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Old 02-17-2005, 09:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Old Dell Mobo into a new case problems ...

I am a noob and need help. I am trying to move my wife's old Dell Dimension Mobo (a Intel D845PT) int a new case to increase cooling capacity so we can run our online games ... problem is the Power switch connectors on the new case look snothing like the powerswitch connector that came with her Dell.

The old switch ran through two front panels before connecting to the Mobo (front panel connetor). The connections were all by way of ribbonlike connectors (terminology???). The new case is a Chieftec Matrix, and the Powerswitch has a kind of standard looking two pin connector along with a three pin reset connector and some other connectors marked for various LEDs.

I found a schematic online at Intel for generic D845PT Mobos, but the Dell board doesnt match the schematic very well. The best I can tell, all of the front side connectors shown in the Intel diagrams are consolidated into a single fron side connector on the Dell board.

Is there some way to connect my power switch on this new case directly to the Mobo? Pleas ehelp if you can, I fear I have gotten in over my head.

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Old 02-17-2005, 09:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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hmm..you may be able to find some type of adapter to convert the dell ribbon cable into a standard power switch cable.

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Old 02-17-2005, 09:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Narrowed the problem a bit ...

This website shows the front i/o panel for the computer:


The topmost connector on the left side is the one that goes up to the powerswitch in the current case ... I am guessing that I could connect the new power switch to those connector pins directly, if I knew which pins were what.

I cannot seem to find a schematic for this i/o panel though ... can some one point me to a link for this i/o panel?
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Old 02-17-2005, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Found a possible answer ...

For those who might be trying to do the same thing, here is a link to a 8x2 pin schematic for an older Dell Front Panel connector.


Looks like pins 6 and 8 are the key to success. I will try it out when I get home from work tonight and then post here the results.

If anyone knows of a commercially available adapter to turn modern case power connectors into a 8x2 configuration I'd love to get a hold of one.
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Hmmm ...

Although no one seems to know the answer to my question (pin settings for the front panel control switch, I will continue to talk to myself as I experiment on it.

The previous links, showing pin assignments, do NOT apply to the Dell Dimension 4400. The pins are numbered 1 to 16 with no pin present in the 1 position. The 16 and 18 pins are for the HDD LED and oddly, it seems the 5 and 9 pins are for the Power LED. I cannot for the life of me figure out which pins are for the Power switch and the reset switch.

I have altered my bios to allow start up without using the power switch so that I can at least transfer the parts over to the new case .. I will try to get a schematic for the pins from Dell tomorrow, by buying a new Front Panel from them.
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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use the serial number on the case put up a link to the system ill look over it ive modded several gateways dels and sony's into new cases.
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Old 02-18-2005, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Firstly, is there any reason why you can't pop front off of Dell case & locate the 2 wires that will attach to the power switch & trace them back to motherboard by colour or by eye. (I realise that Dell has all front panel connectors as a single ribbon cable but they are nearly always colour coordinated).

If you cant do this for whatever reason, the other solution is trial & error:

If you have 2 rows of 8 eight pins on mobo, the most common configuration is to have all the pins for any single connector in the same row, so you may have speaker, power & Hdd LED in one row & reset, power LED etc in second row.

HOWEVER, sometimes in this configuration, the power connector connects to one pin in the first row & the pin directly opposite it in the second row.

Change bios back to boot from power switch
open up the new case
make sure you are gounded before touching the mobo
Connect PSU to mains with power on
take the plug for the soft power switch and connect it to the first & second pin in one of the rows
If this doesn't allow you to switch computer on, connect plug to second & third pin, & try again
Repeat this procedure for each pair of pins, then repeat it for the second row.
If this fails, connect it to first pin in first row & 1st pin in second & try that. Repeat this for each pair until you find the right ones.
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Old 02-18-2005, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I rigged a new mobo to a dell case ,backwards compared to your project. I took a cd analog cable and took the female connectors out of the plastic ends. these individual pins can slide on to male pins where the ribbon cables used to be. Be careful ,when I researched my project , I read a lot of stories about dells that failed after conversion attempts. I got lucky, mine works fine.

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