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How do I install a motherboard?
Installing a motherboard is a big job. Sometimes it is easier just to buy a new case and take components from the old computer. If you do wish to keep your old case, however, you need to buy a motherboard designed to fit in your case. Most motherboards typically fit in mini-tower cases without much of a problem. Another thing you have to take into consideration is the card slot orientation. If the card slots don't line up, you can't use the motherboard. The exception is with the desktop case. In some instances, you may need a special motherboard with support for a riser card. I will only explain how to install it into a mini-tower case. You must first take all of your cards out of your old motherboard and put them aside. You also need to unplug the IDE cables and power cables going to the motherboard. You may also have to unplug the power cable going to your processor fan. Most cases have screws on the metal plate holding the motherboard in place. In most instances there is a screw on the bottom of your case and two screws on the side opposite the motherboard. Take those screws out and pull the plate with the motherboard out. Once you have the plate, take the screws holding the motherboard out, and slide the motherboard out. Take the plastic things holding the motherboard off the plate off and save them. Put the plastic things on the new motherboard and screw it to the plate. **Make sure the plate is not touching the motherboard**. Screw the plate back into the case and plug in all the cables you unplugged from the other motherboard. **Make sure you have the motherboard power cables in properly, improper installation can damage the board**. Install the processor as described in the processors section of this page, install some RAM (SDRAM recommended), and re-install all your cards.
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How do I configure the software for a new motherboard?
Windows '95 is a pain when it comes to installing a new motherboard. You will need to go into the device manager and remove any devices in the system devices section. Reboot windows, and it may detect some hardware. If it does not, you need to go into control panels, add new hardware, and auto-detect. Some motherboards come with updates to Windows '95, so before doing any of the above, use the update utilities. Some utilities even do the above for you.
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How does a motherboard work?
A motherboard is a liaison among all of your computer hardware. You motherboard contain data lines called buses. These lines transmit data between the processor and the special hardware. The more data lines, the faster your computer will perform. Typical computers have 32 and 64 bit buses. If you run a 64 bit processor on a 32 bit bus, it takes twice as long to transport the data making it seem slower. Buses, much like processors run at different speeds, the PCI bus runs typically at 33 MHz, whereas the ISA runs at 18, and the AGP runs at processor speed. Your system bus as a whole can be 66 or 100 MHz. The bus between your processor and RAM is typically what these numbers refer to. One word of caution on motherboards, is when you are installing them, make sure that none of the connectors are touching the metal, failure to yield to this will cause catastrophic results.
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