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Will a Dimension 3000 mobo fit in an ATX case?

By mtgmutton
Sep 6, 2008
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  1. I would like to purchase a new case for the "guts" of my dell dimension 3000, but i'm a bit worried about the motherboard. I've had problems with dell and proprietary stuff before (fan issue...), and i heard that dell makes proprietary motherboards as well. Is this true? If anyone knows if a dell dimension 3000 motherboard will fit in the case below, please post a response and tell me! thanks in advance :)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811121065
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    The 3000 is micro atx, so it should fit in any normal atx or matx case. The problem is the non-standard connections dell uses for their front panel (button, leds, usb, etc). The connectors can be made to work, it just requires modification.

    Also, you may need to get a new heatsink for the processor if you get a new case since the dell heatsink has no fan (it uses the rear exhaust fan and the shroud to pull air through it).
  3. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks so much :D how much "modification" are we talking here? i don't have a lot of experience with heatsinks or buttons.:eek:
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Well, you'll basically have to trace the wires from the dell's button/leds to the motherboard to figure out what pins on the board go to each. The power button is easiest, since a power button doesn't have polarity, it just has to make contact between two pins.

    Leds do have polarity, but this can be determined by looking at them. To do so, you remove them from the led holder and look at them from the side to identify which pin is positive (anode) and which is negative (cathode). Inside the led, the negative (cathode) is the bigger piece. Once that is figured out, just trace the wires from the led to the board.
    [​IMG]
    It may be helpful while tracing the wires to draw a little diagram of the dell's motherboard pins and then label each of the pins on the diagram as you figure them out.

    Once you figure out the pins on the dell board, you'll need to match them up to the connector(s) on the new case. If you're lucky, there may be no modification needed, just match up pins. It all just depends on how the pins are laid out on the dell board, and the style of connector(s) the new case is using.
  5. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks very much :) That doesn't seem incredibly difficult, and i think i'll be able to manage it.
  6. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Bad news. The mobo doesn't fit... it's too small. And it has a different back (all the ports are in different places). AND to top it off, i had to remove the heatsink to take out the mobo, and in the process bent a bunch of pins... and now i can't get it back in. Will I have to get a new mobo?
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    Evidently you removed the processor too rather than just the heastsink. If you can't straighten the pins, a new motherboard would seem to be in your future. If the pins aren't too badly damaged, you might be able to straighten them by careful use of a credit card or similar material. If not, just chalk it all up to experience.
  8. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    An atx case will accept micro atx, and the case you linked to specifically states matx compatibilty. You would have to install the brass standoffs in the proper positions for the dell board though.

    You have to remove the IO panel plate from the dell case and put it into the new case, in place of the generic plate.

    Some systems in this line use four standoffs with screws through the board around the procesor to hold the retention bracket onto the motherboard. A new case probably will not have mounting positions for these. There are several ways around this problem. First is to get a heatsink that uses a motherboard backplate and mounts through the board. For example this mounts through the board, unfortunately, it's pretty loud too. Another solution to this is to buy some nuts that will match the thread of the screws that hold the heatsink retention shroud onto the board. Finally, you could buy a 478 retention bracket like this and use it instead of the stock one.

    The pins would be on the processor, since this is socket 478. If you can't straighten them (or if they are broken off), then you'd need a new processor. I've heard of people using a mechanical pencil with the lead removed to straighten the pins. The tip of the pencil fits around the pin and you can then bend it back straight. I'd imagine a mechanical pencil with a metal tip would be better for this. You'd only need a new mobo if a pin broke off in the socket and you couldn't get it out (or if the motherboard was otherwise broken).
  9. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks, I thought my computer was a goner! It seems the heatsink is attached to the cpu via some sort of adhesive... I was foolish to think that that was part of the heatsink! I'll have to try the mechanical pencil thing (lucky me i always use mechanicals). Also, the I/O port piece didn't look removable from the outside, but I can see that now from the inside. Were these "brass standoffs" supposed to come with the new case? I'm not sure what they are supposed to look like... Again, thanks for the advice :)
  10. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Nevermind about the brass standoffs. I googled it :)

    Another bump has occurred... I can't get the cpu into it's place. The pins are all straight, but it won't go in. Any ideas?
  11. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    Is the motherboard socket unlocked? The processor only goes in one way so is it oriented correctly?
     
  12. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I'm a bit worried. the processor was attached so firmly to the heatsink that it came off with it. The Dell website says that to remove the processor I should lift a lever (to "unlock" the socket, i guess) and then pull. Is there any way to get it placed? or is it completely gone? the page that says this is here:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim3000/en/SM/parts.htm#wp1043338
  13. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    Even though it appears you forcibly pulled out the processor, you have to lift the lever to insert the processor. If I understand the situation correctly, however, the processor and heatsink are still stuck together. You have to separate the processor from the heatsink before you can properly install the processor. Gently twist the processor and heatsink back and forth gently to loosen them. Be careful if you try to pry them apart with any tools so that you don't damage the mating surfaces. The thermal compound between the processor and heatsink has to be cleaned off with alcohol and fresh thermal compound applied.

    Hopefully, the pins weren't damaged from being yanked out.
  14. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Unfortunately, this is where the problem arises. The cpu doesn't go into it's socket, even with the lever raised. Does that mean that the pins were damaged? If so, do I have to get a new processor or a new motherboard entirely?
  15. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    It depends upon where the problem lies. Be absolutely sure the pins are as straight as you can get them. It doesn't take much misalignment to hang up the processor.

    Now are you sure the processor is oriented correctly?
  16. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I straightened some stray pins so that all of the pins were as straight as could be, and made sure of proper orientation, but to no avail. :( it still refuses to go in.
  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    At this point without looking at it, I'm out of ideas.
  18. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    You could try looking at a cpu install guide video, like this one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSFOfAGjql0

    If the pins are straight...it should drop right in, but I know they are difficult to get all straightened just right..
  19. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I was able to get the cpu in, but there are pins missing (5 of them). Will it still boot? Or should I get a replacement (I've already searched on newegg and found my exact processor for 79.99 w/ free shipping.)
  20. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    So 5 pins broke off? Or just aren't there? It depends on what pins are missing if it will work without them or not. I'd say with 5 though, chances are slim that it'll work, but might as well try, nothing to lose.
  21. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    No luck. I will order the processor tonight or tomorrow.
  22. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,624

    well I edit this post because I had not read the whole thread. sorry
  23. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    OK good news and bad news... good first. I got the new processor and it works :) kudos to newegg! the bad news: I have been forced to type this from a linux live-cd because my hard drive won't work... I can't tell you much because there is no output relating to the problem, except for the "hd error in past boot" every few boots. Another problem, also relating to the hard drive, is that I can't connect it to the motherboard, the cable is too short. I can only connect it from one of the 2 floppy drive bays... which is not where i want it to go. Can I get a new one (or an extension cable) at radioshack or something?
  24. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,428   +217

    No problem. Longer cables are available.
  25. mtgmutton

    mtgmutton TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Nevermind, had the wrong cable plugged in to the hard drive :eek: I don't know what to do here... My BIOS doesn't recognize the hard drive as actually there... I've tried everything I can think of (setting hard drive to master, new cable, resetting the BIOS, etc). The hard drive was working fine before i changed the case... Most recently (and probably most important), I've checked for a drive failure by using an external drive's case. My primary hard drive is definitely busted. It simply doesn't load, even in my external drive's case through USB. But my external drive is recognized fine over the USB connection. When I took out the external drive, however, and plugged it in to the IDE port in the motherboard, it vanished. Does this mean I need a new motherboard? Please, say it ain't so!

    SIMPLIFIED: it seems that my computer simply cannot recognize internal hard drives, and just calls it "unknown device". how can i fix this?
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