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Windows 7: Rig Build

13 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Rig Build


I am getting ready to replace my mobo, CPU, heatsink/fan, DVD drive, and put a couple of extra fans in a different case. I am keeping my current HDs, RAM, PSU, video card, etc... The case is a mid-tower Cooler Master CM 690.

Would you all tell me just what precautions/advice you have for me? Kind of like, what to watch out for; what component to install first; how to boot it up initially; etc... Please don't think I expect y'all to do my research for me, but with all the threads/tutorials on this forum sometimes it's a little overwhelming trying to find something specific. If you have links to other threads asking these questions I'll be more than happy to read those too. I have never done a build before, and will REALLY appreciate all input and help on this. :)

I am installing:
mobo: - GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: - AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX
Heatsink/fan: - XIGMATEK Gaia SD1283 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included I7 i5 775 1155 AMD and dual fan push pull compatible
Case fans: - APEVIA CF12SL-UBL 120mm Blue LED Case Fan
DVD drive: - LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support

Again, thanks to everyone who can give me any kind of help and direction.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The way I do it is

1) install the CPU, thermal paste, heatsink, RAM on the motherboard outside the case
2) install this into the case
3) install PSU
4) install hard drives, optical drives, videocards, addin cards
5) cable management from the PSU to all components

try booting the computer and it should work. If not check all connections and post back here any issues you're having if you can't figure them out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Ryan pretty well nailed the general procedure.

Go to and look at their instructions for thermal paste application on your particular AMD processor. It varies from processor to processor.

Most connectors are keyed to only fit in the proper way.

I'm not familiar with the AMD heatsink mounting procedure, but review it beforehand. Maybe you can find a video tutorial on youtube? This is a critical part of the install, so take your time.

First thing you should do after Windows is installed is go to Windows Update and get at least the critical updates.

Then antivirus/antimalware

Then each external hardware piece, one at a time.

Your monitor and modem should just work. You may have to disconnect and reconnect the modem.

Don't worry about case fans immediately. Just get the thing up and running and then evaluate your temperatures. You may need more or fewer fans than you think.

A purist would tell you to use a wrist strap to ground yourself to avoid static discharges that might damage components. In reality, most people don't use them. I try to.

Before starting, print out a page containing all of your software serial numbers/product keys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jan 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

You've got some good pointers so far, so I'm just going to add to them.

Anti-static precautions: are really just common sense applied. A static "shock" can take out any piece of hardware, so you want to eliminate that possibility. Don't build your computer wearing wool socks on a carpet floor! But mostly just get into the habit of grabbing the frame of the computer case deliberately to discharge any static electricity before handling any parts after you have been moving (walking) around.

Likewise for the surface you are working on. You don't want to be working on a metal table. A wooden table is best. Use heavy cardboard as a work surface under your parts. I also use the foam pads that come with the motherboard.

While you are waiting for your parts to be delivered, visit the websites of each of the manufacturers and download the most recent drivers for your components and save these on a USB stick. That makes it easy to install and/or update the drivers immediately after installing W7, found all in one place.

Take your time! Particularly on a first build. RTFMs! Examine the parts and connectors and read the manuals again before installing them. First time builders probably have fewer problems than experience builders for that reason - going too fast and not realizing that the way it's always been done has changed.

I don't see RAM on your list. For a first time build I strongly suggest getting RAM that is listed in the motherboard's QVL (Qualified Vendors List). W7 is real touchy when it comes to RAM configurations. I would try and avoid that adventure your first time out!

Also don't see a Hard Disk. Spinner or SSD?

More if I think of it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Ryan, Ignatz, and TV, I really cannot thank you all enough. AWESOME input and direction to help me complete this build without any problems. I never would have thought of all of that, like trying to find a youtube vid of the heatsink install. And saving the different specs and drivers on a USB stick. It was real nice of you all to take the time and give me some good help. Thanks again. Beau

Forgive my noobness, but will I still have to re-install Windows even though I'm not changing my HDs? BTW, I am running a Caviar 500 gig HD.

Also, I did buy a static discharge wrist strap and plan on using it. The RAM I have is G-Skill 2X2 gigX4 sticks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #6
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Beau.

Yes you will still have to reinstall as the 'old' drivers won't match the 'new' H/W.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Thanks much Ted. BTW, I'll be calling you when I'm ready to do this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #8
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

I'll be here for you, you know that!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Make sure your MB, CPU, Ram, & Heatsink/Fan, all matches. (Mismatching parts will BSOD)

May be worth looking round for Kit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Thanks Theog. GOOD reminder! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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