When you’re ready to put your PC together, keep these things in mind when you’re handling and connecting the computer parts to make assembly quicker, easier, and safer:

  • Give yourself plenty of elbow room and adequate lighting.

  • Ground yourself on a metal surface before handling any components.

  • Don’t start without all the parts and components. If you don’t have everything that you need to finish one whole step of the PC-building process, stopping halfway through makes it easy to miss a step or forget something.

  • Treat your components carefully. Don’t drop a part on the floor or toss it to a friend. Never bend a circuit board or an adapter card. If something doesn’t seem to fit, take out the component, check the instructions again, and try it a different way.

  • Read all documentation that comes with each device.

  • Keep the manuals for all your parts together for easy reference.

  • Save your boxes and receipts. You might find yourself stuck with a new defective item, and you’ll need the original packaging to return it.

  • Use bowls to hold small parts. Or, if you’re a true techno-nerd, get thee to a hardware store and buy one of those wall racks with all the little compartments.

  • Keep a magnetic screwdriver handy to pick up wayward screws.

  • Check all connections after you install a part.

  • Leave the computer cover off while you test your new device first. As long as you don’t touch any circuit boards inside the case, you’ll be fine.