Connecting the connectors on the front panel of the computer

Connecting the connectors on the front panel of the computer

Whether you have decided to build your own computer or if only the USB ports, the headphone output on the front panel of your computer system unit does not work, you will need information on how exactly to connect the connectors on the front panel to the motherboard, which will be shown then.

It is not only about how to connect the front USB port or make the headphones and microphone connected to the front panel work, but also how to connect the main elements of the system unit (the power button and indicator, the operation indicator from the hard disk) to the motherboard and do it correctly (that's where we will start).

Power button and indicator

This part of the manual will be useful if you have decided to assemble the computer yourself, or if you have disassembled it, for example, to clean dust and now you don't know what and where to connect. The connectors themselves are described below.

The power button of the computer, as well as the LEDs on the front panel, are connected using the four (sometimes three) connectors that you can see in the image. In addition, there may also be a connector to connect the speaker built into the system unit. There used to be more, but modern computers don't have a hard reset button.

  • POWER SW is the power switch (red wire is positive and black wire is negative).
  • HDD LED - HDD operation indicator.
  • Power Led + and Power Led - - two connectors for the power indicator.

All these connectors connect in one place on the motherboard, which is easy to distinguish from the others: it is usually located at the bottom, signed with a word like PANEL, and also has signatures on what and where to connect. In the image below I have tried to show in detail exactly how to connect the elements of the front panel correctly according to the legend, similarly it can be repeated in any other unit of the system.

I hope there are no difficulties with this - everything is quite simple and the subtitles are unambiguous.

Connecting the USB ports on the front panel

To connect the front USB ports (as well as the card reader, if any), simply find the corresponding connectors on the motherboard (there may be several), which look like the ones in the image below, and plug them into the corresponding connectors protruding from the front panel of the system unit. There is no mistake: the pins there and there correspond to each other and the connectors are usually labeled.

Normally, there is no difference in the exact place where the front connector plugs in. But for some motherboards there is, as they may or may not have USB 3.0 support (check the motherboard manual or read the labels carefully).

Headphone and microphone output connection

To connect the audio connectors - the headphone output on the front panel, as well as the microphone, use roughly the same connector on the motherboard as for the USB, only with a slightly different pin arrangement. Look for AUDIO, HD_AUDIO, AC97 as the signature, the connector is usually located near the audio chip.

As in the previous case, you just have to read well the inscriptions of what is plugged in and where it is plugged in so as not to be mistaken. However, even with a mistake on your part, you probably won't go wrong with the connectors. (If the front panel headphones or microphone still doesn't work after connecting, check the playback and recording settings in Windows.)


Also, if you have fans on the front and rear of the system unit, be sure to connect them to the corresponding SYS_FAN connectors on the motherboard (the label may vary slightly).

However, in some cases, like mine, the fans are wired differently if you need to be able to control the speed from the front panel - the instructions from the computer case manufacturer will help you here (and I'll help if you write a comment describing the problem).