How to connect front panel connectors to the motherboard

Your system will not boot if you connect the cables from the front panel of your PC case to the wrong connectors on your motherboard. The connectors that come from the PC case are quite small and connecting them to one of the pins on the motherboard can be daunting, especially if you are a beginner.

Therefore, we bring you this article so that you can easily connect the front panel connectors to the motherboard, even if you are doing it for the first time.

Prerequisites

How to connect the front panel connectors to the motherboard?

Here is a step by step guide on how to connect the front panel connectors to the motherboard.

Find Required Cables from your CPU Case

front panel connectors

Follow the cables coming from the front panel of your CPU case. If you have a heavier CPU case, there will be more cables than this. This is the list of all the front panel cables and how to find them.

  • Power button cable – It says POWER SW at the end of the cable.
  • Cable reset button: it says RESET SW at the end of the cable.
  • Led power cable indicator lights : this will have a + and – sign at the end of the cable.

    Example: the power led is POWER LED+ and POWER LED- or it can be POWER LED

  • Hard Drive LED Indicator: This cable says H.D.D. LED+ and H.D.D. LED- or H.D.D. LED at the end of the cable.

Look for the front panel headers on your motherboard

front panel header

Find writings like F_PANEL, JFP1 or FP1 on your motherboard. These writings may be different depending on the motherboard you use. Consult your user manual if you have trouble finding the front panel header. If you don’t have a user manual, use the motherboard manufacturer’s official support page to download the manual.

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The user manual will have a detailed diagram of the motherboard. Use it to locate the front panel header.

Your motherboard will also have a JFP2 or SPK1. This is used to connect a speaker wire from the CPU case.

Find the positive and negative sides of the LED wire

led positive and negative side

The front panel cables, such as the power and reset button have no polarity (positive and negative signs). Therefore, you can insert them in any way. For LED connectors, you must insert the positive end of the front panel cable into the positive pin on the front panel header.

POWER SW and RESET SW will have two slots in the cable that you must insert into front panel headers. On the other hand, the LED can have one or two slots depending on the company that makes the CPU case.

If the LED wires say LED+ or LED-, you can easily insert the wires by following the steps below. However, if the wires only say POWER LED or H.D.D. LED, you need to figure out the positive and negative slots first.

You can see a small triangle on the back of the LED wires. This indicates the positive end, and the other end will be negative.

Connect Your Cables

There will be two sets of pins on your motherboard to connect it to the front panel. One set of pins is called F_PANEL/JFP1/FP1, which contains power, reset, and LED wires. The other is for the speaker/buzzer, which is called JFP2/SPK1.

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Connect F_PANEL/JFP1/FP1

There will be nine pins on the front panel header of your motherboard, as shown below.

Make sure the pin says “JFP1” or “F_PANEL“. Your motherboard will also have these numbers written on it to identify the pins. The pin on one side is odd numbered and the pin on the other side is even numbered. One pin will be missing at the top of the even side.

Use the following guide to insert the front panel connectors.

front panel connector location
  • Pins 1 and 3 are for HDD LED+ and H.D.D LED- respectively.
  • Pins 2 and 4 are for POWER LED+ and POWER LED- respectively.
  • Pins 5 and 7 for RESET SW.
  • Pin 6 and 8 for POWER SW.
  • Pin 9 will be empty.

The LED light on the front panel will not turn on if you have not matched the positive pins with positive slots and the negative pins with negative slots. You can reverse them and reconnect them if the LED does not turn on.

Connect JFP2/SPK1

This cable comes with the motherboard and not with the CPU case. It connects to a small speaker, which emits error codes. JFP2/SPK1 contains a set of four pins, as shown in the image below.

speaker header

Uncover the positive side of the speaker/buzzer wire. The positive slot goes on the fourth pin.

Related Questions

How to connect the front panel USB connectors?

You can find USB pins on your motherboard . They will have the word USB written under them. Depending on the manufacturer, the USB pins may be indicated as JUSB1 or F_USB.

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If you can’t locate them, check your motherboard’s user manual. A set of USB connectors will have nine pins.

usb 2 header

Now, find the cable from your CPU box that says USB at the end. That cable will have a nine-pin slot. To insert, line up the pins and wire and gently insert the connector into the header.

How to connect USB 3.0 front panel header?

Unlike USB 2.0 pins, a USB 3.0 front panel header will have 19 pins. This can be located in the JUSB2/F_USB3.0 written near them. To find the wires, look for wires with the color blue at the end, with 20 slots.

A small rectangular wall-like structure will surround the pins. On one of the longer sides of the wall, there will be a small gap. To insert the wire, line up this gap with the small bulge on the wire.

How to connect the front panel audio jack to the motherboard?

To find the front panel audio jack, search for JAUD1/F_AUDIO on your motherboard . This connector will have a slot for ten pins, five on each side, but pin number 8 will be missing.

front panel audio jack

Find the HD AUDIO cable on your CPU casing. The end of this cable will also have holes/slots for ten pins, five on each side.

The box connector will be missing one pin slot. Line up the pins and the wire so they fit together perfectly.

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