You have a new computer and you're ready to set it up. This may seem like an overwhelming and complicated task, but it's actually a lot easier than you might think. Most computers are set up in a similar way, so it doesn't matter what brand of computer you have.
If you're setting up a new computer that's still in the box, you'll probably find a how-to guide that includes step-by-step details. Even if it didn't include instructions, you can still set up the computer in a few easy steps. We'll take you through the different steps needed to set up a typical computer.
If the computer is new, you will need to unpack the monitor and computer case from the box. Remove any plastic covering or protective tape. Then, place the monitor and computer case on a desk or work area, preferably a static free surface:
Be sure to place your computer case in an area that is well ventilated. This will help to prevent the computer from overheating.
Find the Monitor Cable
To set up the monitor, you must first locate the monitor cable. There are several types of monitor cables, so the one for your computer may not look like the one in the image below:
If you're having trouble finding your monitor cable, refer to the instruction manual for your computer. (If you have an all-in-one computer that's built into the monitor, you can skip to Step 4).
How To Connect a Monitor
After you have the cable, connect one end to the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the other end to the monitor. If you're using a VGA cable like the one in the picture below, you'll want to tighten the screws on the monitor cable to secure it:
Many computer cables will only fit a specific way. If the cable doesn't fit, don't force it or you might damage the connectors. Make sure the plug aligns with the port, then connect it.
How To Connect the Keyboard
Next, you will need to set up the keyboard. Unpack the it from the box and determine whether it uses a USB (rectangular) connector or a PS/2 (round) connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the purple keyboard port on the back of the computer:
How To Connect the Mouse
To connect the mouse, unpack it and determine whether it uses a USB or PS/2 connector. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the green mouse port on the back of the computer:
How To Connect the Computer Speaker
If you have external speakers or headphones, you can connect them to your computer's audio port (located either on the front or back of the computer case). Many computers have color-coded ports. Speakers or headphones connect to the green port, and microphones connect to the pink port. The blue port can be used with other various device types:
Some speakers, headphones, and microphones have USB connectors instead of the usual audio plug. These can be connected to any USB port. In addition, many computers have speakers or microphones built into the monitor.
How To Connect the Power Supply
To power your computer, you need to locate the two power supply cables included in the box. Plug the first power supply cable into the back of the computer case and then into a surge protector. Then, using the other cable, connect the monitor to the surge protector:
You can also use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), which acts as a surge protector and provides temporary power if there is a power outage.
How To Connect to the Power Source
Finally, plug the surge protector into a wall outlet. You may also need to turn on the surge protector, if it has a power switch:
If you don't have a surge protector, you can plug the computer directly into the wall. However, this is not recommended because electrical surges can damage your computer.
How To Connect a Printer
If you have a printer, scanner, webcam, or other peripherals, you can connect them at this point. Many peripherals are plug and play, which means they will be recognized by your computer as soon as they are plugged in:
Other peripherals may include software that needs to be installed before you can begin using them. Use the instructions included with the device to install it, if necessary. Generally, peripherals are optional, and you can add new ones at any time. You don't have to add all peripherals during the initial setup of your computer.