I've read about wiring, but like I said I'm a noob. Where do the hard drive and optical drive connect to the motherboard? Does the hard drive go in with the connections pointing towards or away from you? Also, where do the fan connectors connect to the motherboard? I have everything installed, but the wiring/hooking it all up is where I'm stuck.
There is a cable called a SATA cable that is very thin. It normally connects to a port labeled SATA on the bottom right corner of the motherboard as it is mounted.
It depends on which fans you have how they connect to the power. They don't need to go to the motherboard for any good reason other than to get power or to modulate their speed. Some fans only have MOLEX connectors (4 big fat pins) those can't go to the motherboard, they just go straight to the power.
If they have a tiny little white connector, they go to the motherboard. If the motherboard doesn't have the ports for it (you would see a little white connector that it fits on just by looking) then you may have to get a converter cable to turn it into a MOLEX so it can just hook up to the power directly instead.
As for the hard drive, you can mount it any which way, but most people leave the connections pointing out towards the motherboard for easy access.
My racks are sideways and I mount mine in the way that is the most difficult to access, but I am not a newcomer with this sort of thing myself.
Thank you all so much for the responses! I'm probably going to have to work on it this weekend, maybe sooner if I get some time during the chaotic work week. Until then, take care and thank you all again so much.