If you have a new system from Stormforce Gaming, here is how to prepare it for first use
This guide is designed to offer installation advice to new Stormforce Gaming customers who have recently purchased a system. A customised gaming system is an exciting purchase, especially if it is a gift!
If you have any questions about your new system, need any guidance, advice or technical support. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us immediately so we can resolve any problems for you as quickly as possible.
You can Contact Stormforce Gaming support lines HERE
If you purchased your new system as a gift, we advise that customers open up the system and follow this guide to ensure that everything is working as it should and everything on the system is updated.
If you’re not a gamer yourself, you may be wondering why we would recommend unpacking your new gaming system and setting it up before packing it away again to give as a gift. Each system that ships from Stormforce Gaming is packaged carefully by our team following multiple quality control inspections. We include additional protective measures inside most of our systems to ensure that the system reaches you in the same condition that it left us in. This guide will show you how to remove any protective products used in our packaging.
Every Stormforce Gaming system is quality checked extensively before leaving our production facility.
Unpacking your new Stormforce Gaming System
It is vital that you keep all of the packaging and protective foam for your system. The packaging with all of our systems is specifically designed to protect your computer in transit.
Stormforce Gaming covers collections for repair over the entire warranty period and having the packaging for your system will help keep your whole computer safe in transit.
When you purchase a Stormforce Gaming or Stormforce PRO system, your computer will ship in an outer box appropriate to protect the system inside. For our high performance systems that weigh a lot, we use specialist outer packaging and foam that offers increased protection.
When you open the box and take the system out of the packaging, your system will be presented in a plastic protective bag. Take the system out of the bag and keep the bag with the rest of the packaging. It is there to reduce the risk of scratches to your system chassis.
When your system is out of the box, you will notice a warning label on the windowed side panel. This contains instructions on how to remove the internal packaging that is protecting your system.
Each case we use is different but most of them have 4 screws on the side panel or two screws towards the rear of the case that allow you to remove the windowed side panel from your PC.
Most of our systems come with a tempered glass panel that allows you to see inside your computer. Typically these glass panels have a layer of plastic film on the inside and outside to help avoid scratches. When removing the windowed side panel, it is a good idea to remove the plastic film from the inside of the panel at this point.
Leave the plastic film on the outside of the panel to help avoid scratches if you are packing the system back up after setup. Gamers love peeling plastic film off their new hardware, so this is really important!
All of the systems we ship with graphics cards have additional foam packaging inside. It is vital you remove this foam before turning the system on for the first time as it can severely damage the computer if you leave it inside the case.
We know this because we tried it out to see what happens…
Carefully lay the system down on its rear panel and pull the foam upwards and out of the case. The foam packs used inside your system expand to fill all of the negative space inside the case.
The foam pack will form perfectly around your hardware and can be replaced should you need to ship the system back to us for a repair. Again, it is really important that you keep this foam pack as it will ensure your system is safe in transit if it ever needed to be returned.
When you have removed the protective foam and plastic films from the inside of your system, it is a good opportunity to check inside the case for any loose cables. When pulling the protective foam out of the computer, there is a small chance that a cable may have been pulled out. Look inside the system and try to identify any obvious cables that are loose.
Setting up the rear connections on your system
At the rear of your new system, there will be a lot of ports and connections available. Many of these will be useful for adding a keyboard, mouse and headset/speakers to your gaming setup.
The power cable that ships with your system will plug into the rear of the power supply. This is typically at the bottom of each of our systems and has the Kettle Lead power connection. Ensure that the PSU switch is set to the off (circle) position before plugging the system into the wall. Then move the switch to the on position (line) when the computer is plugged into the wall.
Working from the bottom up, the two gold connections on the horizontal PCI slots is the WiFi card. Your system will ship with some WiFi Antenna in the accessory box. Screw these into place on the gold connections. This will enhance WiFi signal strength and range and mean you can connect to wireless networks.
For some systems that feature bluetooth and WiFi, it is important to install the antennas still even if you don’t plan to use WiFi to connect to the internet. This is because the WiFi antenna also transmits bluetooth signal.
The horizontal card with lots of video outputs is your video card or graphics card. It is important that you plug your PC monitor into here. We advise that you use DisplayPort to connect to your monitor. High performance graphics cards and gaming monitors with high refresh rates benefit from using this connection.
If you don’t have a DisplayPort capable monitor, the second best option is to use a HDMI connection. This is the same connector you will find on any modern TV and will do a good job of transmitting visuals from your PC to the monitor.
There may be some additional video outputs on the motherboard for your system. Typically we put caps on these to blank these ports off and avoid confusion. If your system has a graphics card, your monitor should be plugged into this and not the motherboard.
The motherboard connections are visible on the vertical panel of connections towards the top of the PC. This is the best area for plugging in USB peripherals, Sound devices like speakers and headsets and your Ethernet/LAN cable.
It is best to plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse before you first boot up the system so that you can interact with the system and check that it is functioning properly.
Ready to Go!
You should now be ready to turn on your system. Press the power button on the front of the chassis to start the computer up.
If the computer doesn’t start first time around, check that the switch on the mains plug is on. Then take a look at the switch at the back of the power supply on the system and ensure it is set to on (line).
If the computer doesn’t turn on after this there may be a problem and it would be best to call our technical support team to help identify the specific reason behind the system not powering on.
With the system booting up, you will be presented with a POST screen on the monitor that displays all system information and shows checks for devices like storage drives.
The system will then start the process of booting into Windows. (If you have purchased from our Configurator and purchased a PC without an operating system, now is the time to install the OS of your choice)
Follow the onscreen prompts on the system to set up the computer to your liking. This process will allow you to setup wireless or wired network connections, choose your preferences and set up user accounts if needed.
Once you have completed the setup steps, your system will load up onto Windows desktop.
If you have purchased a system with Windows 10 installed, you may be prompted to install Windows 11 as all Windows 10 systems we ship are eligible for a free upgrade to the new operating system.
Additional Setup Tips for Systems as a Christmas Gift
It is really likely that gaming will be the main use of your system. With that in mind, it is really important to install games and programs beforehand.
All Stormforce Gaming systems are shipped with the most recent stable driver packages. These should be fine to start with but it is worth checking every couple of months for a new video card driver.
You can find NVIDIA GeForce Drivers HERE and AMD Radeon Drivers HERE.
It is probably wise to let Windows download any updates and update them. Press the Windows key + S on your keyboard to bring up the search function and type ‘Update’ into the search bar. This will bring up the Windows Update section and allow you to download, install or schedule Windows updates that may have been released since your system shipped.
Most Stormforce Gaming systems come with a one month free trial of XBOX Game Pass for PC – this is preinstalled on your system as part of Windows. Simply log into the Game Pass app in Windows to get going. As this is a month free trial, it is maybe best to do this when you start using the system properly to get the most out of the free month of gaming.
Game Pass for PC also gives you access to EA Play which allows you to play EA games as part of your XBOX Game Pass for PC subscription. EA Desktop App is needed for this. Download EA Desktop App Here
Steam is the largest game platform and many gamers will want a steam account to help manage their PC Game library and join games with friends. Download STEAM Here
Epic Games Store is the launcher for Fortnite as well as many other games in their store. Epic Store gives away free games often so it is worth accessing their store to find deals. Download Epic Games Store Here
Most gamers will want to speak to their teammates in games. Discord is a great way to find communities of likeminded gamers and is a free communication tool. Download Discord Here