Motherboard Installation Question

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by mightymo77, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. mightymo77

    mightymo77 OSNN Junior Addict

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    I'm building a new computer. I have a question about how to properly seat the motherboard to the brass standoffs on the case. The reason I'm asking is because sometimes when I build a machine the system will not boot, I think I'm frying some boards. Is it best to just screw the motherboard down, or put some sort of plastic or paper washers between the motherboard and screws? I heard that you do not want the motherboard "grounded", but not sure what that means exactly. If you look at the holes on the motherboard, there are little pieces of metal going around it, making it seem like the screw is supposed to touch that metal, but I'm thinking that's not right. Also the pack of screws that a motherboard comes with, there are two different types, normal looking screws, then ones that are a little wide (where it touches the motherboard), I've always used the wide ones. What is the proper method to use here?
     
  2. Admiral Michael

    Admiral Michael Michaelsoft Systems CEO Folding Team

    The stand offs are suppose to touch the motherboard. I don't know why someone said you don't want a motherboard grounded.

    You need to make sure you don't have extra standoffs that are touching the board where there aren't any holes.
     
  3. mightymo77

    mightymo77 OSNN Junior Addict

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    Yeah after talking to some people I've cleared that up. I didn't know why someone said that the mobo didn't need to be grounded either. So there are little metal rings around the holes in the motherboard. From what I'm told, you want to make sure that the screws are touching that metal, which will ground the motherboard.

    After talking to those people and reading things from the internet, I don't think that I burned up the mobo, I think it was just a bad one. It was a Gigabyte, which I never dealt with before, I RMA'd it and got an Asus M3A78.
     
  4. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I always setup and test a MB on hte bench before putting it into a case. The guys at a PC shop showed me that 15 years ago. The MB ground is supplied by the ATX power connector and that is all it needs to operate safely.

    I have one PC with no case at all I use for testing suspect hardware. The parts just sit on the corner of the desk. I have been using it for 5 years with no issues.

    Plug the power supply, CPU/HSF, and a stick of RAM in. A video card also if no onboard video. Then short the 2 switch pins on the MB together with the tip of a pen to boot the system. If the MB doesn't boot up on the bench you have saved a bunch of time and risk installing it into a case.

    Installing in a case carelessly can scratch the fine traces on the MB causing it to fail or more commonly if the screw heads are not perfectly aligned with the metal pads around the holes they can end up shorting the power and keeping the MB from booting. I have had this happen a couple times and after realigning the MB in the case it booted fine.

    If the MB works on the bench and not after you put it in the case you know you messed up the install. If the MB never worked on the bench you know it was ODA and not something you are doing wrong. Also having it out on the bench it is easier to make sure you got the CPU and RAM seated properly. Also HSF is attachment is easier with more room to work.

    And adding to what Michael said. Some cases have raised mounting dimples that the stand offs screw into. Make sure none are under circuitry. The universal cases have extra dimples tdepending on the type of MB you are installing.
     
  5. mightymo77

    mightymo77 OSNN Junior Addict

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    Yeah I already knew about this, but never actually did it. I took my board out after it didn't boot and tried it, but of course it didn't work. I can safely place my board on the antistatic bag, plug in the ATX power supply cable, RAM, CPU/heatsink, and stretch the power switch cable from the case to the motherboard, right?
     
  6. mightymo77

    mightymo77 OSNN Junior Addict

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    OK I got everything up and running. I received my Asus M3A78-EM along with an AMD Phenom II X4 920 today, installed it into my Antec Sonata III silent case, and everything is working like a charm. I think the Gigabyte motherboard was just bad.

    I like this onboard video, it seems better, faster than my GeForce 8600 GTS. The onboard sound is great too. I cannot believe how quiet this computer is. My old one sounded like a helicopter was in my room.

    Thanks for the help everyone, very much appreciated.