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Build Your Own Computer

If I can do it so can you!

Written by: George W. Cannata

I am eighty-one years old and I bought my first computer six years ago. When I bought it I hardly knew how to turn it on. I consider myself still a Newbie as I have barely scratched the surface of computer technology. I have succesfully built about a dozen computers for family friends and myself. I even sold a couple of them.

Building a computer doesnt require a high degree of technical skill, however it does require a little mechanical aptitude. Building may not be the proper term, assembling would be more appropriate. Thats actually what you do, you assemle the right components then install an operating system which is the only phase of the project that requires any technical ability.

Building your own computer has several advantages, for one you can save some money. But do not get the idea that you can sell them at a profit. Theres too much competition at the low end. All the major manufacturers have budget models, most of which you can buy with substantial rebates and good warrantees

You have a number of options, you can build from scratch or you can build from a barebones kit. I recommend the latter for your first attempt. You also have the choice of using all new components or using some recycled parts.

If you have a reasonably up to date PC that died ther are probably a number of parts that you can re-use, and you can buy a lot of good used components from eBay and other online sources. Refurbished computer parts are a good option.

The first thing you have to do is determine your requirements. If you�re going to just surf the Internet, do e-mail and a bit of printing, go for the cheapest you can buy. You will still have plenty of capacity for simple tasks.

Next you have to decide whether to go with a barebones kit or do a complete build. Kits are recommended because generally that is the most economical way to go, and its definitely easier. Installing a mother- board can get dicey for the uninitiated. There are a lot of little wires to connect that can give you greif if they are not in the right place.

Barebones kits come in many iterations. The most basic consists of a case, motherboard and power unit. Some have on board video and audio cards, others include modems and cable connections and some even sport keyboards, mice and speakers. Read the specs carefully because some of thes components are expensive to buy separately.

Make a list of all the components that you require. Check off the ones that are included in the kit. This establishes what other parts you need. If you have some parts that you can use, check them off. Now you know what you have to buy. For in-depth detailed instructions on how to do this visit the computer page on: http://www.caveatemptorus.com

Often times it is less expensive to buy all the componments you require fom the vendor of the kits. This is because of shipping charges, which are part of your over-all cost. But sometime parts you can get at auction can be so inexpensive that it is worthwhile to pay the shipping charges.

All barebones kits come with an instruction manual and a phone number where you can get technical support. Neither is very good. People who do not understand English very well write the manuals and the technical support is like most free things. Actually, it is not free, they are toll numbers. And are almost always busy. However most manufacturers have very good online help where you can trouble shoot if you have a problem.

Vendors that sell barebones kits usually have a thirty-day return policy. Try to do your building before it expires because if you go beyond that limit then you have to deal with the manufacturer which can be a hassle. It is much easier and may avoid expensive shipping charges if you deal with the seller.

When you select the components you require be sure that you procure compatible parts. Hard drives have different interfaces. Memory comes in many variations; some memory only works in specific motherboards. If you use the wrong type your machine will not work.

Once you have everything assembled, and your PC boots, you can install your operating system. This can be the most difficult part of the operation. If you are using a new hard drive it is fairly easy. It will come with instructions and software for installing the OS. If you are using a used HD, then you have to format it. The best way to do this is to look at the hard drive and get the manufacturer and model number of the unit. Then you can download the instructions and software to perform this task.

Even if you do not save a fortune, you can end up with the computer that you want and have a sense of accomplishment.

So get out there and build your own computer: TigerDirect is a great place to buy your barebones kit. A1-Computers--

Written by: George W. Cannata the publisher of the web site "Caveat Emptor" http://www.caveatemptorus.com. July 8, 2005.

For more computer tips visit our computer tips pages.


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