a PCI OR ISA Card into a PC Desktop or Tower
These are the basic instructions for installing a PCI card in a desktop
or tower PC. Only follow them if you do not have more specific instructions
from the manufacturer of your card.
things to remember throughout the procedure:
off the power to the machine. Turn off at the mains socket but
leave the power cable connected (to the wall socket and to the
computer) as this will ensure an earth contact
yourself enough room to work. You will need to move the monitor
if it is resting on the system. You will also need somewhere to
put the outer casing when you remove it
the outer case - Use appropriate tools for the job - never try
brute force. Generally there will be a number of screws to remove
and all or part of the outer case will slide off. Don't lose the
may not have seen inside a computer before, so you will probably
find it a bit confusing. There are a number of "slots" into which
cards can be fitted. These are long raised plastic rectangles.
There may be several cards already fixed in slots.
that corresponding to each slot there is a removable plate on
the back of the computer case. These are known as blanking
plates or back plates.
have to identify which slot you want to put your network card
need an unoccupied slot (obviously) and if possible one which
will give you room to work. If cards are too close together
it isn't easy for inexperienced people to fit them in
there is no spare slot you will not be able to install your
card now without removing another card, and so losing some
functions that you have on your computer. Take time to think
about this. If necessary close up the computer and seek advice.
you have identified the slot, remove the blanking plate and put
it somehwere safe
fit the card into the slot. The card's backplate should fit in
the space left when you removed the blanking plate
are some hints on fitting the card:
Press firmly with steady pressure to ensure that the card is
fully seated in the slot
may be easier to push one end down, then the other, but don't
bend the card
trickiest bit is often the little metal tab on the backplate;
make sure this is in its hole
it's fully inserted, you should barely be able to see the
gold contacts on the lower edge of the card
might need to remove internal "ribbon" cables that are in
the way. If so, be careful, and make sure you remember which
way round they fit into their sockets, and put them back
when the card is in place.
it really won't fit, the most likely problem is that your
main circuit board is in slightly the wrong place, so the
card won't fit in the backplate and the slot at the same time.
Try a different slot, ideally close to slots that already
have cards in, because you know they're in the right place.
the card is in place screw it in with the screws that you removed
when you took out the blanking plate (if there were no screws, don't
you have to move any ribbon cable? If so, have you putit back?
- Replace the outer casing
should now be able to connect your computer by running your cable
from the socket in the card's back-plate to the data socket on the
You are now ready to install the network drivers, for this you should
follow the instructions given by the manufacturer that came with the
hardware. Normally, once the machine is started you will be prompted
for the drivers. You should then insert the CD or floppy disk that
came with your hardware and the computer will load the appropriate
drivers for your hardware. Again if you need help with this please
see our help pages.