Some motherboards have multiple M.2 slots on them, it’s not quite plug-in-and-play though. Once you’ve plugged your new M.2 SSD into a free slot you’ll need to activate the SSD drive and assign a drive letter.
The good news is, it’s super easy to do!
With the new M.2 SSD now installed, turn the PC on and let it boot into windows as normal. The new drive won’t be usable until we activate it.
This will make the ‘create and format hard disk partitions’ tool pop up.
The default number that appears here automatically is the max storage available (yep, 500GB becomes 476B when formatted..) so just go with what pops up and click next.
The same process can be used for all types of storage, HDD and regular SSD too.
Today we’re setting up some ARGB fans with a motherboard that doesn’t have any RGB or ARGB headers to see what’s involved. We’ll also be controlling these via software, so we can enjoy all the customisation options that come with the latest addressable RGB kits!
For this we’re going to be using our favourite Cooler Master ARGB 3x Fan Kitas it has a fan controller included, before we get stuck into the install we’ll just take a quick look at what comes inside the box.
– A-RGB LED Small Controller
– SATA & Thermal Detection Cable
– 1 to 3 A-RGB Cable & Cable to sync MB
– 1 to 3 Fan Power Cable Splitter
– Thermal Detector
– 3x 120mm A-RGB Fans
– 12 Fan Screws
– User Manual + Warranty Information Booklet
OK let’s get into it! (insert great pic from manual)
First, we connected the ARGB Cable (it’s got 3 pins, shown below) and the Fan Power Cable Splitter (ignoring the Asus and Gigabyte connectors) to the appropriate connectors on the fan cables. The ARGB and Fan Power connector types are clearly marked on the cables with white tags. The green arrows below show the little triangles that match up.
We then connected the ARGB Cable 5 pin connector and the SATA & Thermal Detection Cable 4 pin connector to the controller.
Finally, we connected the SATA & Thermal Detection Cable into the Thermal Detector and SATA power connector from the PSU.
When turning on the PC we had success, the fans were running fine and the LEDs lit up – able to be controlled through the buttons on the ARGB controller.
The ARGB controller is easy to mount into the case as it is magnetic, and with you’ll have a few effects and the beautiful ARGB rainbow mode
The Manual that comes in the box states you can download software on Cooler Master’s website. This is a fairly easy process but you’ll need to get your own MicroUSB cable and internal USB Header adapter for it to look super clean 😛 (cowboy mode plugging the micro USB cable into a USB port on the outside of your PC work though)
Now, onto connecting the Fans and Controller through the software 🙂
Here we opened up the detected controller and then navigated to the configuration page.
Once on the configuration page, we added the single MasterFan ARGB option (indicated by the double light bulb icon) via the + symbol. (The MasterLiquid options also work but aren’t really needed since the controller only has one port to control.)
This will add the fan into the top left-hand corner, next, we click on the light bulb icon of the added fan.
Then connect that to the first controller port by clicking on the light bulb icon with the A1 next to it.
OK, now that tricky bit is done, we can begin changing the LED modes and individual LED colours! As we have our fans connected to the first port on our controller we can configure and customize through the overview tab.
From the overview tab, you can select the different patterns for the LEDs.
Step #1 – Insert the USB Drive into a port on your PC
Step #2 – Turn the PC on and immediately start tapping DEL to enter the BIOS
Step #3 – in the ‘Boot Menu’ (for high end BIOS you might have to click advanced options first) select the ‘USB’ drive as option Boot Option #1. Press F10 to save and exit BIOS.
Step #4 – Reboot
Step #5 – You’ll PC will now boot into the screen shown below, select the 64-Bit option
Step #6 – For New Zealand, change the keyboard option as shown to ‘United States-International’ and leave the language + time and currency as English (United Kingdom)
Step #7 – Click the big ‘install now’ button that has appeared 🙂
Step #8 – Select ‘I don’t have a product key’
Step #9 – Select ‘Windows 10 Home
Step #10 – Once you accept the terms you’ll reach this screen, select ‘Custom: Install Windows Only’
Step #11 – Click delete on all existing partitions, a warning will pop up for each one reminding you that once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Step #12 – Now you should only be left with a single option, per drive, that’s says ‘Unallocated space’ – click the one you want to install on to highlight it, then click next.
Step #13 – You’ve done it, now you’re installing Windows on a nice clean drive as though it was a brand new PC.
From this point it’s going to be pretty straight forward, it will progress through the menu then ask to reboot.
Remember step #1? When the PC reboots it’s going to boot from the USB if that’s still plugged in, so if you find yourself on step #2 or even #3 simple turn off the PC, remove the USB and turn it back on!