Okay so I finally purchased the parts off newegg and got them in the mail today. I must say I fear I bit off more than I can chew. I really have no idea what I'm doing, just kinda reading instruction manuals and going off some youtube videos. This is what I'm working with:
Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD
ZALMAN 9500A 92mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
Over the course of 3 hours I managed to get the RAM and CPU on the motherboard and the heatsink connected to the CPU. I constantly feel like I'm about to break something. What should I be doing next, mounting the motherboard, or the hard drive, or the video card? I'm shooting for the simplest way to pull this off. ..
I broke out the top cover for the external drive bay in order to get my DVD drive in there. It's weird though because after I take out the black external covers there's these metal covers inside of them that have air flow holes in them. Do I break them out too or are they supposed to stay? Also and most importantly. I've never installed an OS before. How will that work. Will I simply (assuming I get this thing hooked up and all without breaking anything, lol) stick the CD in the drive and the setup program will boot? Thanks in advance for answering some of the questions. . .
Nothing to worry about.
It is always a bit stressful the first time you build a computer.
Just follow the manuals and you should be just fine.
Also for your review, the Wiki guide for building a computer.
I always install the CPU and heatsink first. The stock Intel HSF, while not difficult to install, CAN be a little tricky. With the motherboard out of the case, it's easy to check for proper installation. I also install memory then. Sometimes memory can take a surprising amount of pressure to install. I feel better with motherboard fully supported on a flat surface.
" take out the black external covers there's these metal covers inside of them that have air flow holes in them. Do I break them out too or are they supposed to stay?
The interior metal covers in the case? I leave them in unless I need the space. Other friends just automatically remove them while the case is empty. I've never noticed any difference either way. Theorectically, leaving them in place improves shielding.
Use a roll of duct tape underneath the motherboard for installing the heatsink. Check underneath the motherboard that the pins are all the way in.
When installing the memory, put the duct tape roll underneath so you don't loosen the pins.
Installing Vista is super easy. Sounds like you already know what to expect.
Power up the computer (make sure it POSTs).
Insert the Vista DVD into the optical drive.
Restart the computer.
The computer should* detect that a bootable DVD is inserted and say something like "Press any key to boot to DVD"
Press a key and Vista setup will start and scan your hardware.
It will pretty much hold your hand and walk you through the process of setting up the hard drive and such.
Sit back and wait for it to copy files and reboot.
That's about it.
*If the computer does not want to boot to the Vista DVD, go into the BIOS and ensure that the optical drive is the first boot device. If that still doesn't work, I've heard that some SATA optical drives don't like to boot when the controller is set to AHCI mode. In that case, set the controller that the optical drive is connected to IDE mode.
Good luck. You're going to have a really nice system.