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What tools will I need for putting my PC together?

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October 24, 2007 2:43:13 AM

All of my parts should be here by Friday, so I would like to get the proper tools. I read somewhere that I should have an antistatic wrist band, as well as a thermal paste of some sort.


Where can I get these things(not online)?

More about : tools putting

October 24, 2007 3:02:17 AM

Did you get an aftermarket cooler?

Go to a local computer shop, which should have any accessories you need. However, if you have a stock Intel fan, it has thermal paste.

I haven't used an ESD wristpad, but you should wait for others' opinions.
October 24, 2007 3:07:15 AM

Well if you need thermal paste, everyones gets Artic Silver 5 or so. Just a regular Philips and Flathead, possibly some pliers. And just touch metal every 30 seconds and you won't need an anti static band. Scissors is always good too.
Related resources
October 24, 2007 3:09:27 AM

Use the PSU to discharge static.
October 24, 2007 3:11:42 AM

Usually a screwdriver & anti-static wrist band (most electronics stores have them). Thermal paste is only needed if your buying an aftermarket cooler, which most of them already have the paste applied. So usually a few different screwdrivers will do. Some cases have a "Zero" tool installation, but not sure if your getting one of those. 99% of cases are the old style that require you to use screws to hold things in. Remember to read your motherboard manual BEFORE you assemble everything. This way you understand what goes where and any other tips the manufacturer has for you. And finally, PLEASE don't rush it. More mistakes happen when people rush things. If it takes you 3 hrs. to do the job, than that is fine. I can probably put a system together in 30min or less, mainly depends on the case layout and connections to the front panel that slow me down. My first build took me 2-3 hours, because I was being very cautious and didn't want to hurt any parts. Now that I've done quite a few, I'm not affraid too much. I always take precautions and don't try to short cut anything.
October 24, 2007 3:18:00 AM

Actual tools required:

Philips screwdriver ("t" shape)


The anti-static wrist band is a good idea for a first time builder, but is not absolutely necessary. Keep in mind the following:

1. Do not put your PC together on carpet or a rug.
2. Ground yourself by touching the metallic PC case when it is on the floor. Again, not on carpet or a rug.
3. Touch the case every now and again (overkill, but as a first builder, better safe than sorry).

You can buy the anti-static wristband and thermal paste from your local electronic store in most cases. CompUSA should have them.

You can also buy them online:

List of Thermal Compound - I prefer Arctic Silver 5.

Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap


To apply the thermal paste you can use your credit card, or a playing card (better since it is more flexible). Squirt out some thermal paste, use your card to cut it, then line it up in a straight line, take a straw, then.... Oh, wait. I was thinking about my other hobby. :D 

Okay, here are the real instructions:
Squirt out about a rice grain size of Arctic Silver 5 (AS5) on the CPU, then evenly spread it out with the card. A thin layer is all that is necessary. Too much AS5 can decrease it's effectiveness.

If for some reason you are going to be using the stock heatsink fan, but you will use AS5 (or some other thermal paste) be sure to wipe the thermal paste off the bottom of the heatsink before applying your own thermal paste on the CPU.
October 24, 2007 3:40:17 AM

I use beer.
Settles the shakes and provides supreme confidence
:D 
October 24, 2007 3:41:04 AM

If your of drinking age, a 24 is a must!
October 24, 2007 4:06:28 AM

Another thing that you sometimes run across is the cables from the case to the motherboard for the hard drive light, power switch, onboard speaker etc.. Be sure to connect the positive side of the cable to the positive pin on the board (a small arrow indicates + cable). Also you will need to make sure that the negative cable and any other cables line up with their perspective pin. If they don't you should be able to release the pin and move in to the correct slot on the connector. Take a fine point knife or some other tool to raise the clamp on the side of the connector to release the cable and do the same for the correct slot and once you place the cable in its correct spot clamp the plastic tab back down to lock it into place and you are done.

Out of dozens of systems I have built this has happened only twice but it is a good tip to be aware of and is nice to know how to fix it.

You most likely won't need to move any cables but you never know...
October 24, 2007 4:13:06 AM

get some zipties to help with cable management. and a screwdriver.
October 24, 2007 4:17:08 AM

mrmez said:
I use beer.
Settles the shakes and provides supreme confidence
:D 


Best advice.... ever!

Phillips and flat screwdriver. I like to have zip ties and sticky backs also to manage cables.

Also, mount the CPU and fan to the motherboard outside of the case.
October 24, 2007 4:37:15 AM

jaguarskx said:
To apply the thermal paste you can use your credit card, or a playing card (better since it is more flexible). Squirt out some thermal paste, use your card to cut it, then line it up in a straight line, take a straw, then.... Oh, wait. I was thinking about my other hobby. :D 

Hmmm, I think I've seen this before, just don't remember where though? Heard some people are quite well at that lineing things up and the straw thing, so this will be an easy concept!!! Hehehehe

Quote:
I use beer.
Settles the shakes and provides supreme confidence
:D 

Sounds good to me, just don't spill that valuable liquid on your new build. You might need alot more of that liquid if you do, so you can drown your sorrows.
Quote:
If your of drinking age, a 24 is a must!

Another firm believer of the valuable liquid theory. Hmmmm seems to be a trend starting here. Let's see.....Buy parts online, drink liquid during assembly and sit back and relax and have more valuable liquid. Is this a sponsors ad for something??????
October 24, 2007 4:38:52 AM

Utiility knife or box cutter to cut open the antistatic bags and those stupid plastic retail display boxes.

October 24, 2007 5:07:00 AM

thanks for the advice guys. On a scale of 1-10, what do you guys think the difficulty level is? Im pretty confident in doing it, but this will be my first time, so Im not really sure.
October 24, 2007 5:09:01 AM

mrmez said:
I use beer.
Settles the shakes and provides supreme confidence
:D 
Beer is good or some nice bourbon if you wait until near the end of the build. And cigarettes, lots of them [:zorg]

All relevant advice has been provided except one thing.

You need a hammer for when things go wrong. And remember, if things aren't working out, get a bigger hammer. :lol: 
October 24, 2007 5:14:11 AM

csquared587 said:
thanks for the advice guys. On a scale of 1-10, what do you guys think the difficulty level is? Im pretty confident in doing it, but this will be my first time, so Im not really sure.
All joking aside, it's not too hard just work slowly and methodically. Don't get all excited and rush it, or you will screw up. Oh, one last thing take a half an hour before you touch anything and RTFM. :non: 
October 24, 2007 5:27:28 AM

Download the instructions for the mobo and case, and read them before parts arrive.

If you have fat fingers(like me) get a long number 2 phillips head screwdriver with a magnetic tip. It is invaluable for getting those small screws into their place without dropping them into the works. Do be careful where you put it though.
---good luck---
October 24, 2007 7:00:19 AM

And finally DON'T plug the PSU into the wall until you have everything else done. This way you won't inadvertantly turn it on when you have something where it shouldn't be.
October 24, 2007 7:39:02 AM

The tools I have on hand when building:

1) A chilled Stoli screwdriver (optional)
2) A Philips screwdriver
3) Cable ties
4) Flashlight
5) Duct tape (Always a must on any project)
October 24, 2007 2:52:05 PM

csquared587 said:
thanks for the advice guys. On a scale of 1-10, what do you guys think the difficulty level is? Im pretty confident in doing it, but this will be my first time, so Im not really sure.


As long as you don't mind reading instructions, then it's pretty simple. I would suggest reading through the section in the motherboard manual that details connections. Everything you need to know about putting all the pieces together is in the manual. As far as the tips on doing things the easy way, that can be found here.

Geofelt has some good advice. Read the MB manual before the parts arrive.
October 24, 2007 3:59:21 PM

Some may laugh at this, but one of the "computer" tool kits in a zip up case isn't a bad idea. It keeps all your puter tools in one place and minimizes the chances of losing your tweekers to some other project. Most of them also have the plastic tube for storing left over screws, standoffs, jumper covers, etc. I also like to have a magnifying glass and a pair of long tweezers in the pouch.

As far as degree of difficulty, let's face it, you're not really designing or building anything, just assembling parts. Realisticly, it's a 3 on a 1 to 10 scale. Take your time, read and follow the directions, and "STAR" yourself. It's really not that hard.
October 24, 2007 4:09:12 PM

First time for me was a 3.5 out of 10, now it's 0.75, since I've done a few. I spend more time installing software and drivers than building 3 or 4 computers!
October 24, 2007 4:27:18 PM

When building I usually use

anti static wrist strap
an x screwdriver (never could figure out what the names ment Phillips, roberts, etc. :??:  )
needle nose pliers (good for pluging in the case lights and pwr button etc)
flashlight
cable ties
thermal paste and paste remover (Just in case I need to reseat the HS/fan)
mobo manual

Just take your time, and follow the case and mobo instructions (Not somthing that comes naturally to me ;)  )
and double check everything when you are finished before you power it up.

Happy building
October 24, 2007 5:24:21 PM

Zorg said:
Beer is good or some nice bourbon if you wait until near the end of the build. And cigarettes, lots of them [:zorg]

All relevant advice has been provided except one thing.

You need a hammer for when things go wrong. And remember, if things aren't working out, get a bigger hammer. :lol: 


:lol:  I remember using a hammer... that was FUN! :D  Although, it wasn't my first build, that was modifying my dell. I needed a big hammer for that project. Those dell cases are THICK!
October 24, 2007 5:41:53 PM

The flashlight I prefer is a LED headlamp; leaves both hands free. To remove thermal paste, if necessary, I use 91% isopropyll alcohol. Needlenose pliers and/or tweezers can be useful, especially if you have to move one of those nano-sized jumpers on your hard drive.
If I need to apply thermal paste, I put my finger in a plastic bag to spread it around.
One or more little trays for screws can be useful, and you probably want to prevent access to the work area by anything with four legs and fur :wahoo:  .
October 24, 2007 6:02:58 PM

As for spreading the thermal paste, wash your hands and dry them well then simply spead out from the center to the outer edge with your finger. Trust me it a pain using a plastic card for speading.
October 24, 2007 6:13:53 PM

Put your finger in a plastic bag first. Otherwise, as clean as you think they are, they will contaminate the surface. Also, the stuff is sufficiently toxic that you don't want it on your skin.
October 24, 2007 6:53:03 PM

rabidbunny said:
:lol:  I remember using a hammer... that was FUN! :D  Although, it wasn't my first build, that was modifying my dell. I needed a big hammer for that project. Those dell cases are THICK!
Don't forget the Dremel. I have a Rotozip, it's a Dremel on steroids.
October 24, 2007 8:03:25 PM

Onus said:
Put your finger in a plastic bag first. Otherwise, as clean as you think they are, they will contaminate the surface. Also, the stuff is sufficiently toxic that you don't want it on your skin.


Right, that's what I do. A simple plastic sandwich bag does the trick.

@ systemlord - It's not dirt and oils you should be worried about. Washing your hands isn't enough to keep from contaminating the TIM.

From http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?Article=3718
"Dead skin cells are continually shed from the skin's surface. This is balanced by the dividing cells in the basal cell layer to produce a state of constant renewal."

From http://www.kidshealth.org/kid/body/skin_noSW.html
"Though you can't see it happening, every minute of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin."


As far as heat transfer goes TIM > dead skins cells.

-TyShoe
October 24, 2007 8:35:49 PM

Then I have my DNA in my Tim. :ouch:  Next time I'll use a bag, but my OC in my sig says it all. :) 
October 24, 2007 8:55:37 PM

systemlord said:
Then I have my DNA in my Tim. :ouch:  Next time I'll use a bag, but my OC in my sig says it all. :) 



You should apply new TIM and reseat your heatsink. Might make the difference between 3.7GHz and 3.71GHz. :kaola: 

LOL
TyShoe
October 24, 2007 9:28:19 PM

TyroneShoelaces said:
As far as heat transfer goes TIM > dead skins cells.

-TyShoe
You obviously haven't seen the latest review of the skin cell TIM. :lol: 
!