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Build it Yourself VISUALLY: The Ultimate Media Center PC for Under $999

Overview

  • In order to acquire an ideal combination of speed, memory, and graphic quality, an off-the-shelf PC can easily cost $2,000; this book shows PC users how to build a dream machine without breaking the bank
  • This book tells readers how to plan their media center PCs, develop a parts shopping list, and acquire components at bargain prices
  • Readers will start with a computer case, then learn how to select, purchase, and install the motherboard, CPU, ...
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Overview

  • In order to acquire an ideal combination of speed, memory, and graphic quality, an off-the-shelf PC can easily cost $2,000; this book shows PC users how to build a dream machine without breaking the bank
  • This book tells readers how to plan their media center PCs, develop a parts shopping list, and acquire components at bargain prices
  • Readers will start with a computer case, then learn how to select, purchase, and install the motherboard, CPU, memory, graphics card, audio and network hardware, and hard drive, eventually learning how to select and install peripheral hardware such as monitors, keyboards, and mice
  • Numbered full-color photos clearly walk readers through the PC-building process while supporting text and sidebars tell the reader "why" and offer additional information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764599842
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/12/2005
  • Series: Build it Yourself VISUALLY Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate J. Chase has been helping people plan, assemble, configure, tweak, and troubleshoot PCs for more than 15 years. She has served as author, coauthor, and editor for nearly 30 books about the Internet, PC hardware (including certification), applications, utilities, and operating systems. Besides her role as a Microsoft MVP (most valuable professional), Kate has built and managed thriving online technical communities for America Online, The Microsoft Network, and ZDnet, where she is a recognized expert in a number of different areas. Beyond technical and consumer writing, she is a journalist, blogger, and Web community and telecommuting consultant.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Special Considerations for Media Center PCs.

The Difference between an Average PC and a Media Center PC.

Specific Differences in Windows Media Center.

What You May Want and Need.

What You Can Realistically Get.

Plan Your System.

Chapter 2: Preparing Your Shopping List.

Decide on Essentials.

Know More about the Basics.

Worthy Extras.

Assess Your Special Needs.

Chapter 3: Buying Your Components.

Shop Smarter.

Using CPU Solutions.

What CPU Solutions Has Done for You.

Compare Prices and Features.

Customize Smarter.

Order Windows.

Double-Check Your Order.

Place Your Order.

Chapter 4: Preparing Your Tools and Workspace.

Set Up Your Workspace.

Pull Together Tools.

Inspect and Inventory Your Parts.

Store Until You Build.

Avoid Problems.

Chapter 5: Mapping Out the Case.

My Choice for the Case.

Alternative Case Choices.

Open Up the Case.

Determine What Is Inside.

Remove Faceplates.

Visualize Your Assembly.

Chapter 6: Installing the Power Supply.

My Choice for the Power Supply.

Alternative Power Supply Choices.

Know Your Power Supply.

Install the Power Supply.

Check Your Power Cable.

Think Beyond: Protect Power.

Chapter 7: Installing the CPU.

My Choice for the CPU.

Alternative CPU Choices.

Mount the CPU into the Motherboard.

Connect the Heatsink and Fan to the CPU.

Connect the Fan to the Motherboard.

Check the Insertion.

Chapter 8: Installing the Memory.

My Choice for the Memory.

Alternative Memory Choices.

Check Your Memory.

Know Your Memory Sockets.

Install the Memory.

Check the Seating.

Add More Memory Later.

Recognize Memory Problems.

Find Memory Information.

Chapter 9: Installing the Motherboard.

My Choice for the Motherboard.

Alternative Motherboard Choices.

Check the Documentation.

Orient and Prepare the Motherboard for the Case.

Set the Jumpers.

Mount the Motherboard.

Connect the Power.

Make Other Connections and Double-Check the Installation.

Chapter 10: Doing Your Drive Prep Work.

Understanding the Physical Drive Setup.

Determine Where Each Drive Goes.

Prep Your IDE Drives for Use.

Know the Difference between External and Internal Drives.

Using Online Help Guides and Documents.

Check Your Cables.

Remove Screws and Retainers.

Chapter 11: Installing Your Hard Drive.

My Choice for the Hard Drive.

Alternative Hard Drive Choices.

Jumper and Prep the Drive.

Install the Drive.

Attach the Cable.

Connect the Power Supply to the Hard Drive.

Check the Drive Mounting.

Chapter 12: Installing Your CD/DVD Drive.

My Choice for the CD/DVD Drive.

Alternative CD/DVD Drive Choices.

Prepare the Drive.

Install the Drive.

Attach the Cable.

Connect the Power.

Verify Your Installation.

Chapter 13: Adding Additional Drives.

My Choice for the Additional Drives.

Alternative Additional Drive Choices.

Add the Basics the Drive.

Install the Drive.

Affix the Cable.

Connect the Power.

Chapter 14: Installing Your Graphics Card.

My Choice for the Graphics Card.

Alternative Graphics Card Choices.

Understand Your Adapter Type.

Install the Graphics Card.

Check the Seating of the Graphics Card.

Identify any Extra Cables.

Chapter 15: Installing Your Sound Card.

My Choice for the Sound Card.

Alternative Sound Card Choices.

Note the Connectors.

Install Your Adapter.

Connect the CD/DVD Drive to the Sound Card.

Check the Installation.

Chapter 16: Installing Your Modem.

My Choice for the Modem.

Alternative Modem Choices.

Identify the Modem Type.

Recognize the Connectors.

Install Your Modem.

Connect the Modem’s Phone Line or Cable.

Special Considerations.

Chapter 17: Installing Your Network Interface Card.

My Choice for the Network Interface Card.

Alternative NIC Choices.

The Wireless Network.

Identify the Connections and Cable.

Install the Adapter.

Insert the Cable.

Chapter 18: Adding More Adapters.

Know Your Options.

Check Compatibility.

Scope Out Space.

Install the Additional Adapters.

Chapter 19: Setting Up Your Monitor and Speakers.

My Choice for the Monitor.

Alternative Monitor Choices.

My Choice for the Speakers.

Alternative Speaker Choices.

Considerations with Monitors.

Review the Documentation.

Check the Cables and Discs.

Set Up the Monitor.

Connect the Monitor.

Install Your Speakers.

Add Other Audio Devices.

Chapter 20: Installing Your Keyboard and Mouse.

My Choice for the Keyboard and Mouse.

Alternative Keyboard and Mouse Choices.

Determine Your Connection Type.

Install the Keyboard.

Set Up Your Mouse.

Install Other Input Devices.

Chapter 21: Installing Your Printer.

My Choice for the Printer.

Alternative Printer Choices.

Determine Your Connection Type.

Install the Printer.

Chapter 22: Installing USB/IEEE 1394 Devices.

What to Know to Install USB/IEEE 1394 Devices.

Connect the Devices.

Chapter 23: Preparing to Boot.

Check All Your Work.

Install the Power Cord and Start the PC.

Cover a Few Basics.

Troubleshooting Boot Issues.

Chapter 24: Installing the Windows Media Center Operating System.

Boot Your PC with the Windows Media Center CD.

Set Up Your Operating System.

Activate Windows.

Chapter 25: Testing, Tweaking, and Tuning Your PC.

About Testing Your Parts.

Run Windows Update.

Try Out Your Components.

Open Device Manager.

Consult and Use Device Manager.

Update Drivers in Device Manager.

Force Windows to Check for New Hardware.

Fine-Tune Your PC.

Chapter 26: Media Center PC Final Troubleshooting and Recovery.

Final Troubleshooting.

Getting Help.

Before and After You Resolve Special Problems.

Glossary.

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