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Installing a Network Card

Physically Installing a Network Interface Card (NIC)

Tools Needed: Phillips(cross tip) screwdriver.


  1. Shut down your computer and unplug it from the wall.
  2. Remove all the cords and cables from the back of your PC including keyboard, mouse, video, printer, USB connections, etc.
  3. Remove your computer cover by locating and removing the screws holding it on. This is usually between 2 to 6 screws located along the back edge of your case. Some cases are screwless - there is a latch holding the cover on. Search the tops and sides for latches that slide easily.
  4. If you look along the back of your motherboard inside your computer, you will see rows of expansion slots. You may already have a video card, sound card, modem or other expansion cards in some of the slots. The ISA slots are an older technology and will be black or brown and 5 1/2 inches long. The PCI slot is white expansion slot approximately 3 1/2 inches long. Your network card will either be an ISA or PCI card. Locate an empty expansion slot that matches the card that you want to install. Examples of both are below.

    ISA Slot

    PCI Slot

  5. When you find an empty slot that matches your card remove the metal slot spacer located at the back of the case. There should be one screw on top of the spacer holding it in place. Remove the screw and pull the spacer up and away from the case.
  6. Align your network card connectors with the slot on the motherboard. You will have to align the metal form at the back of the card with the corresponding hole at the back of the case. There should be some resistance as you push the card down into the slot, but you should be able to feel it slide into place.
  7. After you have the card in place secure it to the back of the case with the screw you removed from the metal slot spacer at the back of the case.
  8. Put your computer cover back on and secure it with the screws that you removed in step 3 making sure not to pinch any loose cables that may be inside your case.
  9. Plug your cords and cables on the back of your computer back in.
  10. Plug your computer's power cable into the wall and turn it on.
  11. If you computer makes a beeping noise when you turn it on, you did not push the card firmly into the slot. Repeat the above steps.
  12. If your using a Plug and Play card with MS Windows 9x/2000/XP your computer should propt you for the drivers for the card.
  13. Proceed to Driver Installation.

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