USB Headers and connectors

Posted on 2006-06-02
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
Will USB 2.0 plugs like this connect correctly to headers on older motherboards without USB 2.0?  Because I have computers with a Biostar M7VIB and a Soyo SY-K7VTA motherboard, and I want to use the USB headers on the motherboard.


Also, does it make a difference whether the headers are paired together or seaperate?  Because I've seen the connectors for the plugs come paired together, like this:
Question by:Crash2100
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    The USB plugs should work on any header, so long as the pins line up--it won't matter whether the headers are USB 1.1 or 2.0. Make sure not to put them on backwards, find out which one is the grond wire, which one is the ground pin on the motherboard connector, etc. Have a look at a diagram of the plug-in as well as the motherboard header(s).
    When the plugs are paired together on the add-on bracket, as in the quad USB connector that you linked to in your post, it's just two connectors side-by-side to complement motherboard connectors that are arranged the same way, giving you two USB ports from one (thicker) wire inside your case. You could also plug in two single USB plugs, side-by-side, into one dual USB motherboard header for the same effect.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Hi,  it is imparitive you connect the header properly.

    The reason for this is that the USB design

    The design is as follows:

    10[O  ]

    That is what the typical Intel Spectification makes 99% of USB headers look like.

    This is how they are connected:

    1.  VCC  (Red)
    3.  Data -  (White or Yellow)
    5.  Data+  (Green)
    7.  Ground  (Black)
    9.  NC  (Black or No Wire)

    Then on the other side:

    2.  VCC  (Red)
    4.  Data -  (White or Yellow)
    6.  Data+  (Green)
    8.  Ground  (Black)
    10.  NC  (Black or No Wire)

    Connections 9, and 10 do not need a wire, but sometimes there is a black wire.  The USB Header you are looking at in the picture above most likely has only 4 wires.   The missing one goes towards the connector with no pin.  Only 4 pins are actually used by USB.

    Just double check your motherboard to ensure it matches with the same USB Spectification.  Verify all the pins match the correct spectification.  The reason I say this is that it is possible to connect it backwards.  If you connect it backwards, you will short +5V directly to Ground.  This will definitly overload the power supply and it will do it through the motherboard as well.

    There are very few ways to mess up a computer you are building.  Typically the only serrious mistakes are not using studs/spacers or too many and shorting the motherboard to the case, shorting a power rail to ground, not using thermal interface material or locking down the heatsink properly, bending a processor pin, and very rarely static electricity and static damage.

    LVL 47

    Assisted Solution

    There are a variety of USB connection schemes.

    You need to get the motheboard and the header plug connections correct.  This may involve dismantling the header plug (use a pin or paperclip to push the locking pin and then pull the wire free from the header plug) and then reinserting the wires to match the pin pattern on the motherboard.

    This site

    will show you how to dismantle and reinsert the header plug plus give you examples of the many patterns of pins you may find on the motherboard.
    LVL 18

    Author Comment

    The concept of those extra two pins (9 & 10) were what I initially didn't understand.  With what everyone said, I guess those are just there so you get the dual plugs oriented correctly, right?

    I don't think I'll have to move the wires on the connector, because I looked at both my motherboards manuals, and they're the standard, but it's nice to know how to do that in case I ever need to.

    Thanks for the help!
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    No problem.  Most motherboards are standard, but it is an excellent idea to always check.  The missing pin is to help you line up the easy Intel connector.  Even on my AMD motherboards, they all have this same Intel connector, so it must be standard.  I always check though.


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