In this guide we'll cover the most common setup questions we get regarding new computers that we have built, as well as some basic troubleshooting of a few of the simpler issues you may see.
Connecting the Monitor
When connecting up your new CCL system we first need to check to see if the system has an additional graphics card fitted. This decides which connection we’re going to fit our monitor onto, using the above image as a reference we can quickly tell if the system has a graphics card fitted or if we’re going to be using the on-board.
Looking at the expansion slots in the above images highlighted in red, we can see that the system on the left has a graphics card fitted while the one in the right does not.
Once we have decided if our system has a graphics card or not, it’s time to connect up the monitor to the appropriate connection. If your system does not have a graphics card, follow the “Connecting your monitor to the on-board graphics” section of this guide. If your system does have an additional graphics card, follow the “Connecting your monitor to the graphics card” section of this guide instead.
Connecting your monitor to the on-board graphics
Motherboard Inputs and Outputs (I/Os) can vary, so when we’re connecting to the on-board graphics, our options may be limited by the ports supported by the motherboard. If for example you only have a monitor with the blue connection (VGA) you should be ok as both boards (Fig.C and Fig.D) both support VGA, however if your monitor only has a white DVI connection (Fig.D only) then you wouldn’t be able to connect this to the on-board in some instances (Fig.C for example).
While many monitors will have several input connections, you only need to use one of them. Generally, we'd recommend using a digital output (HDMI or DVI) over analog (VGA) if you have the option to do so.
Prior to purchasing your system I would always suggest double checking that your monitor will be supported out of the box by either checking the specifications or calling our PC sales line on 01274 471210.
Once we’ve confirmed which connection we require for our monitor, it’s a simple case of connecting the relevant cable to the relevant port. Once this is done you’re ready to head over to the second part of this guide which is Connecting the WiFi Antenna.
Connecting your monitor to the graphics card
Graphics cards can come in all different shapes and sizes however they will generally have outputs similar to the above images (Fig.E and Fig.F). Your graphics card may have a single VGA port (Fig.E) or no VGA port at all (Fig.F). If you graphics card has the type of connection your monitor requires then this process is as simple as connecting it up to the appropriate port.
Please note that whilst most modern graphics cards will come with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort, they no longer support VGA. They also do not support DVI-VGA adapters, so you will need the appropriate cable.
Once this is done you’re ready to head over to the second part of this guide which is Connecting the WiFi Antenna.
Connecting the WiFi Antenna
Firstly we need to locate the antenna thread on the back of the system, this is usually a brass coloured thread as highlighted by the green arrow (Fig.K). Then we simply attach the antenna by screwing it onto the thread and rotating it clockwise (Fig.L).
Once connected simply angle the antenna out of the wayso it doesn’t potentially obstruct any other cables we may wish to attach.
Now you’ve connected your monitor and WiFi antenna you’re ready to connect your other devices (such as your keyboard and mouse) your new CCL system should be ready to go.
If we've installed Windows on the computer for you, the operating system and drivers will all be set up and ready. On first turning the system on you'll be asked to create a user account and with that done you'll be on the Windows desktop.
During this process Windows will ask for you to enter your license key. Though you can skip it at this point and enter it later, it's always best to get it done straight away as once activated Windows will then process automatic updates to keep you protected against the latest threats and security problems.
When we install Windows, we attach the license key sticker that comes supplied with the software to the side of the case. On the majority of systems this will be the left hand side panel when looking at it from the front, but depending on the design of the case we may need to attach it elsewhere - small systems such as Brix units will typically have it stuck underneath for example.
The sticker contains the 25 digit key that you'll need to enter. Take care when typing it in as sometimes it's easy to mistake two digits such as 8 for B or 0 or O for example.
Microsoft have recently begun covering the license key with a small foil panel, and this needs to be scratched off for the key to be read. The foil is quite light and scratches off with little force, so it's recommended to just use a fingernail to scratch it off as using something more solid like a coin can damage the print underneath and leave the key unreadable.
Next, we'll cover some of the more common issues with some basic troubleshooting.