Front USB Ports

  Confab 09:50 15 Sep 03

I have an ancient PC with a MS 6156 Micro ATX motherboard, its a 6 year old Tiny PC, one of the ones in the small "micro" case. Last week on my return from 2 weeks holiday I switch my PC on and - nothing. It was as dead as a dodo. I checked just about everything and, after taking the power supply apart(only 150W rating), I noticed that the small fuse inside had blown. I replaced this with one of an equal rating, switched on again and the thing blew with an enormous bang. I did some research at PC world, Maplin and my local PC store and they all recommended a new standard case and power supply because they said that the small power supply I had was now obsolete. I bought one of these and fitted everything from my "old" case to the new one and my PC now works better than ever and is a lot quieter. The new case has two USB ports at the front, and inside it has eight wires. I presume that these can be attached/fitted to the motherboard so I could have two USB ports at the front as well as the two that I have at the back. I have read the motherboard manual and I can't see anywhere that these eight wires can be attached and there doesn't seem to be eight spare pins on the motherboard in any case. Would it be possible to solder these wires on to the motherboard or do you thing that it would be too risky/daft to attempt and has anyone tried to do this and been successful?

Thanks in advance


  GuyR 10:03 15 Sep 03

just managed to build my own machine this weekend, I would guess from what you say that the old motherboard does not support Front USB support, as this is something that has only been seen the last 3-4 years.

You need to look at the manual for the motherboard, the connection block is a set of 8-10 pins possibly marked USB45 on the board, and should be called USB Header or something similar in your board documentation. Within your manual if this is there it will identify which are +ve etc for connecting.

Easiest solution if not fitted is a 2 or 4 port adaptor plugged into the rear and brought to the front.

  Forum Editor 10:11 15 Sep 03

that you must never, under any circumstances tinker inside the cover of a computer's Power Supply Unit. There aren't any user-serviceable parts in there, but there is mains voltage, which can kill both you and the computer stone dead.

The other thing you must never contemplate is soldering anything to the motherboard. One slip will render the board useless.

If you want USB ports at the front of the machine, add them using one of the readily available and very cheap USB cards that fit into a spare PCI slot on the motherboard. You can get one that gives you two rear ports and three front ones at a cost of around £12. At that proce it's not worth tinkering with a soldering iron at the risk of losing a £100+ motherboard.

click here for details.

  Confab 14:01 15 Sep 03

Thanks for your replies.

GuyR - I have rechecked inside the pc and re-read the mobo manual and there is nowhere to plug the 8 wires into so I guess it's just a bit too old as you say.

FE - Thanks. In hindsight I suppose it wasn't such a good idea to take the power supply apart. My trusty electricians screwdriver was lighting up like a christmas tree so I won't attempt taking it apart again! Thanks for the link I'll have a look at possibly buying a USB card and at a cost of around £12 I can't really go wrong.

Thanks again.

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