HOW TO: Install an Add-In Card

Increasing the productivity and functionality of your desktop computer doesn't have to be limited to how many devices you can plug into the ports. Many motherboards and cases provide expansion slots that can be used to install additional capabilities like updated Graphics, TV-Tuners, Hi-Def Audio cards, and Video capture.

This guide will show you how to install an add-in card to your computer.

Note: Opening up a computer is not without some risk. Before beginning, make sure to completely power off and disconnect your computer from the wall and all other devices including the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Also remember to use an anti-static wristband or mat to avoid Electro Static Discharge (ESD) which can damage your components.

1. Locate the slot in which you want to install the card. The diagram below shows a general location for PCI slots, and it may vary by motherboard. There also may be PCI-Express slots on the system which will be labeled on the motherboard and in the manual.

2. Remove the metal expansion slot guard from the back of the case. Some are attached by soft metal and can be bent and removed, while others are attached with a screw at the top and will need to be removed that way. For more information, consult the manual that came with your computer case.

3. Align the card with the notches in the slot and insert the card vertically in to the slot, with the external ports aligned with the expansion slot on the back of the case. Moderate force may be necessary to get the card all the way in to the slot.

4. Screw in the metal bracket on the end of the card using the notch on the top aligned with the hole in the computer case.

a. Some computer cases use a plastic latch system to hold the card in place. If this is the case, consult the manual that was included with your computer case.

That's it! Your add-in card is now installed. Remember to consult the card manufacturer information on installing any software that came with the add-in card when you get back in to Windows.