Step 2-J: How to Connect the Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, Scanner and Printer in Your Computer.

The remainding components for your new computer are called peripherals. These are all external devices that will not be installed inside the case. They will allow you to interact with the computer by inputting commands, viewing the screen as well as printing out documents and pictures.

If you haven't done so already, now is the time to Order Your Computer Peripherals Here icon.

Keep your computer case open and on its side on your table. We are going to attach the peripherals, then start up the computer to make sure everything is working before closing up the case and moving the computer to your workstation.

install the peripherals in your own computer

Let's install the keyboard first. All you have to do is remove it from the box and insert the cable into the purple PS/2 socket at the top left of the I/O panel. The I/O panel is the portion of the motherboard that is exposed out the back of the case. Some keyboards have USB connectors that would obviously plug into one of the USB ports on the I/O panel rather than the PS/2 port.

To connect the mouse you plug the cable into the green PS/2 socket at the upper right of the I/O panel. Pretty easy stuff here. Some mouses (mice?) have USB connectors that would obviously plug into one of the USB ports on the I/O panel rather than the PS/2 port.

The speakers will also be connected via the I/O panel. If your set of speakers has just one cable it will plug into the pale green Line-Out jack. If you have a fancier set of speakers you may need to use the side speaker jacks as well.

The microphone that came in the motherboard box can be plugged into the pink jack that matches it's pink plug.

If you will be using a wireless home network be sure to connect the Wi-Fi antenna into the Wi-Fi Antenna In jack at the bottom of the I/O panel. The antenna came in the motherboard box. Most motherboards do not come with a wireless antenna, which means you would have to buy and install a separate wireless network card in your computer. That is another great reason I recommend the Asus M2N32 motherboard.

Most scanners and printers are connected via a USB cable to a USB jack on the I/O panel. Hopefully you remembered to order the USB cable for the printer as I suggested in the Parts to Order Checklist. Some older printers can only be connected to a parallel port. This motherboard does not come standard with a parallel port, but you can attach one if you purchase the port separately.

Now let's attach the monitor. If you are using an old, bulky CRT monitor you will attach the monitor cable to the analog jack on the externally exposed panel of the video card. If you are using a flat-panel LCD monitor you should use the provided DVI cable to plug in to the DVI jack on the video card. Some monitors come with a DVI adapter to add to the end of the monitor cable in order to plug into the DVI jack. You can attach a flat-panel monitor to the analog jack, but the picture quality won't be nearly as good so don't do that.

You have now installed all the components. You computer is essentially fully assembled. You are not done yet however. There are still plenty of things to do before your computer is ready for use.

The next thing we need to do is take the computer for a short spin to make sure everything works properly.

Click HERE to Proceed to the First Boot of your new computer.

Computer Expert Tip:

For high quality products at low prices I recommend Tiger Direct icon, Newegg and Amazon when buying parts for your computer building project.

Want to Build a Computer?

Be sure to check out my list of recommended parts to order. I have selected top-quality components at good prices. Just order these parts and you will be building an awesome new computer this week!