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How to Build a Computer with an
AMD Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor
Part 3 - Setup the Motherboard
Last updated: 4/13/2001

Install the Heatsink-Fan.

32. Note the step on the bottom of the heat-sink fan.  Position the heatsink so it can step over the raised part of the socket.

33. Do not apply force directly on the CPU. That can break the die loose from the rest of the processor.  If you use a tool such as screwdriver to assist, be careful not to apply too much force and do not to let it slip off the spring and damage the motherboard.  Keep the heat sink as close to parallel along the sides of the socket where the heatsink does not attach to the socket as can be managed.  Push and orient the spring through the heatsink and patiently work it to get the three lugs on the socket into the three holes on the retaining springing.  Try not to twist or wiggle the heatsink while doing this.

34. Carefully lower the heatsink onto the CPU, making sure it is properly positioned and does not ride up on the step on the socket.  Hold the part of the spring previously attached to the socket, to keep it in place, and the heatsink-fan with one hand and attach the spring to the three lugs (out-down-in) without putting excessive pressure on the CPU.  Try not to wiggle the heat sink, which, ideally, will come into contact with the die once as the spring is attached.

35. Look along the sides and make sure it is positioned properly and not riding up on the step.  Yes, you can unlatch it and adjust if need be.

36. Plug the fan wire into the appropriate jack on the motherboard,  neatly coil-up the excess CPU fan wire, and zip-tie it to keep the wire out of the CPU fan, etc.

It is easier to do this now while the motherboard is out of the case.

37. Install the Memory.  Orient the motherboard so you are facing the front of it.  The memory module has two notches on the bottom: one in the middle and another one near one of 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 "DIMM3," the one closest to the CPU, 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.

Memory modules can be plugged into any of the three DIMM sockets in any order.  DIMM3 allows more clearance for the drive cables.  Other motherboards may require that the memory be plugged into a specific socket.

38. Push firmly down on the Award BIOS chip behind the PCI slots of  to be sure it is fully seated.

39. Verify that the Clear CMOS jumper header, located just the left front corner of the VIA southbridge chip and left and aft of the battery, has the jumper on pins 1 and 2,  the two pins closest to the front of the motherboard.  Do not change this jumper when power is on.   It could damage the motherboard.

If you have a motherboard with jumpers, now is the time to set and double-check them.

Your motherboard should look like this:

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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.