MSI Computer Hardware Installation Guide


Mr Steveo

Table of Contents

Posts 1-4: Complete Hardware Installation Overview

Post 5: Connecting a MSI KT3 Ultra to USB ports on the front of a computer case. Plus, a link to AMD's Heatsink and Fan Installation Guide

*** Moderators: Please feel free to edit and add to this post as new or better information becomes avaialble. I know some people get upset if their posts are edited. I just wanted you folks to know I dont mind :) ***

Complete Hardware Installation Overview

- written by: Mr Steveo
Before I begin: Many experienced users have their own methods and tricks of the trade. This Guide is not intended to say other methods are not as good. Some experienced users may have better methods or find some steps unnecessary. This guide is simply based on a method that has worked many times for me.

If at any point you get errors or encounter a problem. Stop what you¡¦re dong, call your vendor or come into the forum and ask for help.

This guide also assumes you have done some preliminary research. Please be sure you have verified your hardware is compatible with the operating system you intend to install. Also be sure that ONE of the following exists:

A. Your Power Supply is approved for your CPU by AMD. Your vendor certifies your RAM will work with the motherboard. If uncertain, visit and contact your vendor

B. Your vendor certifies your Power Supply and RAM will work with your CPU and motherboard

C. An experienced forum user can tell you from personal experience that he has a stable system using the exact brand and model number of your power supply and RAM

Mr Steveo


1. Go through the box and confirm you have all items listed in the owners manual

2. Be sure you are on a non carpeted surface and that your hands are not wet or sweaty for working on your system

3. Remove the motherboard from the Anti Static Envelope. Place the envelope on the foam pad inside the box. Lay the motherboard on the Anti Static Envelope and visually inspect the board to make sure there¡¦s no damage from shipping

4. While the board is sitting on the envelope, lift the silver CPU socket retention bar. Then place the CPU in the socket making sure that the pins on the CPU match up with the configuration of the holes in the socket. If you have the CPU facing the correct direction it should fit effortlessly into the socket.

5. Without touching the central die press very very gently on the CPU to make sure it¡¦s fully seated in the socket. Once seated lower and lock the silver retention bar

6. If your heat sink does not have thermal compound on the bottom of it, at this point, apply your thermal grease in the method prescribed by the maker of the thermal grease product

7. If your HSF does come with thermal compound on the bottom visually (don¡¦t touch) and see if there is a yellow tab that you need to pull to remove the film covering the compound. If you see no such film and the compound is pink in color then you have no film to remove. Remember its very important to avoid getting dust or cookie crumbs from lunch ?º on the CPU die or thermal grease/compound

8. Install the heat sink fan in the method prescribed by your vendor. Be sure to use a blunt flat head screwdriver or a blunt socket driver to lower the clip over the tab.

9. When installing the HSF its very important unnecessary pressure is not applied to the CPU. Therefore my preference is to be gently pulling upward on the heat sink with my left hand as I push down on the clip with my right hand.

10. Fortunately this motherboard is designed with the socket close to the edge of the board. If you slip and the screwdriver nicks the board, use a magnifying glass to inspect the region and be sure no components or trace lines have been damaged. If there is damage, save your CPU and the rest of your components and return to your vendor to buy another board. (Don¡¦t get too discouraged. Many an experienced user fried a motherboard or two when first starting out as a system builder.)

11. When installing the HSF try not to jiggle the heat sink to the left or right once it¡¦s made contact with the CPU. This could jeopardize a clean contact between the CPU and the thermal compound or grease. Also unless very necessary, if you¡¦re having problems getting the clip onto the socket, try to avoid removing the heat sink entirely once its made contact with the CPU for the same reasons as above. Just leave it be and give your hands and nerves a few second breather

12. Once the HSF is installed, attach the 3 pin fan power connector to the 3 pin fan header that sits between the DIMM slots and the CPU. Your 3 pin plug from the fan should be notched so that it will only go on the fan header in one direction. Make sure the grooved side of the fan plug faces the white vertical plastic piece on the fan pin header.

13. NOTE some heat sink fans come with plugs that attach to your power supply. You should NOT install one of these fans for your first boot up on this motherboard. If your motherboard has shipped with the original BIOS there is a situation where you will get error messages and problems booting up if no fan is attached to the 3 pin CPU fan header. To be safe therefore, try to use a CPU fan with a three pin plug that attaches to the motherboard. Once you are set up and have flashed to the latest BIOS you can change to any CPU fan of your choice

14. Now that the CPU and HSF are installed Install your RAM. If using two sticks of RAM your best bet to start off with is to install them in DIMM slots 1 and 2

15. When installing your RAM use both hands with your fingers evenly spaced to cover the whole length of the stick. Press firmly straight downward until both of the white retention clips pop up and you hear each of them click in the locked position. If you¡¦re not sure, then remove the stick and try again. Be sure you are pressing directly downward and that you don¡¦t bend the chip.

For what it?s worth, the reason I attach the CPU/HSF and RAM before putting the motherboard in the case is to avoid possible damage. Ya never know when you?re gonna get a heat sink or RAM that requires a lot of pressure to install. If you wait until the board is in the case you risk bending or cracking the motherboard. Now in the future it?s not necessary to remove the board when changing out your RAM. But for a first installation I like to put the RAM in before installing the board so that if there are any problems on boot up I can rule out a bent or cracked board

-- continued in next post --

Mr Steveo


16. Now its time to confirm your case is ready for installation. Make sure you have popped out the metal place holders on the cases I/O panel so that the keyboard, mouse, USB, serial, parallel, game port, and audio ports can be fit through the case.

17. Next you want to be certain that the proper stand offs are in your empty case. This MSI motherboard has six holes with metal surrounds for securing the motherboard to the case. If possible I always use all six holes. I also for my own reasons avoid the plastic clips and standoffs used in some cases. Its just my personal preference but I find them to be a cumbersome pain

18. Ok, so look at the location of the six metal circled holes on the motherboard. Then grab six brass stand off screws from the bag of screws that came with your case. Screw the six brass stand offs into the case in the same locations so that they match up with the six metal circled holes on the motherboard.

19. ***** JUMPERS*****
K7TTurbo Series Boards: There is a jumper directly at the bottom of the DIMM slots. Consult your owners manual and verify this jumper is set for the FSB that corresponds to the CPU you purchased

K7T266 Pro2 Series Boards: Refer to your owner?s manual for the location of the Keyboard/Mouse wake up jumper and the USB wake up jumper. Once located, move them to the disabled position. Your computer will still wake up from standby mode by moving the mouse or tapping a key on the keyboard. What these jumpers are for is something different. These jumpers will cause power to be sent to the keyboard, mouse and USB devices even when the computer is fully turned off! The idea is that someone can click the mouse and make the computer turn on from a totally powered off or hibernated state. However because the draw it puts on the power supply, plus because many power supplies don?t support this feature, and because some problems people are having with their MSI?s might be related to this feature, its best if you move the jumpers to the disabled position **************

20. Now gently lower the motherboard into the case. Try to avoid nicking or scraping the case. Also if when you lower the motherboard in it doesn?t line up with the screws, gently lift upwards about a quarter inch and move the board so it?s positioned over each hole. Avoid sliding the motherboard around while it?s sitting on the standoffs to avoid accidentally scraping and damaging the bottom of the motherboard.

21. Now before you begin the following steps it might help to have an antistatic wristband that grounds you to the computer case or another known ground set up on your workbench. Clipping yourself to an exposed metal area of the case should be adequate.

22. Once the board is in place lower six screws into the holes and rest them gently there. Be sure the screws are the size proper to screw into the brass standoffs. Also, if you have a tool kit that has a an elongated tool that has graspers on one end and a syringe like plunger on the other, this is a great tool for lowering the screws while keeping your hands away from touching the motherboard. If you have no such tool, lower the screws gently and try to avoid touching the board or its components

23. Make sure you are using a NON magnetic screwdriver. I?m sure you?ve seen screw drivers that have a slight magnetism on the tip to hold a screw to the driver. Its better for obvious reasons when working on your computer that you use a non magnetic tipped screwdriver

24. Screw the six screws firmly into the holes. Tighten firm enough to hold the board in place but not so firm that you risk cracking the board.

25. Now is a good time to install your CD/DVD/CDRW drives, floppy drives, and hard drives in the case.

26. Next install the power supply in the case

27. Now attach the 20 pin ATX power connector from the power supply to the motherboard connector located between the HSF and the rear of the case. Be sure the clip on the connector is facing the side of the socket with the notch. If you?re not sure refer to the MSI owner?s manual for a list of which wires go in which of the 20 holes. This way you can be sure you?re putting the connector on in the correct direction


At this point it?s a good idea to install at least the DLED bracket in case you need to refer to the diagnostic lights on your first boot up. Refer to your owners manual if you need extra help

Attach the large black connector of the DLED bracket to the pin header labeled USB2 and attach the smaller black connector to the DLED pin header near the rear of PCI slot 1.

Attach the bracket to the bottom slot on your case. Because this motherboard only has 5 PCI slots and they start from the top down, the bottom slot on your case should be free for the USB bracket.

Once screwed in place feel free to use twist ties or duct tape to keep the bracket wires out of the way of the PCI slots.

28. Now its time to refer to your motherboard manual and attach the case power switch, standby switch, power LED, HDD LED, and case speaker connectors to the motherboard. With the LED connectors, be sure the color wire (the non white or black wire) connectors to the pin with the (+) symbol in the owners manual. If accidentally reversed no harm will be done but the LED will work in the opposite manner (on when supposed to be off and vice versa) One little set up tip that works with most cases. Just attach the pins so the writing on each black connector faces outward This nearly always results in a good installation

29. Referring to both the manuals from the MSI motherboard and the manual from your floppy drive, attach the floppy drive data cable. Be sure you first connect the end that goes to the drive THEN attach the end that goes to the motherboard. Because of the six hole design of the MSI boards you may want to do the following when attaching all cables to the motherboard. Once the cable is ready to be inserted in the board, rather than pressing it in lay it gently on top of the floppy socket. Then make sure your hands are dry. Use the four fingers on both your hands to just barely reach under the motherboard to support the edge of the board as you gently press the floppy connector into the socket. This will help avoid any unnecessary bending of the motherboard. Be sure to repeat this method later when installing the other IDE cables

30. Now attach one of the small power supply connectors to the floppy drive?s power connector. Reference the owners manual for the floppy drive to be sure you are not trying to put the connector on upside down


Mr Steveo


31. Now its time to install your AGP or PCI video card. If you?re using an AGP card be sure the grey retention pin that sits at the end of the AGP slot is in the bent down position where it almost touches the motherboard. When moving this retention clip, be careful not to bump that capacitor right near the clip. Ya don?t want to damage it

32. Firmly insert the AGP card into the slot until it?s fully inserted and the retention clip has popped up. If using a PCI video card be sure to install it in the ?top? PCI slot (PCI slot1) Be sure the card is standing straight up in the case and then screw the card firmly into the case

33. Stand the case up vertically and using a plastic twist tie or rubber bands be sure the remaining PSU power connectors are not going to fall into the case and dangle against the motherboard

34. Attach your monitor, mouse (PS/2 preferably), and keyboard. Then plug in the power to your monitor and the power cord to the computer.

35. Cross your fingers and press the power button to start it up

36. As soon as the computer powers up, immediately start pressing the delete key to enter the BIOS set up

37. Now that you?re in the BIOS set up, go to hardware monitor and watch the CPU temp. While sitting at the BIOS screen the temp should never exceed the mid 40 degrees worst case with an Athlon XP. Your temps probably will be lower.

38. Now as frustrating as this step is just let the computer sit there for 20 minutes and do nothing. Many users feel this step is unnecessary but it?s a personal preference of mine. The idea is to let the CPU get sufficiently warm and make a firm bond and seal with the thermal compound or grease. Plus since it's the first time these components have been exposed to an electrical current, 20 minutes of settling in isn?t a bad idea before shutting down or rebooting. Go grab a cup of coffee, look inside the case and be sure your CPU fan is spinning etc Whatever floats your boat.

39. If at any point in that 20 minutes your CPU temps exceed say 50 degrees for an Athlon XP or 60 degrees for a regular Athlon, shut down immediately and inspect your HSF and thermal compound installation. If unsure take the board in to your vendor for testing

40. If after 20 minutes everything is ok, you now have a few choices to make. Now is an excellent time to flash your BIOS before you get all your components installed. Also if you plan on using a CPU fan that does not attach to the motherboard this is the best time to flash to the latest BIOS. If you?re not familiar with how to flash your BIOS ? don?t. Either wait until you get help from people in the forum, or take the board to your vendor and they should be happy to flash it for you. I can tell you firmly that the BIOS v3.2, while not perfect, is quite stable and adequate for most set ups

41. Now regardless of how you proceed now is a good time to make some settings in the BIOS. Go to the main page and load the letup defaults. Then go in and set your date and time. Also be sure that BIOS Flash protection is set to ?Disabled? Also be sure ?Clear NVRAM is set to Yes? Finally if you have an Athlon XP or any other processor that supports a 266 FSB, then you also want to go into Hardware monitor and set CPU/FSB to 133 BE SURE THIS IS SET PROPERLY PRIOR TO ANY BIOS FLASH

42. Now choose to Exit saving changes

43. The computer will reboot and stop at a prompt telling you to insert a floppy disk

44. You can now power down wait 60 seconds and pop in the BIOS flash disk. Or if you?re not flashing, proceed to the next step


Assuming everything has gone smoothly so far, you¡¦re ready to attach your hardware
If you¡¦re planning on setting up RAID this will be covered in a later setup guide in a few days. If you need to set it up now, look for me or any experienced user in the forum and ask for help in setting up your jumpers drives, cables and the RAID BIOS If you're not setting up RAID, proceed with this guide

45. Using either a regular IDE cable or one of the ATA/100 IDE cables that came with your motherboard, locate the end of the cable with the black connector. Plug this into your DVD or CDROM drive. On the back of your CDROM or DVD drive be sure the jumper is in the Master position.

46. If you also have a CDRW drive or another CDROM drive attach this to the middle grey connector on the IDE cable. Be sure this drive has its jumper set as Slave. NOTE: if in your configuration you are planning on having a ZIP Drive. You will want to attach the zip drive to this connector, not the CDRW drive. Because ZIP drives are slowly being phased out and because ZIP drives are known to have problems with some operating systems and with some VIA chipsets, I try to avoid using these types of drives. CDRW drives work just fine. However if you must have a ZIP drive place it on this grey connector and jumper the ZIP drive as slave

47. ONLY AFTER the ribbons are attached to the drives should you attach the cable to the motherboard. Take the remaining blue connector on the IDE cable and attach it to the White (Secondary IDE) connector on the motherboard. Be sure to use the method you used with your fingers and thumbs when installing the floppy cable to the motherboard to avoid bending the board

48. Find the other ATA/100 cable that came with your motherboard and locate the black connector on that cable. Attach the black connector to your main hard drive. Set the jumper on the hard drive as Master if you¡¦re going to install a second slave hard drive. Jumper it as Master or Cable Select if it¡¦s a stand alone drive. The only exception is if you have a Western Digital Hard Drive. If you have a WD and its going to be a stand alone drive, the proper jumper setting is Single Refer to the drives owners manual for how to jumper the drive as Single for a Western Digital

49. If you have a slave hard drive, jumper it as slave and attach the middle grey IDE connector. If because of a Zip drive you also have a CDRW drive still to install you can put it as the slave drive on this cable. But be warned that having the hard drive share the cable with an optical or ZIP drive will drastically reduce your hard drives performance (another reason to avoid ZIP drives in a standard configuration)

50. Attach the remaining blue connector to the motherboards blue, non RAID IDE connector (Primary IDE) Remember to use your fingers and thumbs to avoid bending the board

51. ONLY AFTER all the IDE cables are attached should you attach the power cables from the power supply. Now that all the drives are attached go ahead and pop in those power cables.


52. For your very first full boot up and first attempt installing the operating system, it¡¦s recommended to start with the least PCI cards necessary to avoid any errors. There is an exception to this. Because of how the Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems heavily depend on networking components, you might want to install any Ethernet (NIC) card you have now.

53. Network cards work best and will install fine in either PCI Slot 2, Slot3 or Slot 4 on this particular motherboard. For many reasons here¡¦s what I suggest for now. If you have a Sound Blaster series sound card then install the NIC in Slot 2 or Slot 4. If you have no sound card or a non Sound Blaster card, install your NIC in Slot 3

54. For now do not install any other PCI cards.

55. Now its time to close up the case, power up and install your operating system

NOTE: Assuming you have no problems installing your operating system you can then add in the remaining PCI cards one at a time. Please refer to my Guide on PCI SLOTs which is after my GUIDE on BIOS settings

Also note that many people have been asking for help on the proper way to install their operating systems, critical updates, VIA drivers, and video and sound card drivers. For now if you need help ask in the forum. I will try to have a guide for Win 9X/ME and another for Windows 2000 and a third for Windows XP available in the forum soon.



Mr Steveo


--- written by RacerX27 from

Computer Case USB Connections

This data if for a KT3 and KT3 ARU, other MBs you are on your own.

USB Headers: A toothpick will work, or a stiff needle to remove pins if needed.

Gently bend the tab. and pull the wire out. Pay attention to the rotation of the contact in the housing(connector)

Pg 2-21 shows the pin out for the board. JUSB2

Port 1 pins 1,3,5,7,9, are all the same connector, same USB port
Port 2 pins 2,4,6,8,10

Look at the USB external assy for the correct colors for wires.

Pin 1 USB 1 Red
Pin 2 USB 2 Red

Pin 3 USB 1 White
Pin 4 USB 2 White

Pin 5 USB 1 Green
Pin 6 USB 2 Green

Pin 7 USB 1 Black
Pin 8 USB 2 Black

Pin 9 (no pin 9 on mobo)
Pin 9 is the "key" no pin this pin may have a plug, to remove the plug from another connector use a small staighted paperclip. A paper clip will also work to remove pins by gently bending out the contact retainer.

Pin 10 no connection to the case is needed

Heatsink Fan Installation


Read it cover to cover if you are new to the Athlon!



my case has 2 front usb connections,there isdata o, data+,vcc,and1 ground.on the mobo ther are 2 grounds,do i just leave 1 ground off?thanks k7vt266pro2ru


How do you stop the onboard speaker from beeping when you do something in win XP?


The on board speaker beeps every time you do some thing in windows how can I stop that?


New member
Jul 7, 2002
this is a faq thread not a help thread so go post in the via forum

your last 2 posts are getting removed

and read this and post full specs as well Moan Guide



Wondering if any one could tell me if you can run 2 different FSB Speeds.

I have a MSI K7 Master thats supports 256MHZ FSB
and a Athlon XP2600+ Processor that supports 333mhz FSB

If not why and what would happen

MSI K7 Master MS6341
Athlon XP1800+ (runs around 1.5 Ghz)
Ge-Force 4 MMX 128 MB
768 MB DDR
60 GB Seagate 7200rpm
Sound Blaster 5.1 Audigy
Time Standard Tower 350 Watt power supply


New member
Jul 7, 2002
same goes to you

a 333 fsb cpu needs to be set at 166 in the bios

no cpu can use 256 bios fsb