How to Build Your Own
Pentium II Computer
Setup the Motherboard
Last updated: 4/12/99
Many people don't realize that computer components
can be damaged by static electricity and a problem may not appear for
months later when a power surge completes the damage. With the
non-parity memory used in most recent computers, a damaged transistor
in a memory chip can start corrupting files and you will not be alerted
by an error message and not know about it until you see widespread damage
Ideally, you should wear a grounded anti-static wrist
strap when working on computer equipment, especially when handling memory
and CPUs. Also, the use of grounded anti-static mats on the floor
and on the workbench is a good practice. However, these items can
be too expensive if you are building just one computer. As a minimum,
my advise is to make sure your body is touching the metal on the computer
case when handling the CPU and the memory anytime between the time they
are in their anti-static bag or container and installed on the motherboard,
and any time when directly touching them. It would also be a good
idea to work with bare feet during this critical time. Try to avoid
touching drives, boards, memory, etc. with your clothes. Clothing
can quite often be charged with static electricity, especially during
cold-dry, Winter days.
the motherboard from its box and take it out of the padded antistatic bag. Place
the antistatic bag on the workbench and set the motherboard on top of it.
the cardboard packing from the CPU box, set it aside, and put the power cord
and the HX45 Assembly Instructions in the box.
and unpack the SECC CPU retention mechanism.
This motherboard came with two CPU retention mechanism:
- Single Edge Contact Cartridge (SECC), the plastic
bag with five parts.
- Single Edge Contact Cartridge 2 (SECC2), the plastic
bag with two mounts and four screws.
The CPU used in this
computer had an SECC form factor.
You can learn more about retention mechinisms at Intel's
The BH6 User Manual which came with this particular
motherboard does a pretty good job of explaining and illustrating how
to mount the CPU and it should be read before proceeding. I recall
I had some difficulty understanding it the first time I did this, quite
some time ago, and have, therefore, attempted to reduce the confusion
factor with some pictures and words of my own. Also, and I'll mention
it here, Pentium retention mechanisms and heat sink fans vary in design
and geometry and may change with different lots of motherboards, etc. But,
once you have done this chore once of twice you'll get the hang of it
and should be able to adapt.
the first two parts for the SECC retention mechanism, shown to the right,
tilt the motherboard upward from the rear and position them as shown, but
under the motherboard, so they straddle the CPU slot and the studs pass through
the holes at the ends of the slot. Hold them in place while lowering
the motherboard back onto the static bag.
the third part of the retention mechanism, shown to the right, so the key
at the bottom is to the left to match the CPU slot and lower it onto the
brass studs. Evenly tighten the four fasteners with a philip's-head
screwdriver. Do not over-tighten.
plastic pegs are used to fasten the heat sink support. they mount in
the two holes which are 1 1/2" in front and to either side of the CPU
slot. The hole to the left is larger than the one to the right. They
match corresponding pegs. Firmly push the pegs into their respective
holes until you hear/feel them click into place.
a black plastic heat sink support onto each end of the heat sink, with the
holes toward the outside of the support, until they engage the groves at
the bottom of the heat sink.
sure the clips on the heat sink supports are to the rear to expose the mounting
the latches on sides of the top of the processor towards the center of the
processor until they click into place..
the processor into the retention mechanism and press it evenly and firmly
into its slot on the motherboard.
the latches on top of the processor outward until they click into place.
the latches on the heat sink supports forward to lock them to the mounting
memory module has two notches on the bottom, one in the middle and another
one near it's sides. Orient the module so the notch on the side is
to the left. Hold the memory module with both hands and evenly and
firmly insert it into the DIMM socket labeled "DIMM1," the one
furthest back, and make sure it is fully seated. The leavers
at the ends of the socket will come up when the module is inserted. Push
inward on them to be sure they are fully in place.
the CPU fan wire through the hole in left heat sink support and plug it into
the motherboard connector labeled "FAN1" to the rear of the right
side of the CPU.
The CPU fan has three wires. Two are for power
and third one is used by the motherboard to sense fan speed and may be
used by system monitoring software to sound an alarm if the fan fails. That
is why you should use a 3-wire fan that connects to the motherboard instead
of a fan which connects to one of the power-supply connectors.
coil-up the excess CPU fan wire and zip-tie it to keep the wire out of the
CPU fan. It is easier to do this now while the motherboard is out of
If you have a motherboard with jumpers, now is the
time to set them and double check them.
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