When a computer ships from the factory, its power supply produces a sufficient number of watts to power the standard components in the computer. As you upgrade your Dell Inspiron 546 computer and add additional devices, such as video cards, hard drives and CD/DVD players, the computer will require more power. If the original power supply can't meet the new demand, you'll need to purchase and install a higher wattage power supply.
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Things you need
- Phillips screwdriver
Shut down your computer and disconnect the power cord. Wait a few seconds and detach everything from the computer's rear panel. Press the "Power" button to ground the system board.
Lay the computer on its left side so that you are facing the computer's rear panel.
Remove the two screws from the rear edge of the side panel.
Slide the cover about 2 inches toward the rear panel of the computer and lift it straight up off the computer case.
Disconnect all power cables from the motherboard and internal drives.
Remove the four power supply-retaining screws from the rear panel.
Press down the two retention snaps on the front of the power supply as you slide it forward and remove it from the computer.
Ensure the voltage selector on the rear of the new supply is set to the correct voltage for your area; it should be "110" in the United States.
Press down the two retention snaps as you slide the power supply into place.
Secure the power supply with the four screws in the rear panel.
Connect the necessary cables to the motherboard and the internal devices.
Slide the side cover into place and replace the two retaining screws.
Set the computer upright and reconnect the peripheral devices. Reconnect the power cable and plug the computer into its power source.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure you ground yourself before you disconnect the power cables by touching the power supply case. This prevents damage to the motherboard caused by electrostatic discharge.
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