You may need to bypass the case switch of your computer. While it’s unusual, every once in a while we’ll find that a case switch has gone bad. It’s unusual because there really aren’t many moving parts with an ATX case switch that can go bad. With that said, it does happen. This tutorial will explain how to diagnose a problem ATX case switch.
Once installed, a motherboard is difficult to gain access to. There are cables, drives, fans, memory and other components that make troubleshooting the switch difficult. While you can keep most of these components in, we recommend at least removing any IDE cables that make it difficult to see.
Bypass The Case Switch To Start Computer
This image shows the lower right section of the motherboard. The grouping of pins are where the case interfaces with the motherboard. There will normally either be one solid grouping of wires, which is common in major brand PCs. But in custom computers you will usually see numerous wires, some labeled HDD LED, Reset SW, Speakers, PW Switch, etc… Refer to your motherboard manual when connecting these.
We have removed all of the wires to demonstrate how to jump the pins that start the PC. Look for the leads that indicate PW Switch or Power SW and remove them. This will expose two pins. Touch the tip of a flat head screwdriver to these exposed pins and you will normally be able to start the computer.
Bypass The Case Switch To Shut Down Computer
If the power supply or motherboard is bad, the PC will not start. This technique is often only used when troubleshooting a case switch or bench testing a computer that does not have a case. To shut the PC down again, simple short the two pins a second time. If you are not sure which pins belong to the power switch, be sure to look at the motherboard manual, which can be found on the manufacturer’s website.
Be sure to exercise extreme caution when poking around inside of a PC with the power connected. Bypass case switch questions can be asked in our computer forums.