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Stripped case standoff - loose mobo screw

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  • New Build
  • Cases
  • Computer
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Last response: in Systems
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January 23, 2010 2:27:37 AM

I have my computer completely built and everything is working as expected...but I have 2 stripped screws (I think acutally the standoff in the case hole). The thing about stripped screws is that you can tighten them to a point before they "slip" again and get loose. I have both of the screws at that point and they're tight enough where I can't move the screw around with my fingernail, but barely. The case is an Antec Sonata III 500 and I still have a few days where I can return it, but it's operating very quietyly and it's completely put togehter, so I don't want to mess with it if I don't have to. The question is should I trade out the case? What will it hurt if the screws become loose without me knowing it (say when installing cards or memory...this did happen once but I noticed).

BTW, I was worried about overtightening things and actually went online to see if there was a rule of thumb on how tight to tighten (like hand tight + some fraction of a turn), but all I found was don't overtighten...so I don't think I did.

Here is another somewhat related thread that doesn't quite answer my question...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/275655-31-loose-mobo-...

More about : stripped case standoff loose mobo screw

January 23, 2010 2:38:23 AM

Well there are a couple of options:
* If you feel the screws and stand-offs are snug and not going anywhere, you can just keep what you have.
* You can contact Antec support and/or where you bought the case from and let them know your problem. Maybe they have some options for your fix and/or maybe they will replace your case.

You could also tap out the thread hole with the correct size and thread count. This would require having/getting the correct tap for your use.

The extreme option is to drill out the damaged mobo tray (which I don't recommend), and tap out the hole with a different thread, since it'll probably be of a bigger size.
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January 23, 2010 3:04:23 AM

Just to be clear, I'm pretty sure I can exchange the case for a new one since I bought it retail. The question is should I? It's extra work and there is a risk that the new case might have a louder fan, it won't boot, etc (don't fix it if it ain't broken). On the other hand, there are 2 stripped screws, so is it broken? I'm really just wanting to know what could happen if the screws get loose (shorts, permanent damage, hot spots?...I have no idea). And what is the general consensus...should I trade it in for a new case or am I worrying about nothing?

In a nutshell...I know how to do this, but should I?

P.S. Any kind of drilling and tapping or other repairs is out right now because I can simply exchange for a new one.
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January 23, 2010 3:10:05 AM

Well if the screws are marginal/borderline, than I'd consider exchanging the case. You might want to talk to the retail chain where you got it from, before you take it back. Maybe they will/will not take it back, I'm not sure. Most places should without too many objections, but just something to do before committing to the return.

You can have major issues with your system if a screw or metallic part gets loose inside your case. Depending on what/where the screw/stand-off lands, you can short out several parts. By your description though, I'm not sure if your in the high risk category. You might be, but this is just my opinion.
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January 23, 2010 12:40:45 PM

I'm pretty sure the screws won't fall out, but it sounds like it's probably better to be safe than sorry later. If I do go back with a new case, is there a rule of thumb for how much to tighten both the standoffs and the mobo screws into the standoffs (like hand tight plus a quarter turn or something...)?
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January 23, 2010 1:02:09 PM

Hand tight is all you need. Nothing too tight, but tight enough so the screw/stand-off doesn't vibrate out.
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January 23, 2010 6:34:34 PM

Well, this had an interesting twist. I took everything out of the case in order to exchange it for a new one and once I got the motherboard out, I realized that the standoffs were actually in pretty tight. So I tried inserting a few new screws into one of the problem standoffs and found that the screws just slid in and out without having to follow the thread pattern. So, I thought maybe I overtightened this screw...even though I was being careful. But I checked a few more extra standoffs (not used at all yet) with extra screws and noticed the fit was very loose (and thus easily stripped). I have one of those PC screw kits around (great investment years ago) and it had some standoffs and matched screws. When I checked that fit, it was much tighter. The screw pattern and diameter was the same in both cases (though the kit screws were a little longer, matching the longer kit standoffs seat), but the bored out portion (seat) of the Antec standoffs had a visibly bigger inside diameter. From this, I concluded Antec gave me unmatching standoff-screw sets.

I pulled all the Antec standoffs out and replaced them with ones from the kit. Everything tightened up as expected this time. I put the rest of the PC back together and it's now working again, so all is good in the end (except for some lost hours...I took everything out before realizing this).

Anyway, I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Antec with not matching the standoffs and screws well. I'm not sure if they cheaped out on a fraction of a cent part or if something else went wrong, but this should have been a no-brainer part of the build.
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April 16, 2011 3:58:54 PM

I HOPE the age of the first post is an indication of a problem solved, but it doesn't help me. I just pulled an unused Antec 900 Gamers Case from inventory to build up a Phenom II 6 core, and ran into the same problem. Not only did some of the Antec screws not thread properly into the brass standoffs, some actually slipped all the way in without threading.

I'll have to think long and hard before buying any more Antec cases. Or are they all getting this shoddy? --Enginer

Quote:

I pulled all the Antec standoffs out and replaced them with ones from the kit. Everything tightened up as expected this time. I put the rest of the PC back together and it's now working again, so all is good in the end (except for some lost hours...I took everything out before realizing this).

Anyway, I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Antec with not matching the standoffs and screws well. I'm not sure if they cheaped out on a fraction of a cent part or if something else went wrong, but this should have been a no-brainer part of the build.[/quotemsg]
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July 15, 2011 4:34:42 PM

enginer said:
I HOPE the age of the first post is an indication of a problem solved, but it doesn't help me.


Sorry, I just saw there was a follow-up to this message. Yes, all has worked fine with this PC since then.
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