What to Do When Your Front Panel Block Doesn’t Match Your Motherboard Pins

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I’ve shared tech tutorials in the past when I’ve found a solution to a problem that no one else seems to solve online. I’ve happened across another one as I was in the process of upgrading my computer. I got a new motherboard and hard drives but kept the case, and discovered that the pins that should have connected the motherboard to the case were set up in a manner that was incompatible. But I didn’t need to buy a new case, it turned out – I just needed a little ingenuity and a willingness to not allow the manufacturer to impose constraints on me!

The issue was that the motherboard had pins that were aligned differently than those on the connector cable coming from the case, which had a single block at the end with one possible pin location closed off, as you can see in this photo below:

Theory - Someone - Connector - Motherboard - Way

In theory that could be helpful, preventing someone from plugging the connector in to the motherboard the wrong way. But when the wiring doesn’t line up and the location that is closed is one where there’s a pin sticking out of the motherboard, it might seem that one’s only option would be to buy a new case. It isn’t, and I’ll explain here what I did step by step.

Let me start with the issue of the arrangement of the wires. You can actually remove the connector block and rearrange them! You’ll need a tiny tool like a small screwdriver for eyeglass screws, or something similar. I imagine that a pin might work. The connector block has tiny tabs that hold wires in place. Lift these very slightly and gently, just enough that the wires are freed, as the tabs could break off easily, in which case you’d need to replace that...
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