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Power Button Replacement

Discussion in 'Cases, Modding & Electronics' started by de.das.dude, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

    Jun 13, 2010
    7,652 (4.91/day)
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    This is a very general way to replace the power button on a pc case.
    A lot of weird problems can be attributed to a faulty power button.

    same goes for the reset button.

    You will need:-
    • Needle Nose Pliers
    • Tweezers
    • Small flat-head screw driver
    • Soldering wire and flux
    • Sandpaper, 320grit
    • Sharpie
    • soldering iron, min 25W
    • liquid electric tape/hot glue/both
    • Basic soldering skills and multimeter usage skills

    **CAUTION!**.. some sense of tinkering and electronics knowledge is reqd. Do at your own risk.

    Identifying the fault.

    Its pretty simple. Get a multimeter. Set it to resistance
    Take the two points of the multimeter, touch them to each point on the power connector female jack from the case. there should be open areas on the outside of the jack with metal contacts to test, making it easy for us.

    now if the power button is not being pressed and the meter reads anything other than infinite resistance, the leads are being shorted and your power button is done for. If it was the other form of failure, that is the leads were not contacting, it would simply not power on the PC at all.

    Reason for failure
    Repeated usage, and dirt can get in. contacts are very close, and as you will soon discover, these switches actually have two modes of operation.

    Fixing the problem
    First you will need to get access to the button in question. That usually means taking the front bezel-off. Be sure to disconnect all the front panel connections before you attempt to remove the panel.

    Sometimes the buttons and indicator cluster is a separate unit on some cases. this makes it easier, as you can just unbolt this off of the case and work on it. (or harder if the bolts are really hard to reach)

    In my case, i had to loosen off the front bezel. Then unscrew the unit apart. Then unscrew the final bolts holding the unit together.

    What you should be left with is the hidden wiring connecting the push button switches.
    sometimes good manufacturers hot glue around the pins to make it more rigid, and the front i/o cables more "yank"-able.


    Flip over the correct side of the unit to check one last time that you are about to vandalize the bad button not the other one..

    Then using a sharpie, slowly remove the hot glue, bit by bit with the sharpie. taking care not to cause to much damage to the case components. just remove enough hot glue so that the clips holding the switch become free.

    Using the needle nose pliers and your "correct" hand, grap the faulty switch and give a small pull on it. It wont come out as the clips are still holding it. Dont pull it too hard and you will break the clips and make the whole thing useless(you will have to permanently superglue your news switch, no more repairs).
    With your other hand, press down on the panel, and use the flat head screw driver to ease of the clips. The switch should now be out.

    Cut off the wires from the faulty button. Strip, sand and solder the tips of the bare wires, making it ready for soldering.

    Since you are in so "deep" already, might as well remove the plastic superficial switch and give it a clean. usually sweat comes here, and attracts dirt which makes it a bit "sticky". removal should be similar to the actual switch, i.e. more clips

    Use cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to clean the surface. Can apply petroleum jelly for lube, leave it at that. Important information for a later step is given in the pictures. Concentrate!

    Understanding the pinout on the switch.

    There are 6 pins, two rows, three on each side.
    Pins on the same side of each row are connected to each other.
    Middle pin is the common pin, it will always be connected

    Short version (Aint nobody got time fo that! version):-
    Follow this diagram which shows the view on the underside.
    Same color pins are same electrically, Pins circled in blue are ones you need.
    doesnt work? then solder the middle pin and the pin on the other side.

    Look at the diagram. That will give you what you need.
    But what if your new switch is faulty? you need to check. also some manufacturer might have accidentally put the notch on the wrong side. So its always better to check.

    To check just connect two rows with the multimeter(still in resistance mode) while the button is not pressed.
    If it shows zero ohms, you are using the wrong pins, check the opposite side.
    If it shows infinite then you probably have the correct side. Check it again by pressing the switch. Zero ohms now? Great. Leave the two pins, and chop off the rest or bend them in (risk of shorting later)

    The home stretch
    All that is left now is putting it back together.

    First solder off the two wires to the two pins on the switch.

    Cover the leads with liquid electric tape or hot glue. I have neither so i stole some nailpolish, which is great too.

    Dont put the switch in before you apply hot glue and stuff. You risk jamming the switch in permanently otherwise. Wait till the stuff dries.

    Now put in the Plastick switch in first. make sure its the correct way round not upside down XD
    There is a hole in the plastic bit in which the push buttons tip goes in as shown in this picture.

    Press the superficial switch all the way in. Orient the push button switch correctly (the holes are rectangular, so they wont fit every way) and slide the switch in gently.
    Push the button a couple of times to check.

    Hurrah its done. You have earned yourself a beer :toast:
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
    SaiZo, xvi and Sir B. Fannybottom say thanks.
  2. xvi


    Nov 10, 2006
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    Washington, US
    That's a pretty well detailed guide. :toast:

    Also, nail polish. Now your power button has style! :p
    de.das.dude says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

    Jun 13, 2010
    7,652 (4.91/day)
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    Its got metallic pearl in it XD. My power buttons got more bling than yours XD

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