Need advice for a computer 'practical' exam...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by haiggy, May 31, 2006.

  1. haiggy macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Ok, so I'm in Grade 11 taking Computer Engineering (atleast that's what we call it). It's basically a course you teach yourself... based on the modules from the Cisco course. (> you need a log in to actually view the modules and such. For my practical exam I am supposed to put together one of the school PC's... (maybe 500 MHz, 128 MB RAM, etc..). Anyways the labs don't seem very useful when it comes to building a computer. I have an hour to build it, play a CD, network it to the server, document it, etc. Of the guys that have built their own PC before... do you have any tips as to what order I should do things? I'm kind of scared for it. My teacher doesn't help us at all. Also, we have a choice as to what OS we want to put on it. What are your recommendations? Which one is the fastest, and easiest to install drivers for a sound and networking card etc.. ? Thanks a lot!
  2. homerjward macrumors 68030


    May 11, 2004
    fig tree
    get the components together
    put things where they fit
    __power supply in case
    __drives in drive bays
    __processor in processor slot on mobo
    __ram on mobo
    __mobo in case
    __plug drives into the proper ports, plug in all the power cables, etc.
    __any pci/agp/pci-e cards in their proper slots
    turn it on
    install ubuntu linux
    the rest is pretty self-explanatory

    it's really not very hard (don't be intimidated), and ubuntu installs much quicker than xp, is much freer, and should work out of the box with your sound and networking cards (no drivers to install), includes a built-in cd player, etc. i'm not sure what you mean by "document it"

    edit: where do you get the parts? if you pick them out yourself, make sure you get compatible case/ps/mobo, mobo/cpu/ram, etc.
  3. haiggy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the reply. Maybe I should clarify: by document it, I mean I have to write down all the steps I do in the specific order. Doesn't mean a certain way is correct, I just have to do it. Also, he is picking out all of the parts. They are all old, lousy crap parts. I wouldn't be surprised if some of it is broken. lol :rolleyes:

    Edit: Also, it's not the main parts of the computer I am not sure about. Like all of those are somewhat obvious, but what I mean is like where do the jumpers go etc (I know its different for all motherboards) but how can you tell which ones are which and for what?
  4. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    I assume you are talking about the jumpers on the back of the drives? If you look on the back of the drive there are usually stickers that show you where to put those jumpers. The motherboards are generally marked to tell you which slot is for the Primary and which is Secondary. Make sure all of your connections are firm and any cards/RAM are in place the right way.
  5. Johnny Rico macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2005
    Also the connections from the enclosure (power/reset/beep-speaker) to the motherboard should be labeled on both ends, or labeled on the enclosure end at least, in which case I'd want the booklet to the mb that illustrates which go where. That's the least immediately obvious thing about putting together basic components, if those enclosure connection pins aren't labeled. Power's really the only one you need though.
  6. haiggy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2003
    Ontario, Canada
    Ummm... this is really LOW quality hardware we have at school. There is no chance I will get a booklet/instruction manual of any sort for anything. They are apparently upgrading next year so you can imagine how old these computers are. They upgrade like once every 5 years.... maybe more. Very slow, dirty, half-working, crappy PC's. Not fun. If all of this equipment was new, had instruction manuals and everything... this thing would be a piece of cake.
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    just a recommendation get your CCNA and CCNP if you doing cisco academy. With a CCNP you can pick up contracts/jobs in the US for $70-90k a year. With a little a experience and your certs your'll be making a lot of cash. For example, SBC in dallas hired about 10-20 ppl last week for contract to hire jobs for $92k/yr and they only wanted CCNP people.

    stick with it.

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