Front Panel incompatible

By Sibhod ยท 29 replies
Aug 14, 2008
  1. I just upgraded my dell 3000s MB/CPU and got a new PSU because my PSU failed so i thought why not go all out on a piece of crap.

    I've installed the new MB and CPU fine, but upon trying to plug in the Front Panel cable for the front LEDs and Power button, i found that the pins do not fit at all. the cable looks something like
    0 being openings for pins, and X being a closed portion

    the front panel port on the MB however, looks as though it has two separate availabilities for a plug, something like

    0000 0000

    the 0's being pins. It is all contained within one rectangle on the MB and there is a large-ish space between the 4/5 and 4/0 sets of pins.

    i will try to get actual pictures up within the hour.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,157   +459

    Dell's proprietary connectors are a known problem with installing an aftermarket motherboard into a Dell case. You can either use another case or carefully cut up the front panel connector to individually match your new motherboard.

    Maybe someone else has a better idea.
  3. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah it wasn't something i was expecting, but then the obvious thought came to me "it's a dell..." not really into getting a new case because i've been waiting 2 days for the MB CPU (Thanks newegg!) though it's looking at the board that i get confused. i'm not exactly the accomplished electrician so beyond seeing 'ok i've got the wires coming from the two leds and power switch' not sure where i would connect from there.

    i suppose i'll go stare at the Hardware instillation guidebook for the MB for a bit longer..

    Edit: ok the book describes it like this

    Power LED MSG+/MSG- as pins 1 and 2
    3 and 4= Power Switch +/-
    5/6= HDD LED +/-
    7/8= reset switch
    9= NC

    1 2 3 4
    O O O O
    5 6 7 8 9
    O O O O O

    and then the other 4 off to the right are for speakers but i dont care about that right now.

    it seems like the current cable from the Dell Front Panel would fit, except it is built with that little clip that helps to keep it in place, but that is in the way of the rectangle on the actual MB. if it were to be plugged in then the wires would lead out like this:

    1/2= power LED
    3/4= power switch
    5/6= HDD LED
    7/9= small brown wire connecting the two (note that is Seven and Nine, no typo)
    8 = nothing

    so basically in that long description, both LEDs and the Power switch line up, but i don't know what the NC is in the book, and i'm guessing the brown wire is a looping wire for Resets, or perhaps it was for the single press (no hold) to discharge any static when working with the hardware. i read something about that in the dell book once upon a time i believe.

    The question becomes, could i just clip off the piece of plastic that is getting in the way (not the entire wire casing) and hook it in without any rewiring?
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    On most front panel connector blocks, the wires can be released and repositioned in the block to match another board. However, your diagram seems like the new board has two single rows of pins instead of the dual row of pins like the dell. What board did you get? Being able to look at pictures of the board from the manufacturer or newegg might help us visualize what you're running into. Also, the power switch is the only connector you really need, the rest (leds, etc) are really for convenience. Rewiring the front panel usb was the hardest part of the switch I did on my dell.

    Edit: Sounds like you need to remove the locking clip to make it fit, you could cut it, grind it, or melt it off. I believe the brown loop acts as a "jumper," which allows the board to detect if the front panel is connected or not, because if it's not connected, it will post an error about it (not connected, press f1, etc).
  5. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah i dropped the ball on that one... i've been trying to get my digital camera working so as to take a picture.

    edit: removing the locking clip. yeah thats what i was trying to describe at the end of my long rant. i was thinking about just clipping it off, but the NC and brown loop are the things that made me wary about doing so
  6. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Typically NC means no current, but I can't say for sure. I'm surprised by your board choice, as it basically is not compatible with any of the main components orignally (CPU, RAM, etc). Most people get something that can reuse their cpu and ram but add a pci-e slot. Nothing wrong with it, looks like a nice board.

    Is the black shroud thing causing your probems on the new board?


    And your connector should be similar to this if I'm not mistaken.

    Edit: Your board's manual says the NC means "no connection," so that means it's unused.
  7. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    heh yeah, i upgraded everything. New power supply, MB CPU, and ram will be coming soon. only downside i've seen so far was the delay from this current issue, and the power supply has SOOO many wires.

    though the amount of plusses covers those up by far, for instance the video card and possibly some ram and even more possibly IDE connectors (because this only has 1 port though it supports 2 connections but i have 2 HDDs and my CD player) that my brother will be giving me.

  8. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    those are both exactly right

    ok, so i clipped the blue extrusion, filed it down a bit and it fits in great. after all that i also noticed the 4 USB ports are Just far enough apart for the USB plug, because it has a clip on it too, so i can't plug it into the first port, but it fits on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th as long as i dont have something in the previous one.
  9. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    So the "nub" on the blue connector is hitting the black shroud around the pins on the new board? If so then I'd say remove the "nub." Edit: Guess so, your already done! lol

    Do you know if the dell connector pinout matches the pinout of the new board, or will the wires need repositioned in the connector? On that style connector the wires can come out by prying up the plastic locking tabs on the side of the connector (where you can see the metal on the sides. Usually a razor blade tip is thin enough to slip in and pry the tabs up which releases the at a time. I hope dell used the standard usb pinout on their connectors so they'll "just work" on your new board, otherwise it'd be a PITA like my 2300 was.
  10. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i know that the Set of wires matches, as for charge i'm not absolute but unless some higher power was out to screw me out of 100 dollars then they should all match up. I know that for the two LEDs all i would have to do is switch them, but would reversed power switches be horrible?
    as a precaution i suppose i could pry out all the wires and put in just the LEDs to check. i mean if 2/2 match properly then at least i have odds on my side for the power switch

    Edit: as for the USBs the "nub" on that will get in the way if i decide to add more USB ports, though having 4 integrated to the SB (supporting 2 each) 4 on the back, 3 ( +2 firewire) on a PCI card, and.... another USB and Firewire each on the inside of the PCI card for some internal plug....
  11. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Power button connectors don't have polarity, so they don't matter. All they have to do is short together the two pins.
  12. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    awesome. then in that case i'm going to head upstairs and see if she works. i'll report back in a short moment.

    thanks for the help in advance
  13. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Nice, report back with the results! Should be a nice setup.
  14. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well shoot. She powers on, which brings Fan activity, the CD player LED is flashing and it opened about a minute after i pressed the button, uhm i was unable to tell if it was the CD player or the HDD but one of the two is making a clicking noise something like if you were to wrap 4 fingers on a desk in sequence, and then one more tap right after. hard to describe in text.

    and it doesn't seem that the I/O ports are responding. my monitor detected no signal, no LEDS on the keyboard light up, and the mouse didnt do anything to help. (no leds on that to check)

    edit: a thought occurs. could it be because of the massive load of extra cables from the power supply? i'm probably going to go to the fall back of unplug everything and try, then work my way up if that works

    edit edit: or seeing as how this is the first time i've done any major upgrades beyond a new HDD, was i to put the CD that came with the MB in when the tray opened, and that wasn't really me that opened the tray, it was an automatic thing...
  15. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    I guess check to make sure your connections are right. I've forgotten to connect the 4pin power connector to the motherboard before. If checking your connections doesn't bring a solution, then see if you can boot a "minimal system" (like 1 stick ram, no hard drive or cd drive connected, no cards installed). You mention I/O not working, are you using usb or ps/2 keyboard/mouse? I've seen some boards come out of the box with usb support disabled, which is stupid. Can you enter the bios? Tried CMOS reset? Jumpers correct on drives and on correct position on ide cable?

    Extra cables should be no problem...other than looks maybe. ;) You don't have to put in the motherboard cd until windows has finished installation.
  16. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i'll check connections again, but if those are not the problem, then i wont really be able to to a minimal boot because my monitor says "no signal detected" then goes into sleep mode and wont wake up until something is detected. or if i turn that off and back on it does the same thing. Westinghouse LCD 17" if you're wondering.

    i'll go check everything again and report in 2-3 minutes
  17. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Well, it's getting late in my part of the world, I'm gonna catch some :zzz: Hopefully you find a simple solution to the problem. If you run out of things to check, you could read over your manual again, and see if it has any special instructions (like requiring memory in certain slots only, etc) or a troubleshooting section.
  18. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no good. it's pretty late here too so i'll poke around in the manual for a bit and hope something comes up. if i can't describe it well enough for my brother to troubleshoot over the internet, my step brother works on them so if he happens to stop by, i'll get him to take a look at it and i'll post the problem/fix if we find it

    ok so i've tried with just the HDD and monitor but that didn't work. the monitor still didn't get any input. i'm going to try it with my original dell monitor, but if that doesn't work then i have a question.

    the hardware book for the MB has a list of what the POST beeps mean. i don't know however if that "beep" is the sound you hear RIGHT when you turn the computer on, like just as the fans are starting to spin, or if it is the repeating super high pitch, super quiet beeps that seem to be coming from the CPU. the first one tones as what i would consider 1 short- which the book states that it is starting up normal and all things should be good.

    the high pitch quiet beeps that occur a couple seconds after i press the power button sound more like 1 long, and then i think it's either 1 long and 2 or 3 short. and what it does is plays the 1 long, then 2 seconds later plays the 1L 2/3 short, 2 seconds later it plays the 1L 2/3S again and 2 seconds later ect... the cycle seems to be the single long, and then 3 of the combination one, over and over. i listened to it for about 2 minutes trying to figure out if it was 2 or 3 short beeps afterwards, and the meanings for it are, 1 long 2 short = monitor or graphics card error. (quite possibly the monitor, i dont have a graphics card in yet)
    1 long 3 short = keyboard error. i've tried it with and without a keyboard in but it sounds the same so even though i really think it sounds like 3 short ones, the first short beep seemed to come so close to the long one that it could have just been the end of the long beep but it wouldnt seem right for it to die off and sound like another as it is doing, rather than immediately stopping.
  19. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    That is very odd. Post beeps occur within a few seconds of pressing the power button, and come from the board's speaker. Beeping noises from the cpu area is very strange. I have heard some electronics circuits "squeal" that sounds somewhat like a beep, but it's hard to say what you're hearing. One last thing to check, did you make sure the motherboard standoffs (little brass studs) in the dell case ALL lined up properly with the new board. Sometimes you can have a few in the case that don't match up to the new board's holes, so in that case you remove those standoffs, so they don't short things out.
  20. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, they line up properly so the board shouldn't be shorting out. I just got my RMA for my old video card, and I'll have some memory soon, maybe thats all it needed. in another thread someone said that the gigabyte board may not have speakers on it, for the POST beeps because i would assume they should be something easy to recognize, but i don't know if i could hear the sounds it's making without the side panel off of my case.
  21. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    It doesn't look like your board has an onboard speaeker, just the speaker connector on the front panel connection. This is what a onboard speaker generally looks like (the round black thing with a hole in the top).

  22. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah i don't have anything like that black cylinder on my board. i don't think my old one had one either for that matter.

    would i have to make use of the F_AUDIO port thing on the board? if so, i don't have a plug that fits it because the long wire that i would assume is for the front audio jack is a long plug with 5 wires then 4 open spots and 1 more wire on the end, all in a row. the F_AUDIO port looks like
    O are pins, X is blank
  23. Sibhod

    Sibhod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok so just for the heck of it, i tried doing a desk test or whatever the name is to make sure nothing is grounding by setting my motherboard on the box it came in, and all that jazz. i'm about to try it again with no HDD hooked up so just the monitor is plugged in. Still not sure what to do about the lack of onboard speakers so i guess i'll try plugging in my speakers too? though i'm almost positive that they would not beep for POST because they never have before. At least i would say i'm 80% sure i have never Noticed a Beep from them when booting up, though before my PSU died and this entire thing began i usually only set it to hibernation/sleep mode, not fully turned off.

    i suppose i'll try to give Gigabytes tech support a call tomorrow, though it's long distance and not a 1-800 number which is why i've been putting that off, heh...

    or would you recommend i reset the CMOS? or isn't that the controller for the BIOS? (which i haven't actually done anything with yet...) I've just read that in a few other posts with problems like mine. People have tried resetting that, and a couple have seen some changes, but i have yet to read one about it actually fixing. Could it do any harm at least?
  24. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,157   +459

    I don't know if you will be able to configure the onboard audio to give you diagnostic beeps. Maybe but it won't help you at this point. You would have to install the audio driver but not until after you install Windows. Usually when you buy new case, a speaker come with it. However, motherboard speakers are available separately like this one: Click here. This is a little piezoelectric speaker that many cases comes with these days. The older type is a miniature cone style speaker which you can also still get.
  25. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Your old board should have had a speaker onboard. You can see it in this picture at the bottom right of the motherboard.

    You would not connect the speaker to F_Audio, that's for a front panel headphone/mic jacks. You would connect a speaker to the 4 unused pins (the orange colored ones) in your front panel connector.
    They make separate speaker kits like mailpup mentioned, or they make kits like this for running without a case at all.

    I don't think any board supports post beeps through external speakers connected to either the rear panel 1/8" jacks or the F_Audio connector.

    If your worried about the cost of long distance call, they probably have a email address or a live-chat type support system.

    No harm in resetting the cmos, you'd have to reset the time/date, but that's no big deal.
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