How to Set up a Computer
How to Hook up a Computer
You’ve got a brand new computer, and all that stands between you and the digital world is a few cables. Where do they all go? Hooking up a computer has gotten significantly easier and more straightforward over the years; you can be connected in just a few minutes! See Step 1 below to get started.
Place all of your equipment where you want it.Before you start plugging things in, you’ll make your life a little easier by placing your peripherals where you want them and then plugging them in one at a time. Place everything so that the cables don’t have to stretch to reach the computer, and place the computer itself near a power outlet or power strip.
- As you plug devices in, mind the cables to keep them from getting bunched and tangled.
- Make sure that the computer tower is in a well-ventilated spot. Heat is the number one enemy of computer components, so the more you can mitigate it the better.
Plug in your mouse and keyboard.Modern mice and keyboards connect via USB, and can be plugged into any available USB port on the front or back of the computer. Some keyboards have USB ports as well that you can plug your mouse into.
- Older mice and keyboards connected with special plugs. These plugs are color coded; the keyboard plugs into the purple socket, and the mouse plugs into the green socket on the back of the computer.
- Many older computers require a keyboard to be connected in order to boot up.
Connect your monitor.You may have several options when it comes to connecting your monitor to your computer. If you have a dedicated video card installed, you’ll want to connect your monitor to one of its ports. If not, you can connect your monitor to one of the ports on the motherboard. Monitor cables only fit one direction, so don’t try to force them.
- Dedicated video card ports are usually horizontal on a tower computer, while motherboard ports are vertical.
- Use the highest quality connection possible. The major available connectors will be VGA, DVI, and HDMI. HDMI and DVI will result in the best image quality.
- DVI and VGA cables should be secured with the small screws on each side. This will prevent them from accidentally coming unplugged. HDMI cables are inserted like a USB cable.
Connect your Ethernet cable (if applicable).If you are connecting to your home network via Ethernet, plug it in to your motherboard. If you are connecting wirelessly, you may need to attach an antenna to a special plug on the back of the motherboard or wireless card.
Plug in your speakers (if applicable).If you are connecting speakers to your computer, plug them into the color-coded ports on the back. If you have a dedicated sound card, be sure to plug the speakers into the card for the best-quality sound.
- If your monitor has speakers, you can connect the monitor to the computer using a sound cable. If your monitor is connected via HDMI, the sound will be transferred through the HDMI cable as well.
Connect the power supply to a power source.The power supply needs to be connected to an outlet in order for the computer to function. Use the cable that came with your computer or power supply, and plug it into a three-pronged outlet.
- To protect your computer against power surges or power outages, consider plugging into a surge protector or battery backup unit.
Organize your cables.If you can, use zip ties to bundle your cables together. Having well-organized cables will reduce the amount of dust that gets captured, and makes it easier to keep clean. Make sure that you don’t have anything bundled too tight, and that everything can still move around as need (especially the mouse).
Plug in your other devices after turning it on.Before connecting any printers, cameras, flash drives, or other USB devices, turn your computer on first and let it load into the computer's operating system. (Windows, Mac OS X, Ubuntu...) Once you are logged in, you can plug these devices in. Your operating system will then automatically install any software needed to use them.
QuestionHow do I hook up a monitor on my computer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are usually 4 different cords you can use for connecting a computer and monitor: vga, dvi, hdmi and display port.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the name of the cord I need to connect my computer to a monitor?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are usually 4 different cords you can use for connecting a computer and monitor: VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if my computer is plugged in but does not start up?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf all cables are set properly, the computer should boot. If not, then you likely have a software problem.Thanks!
QuestionShould there be a light blinking on the modem at all times?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, and it indicates the connection is working. It is a problem if there isn't one blinking.Thanks!
QuestionDoes the cable from the router go into the computer for a connection to the Internet?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, that's where the cable goes.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does the printer cord connect to?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the printer and the motherboard. Some legacy printers use a DB25 port on the back of the computer, which is usually pink. Others can use USB 2/3 and some even have wireless printing.Thanks!
QuestionI've got my computer hooked up but the speakers aren't working. They turn on but no sound comes out. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheck that the computer and speakers are not broken, and make sure the speakers are hooked up properly. Have you muted your sound?Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I do if I am unable to connect a keyboard to my CPU?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe pins in the connector are probably broken, so you will need to buy a new keyboard if the cord is inseparable from the keyboard.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I hook up my computer to my printer?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDownload the specific drivers for your printer first. What you download will depend on the type of printer you have: wireless or wired. If you have a wired printer, just plug it in and follow the installation instructions. If you have a wireless printer, use the provided installation service from your provider.Thanks!
QuestionWhy am I getting no signal on my computer monitor?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheck that the cables are inserted correctly, and if it is, the cable or monitor might be faulty.Thanks!
What does RGB-no input signal on my monitor mean?
How do the wires go in the computer to make the printer work
What does "no input signal" mean?
What is a motherboard?
What does the power supply cord look like and where does it plug in on an ACER monitor?
- Make sure that the cords are NOT tangled.
- Keep all liquids away.
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