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motherboard system panel connection to case


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#1
acc

acc

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I have Dell Dimension 2400 that has a bad motherboard. I am replacing it with an Asus P4P800 MX. They are both P4 socket 478 micro atx and I am using the Dell case. I see where to make most of the connections to the motherboard except with the system panel connector. The system panel connector is a 9 pin connector on Dell and Asus has a 20 pin for the system panel connector. I traced the wires that go in to the Dell 20 pin. 2 are from the power led, 2 are from the hard drive led and 2 are from the power switch.

How do you suggest I connect the Dell case to the Asus motherboard?
Where can I get a 20 pin connector with wires attached and then solder to the wires from the Dell power led, hard drive, led, power switch?
How do I wire in the reset? 1 button on Dell is off and on and reset.

I appreciate any assistance.
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#2
Neil Jones

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Let's look at the manual.

Looks like you'd need to cut the front panel connectors on the Dell machine to separate them in order to get the right wires on the right jumpers. In some cases you can actually work the wire out of the connector and then shove the separated wires to the appropriate standoffs. In other cases you, um, can't. You may be able to just carefully cut the connector.

Something else to watch out for is the power supply. They have been known to be non-standard and uniquely wired for the board that came with the case originally. As would have the front system panel connectors, as Dell are quite good at doing this.
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#3
SRX660

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As Neil says you will not be able to use the Dell proprietary connection to connect to another Mb. I have succesfully cut and soldered the wires to connectors i took off a front panel of a junked computer. The connectors looked like these.

http://www.extremete...,1149953,00.asp

I use shrink tubing to cover the solder joints. You will have to determine which wires are used in the Dell switch button for the correct use. Dell, in their wisdom, does not use color coding on the wires in the standard way. On the startup botton you will need to use a multimeter to find which wire is reset and which is power on. I used a common ground between the two switches( i soldered 2 connector ground wires to single switch ground wire). I also made a diagram of each wire coming from the dell switch( and lights) and labeled the wires so i know what wire was power and what was ground. Some of theses connectors it does not matter which way they are connected as the connection is just a passthru for the power( lights)that is controlled by the motherboard. Using a multimeter to check continuity while pushing the power on switch on and off will tell you which wire it is. on the dell i worked on the black wire was the ground wire on the switch. The gound wires on the connectors from the junked computer uses the white wire as the ground wire. It will look funny as white is connceted to black, red is connecter to green or orange, etc, but that is the nature of doing this kind of mod.

If you really do not want to splice wires together you can buy a tool that will push the connector wires out of the connector so you can put them in the type of conectors shown on the above website. You can get this tool here.

http://www.coolerguy...0556056768.html

http://svcompucycle....ving-tools.html

If you really cannot find a junk case somewhere to steal the connectors from you can use these. They are kind of short but useable with modding.

http://www.xoxide.co...ontrol-kit.html

ACC, the only thing i can say now is welcome to the world of MODDING. I have been doing this for a while now and find it great fun to build computers that when you open them up you cant see any wiring.

SRX660
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#4
acc

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Thank you Neil and SRX660 for your prompt responses.

SRX660 thank you for the most excellent explaination with terms and photos I can clearly understand. Great tip to label the wires upon completion. Dell really does make a repair like this difficult. On the Asus Mb some of the connections are not directly above or beside each other so I will definitely need the connectors with wires to solder to. If I understood correctly, on the LEDs it does not matter which wire is connected to the + or - connection for the Power and HD LED's but on the Power Switch it is important. I am familiar with a multi meter and have one. The Dell startup button only has 2 wires and is used for both startup and reset. I can set the meter to ohms and connect each Power switch wire to one of the leads from the meter and push the button on the panel. How will I determine on the startup button with a multimeter which wire is reset and which is power on?

The Dell has 1 power switch with 2 wires coming from it but on the Asus Mb, for a Power Switch there are power & ground connections and for the Reset Switch there are reset & ground connections. For these 4 connections, how do you suggest the 2 wires be connected?
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#5
SRX660

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Ah, i see your dilemma. i have not tried this on that kind of switch. I had a older dell that had 3 wires from the switch. Hold the switch halfway in and it resets, and pushed all the way in it told the computer to shut down. I think this was controlled by the motherboard. In your case i would just wire a second switch up to the reset and place the switch somewhere convenient to use. Does your dell have the flip up cover for the usb ports? I would put it there. Here's some switches that i use. I get them from radio shack. The dell switch should act like a regular on/off switch for the asus MB.

http://www.apem.com/pushbutton.html

SRX660
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#6
acc

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SRX660, thank you for all the assistance. Here is the solution I used in case it will assist others. I went to an independent computer store and got the HD LED, PWR LED & POWER SWITCH generic switches/LEDS and connectors that will fit the motherboard. I removed the Dell connectors andthe attached LED’S & POWER SWITCH that was attached to them. I installed the generic PWR LED and POWER SWITCH into the Dell system panel. The generic HD LED did not fit the Dell panel so I left it and clipped the wire to the existing HD LED and clipped the wire to the existing generic HD LED connector. I then soldered the Dell HD LED to the generic connector & used heat shrink tubing over the solder joints. I believe I am ready to connect to the Asus motherboard which should arrive in the next couple of days.

I am really pissed at Dell for making this so difficult and not following industry standard connections. It is a great reason to never get another one of their products as long as I have a choice.
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#7
Neil Jones

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Not uniqually a Dell problem - many OEMs "butcher" for want of a better word things like front panel connectors to such an extent that they're unusuable with any board other than the one the case came with. Most usually stop at the front panel - I have seen some with unique front-panel USBs that are non-standard. Dell are good at butchering the power supply on occasion too.
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