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Need help understand POST and BIOS for 1st time builder..

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  • Systems
  • Components
Last response: in Systems
December 8, 2013 12:42:29 AM

Hello all,
I am working on a first time build. I've received all my components, put my gaming rig together, and now I am ready to power it on!...
..Except I'm not quite sure of the correct process, and I worry about damaging the mobo or any of the components when I power it on, (not to mention the fear of nothing happening at all when I power it on)… :/ 
I've been doing research and have have read multiple threads, but I am still 2nd guessing myself and would like some further explanation.

As far as hardware, I have:

Intel i7 4770k CPU
Asus Z87 Sabertooth mobo
EVGA GeForce GTX 780
Corsair 860i PSU
Corsair Vengeance 16gb (8x2)
Samsung 840 EVO SSD 250gb
WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD
LG DVD Burner
Xonar DSX 7.1 PCIE Audio card
NZXT Phantom 530 case
Black Widow Gaming keyboard
Samsung 23" widescreen monitor

I think that's everything pertinent. Please let me know if any other info is needed.

When I initially turn the computer on, do I immediately start hitting F2, (or delete?) to enter BIOS? I purchased Windows 8.1, should I put the disk in during the initial startup, or should I start the comp up without the disk in, and change the BIOS to read the disk and reboot?

What other changes do I need to worry about during the initial POST or BIOS? I know the Sabertooth has a UEFI BIOS with beginner and advanced modes, but I'm not sure exactly what tweaks or choices are necessary in order to get the computer up and running..?

Do I need to update BIOS before I do anything?

Do I need to use another computer and USB stick to download updates for the SSD, GPU, Audio Card, monitor etc.. or can I do the updates after the computer is up and running?

Should I install the HD AUDIO cable into my sound card instead of the mobo?

I want to use my SSD to run the OS, and maybe any particular games I'm playing at the time, and keep the HDD for all other games or files I don't need the quick access to. I read somewhere that I should unplug the HDD until after I finish start up, to make sure Windows installs on the SSD, then plug in the HDD later to split the two. Does that sound correct? When should I plug the HDD back in?

When I first turn on the computer, what noises, beeps and lights should I keep an eye out for? I'm assuming all the fans should be running, not sure what else to watch for.

Also, in all the youtube videos I've watched, I see the installer install a USB 2.0 plug into the front panel I/O spot next to the HD AUDIO connection, but my NZXT Phantom case didn't seem to have that cable in the front panel cable bundle..? I looked through the Phantom pamphlet and didn't see anything about that connection either..? Will the computer work properly without that connection? I'm hoping I didn't install it in the wrong place…

Lastly, I would LOVE to get a 2nd monitor, just seems way more badass ;)  But I'm wondering whether or not I can get enough out of a 2nd monitor to justify purchasing it? I plan on using my rig to develop games as well, just small indie titles, and possibly play games off both monitors, if it makes sense to..? I want to add another 23" monitor. Can you guys give me enough reasons (or excuses), to "twist my arm" into grabbing another monitor?

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, (I'm sure more question will pop up). Any help in any of these steps would be HUGELY appreciated. Thank you gents and ladies.

Game on!

More about : understand post bios 1st time builder

Best solution

December 8, 2013 1:22:34 AM

In order of questions asked:
Well you probably want to start the machine first to make sure it even starts. Once you are sure that it turns on, and picture comes up and everything, just put your disk in and restart and install. You may have to go into bios to change the boot order to CD but thats it. Once you get Windows installed then you can go about installing all your drivers and updating and everything. Once you have your OS installed, all your drivers, and are sure everything works, then you can make any tweaks you might want to.
You will want to use your sound card, so that is the one you should connect to your front panel. Once you get everything setup you can uninstall your onboard sound (or just turn it off).
Dont' worry about the beeps\lights. Just see if it posts. If it does than the lights don't matter. If it doesn't post, thats when you can look in your MB manual and see what the lights mean. ASUS is pretty good about their documentation for that.
I'm not at all familiar with that case so I don't know what it has but the cable you are referring to is for the front panel USB ports. If you have front panel USB, then the cable is definitely there (barring a manufacturing defect of course). It is probably right by the audio one. You're going to want to find it, but if you for some reason can't then your computer would boot just fine without it. Of course, the front panel USB won't work.
Can't answer the last one, I hate answering those, "should I..." type questions because that is up to you.
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