Computers, Laptops & Tablets Accessories & Hardware Installing a PCI Adapater Card By Mark Kyrnin Writer Mark Kyrnin is a former Lifewire writer and computer networking and internet expert who also specializes in computer hardware. our editorial process LinkedIn Mark Kyrnin Updated July 17, 2019 Westend61/Getty Images Accessories & Hardware Cards Keyboards & Mice Monitors HDD & SSD Printers & Scanners Raspberry Pi Tweet Share Email This guide was developed to instruct users on the proper method for installing a PCI adapter card into a desktop computer system. It is a step-by-step instruction guide with photographs detailing the individual steps. Since there are a wide variety of PCI adapters that can be installed inside of a computer system, it will only show the physical installation of the card. Peripheral attachment either through internal or external connections should be done by referring to the installation directions that come included with the adapter card. Fortunately, this is a fairly simple process that only requires a Phillips-head screwdriver and a few minutes of your time. 01 of 08 Intro and Power Down Mark Kyrnin Before beginning any work on the inside of a computer system, it is important to make sure there is no power. Shutdown the computer from the operating system. Once the computer has safely shut down, flip the switch on the back of the power supply and remove the AC power cord. 02 of 08 Opening Up the Computer Mark Kyrnin The method for opening the computer case will vary depending upon how it was manufactured. Most new cases will use either a side panel or door while older ones require that the whole cover to be removed. Remove any screws that fasten the cover to the case and set them aside in a safe place. 03 of 08 Remove PC Card Slot Cover Mark Kyrnin Determine which slot inside of the computer the PCI card will be installed in. Based on this slot, remove the slot cover from the case. Most cases will have an internal slot cover that needs to be unscrewed from the case. Some new cases use covers that simply snap into the slot. 04 of 08 Insert the PCI Card Mark Kyrnin Position the PCI card in the slot directly over the connector and gently push down on both sides of the card until it slides into the PCI connector. 05 of 08 Fasten the PCI Card to the Case Mark Kyrnin Fasten the PCI card to the computer case with a screw in the slot cover. Some new cases may use a tool-free connector that snaps into place over the card cover to hold the card in place. 06 of 08 Attach Any Cables Mark Kyrnin Most PCI cards are being installed into the computer to connect some peripheral to the computer system. This means that one or more cables will need to be attached between the PCI card and the peripheral. Attach any internal or external cables at this point. 07 of 08 Close the Computer Case Mark Kyrnin At this point, all the internal installation work is completed and the computer case can be closed up. Return the panel or cover to the case and fasten it with the screws that were previously removed. 08 of 08 Power Up the Computer Mark Kyrnin Plug the AC power cord back into the computer and flip the switch on the back to the ON position. At this point, the card is physically installed into the computer system. It is still necessary for the system to be powered on and the hardware detected. Once the system has detected the hardware, it should request any necessary software drivers for its proper operation. Please refer to the documentation that came with the adapter card for the proper software installation procedure.