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Dell 5100 MotherBoard Transplant

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October 23, 2009 4:00:49 AM

I have the dell dimension 5100 and i just got the Cooler Master ATCS 840 case. I wase wondering if there was anything special about the 5100's MotherBoard that would prevent me from transplanting it into my new case until I have money for the new motherboard, cpu, etc. Thanks in advance.
a b V Motherboard
October 23, 2009 9:02:11 AM

Candyviper - I'm not familar with that model but here's the issues to look for.

If the PSU power connections to the board are the same then that shouldn't be a problem. All Dell's I've seen in the past 10 years use standard connections and either standard or small PSUs.

You may find the existing cables for drives to be too short and need to get longer ones.

The front panel connections are tricky because Dell normally won't give you any documentation about the pin assignments on the motherboard. You may find some labels on the board. But you'll likely end up having to very carefully identify each wire at the target - the led or switch - then trace it to the pins it runs to on the motherboard. Then label each one carefully. Make yourself of drawing of the pins on the board and what you think each one connects to.

Check that you have no odd standoffs on the new case that don't match up the Dell board and possibly cause a short.

All else fails, you put it back in the Dell case!
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October 23, 2009 12:59:22 PM

Thanks for the great answer! The 5100 is an old model. It still has the old pentium 4 inside. However, when you say odd standoffs what do you mean?
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a c 435 V Motherboard
October 23, 2009 1:16:57 PM

Standoffs are brass colored screw on height adjusters that keep the board circuitry from making contact with the metal floor of the case. All standoffs that don't line up with the mounting holes in the motherboard must be removed from the case to prevent a short. They can also come in the form of "bumps" on the case surface, which do the same function. I just moved my board over to a new case, and didn't need to use the separate standoffs due to the bumps built into the side of the case wall.
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October 24, 2009 6:05:04 AM

Well I took my MOBO completely out of its case and tried to put it onto my 840 when i realized that the IO shield and all of those components are reversed with the expansion slots on my MOBO. this meant that when trying to place my cpu of the area for the cpu and its cooling thing the IO shield and the expansion slots were totally not lined up at all. I ended up just putting my MOBO back into the 5100. The upside to all of this, there was a SH**LOAD of dust in that case. It gave me the chance to clean it all out with compressed air. Also taking a video while taking apart the case is super helpful!
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a b V Motherboard
October 24, 2009 2:13:38 PM

This is what you were looking to power with an HX1000 ?
Didn't any bells go off when you removed the right hand side of the Dell ( BTX )case, and then the left hand side of the ATCS ( ATX ) ?
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October 24, 2009 6:35:48 PM

well a little but i was also really into taking apart my comp so i didn't really think about that. However I don't think that it was a bad experience at all because i had never before taken apart an entire computer before and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. However everybody here has been great and super helpful and that helped me a lot as well.
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a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2009 3:58:02 AM

LOL, I know the feeling. Not noticing the obvious. Fact is, I've built maybe 1000 systems and still made some big planning mistakes.

Glad you enjoyed it. Sorry your Dell was one of the "unique" motherboards that didn't follow the AT/ATX design standards. As you said, you learned a lot and didn't harm anything - so it's all good!

And glad to help.

One thing with compressed air. The force of it can drive dust into and under components that can actually short out connections. You never want to spray it directly at the motherboard if you can help it, use it to push the dust off, not hammer it in! A flowing left-right motion is good. I try to just close my eyes and purse the lips and blow out most dust bunnies and reserve the air for blowing off things like fans I'm holding in my hand. Canned air is especially hard on dusty floppy drives and CD/DVDs - you can create a mound of dust that gets trapped against a moving part inside. If you've got one filled with dust, take the cover shield off and then clean it out.

BTW, I've found mice, lizard eggs, snakeskin and whole colonies of ants inside business computers before - be happy you only found dust!
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a b V Motherboard
October 25, 2009 5:36:56 AM

Candyviper said:
well a little but i was also really into taking apart my comp so i didn't really think about that. However I don't think that it was a bad experience at all because i had never before taken apart an entire computer before and I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. However everybody here has been great and super helpful and that helped me a lot as well.

Now you need to start putting together some parts to fill that ATCS, check the New System Build section and get something worthy of the HX 1000.
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