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Video Card Upgrade Install Guide

Installing The New Video Card (continued)

Shut down the computer and it's time to install the new video card.

When working inside the computer, it should always be powered off. Furthermore, after the computer is powered off, disconnect all of the cables and other connections into the computer, including the telephone line connection for the modem, the printer connection, the monitor connection, and everything else. Also unplug the power connector from the PC. It's important that nothing external to the computer be connected while you are working inside so that nothing can provide any kind of electrical current to the computer. It's not getting electrocuted that's the concern, it's that some tiny electrical charge might come in at the wrong time and destroy a component. It's not uncommon for a computer to draw a little bit of electrical current while it is plugged in, even when it has been powered off, so that's why it's important to unplug the power connector, too.

If you're not used to disconnecting everything then you'll want to at least carefully note where each connection was attached. For example, until I learned my way around with the connections I used a short strip of masking tape to scribble a little note for each connection and then I wrapped the tape around the cord before I disconnected it. Each connection should only connect one way, so there's no need to remember how the connection was oriented before it was disconnected. But chances are you've got a nice little collection of connections into your computer, so you don't want to be looking at a confused pile of disconnected wires when you're ready to power it back on!

Set the computer in a nice comfortable work space (personally, I just use the middle of the floor) and remove the computer case cover.

Here's a shot of the motherboard in my computer with the old video card still installed. The video card is easy to pick out in the picture since it's red, which is unusual since typically video cards and other computer boards are green. The video card should be easy to find in any computer since it is the card into which the cable from the monitor connects. Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
Motherboard with old video card still installed


It might help to have a look at the bare motherboard. The video card in my computer installs in the AGP slot. There is only one AGP slot and it is brown in color. In the picture, it is near the center and runs vertically. To the left of the AGP slot are 6 white PCI slots in a row. The PCI slots also run vertically. Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
Motherboard with nothing installed


Here's a close-up of the AGP slot taken from the "east". Click on the picture to see it enlarged.
Motherboard with nothing installed


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