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Inserting the NIC

After you determine the appropriate slot for the NIC, you need to remove that slot’s associated blank. A blank is a piece of metal that covers the back of the computer where an expansion card’s ports would normally go. You must remove the blank and the screw that holds it in before you can install any expansion card (including a NIC). You can remove the blank by removing the screw that holds it in and lifting the blank out of the computer. Save the blank for future use in case you ever need to remove a device.

Some blanks are die-stamped into the metal framing of the case. To remove them, push them inward, bending them up so that the metal tab that’s securing them will break. This type of blank is becoming scarce and is now seen only in the «cheaper» cases.

After you remove the blank, you can insert the NIC in the slot you selected. The metal “fingers” on the bottom side of the NIC should engage with the metal tabs inside the slot. When you insert the NIC, use gentle, even pressure straight down on the card. The card should seat firmly in its slot.

If the NIC doesn’t go into the expansion slot easily, don’t force it. You may break the tab on the NIC, the expansion slot connector, or both.

Once you have inserted the card, you must secure it to the case using the screw you removed with the blank earlier. Many people don’t do this step and the card eventually works its way loose, causing the NIC to stop working or, worse, causing shorts inside the computer, thus damaging other components.

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