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How to Build Your Own Athlon Computer
(Slot A Processor)
Part 5 - Install the Disk Drives
Last updated: 5/10/00

Also see How to Build a Computer with a Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor

In Part 5 of this article we describe how to install the floppy drive, hard disk, DVD drive, and Zip drive.

48.   Remove the floppy drive from its anti-static bag, orient it so the printed circuit board is to the left and the cable connectors are towards the back of the case, maneuver it  into the second drive bay to left in the 3 1/2" drive cage, and push until it meets resistance by the front of case.  Secure the drive with two "Packard Bell" screws (they look like small "chassis screws") .  Test the drive with a floppy disk to see if it is aligned properly--insert and eject the floppy.

Do not over-torque the screws.  Never over-torque any screws securing any kind of drive.  You can warp the frame and ruin the drive.  Always use the correct screws for a given drive.  They may vary with the type and manufacturer of a drive, and those supplied with various chassis vary.  A screw that is too long can also ruin some drives.

49.  Remove the hard disk from its anti-static bag, check that the jumpers are in their default positions, orient it so the bottom of the drive is to the left and the cable connectors are to the rear, slid it into the bay furthest to the left, and align the holes.  Secure the drive with two chassis screws at the front and back.  The middle hole isn't used.

50.  Push the locking lever on the 3 1/2 drive cage towards the rear (OPEN position), slid the bay back and then up to remove it from the chassis.

51.  Set the cage on the workbench and finish securing the drives with the appropriate screws, two screws per drive.  Put the drive bay back in the computer (down and slid forward), lock it in place by pushing the lever forward to the closed position, grasp the drive bay and make sure it is properly locked into place, and test the floppy drive again.

52.  Reach into the case and push out the top 5 1/4" drive bay dust cover and put it in the motherboard box.

53.  From the front of the case remove the second from the top (next one to the left) drive bay cover and place it in the motherboard box.

54.  Being careful not to cut yourself, grasp the middle of the metal blank covering the second bay from the top, twist it in out until it breaks loose, and trash it.

Pliers are required to remove the blanks from some cases.

55.  Remove the DVD drive from its plastic bag and put it's driver floppy, audio cable, and safety instructions in the motherboard box.

56.  Jumper the DVD drive as a Master drive.

57.  Remove the 40-conductor ATA-33 IDE hard disk cable that came with the motherboard from the plastic containing it and the floppy drive cable.  Plug the last connector at the end of this cable that has two connectors on it into the DVD drive so the red stripe is toward the power connector.

58.  Plug either end of the DVD audio cable into the AUDIO OUT jack on the DVD drive.

59.  Feed the cables, followed by the DVD drive into the top bay of the case and secure the drive with two Packard Bell screws.

60.  Unpack the Zip drive and remove it from its anti-static bag.  Place the Zip cartridge and software CD that came with the drive in the motherboard box.

61.  Verify that the Zip is set as a Slave drive (no jumpers--default).

62.  Mount the Zip drive in the 3 1/2" to 5 1/4" Floppy Drive Mounting Kit with four Packard Bell screws and install the unit in the second bay from the top with two of the screws that came with the mounting kit or two chassis screws, depending on the kit.

63.  Tip the case upright and install the remaining screws for the DVD and Zip drives, two in each drive.

64.  Inspect the front of the case and be sure the exposed drives are properly aligned, flush with the front, and present a proper appearance.

65.  Tip the chassis back on its right side.

66.  Unpack and plug-in the keyboard and mouse.

The receptacles are labeled on the I/O panel.  I use a known-good shop keyboard and mouse at this stage.

67.  Plug the end without the twist of the floppy disk drive cable that came with the motherboard into the motherboard in the connector labeled "FDD1" with the red strip towards the right (pin 1).  Connect the other end, after the twist, to the floppy drive with the red strip down and away from the power connector.

Most motherboards have the pin one of the floppy connector going in the same direction as the IDE connectors; this one doesn't.  Many floppy drives have pin 1 towards the power connector.

68.  Fold-up and zip-tie the excess cable.

69.  Locate one of the power supply cable with a 3 1/2" drive power connector it into the 3 /12" floppy drive.

70.  Plug-in the computer power cord, make sure the monitor is still attached, turn-on the computer, put a bootable floppy with something on it in the floppy drive, and verify that the drive works.

If the floppy drive LED stays on all of the time, the cable is plugged-in backwards.

71.  Unplug the computer.   Fold-up the excess floppy drive cable and zip-tie it.

Do not pull the zip-tie too tight.  I've seen them remove the insulation on flat cables.

72.  Verify that the flat cable going to the CD-ROM is still fully plugged into the CD-ROM--push on it.  Connect the other end of the cable to the motherboard connector labeled "SECONDARY," the one at the front of the motherboard, with the red strip to the left.

73.  Do not connect the Zip drive.

74.  Plug 5 1/4" power connector furthest from the power supply on the cable with three of these connectors into the CD-ROM.

75.  Power-up the computer and see if it detects the CD-ROM drive.

76.  Connect the remaining flat cable connector on the cable going to the DVD drive into Zip drive with red stripe towards the power connector.  Plug the connector second form the end on the cable going to the DVD drive into the Zip drive.  Power-up and see if the system detects the Zip and DVD drives.  Check jumpers and cables if it doesn't.  Fold-up and zip-tie any excess in the flat cable going to the DVD and Zip drives.

77.  Plug the rear chassis fan into the remaining connector on the DVD and Zip drive cable, route it around the CPU, and zip-tie it with one of the unused power cables, after coiling the excess, and the audio cable to the ATX power cable going to the motherboard.

78.  Unwrap the Amphenol 80-Conductor (40-pin) ATA-66 hard disk cable and plug the blue plug into the motherboard connector labeled "PRIMARY" with the red strip to the left.  Plug the black connector at the other end of the cable into the hard disk drive with the red stripe towards the power connector.

ATA-66 cables vary.  The ends may be tagged instead of color coded or both.  Some of them have a blue stripe instead of red stripe on them.

79.  Plug the other power connector on the cable attached to the floppy disk drive into the hard disk drive.

80.  Plug-in the power cord and see if the computer detects the hard disk drive.  If so, turn-off the power and unplug the power cord.

81.  Plug the front chassis fan into the remaining power supply cable, coil-up any excess and zip-tie it to the power cable going to the hard disk drive.

82.  Power-up and verify that the system detects all drives and that the chassis fans are blowing in the right direction.  The front fan blows air into the case and the rear fan blows it out.

83.  Connect the remaining front panel cables.  The one label on the H.D.D. LED cable faces forward and the label on the POWER LED cable faces to the right.  Verify that both LEDs work and the RESET switch functions.  This case has no key lock.  Fold-up the excess front panel wires and zip-tie them together.

Your computer should now look like the one in the picture to the right.

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Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.