MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS & ELECTRONICS
Instore Clinic

Performing a Power-On-Self-Test (POST) Outside of a System Case

ESD precautions
Remove system board
Take all appropriate ESD precautions:
Use a static discharge wrist strap
Keep product in its protective box or bag until you are ready to install it
Avoid touching board or chip contacts
Handle boards by their edges or retention brackets
1. Remove system board from its protective bag and place on a non-conductive surface such as the cardboard box or foam insert.

Remove protective covers
Install CPU]

2. Remove any protective covers from the CPU socket and open the retaining clip or socket lever. (If the CPU heat sink requires installation of a retaining frame or back plate, attach it to the system board first.)

3. Install the CPU: Remove the CPU from the protective packaging and seat it in the socket. Avoid touching pins or contacts; hold the CPU by the edge and gently settle it into the socket. Do not force the CPU to seat in the socket. Make sure to align the processor with any pin configuration or edge guides. Close the retention cover and lock the socket lever in the closed position.


Apply thermal paste
Install memory

4. If the CPU heat sink does not have thermal compound pre-applied to the base, then place a small amount of thermal conductive paste in the center of the CPU. Spread the conductive compound over the top of the CPU in a thin, uniform layer. Attach the heat sink to the CPU following the manufacturer directions.

5. Install memory: Remove the memory module(s) from their packaging. Move the retaining clips out and away from the slots. Align the memory module so the notch matches the rib in the socket and press the module firmly down into the slot until the retaining clips snap shut against the module.

Attach power
Attach video

6. Attach Power: With the power cord disconnected from the power supply or the power to the supply shut of at the rear switch or surge suppressor, attach the ATX power connection and any secondary connections to the motherboard.

7. If the system board lacks integrated video, install a compatible video card in an expansion slot. Attach any secondary power connections.

Cable connections
Turn on power

8. Cable connections: Attach monitor cable to video connector or card. Attach a PS/2 or USB keyboard. (Optional) Attach a PS/2 or USB mouse.

(Optional) Attach front panel switches, speaker, and LED indicators.
9. Turn on power to the Power Supply. Press the front panel power button or short the designated power button (front panel) pins to begin the system POST.

Monitor screen

Even with no drives attached, the system should still report a compatible CPU and memory correctly. If not, check for jumper settings or compatibility of the components.

To perform a chassis-mounted Power On Self Test:

1. Prepare the case to accept the system board: Identify positions of the system board mounting holes against the chassis posts or mounting points. Install stand-off posts in the appropriate hole positions and tighten.

2. Insert the rear I/O cover plate in the rear case opening.

3. Insert the system board into the case, centering it on the stand-off posts. While holding the system board in position, insert one bolt but do not tighten completely. Install the reset of the mounting bolts through the motherboard and into the stand-offs. Once all bolts are in place, tighten each down to secure the system board.

4. If the power supply is not present in the case, install it now.

5. With the power cord disconnected from the power supply or the power to the supply shut of at the rear switch or surge suppressor, attach the ATX power connection and any secondary connections to the motherboard.

6. If the system board lacks integrated video, install a compatible video card in the slot.

7. Attach any secondary power connections.

8. Attach front panel switches, speaker, and LED indicators.

9. Attach monitor cable to video connector or card.

10. Attach a PS/2 or USB keyboard.

11. (Optional) Attach a PS/2 or USB mouse.

12. (Optional) Attach floppy, hard disk, and or optical drives and connect the appropriate data and power supply connections.

13. Turn on power to the Power Supply.

14. Press the front panel power button or short the front panel pins designated for the power button to begin POST.

If a print screen of the hardware detection cannot be done, attach floppy, hard disk, and or optical drives and connect the appropriate data and power supply connections. Use a copy of the PC-Check Diagnostic CD or floppy disk to report system information.

POST (Power On Self Test) and hard-copy report
Boot to PC Check CD or floppy disk.

Enter "System Info" menu
Enter "System Overview"
Press [Shift]-[Print Screen] to send hard copy to the LPT1: printer.
Press [Page Down]
Press [Shift]-[Print Screen] to send hard copy to the LPT1: printer.
(Eject the printer page manually if your printer is a laser or ink-jet printer.)

Shut down the system and remove any store-supplied components.
Place the assembled system board, CPU, heatsink and memory in a large static bag, and then into the box; make sure to return all cables, manuals, and driver disks that may have been removed from the box.

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