Things to do before you upgrade your computer cards

Hardware tips -> Things to do before you upgrade your computer cards

If you open the computer and look at the motherboard you will see many expansion slots. You can insert Modem card, sound card, video card, scanner card, network card or many other computer cards. There will be some free expansion slots for future use.

You may like to upgrade some of the existing cards. For example instead of 33.6K modem you may want to upgrade to faster 56K modem, or instead of the normal video card you are using you may wish to upgrade to a 3D video card.

Here are some tips and things to do before you undergo such upgrades.

Backup your data

If you install any card in your computer, you also have to install the driver software for that card. When you install the drivers be aware that some of the existing files in your computer will change. Or some files may get corrupted and become unusable or totally deleted. Therefore it is always a good practice to backup the existing files in your computer.

If possible, a total hard disk backup is recommended. But if you are unable to backup the hard disk (which is usually the case most of the times) then at least back up the files in the root directory and the windows directory. If you don't have the time to do this then at least back up the windows registry before doing any upgrade.

Gather details about the card

Make sure that you get all the accompanying manuals, cards and getting started guide if any together with the card. Read them patiently before you start doing anything. If there is a newer driver available for the card then download the driver from the website.

Before you buy a particular card, get some feedback from your friends and colleagues if they have already used the same card. If you have any IT friends then get their advice if possible.

Search the Microsoft's knowledge base in their website about the card you are going to buy and see if there are known bugs or problems related to that card.

Release your body's static current

The static current in your body may spoil the card. The chips in the card may be damaged. Hence before touching the card, release the static current from your body.

If you touch any water pipe the static current will be released. If you cannot find a water pipe you can shut down the computer and touch the metal cabinet of your computer. When you do this do not remove the power plug from your computer. Because the static current from your body will get released through the ground wire of your computer's power plug.

Insert the card slowly and firmly

Insert the card slowly into the expansion slot in your motherboard. Sometimes you may need to exert more pressure. But make sure that the motherboard does not bend or break. So carefully insert but ensure that it sits firmly in the slot.
Secure the card using Screws.

After a few months the card may come out from the slot. To prevent this, use the screws to tightly secure the card with the cabinet.

Remove the driver of the old card

It is better to remove the old driver before you install the new driver. TO do this select the 'My Computer' icon in the desktop, right click and select 'properties'. Now select the 'Device Manager' and select the old card from the drive (eg. your old sound card) and then click on the 'Remove' button. For some cards you may need to use the Add/remove programs option in control panel.

You can use the above method to remove the driver of all the hardware except the display driver. Since the display is very important. However you can double click the 'Display Driver' in device manager and then click the 'Update Driver' button.

Install the new driver

The driver will be in the floppy disk or the CD rom that came with the card. Install it. You can refer to the user manual of your card to install the driver. When you are installing the driver do not stop the process in between as it will damage the files. If during the installation process you think you are installing the wrong driver then let it install fully first, then you can remove it as mentioned above.

Keep your driver CD safely

After you install the driver reboot the computer and you can start using your new card. But remember to keep the driver CD in a safe place. Because you never know when things can go wrong. If you have to reinstall then you will need these CDs.

Comments :

0 comments to “Things to do before you upgrade your computer cards”