with NTFS (it's faster). From here it installation should be a breeze, self explanatory.

To assist in the build New Egg has a 3 part lengthy yet through instructional video. Enjoy.


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