How to Wire a PC Power Switch

Written by jeff grundy Google
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When replacing or upgrading the motherboard in a computer, one of the last and most important steps is to connect the case power switch to the correct pins on the main board. The names or labels for power switch pins vary by manufacturer and at first glance can be confusing. However, with a little preparation and attention to detail, you can wire the power button or switch to your computer motherboard without taking it for an expensive repair at a shop.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Phillips #2 screwdriver
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • Motherboard user guide or manual

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the power cord and other peripheral cables from the computer. Place the computer on a flat, sturdy work surface with care.

  2. 2

    Remove the retaining screws on the rear of the case that secures the side panel with the Phillips screwdriver. The side panel allows access to the motherboard. If your computer case does not have a side panel, remove all of the screws on the back of the PC that secure the cover assembly.

  3. 3

    Slide the side panel or cover assembly off the PC.

  4. 4

    Slide the looped end of the anti-static wrist strap on to one your arms. Clip the other end of the strap to a metal object inside the case. Touch a metal portion of the computer enclosure to discharge any static electricity already built up inside your body.

  5. 5

    Locate the wiring from the switch used to power the computer on and off. In most PC cases, the wiring consists of two individual wires -- one white wire and one green. The green and white wires twist together from the switch until they terminate into a black pin cap at the end. The pin cap should have a label that reads "Power" or "Power SW."

  6. 6

    Locate a block of gold or silver jumper pins at the bottom or front edge of the motherboard. In most cases, there are about 20 to 24 pins in the group, although your motherboard may have a few more or a few less. In the group of pins, locate the group of two pins labelled "PWR" or "PWR_SW." If you cannot find the jumper block or group of pins, refer to the user guide or manual for your motherboard.

  7. 7

    Use your fingers to place the black jumper cap from the power switch on to the "PWR" or "PWR_SW" pins on the motherboard. Push the black cap onto the two pins until the bottom of the cap makes contact with the motherboard and the pins are no longer visible. The block of jumper pins contains two rows. When placing the cap from the switch wiring onto the pins, ensure the writing on the cap faces away from the other row of pins. If the writing on the black cap faces the other row of pins in the block, the computer will not start when you press the power button.

  8. 8

    Close the computer case and replace all screws it. Reconnect the power cord and other cables. Press the power button to start the computer normally.

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