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  How to build your own PC? 
  Jun 21, 2001, 10:00am EDT 

Front connectors, ATX power, drives

By: Sander Sassen

In order for all the buttons and lights on the case to work properly we’ll have to connect the front connectors to the motherboard. Fortunately this is fairly easy as all of these connectors are labeled as is the motherboard. It thus simply comes down to connecting them and making sure we’re using the correct polarity, check your motherboard manual to make sure.

Front bezel connectors

Fig 12. The front connectors labeled to make connecting them to the motherboard an easy task.

Next we’ll connect the ATX power plug to the connector on the motherboard, make sure that you align the ATX power plug properly and connect it in the right orientation. Also, don’t drape the cable over the CPU heatsink, but rather keep it as short and close to the case walls as possible so it won’t obstruct the airflow.

ATX power cable

Fig 13. The ATX power plugged into the motherboard, mind the alignment of the plug and the connector.

Now we’ll remove the first 5.25” and 3.5” drive bay brackets and start pre-mounting the floppy drive. We’ll slide it in and see how it aligns with the front bezel, if you’re happy with how it looks screw it into place. In our case the floppy drive and harddisk had to be mounted in a drive cage.

Floppy drive and harddisk cage

Fig 14. Floppy drive and harddisk mounted in the drive cage, after having aligned the floppy drive with front bezel.

Once everything is in place, and secured with four screws, not two or three, we'll place the drive cage back into the case. Now we’ll mount the DVD-rom again making sure that it aligns with the front bezel and thus looks good.

The DVD-rom can be secured into place with either four or eight screw, we’d opt for four as eight is a bit of overkill. However if your case is of really bad build quality and uses very thin steel for the case walls you might want to use eight screws to add to the overall sturdiness of your PC.

DVD-rom being mounted

Fig 16. DVD-rom drive being mounted, properly secured in place with four screws.

1. Introduction, CPU and memory
2. Motherboard, heatsink and case
3. Front connectors, ATX power, drives
4. Connections, cables and audio/sound cards

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