How to install a motherboard: 15 steps (with pictures)

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How to install a motherboard: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to install a motherboard: 15 steps (with pictures)

The motherboard is the backbone of your desktop computer. All of the components plug into this motherboard, so making sure you install it correctly is the first step in building or updating your computer. Learn how to install a new motherboard in your computer in minutes.


Install a Motherboard Step 1

Step 1. Open your computer case

Remove the two side panels for easier access to the motherboard tray. This tray can be taken out of the case which allows easier installation of the motherboard without having to work in acrobatic positions. Note that not all boxes offer this possibility.

  • The motherboard tray is often held by 2 screws. Set them aside so you don't lose them.
  • Installing a new motherboard is like saying you are building a new computer. You are going to need to reinstall your operating system if you are upgrading and you will need to format all system drives. You can't just update with a new motherboard without reinstalling everything on your computer.
Install a Motherboard Step 2

Step 2. Earth yourself

Before you start working inside your computer or manipulating your motherboard, be sure you have discharged any electrostatic charge you may have. You can do this by touching a tap.

Wearing an antistatic wrist strap while working on the computer can prevent electrostatic damage

Install a Motherboard Step 3

Step 3. Replace the I / O (input / output) panel

It is located on the back of the case, where your motherboard connectors can be plugged into your monitor, USB devices, and other peripherals. Most cases have a preinstalled panel that you will need to replace with the one that came with your motherboard.

  • Apply pressure to all four corners of the panel to secure it to the case. It should fit into this place.
  • Make sure you are installing the panel the right way round. Compare this with the layout of the connectors on your motherboard to be sure they go to the right place.
Install a Motherboard Step 4

Step 4. Find the spacers

The spacers keep the motherboard above the case. This helps prevent it from wandering around and also helps with cooling. Some boxes come with spacers while others do not. Your motherboard should still come with its own standoffs.

Install a Motherboard Step 5

Step 5. Install the standoffs

Match the holes on your motherboard with those available for the standoffs on the motherboard tray. Each board is different and all will have different hole configurations. Line up the motherboard to see which holes you can use to pass the standoffs. Try to put a spacer at each hole on your motherboard.

  • Most spacers screw into their hole, but some click into place.
  • Not all motherboards are going to be able to attach with all the holes available. Put in as many fasteners as possible, but don't put more than those available, only use the corresponding holes on the motherboard.
Install a Motherboard Step 6

Step 6. Place the motherboard on the standoffs

The holes and spacers should all line up. If your motherboard tray cannot be pulled out of the case, you will need to gently press the motherboard against the I / O panel on the back of the case so that it can snap into place. Start securing the motherboard with the screws.

  • Won't be too tight the screws. Make sure they are tight, but not too tight. Do not use an electric screwdriver.
  • For the holes that are not metallized, use and cardboard washers between the screw and the motherboard.
Install a Motherboard Step 7

Step 7. Install your components

Before replacing the motherboard tray with your new motherboard in your case, install your processor, its fan and the RAM. Doing this now will be easy to put everything back. If your motherboard is not on a movable tray, install your components after wiring.

Install a Motherboard Step 8

Step 8. Connect the power supply

Once the motherboard is attached, you can start connecting the components. It is recommended that you connect the power supply first, as the outlets may be difficult to reach afterwards. Check that the 20/24 pin connectors are attached as well as the 4/8 pin 12 V connectors.

Consult your power supply documentation if you are not sure which cables to use

Install a Motherboard Step 9

Step 9. Connect your front panel

In order to be able to turn on your computer with the power button on the front or to see if there are disk accesses, you will need to connect the buttons and indicators on the front panel.

  • Ignition button
  • Reset button
  • Voltage LED
  • Hard drive LED
  • Sound output
Install a Motherboard Step 10

Step 10. Connect the front USB ports

Connect the front panel USB ports to the appropriate plug in the motherboard. They are generally marked. Make sure you put them in the correct connectors.

Install a Motherboard Step 11

Step 11. Connect the fans

Connect all case and processor fans to the appropriate sockets on the motherboard. There are often several places to connect the fans of the case as well as those of the processors.

Install a Motherboard Step 12

Step 12. Install your disks

Once the motherboard is fixed and connected, you can start plugging your drives into it. Make sure you connect your hard drive and SATA optical drive to the correct ports on the motherboard.

Install a Motherboard Step 13

Step 13. Install a video card

One of the last components you will need to install is the video card. This card takes up a lot of space and will make access to other places very difficult. Installing a video card may be optional, depending on your system and your needs.

Install a Motherboard Step 14

Step 14. Arrange your wiring

Now that everything is plugged into your motherboard, it's time to organize the cables so that they don't obstruct the flow of hot air. Store excess cables in free bays and try to tie them together using serflexs. Make sure all components have enough room to breathe.

Install a Motherboard Step 15

Step 15. Close the computer

Reposition the side panels of the case and screw them back on. Connect the computer and its components. Turn it on and prepare for the reinstallation of the operating system.


  • It is preferable to install the processor, its fan and the RAM before installing the motherboard in the case.
  • Consult your documentation before you begin. It will explain to you where all the jumpers and connectors you need are located on your motherboard. Their position varies for each model of motherboard.
  • To install a motherboard, it is important to follow the steps in order.
  • In most cases with a new motherboard, it is advisable to also use a new case and a new power supply.

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