Jumper switches are hardware switches installed on motherboards and peripheral cards like graphics cards and video capture cards. These switches determine settings for the basic functions of various components of your computer system. Changing a jumper setting is a simple process, but can have a drastic effect on the way your system operates. Jumpers are pairs of pins with a plastic cover that contains a wire. If the cover is over both pins, the switch is engaged, or closed. If the cover is not present or placed over one pin, the switch is open, or inactive. Jumper switches should only be changed by someone with computer hardware and software experience.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Manual for the computer
- Manual for the graphics card
- Tools for opening the computer case
- Anti-static wristband
Turn the computer off. Unplug the computer.
Don the anti-static wristband and attach it to something metal in your work area to ground you; this will protect your computer from damage due to static electricity.
Open the case. Most computer cases require a Phillips screwdriver to open. Even if wearing the anti-static wristband, it is a good idea to touch something metal to discharge any static electricity you have built up.
Remove the card from the motherboard. If you are not sure which card it is, use the manual for the graphics card to determine which card it is. Some cards have a mechanism for locking the card into its slot on the motherboard; if your card has such a lock, disengage it before removing the card. Consult the graphics card manual for the effects of changing any jumpers on the card before changing any switches. Record the position of all jumpers before making any changes.
Slide the jumper switch you wish to change from its current setting to its other possible setting by either removing or placing the plastic cover. Most banks of switches are labelled, and all jumper switches on a particular card will be located together in one bank. Replace the graphics card, replace the computer case, plug the computer in and power it on. If you encounter problems, change the jumpers back to their original settings.
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