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Computer wont start after installing internal mobo usb header extension cable

Posted on 2014-11-27
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Last Modified: 2014-12-03
Hi techs, I installed an internal card reader, but the internal usb cable wouldnt reach the header on the board so I had to get an extension cable.  I thought I connected it correctly but the computer wont pwr on.  If I disconnect the cable, then it will power on again so Im doing something wrong with the cable.  The ext. cable is tough to figure out b/c it has four free connectors instead of one on each end.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you!
Mark88
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by:John Hurst
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Either try to post a diagram of the ends, or (much more preferably) get a single purpose cable with single end points on each end.  Then use the latter.
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by:Mark88
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The rep at Microcenter found the cable for me.  I dont think they have anything else
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by:John Hurst
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See if they can tell you which are the appropriate ends to use. You may need to try a different source for a cable.

You may even need to try a different reader made for your machine.
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by:Mark88
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by:Kimputer
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I guess you are lucky the computer starts, because with the 4 connector headers, it's quite easy to short-circuit your motherboard (including smoke from the south bridge chip).
The proper way to connect it is. find the CORRECT USB HEADER!! (it says so on the PCB board).
It's 2 rows, 5 pins and 4 pins. To the side where it's symmetrical (2 pins), starts the 5V power, then Data-, then Data+ and last is ground (with the upper row, one pin is unused).
Now how to figure out which is which on the card reader ? That's a bit tough to say. Usually the connecters are marked with what I said (power, -, +, ground). If not, there are also standard colors used (in this order, from the symmetrical side: red, white, green black)
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by:Mark88
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The reader is already installed and it was not easy to do it.  I hope I can figure this out.

- Also, did trying to pwr on the computer while it would not power damage anything?
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by:Kimputer
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As you've shown the picture just now (before I finished the post), the order was already correct it seems. It just means you have to connect it so the red connects to the first pin on the side where it's symmetrical (2 pins, not the side where it ends with only one pin).
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by:Dr. Klahn
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The most likely answer here is that the cable is reversed somewhere between the motherboard and the card reader.

USB motherboard headers are 10 pins, two rows of five, with one corner pin removed.  Many USB header connectors, however, do not have the corner pinhole filled so it is easy to get the connection reversed.

Some devices such as card readers also have only five pins of the ten, so it is even easier to reverse the polarity of the cable.  Add in that some manufacturers use whatever cable is available without regard to the USB standard color code and it can be a mess.  See pcpartsandcables page on this.

It's also possible that the cable is plugged into something that looks like a USB header, but is not.  Candidates here include Firewire/1394 headers and front panel headers.  1394 headers look exactly like USB headers.  See the image below (cf. computerhope.com):

Headers
Finally, it is possible that the card reader itself is defective.  If it is shorted somewhere the motherboard won't come up, which is what you are seeing.  Connect the reader directly to the motherboard without the extension to check this out.

If you have a picture of the card reader's cables it will be helpful to figure out what is going on.
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by:Mark88
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When I disconnected the ext. cable and powered on, I got a bios error that told me to choose the last known good.
I hope I didnt short anything out :(
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by:John Hurst
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Disconnect all the cables and remove the card. Now start the computer to see if it runs, or if there is now a hardware issue.

If no, put the card back in. I don't really recommend using the wrong cable, but if you must, make sure it is oriented correctly.

I would be inclined to remove the card and leave it until you can get the correct cable for it.
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by:Mark88
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by:Mark88
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There's the cable.  Also, I removed the reader from the bay and connected it to the board directly and it works.
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by:John Hurst
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So the card and computer are OK. You really need to get a correct cable if you can. Otherwise you need to sort out the pinouts and determine which to connect.
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by:Mark88
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Dr Klahn, so you mentioned about shorts.  How do I know if I broke the board?  

Anybody look at the pic?
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by:Kimputer
Kimputer earned 143 total points
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You can't always tell if you shorted it out or not and if your motherboard is damaged or not. Also, some shorts are severe (whole PC is dead), some shorts only affect the USB function). Maybe in your case, it wasn't a full short, and no permament damage has been done. The only way is to test the computer for a while, and also the USB ports.
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by:John Hurst
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The picture is just a picture of a cable (the one I looked at) and does not help with pinouts.

Your computer (your other post) is ancient and getting a modern card into it may be troublesome.
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by:Mark88
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there's no card being installed
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by:John Hurst
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Sorry - it is a header.  Still old machine, new cable may be troublesome.
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by:Kimputer
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As I already explained much earlier, the cable is correct and standard. I already told you about the colors before I even saw the picture.
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by:Mark88
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Oh I see it now Kimputer.  This board has two usb headers.  I have that part.  I just dont know how to get the pins in the right connectors.
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by:Mark88
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Im firstly wondering why the extention cable has two separate cables cabletied together!
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by:Mark88
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wow, too many colors on these connectors!  I have no idea...........
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by:10023
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Check continuity in the cable with a meter...just pin the terminal to get your leads.
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by:Mark88
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Am I using both cables for the reader and the header?
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by:garycase
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"... Also, I removed the reader from the bay and connected it to the board directly and it works. "  ==>  Okay, now look very carefully at the pins on the reader, and be CERTAIN that when you connect it with the extension they pins are being connected in the same order as when it's directly plugged in to the header.

Note that the reason your extension cable has two sets of extensions tied together is to allow you to extend both of the ports on that header.   Most likely you're only using one of the ports, so you don't really need to use both of them -- you should be able to tell that by looking carefully at the plug from the reader.    If you're not sure, use both extensions, but as already noted be SURE that you're plugging them in consistently -- and be CERTAIN that you're plugging the reader into the correct set of pins so that electrically the connections are identical to when you plugged it directly into the USB header.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 71 total points
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also, note that the usb header has a single pin at one end - that one is NOT used
make sure you plug the extender cable such that the wire colors correspond !
in your mobo manual, you'll find normally an USB header layout, - in the front panel  connectors section
post the mobo model - then we can guide you exactly
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by:Kimputer
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I explained several times already. The colors on the cable in the pic ARE correct (standard). So put the red pin to the header on the side where it's symmetrical (2 pins, not the one with only one), there's only one way to put it where all 4 pins are connected (horizontally, not vertically). Your cable is meant for two devices (just as a header is meant for two devices)
So here it is, the USB header

00000
0000

x0000
x000

Align it so that the x is the red pin, that's all!
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by:nobus
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in case you need it, here the pinout of the usb header :
u
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by:Mark88
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The cable they sold me has 8 pins, and the header has 9
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by:nobus
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i said before that the single pin is not used - pin 5 on the drawing
but you must connect the black wire to grnd -  so be sure not to invert the plug; then you short out +5V
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by:Mark88
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So there would not be any loss of functionality wth a missing pin?
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by:Mark88
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The reader has these colors:
Black Green White Red
Green Red Orange Orange Blue
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by:garycase
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Forget the colors !!

Think about the physical connections.

The reader works fine when you plug it into the USB header.

Note that the wire that's plugged into the 5th pin on the row of 5 isn't used -- as already noted, there are only 4 wires actually used in a USB connection.

Now install the extensions so that pins on the reader are connecting to exactly the same pins they were plugged into when you directly connected it.    The electrons moving along the wires don't care what color they are !!
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by:Mark88
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Why does the reader have 9 pins if only 8 get used?  Wouldnt they have block #5 too?
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by:John Hurst
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Your computer is quite ancient if I recall correctly, and it is also possible that the cables today do not accommodate equipment that old.
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by:Mark88
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The case is old, mobo is 4/5 years old, so new
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by:Mark88
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So there would not be any loss of functionality wth a missing pin?
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by:Mark88
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So I plugged in the reader like you guys said and it worked!  I did a couple restarts to test it and the mouse froze and the computer shut off.  Some really odd video issues going on too, and I hope I didn't blow this $250 card.  I tried three times to turn it back on but it wont boot.  :(  So I disconnected the header cable and tried again and it starts now and for 20 minutes now it hasn't shut down.  

I wonder if I blew that usb header?
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by:garycase
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"... So there would not be any loss of functionality wth a missing pin? "  ==> There's no "missing pin".    Note the USB header pinout shown a couple of posts above -- pin 5 is labeled "NC" ... which means there's nothing connected to it.    Why your reader has a wire to it is a good question, but the pin has no function except to serve as a "key" so you can't plug a USB plug into the header incorrectly.

Are you CERTAIN that you have the cables installed so that all of the connections on the reader are identical to what they were when you had it plugged directly into the header?
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by:garycase
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Just for consistency, I'd connect the two cables as follows:

USB+5v  -  Red
LDM1     -  White
LDP1      -  Green
Gnd       -   Black

USB+5v  -  Red
LDM2     -  White
LDP2      -  Green
Gnd       -   Black

Then be CERTAIN that you're connected the other ends to EXACTLY the same set of pins in the cable from the reader that they would be connected to if the reader was plugged directly into the header.    Note that this means your reader will have one wire that's not connected to anything.
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by:Mark88
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Yes, I connected the extension cable on the board same as to the reader - as in a parallel connection.
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by:Mark88
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* Forgot to mention that the reader's pwr indicator light stays on even when the pc is shut down, which I thought was odd too.
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by:garycase
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The power indicator simply indicates that the USB port is still powered when the PC is turned off.    This is likely an option in the BIOS ... or, if you're putting the PC into Standby (sleep) mode instead of powering off, is controlled by Windows' power options.
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by:Mark88
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Should I reconnect the reader again and see if it hangs/shutsdown the computer?  Should I try the other usb header?
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by:garycase
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If you reconnect it, be CERTAIN that you have the wires connected to the correct pins -- as we've outlined several times above.    You could try a different header if you want, but I doubt that will make any difference.   Just be sure it's a USB header -- not some other interface (e.g. IEEE-488).
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by:garycase
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... You could also try connecting the reader directly to the header just to be sure your problem isn't a defective reader that's causing problems.    If it works okay like that, it should certainly work fine with the extension cables you have.
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by:nobus
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if you're not sure, let someone with more knowledge help you, or take it to a shop - they'll help you out fast
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by:Mark88
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I am certain its usb and that its connected correctly when its connected.   Anyone know why the computer shuts off or why the mouse and keyboard stop responding?
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by:nobus
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because you shorted some signal, or power lines
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by:garycase
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Do you have the problem if the reader is plugged directly into the USB port (without any extension) ?

If so, you have a defective reader.    If not, then one of the extension cables is bad OR you have it connected incorrectly.
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by:nobus
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it seems the reader is ok, since it works when directly plugged
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by:Mark88
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plugged reader back directly into header agan and pc has not hung up yet after 3 hours.
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by:garycase
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I know you said you checked them, but TRIPLE CHECK that you're connecting the SAME pins from the header to the SAME plugs that were plugged into the header when the reader was directly connected.    Note that nothing should be connected to the plug that was connected to Pin 5 of the header.

As I noted above, if this doesn't work, then either you've made a mistake in the wiring, or you have a defective extension cable.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 143 total points
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... This will fix either of those issues (mistake in the wiring or a defective cable):
http://www.ebay.com/itm/3Ft-1m-10pin-Male-to-Female-USB-Internal-Motherboard-Header-Extension-Cable-Cord-/331309829884
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by:Mark88
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That is for a 10 pin.  This header and reader is 9
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by:nobus
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if you insist - clip off a pin then
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by:Mark88
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Oh I see.  Didnt know you could do that.
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by:garycase
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"... That is for a 10 pin.  This header and reader is 9 " ==> NO.   Your header is a 10-pin socket that only has 9 pins.    The extension will work just fine.
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by:Mark88
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why in the world would they put 9 wires on their connector?
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by:garycase
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You're worrying this to death.    You have already shown that the reader works fine when plugged directly into the header;   so just get a new extension and resolve this once-and-for-all.    Why they put on wire on a pin that's not used is indeed a good question ... but it's also irrelevant.    Somebody apparently just felt since there were 9 pins on the header they should have a wire going to each of them :-)
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by:Mark88
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I fixed this.  I installed the reader on the lowest 3.5" bay instead where I wanted it on the top 5" bay.  :(
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by:nobus
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by:Mark88
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Nobus, I already have one.  The 5" bays are too far from the headers
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by:10023
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We don't have continuity
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by:nobus
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then buy cable extenders..
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by:garycase
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"... I fixed this.  I installed the reader on the lowest 3.5" bay instead where I wanted it on the top 5" bay.  :(    " ==>    I wouldn't say "fixed" ... I say you worked around it by eliminating the need for the extension.

... the little $3.68 extension I linked to above will fix it, so you can install it where you want it and it will work just fine.
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by:Mark88
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lol
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by:Mark88
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3Ft 1m in the case?
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garycase earned 143 total points
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Clearly longer than you need ... but very easy to simply wrap a bit to make it easy to route.    I've used many 1m cables internally over the years, whether SCSI, IDE, SATA, etc. ... and it's easy to be neat with a few small cable ties.
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by:Mark88
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Thank you all for the assistance with this.  Im going to keep the reader in the 3.5" bay for now.
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