Install an AGP Graphics Card

Power Down Your System

To install video card components correctly in your computer you will have to begin by powering your system down first. This is a matter of safety and precaution.

Always make sure your computer is completely shut down before you install video card components or any other internal part for that matter. After you shut down your computer you also need to cut off the juice to the power supply. If you’ve never done this before, take a look at the back of your computer. You will see a switch where the power supply is. Flip that switch into the off position. Finally, pull the AC power cord.

It may have never occurred to you that you would need to do all of this, but it’s important that we show you how to install computer components the right way. Rule 1 is to make sure there is absolutely no power going into the system. Any latent surges will fry your system in a heartbeat and could injure you in the process.

Opening Up the Computer Case

Next we will have to open up the case. Since we are learning how to install an AGP graphics card, and that card goes inside your computer, we will have to remove the case.

Don’t worry about this procedure though. Perhaps you have experience in knowing how to install computer components like external hard drives, but said you would never poke around inside your computer. Really, it’s not that hard.

Before you can open your case however you need to find out what kind of case you have. That will determine how your particular case is to be opened. If you have something like a mini-tower, you can open this case by removing one of the side panels. Be sure to remove the side that’s above the motherboard. Simply remove the screws in the back of the computer that hold the panel onto the chassis and then lift it off.

Some older style cases, however, require that you remove the whole back cover off and slide the chassis out. Check your particular model and see how it’s designed.

Remove PC Slot Cover

Before you can install video card components like the AGP graphics card, you will need to remove the PC slot cover in the back of the computer.

Look at the back of your computer and you’ll see what we mean. There are a series of several metal latches facing the slots where you can insert internal computer components. Most of these metal latches are secured by one or two screws. When it comes times to insert a component, like a modem, for example, you will need to first remove the metal latch in front of the slot before you insert the component.

With the AGP graphics card the process is the same. First locate the AGP graphics card slot. There is only one slot that will correctly match your card, so you’re in luck. Then unscrew the metal latch in front of the AGP graphics card slot, slide the latch out, and set the screws in a safe place.

Installing the AGP Card into its Slot

Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for, knowing how to install an AGP graphics card into its slot. Again, there is only one card on the motherboard that matches your AGP card, so don’t worry about putting it into the wrong slot.

If you’re not sure, look at the bottom of the AGP card to match it up with possible slots on you. The AGP card slot stands out from all of the other slots on your motherboard, kind of in its own little corner.

When you’re ready, align the AGP graphics card above its slot. Hold the card with your fingers from both ends and press it down into the slot until it seats firmly. Make sure that it’s firmly pressed into the slot. If anyone part of the card is sticking out, push it back in. Then secure the card into the motherboard by screwing the retaining screw into the motherboard.

Plugging In the Monitor, Closing Up and Powering Up

With your card properly installed, it’s time to plug in your monitor. That wasn’t so bad, was it? Little by little, you’re learning how to install computer components until you become a real pro! Find your monitor cable and plug it into the AGP card monitor connector.

If your card has more than one connector, this means that your card can support more than one monitor. Check your documentation to determine which is the appropriate connector for your monitor. Plug it in, and you’ll be good to go!

Not it’s time to close up and power up. Place the computer cover back onto your computer. Screw it back on using the screws that (hopefully) you remembered to set in a safe place earlier. Now it’s time to power up.

Flip your power supply’s power switch back on, and then plug the AC cord into wall outlet. Then, reboot your computer. To correctly install video card components, as with other components, you also need to install software drivers. Locate the CD that came with your card and insert into your computer when it reboots. Follow the instructions to install the appropriate software drivers.