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Front Panel Audio Not Functioning Correctly

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November 16, 2010 4:45:10 AM

I am trying to hook together the front panel audio on my CoolMaster HAF 912 case to my ASROCK 870 Extreme 3 motherboard.
I have installed the latest drivers for the Realtek audio device on the motherboard. I have connected the HD Audio connector from the case to the proper position on the motherboard listed HD_AUDIO on the motherboard. I have only had this system running for about a week and everything has seemed fine until I recently noticed windows telling me "You have unplugged a device from the audio jack" followed by "You have plugged a device into the audio jack." This was only happening occasionally and I did not give it much thought at first. Tonight was different and I wanted to solve the problem so I began to troubleshoot. First, I plugged in a headset to the front panel on the case. Windows acknowledged I plugged it in and it functioned somewhat normally. Windows would spam the messages "You have plugged a device into the audio jack" and "You have unplugged a device from the audio jack." It was as if I was rapidly connecting and disconnected the headset. Everything this happened the headset would crackle a bit however, audio was never fully interrupted.

Next, I unplugged the computer and connected the AC 97 connector to the HD_AUDIO port on the motherboard to see what results I would get. I get no connection at all now. Windows does not recognize anything plugged into the jack.

Do you think this is a problem with the front panel audio hardware device? Is this a problem with the motherboard?

The HD_AUDIO pins are located right underneath my video card and the cables are pressed tightly between the plastic plug for the audio cable and the bottom of the PCI-E video card. Maybe there is damage the cables that is causing the problem?

I am trying to figure out what could be causing the problem and if there is a possible easy fix to solve it.

Are the device ports on cases typically temperamental? Do people often find issues coming from the use of the USB/SATA/Audio ports located on their cases? The USB and Power/Reset switch located next to the audio ports on the case work fine.

Is there anything else I can try to troubleshoot this problem further?


My hunch is that the case ports for the front panel audio are bad. Why would the problem get worse when I plugged in a headset if it was the motherboard? I feel like there is a short in the connection somewhere between the audio plugins to the HD_AUDIO on the motherboard.
a c 81 V Motherboard
November 16, 2010 6:02:26 AM

The Audio cables that come with the HAF have and end termination of two types, one is Labeled AC97 and the other is HD audio.
Firstly in the BIOS you must decide what FP audio do you want to use, the AC97 or the HD audio
After specifying that, you must plug in the right FP audio connector that you have chosen in the bios into the right FP audio pins on the mobo.
The pin config for both those sockets is different and you are not supposed to have both the end points of the FP Audio connector of the HAF connected on to the mobo simultaneously.
Only one socket is there, make sure the other is not toucuhing any of the pins on the board.
Also, recheck the wires on the FP Audio termination of the HAF FP since you feel they may have been damaged due to the tight place they are in, use some insulation tape or silicon sealant to cover any wires that happen to have the copper exposed due to a cut or abrasion.
Get back with a update :) 
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November 16, 2010 6:36:27 AM

alyoshka said:
The Audio cables that come with the HAF have and end termination of two types, one is Labeled AC97 and the other is HD audio.
Firstly in the BIOS you must decide what FP audio do you want to use, the AC97 or the HD audio
After specifying that, you must plug in the right FP audio connector that you have chosen in the bios into the right FP audio pins on the mobo.
The pin config for both those sockets is different and you are not supposed to have both the end points of the FP Audio connector of the HAF connected on to the mobo simultaneously.
Only one socket is there, make sure the other is not toucuhing any of the pins on the board.
Also, recheck the wires on the FP Audio termination of the HAF FP since you feel they may have been damaged due to the tight place they are in, use some insulation tape or silicon sealant to cover any wires that happen to have the copper exposed due to a cut or abrasion.
Get back with a update :) 


The HD_AUDIO is the connector I am using from the FP. The BIOS is set ONBOARD HD AUDIO - ENABLED and FP AUDIO is AUTO. The wire in concern is not suffering from abrasion or cuts but it looked pretty smashed. The insulator is still in good condition. No wire is exposed. The AC97 connector is wrapped around the wire as to stay out of the way of anything else on the motherboard. After thinking about it more, I don't think its related to the wires but the physical connector inside the Front Panel. If it was an issue with the wiring, why would the problem exacerbate when an audio device was plugged in(Rhetorical?)
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a c 81 V Motherboard
November 16, 2010 6:52:24 AM

If you have a 3.5MM stereo jack, you can easily test the FP sockets to see if there is a loose contact inside the FP audio connectors on the HAF.....
Since everything seems fine on the other end of the connectors it's either a loose contact in the HAF audio port or a short on the backside of the mobo where it's FP audio connector pins lie.
There is a possibility that one of the pins may have come loose and been pushed to the back support on the HAF mobo mounting section, check these if possible....
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November 16, 2010 7:02:27 AM

alyoshka said:
If you have a 3.5MM stereo jack, you can easily test the FP sockets to see if there is a loose contact inside the FP audio connectors on the HAF.....

I don't understand what you mean here?

Since everything seems fine on the other end of the connectors it's either a loose contact in the HAF audio port or a short on the backside of the mobo where it's FP audio connector pins lie.
There is a possibility that one of the pins may have come loose and been pushed to the back support on the HAF mobo mounting section, check these if possible.... said:
Since everything seems fine on the other end of the connectors it's either a loose contact in the HAF audio port or a short on the backside of the mobo where it's FP audio connector pins lie.
There is a possibility that one of the pins may have come loose and been pushed to the back support on the HAF mobo mounting section, check these if possible....


I disassembled the case and took out the circuit board for the FP audio. No wires or connections look compromised. The board looked fine as well. I will take the board out and look at the backside for the audio pins tomorrow. I am beginning to think its a problem in the FP audio port itself. If that was true, it would support the fact that it gets worse when an audio device is connected.
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a c 81 V Motherboard
November 16, 2010 7:09:34 AM

True, I hope you can RMA whichever one turns out to be faulty.....
What I meant by that was if you have a useless stereo plug you can always connect it to a battery and a LED to see if there is a short inside the FP audio jack socket....
Since you already have it all taken apart you will still not be able to look inside the socket of the audio jack and the only way to go about it is with a battery and a bulb and a few wires to see if it lights up when there should be no connection at points inside the socket...
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November 16, 2010 4:22:08 PM

alyoshka said:
the only way to go about it is with a battery and a bulb and a few wires to see if it lights up when there should be no connection at points inside the socket...



Not sure how to do this.. Go Go Gadget McGuyver!
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November 18, 2010 8:57:43 PM

Today's update.

I removed the FP circuit board from another desktop and tried it on the Audio port on this motherboard. The problem persisted!
This tells me that my case and associated audio wires/port is not bad.

I then removed the motherboard and inspected the front and back carefully for damage. None was found.

I either have a problem with the circuitry for the FP audio inside the motherboard or an error on the chip somewhere or I have some sort of software problem.

Should I reformat? Should I RMA the board?

If I don't RMA the board (I dont use the FP audio anyway), might this problem affect other components of the board, potentially doing damage? My biggest concern is continued use on this board potentially harming other PC components! e.g. CPU/VideoCard/RAM. That being said I have had ZERO stability issues.

What do you think?
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a c 81 V Motherboard
November 19, 2010 3:17:50 AM

No, if you don't use the FPA then it's malfunctioning is not going to effect the other components of the board..... a suggestion would be not to connect anything to the FPA connector on the board.
A reformat would be worth a try......
And then if it doesn't work you can conclude that there is something genuinely wrong with the board and RMA it.....
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October 20, 2011 8:02:40 PM

please update if any solution found.
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!