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Home >> Cases & Fans  >> Resources - Cases >> 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Cases

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Cases


| FAQ-General | Hard Drives | Hard Drive(2) | ATA66 | Motherboards |
| Video Cards | Cases | Memory | AMD K7 | CD, CDRW&DVD | CPU |
| Monitors | Modems | Networks | Printers | Sound Cards |


  1. My ATX power supply doesn't work. What is wrong?
  2. How do I know if my power supply is defective?
  3. Can too many drives or peripherals with an undersized power supply cause problems?
  4. Will a high power/wattage power supply damage a system?
  5. In our location, we experience occasional electrical voltage drops. What is your recommendation?
  6. Can I fit an ATX mainboard in an AT case?
  7. Can I fit an AT mainboard in an ATX case?
  8. What are the differences between AT, LPX, ATX, microATX, flexATX, and NLX form factors?
  9. What warranty do you provide for your cases?
  10. My case is damaged during shipping. What do I need to do?
  11. May I buy a case from you without power supply?
  12. May I use an Athlon power supply in a non-Athlon system?
  13. Do I have to use an Athlon-approved power supply for my Athlon system?
  14. Why there is no switch connection on my power supply?
  15. What direction should the fan inside the power supply blow?
  16. My power supply is dead.
  17. My ATX case will not shut off using the power button
  18. I can't get my new AT computer I assembled to power up.
  19. Why there is no instruction sheet for my case?
  20. How do I get tech support to use my case?
  21. Why do I need more cooling fan for my case?
  22. What's the difference between ball-bearing and sleeve-bearing?
  23. Something is missing in my case
  24. How do I return a defective case?
  25. May I buy a replacement power supply for the BookPC?
  26. May I use a Pentium 4 powersupply with an AMD based System?


  1. My ATX power supply doesn't work. What is wrong?
    Please try the following:

    According to Intel specified ATX design, an ATX power supply WILL NOT power-up without being connected to an ATX mainboard or a specialized ATX power supply testing device. In addition, the wires coming from the front panel power switch must be correctly attached to the 2-pin connector on the mainboard according to their polarity. Please refer to the documentation that came with your mainboard for the location of the power switch connector pins.

    The 20-pin power connector from the power supply must be firmly connected to the mainboard.

    The voltage selection switch (115/230 volts) on the back of power supply must be properly set to match your local voltage (115V for the US market).

    The most common cause of an ATX power supply not functioning is improper installation of the wires that go from the power switch to the mainboard.

    UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE POWER SUPPLY COVER BE OPENED. THERE IS DANGEROUS HIGH VOLTAGE INSIDE. DO NOT try to repair the power supply yourself. Doing so will void the product warranty and may cause personal injury. If the product is out of warranty, please send it only to a trained technician for repair. Go to Top

  2. How do I know if my power supply is defective?
    Your computer will not usually power up if the power supply is defective. However, before calling or emailing for support, or requesting a replacement, please make sure that you have correctly configured your system and make sure that you have a known, good system (see answer above).

    Please note that do not judge whether an ATX power supply is good or bad by plugging it to the wall and watching if the fan is turning. The fan will NOT turn unless the power supply is properly connected. Go to Top

  3. Can too many drives or peripherals with an undersized power supply cause problems?
    Yes. Too many drives or peripherals can pull excessive +12V power and cause a system failure. A higher wattage power supply is recommended when using more drives (e.g., four or more IDE devices) or peripherals than the original systemís design specifications. Go to Top

  4. Will a high power/wattage power supply damage a system?
    No. The higher the wattage, the better the power supply (however, with more power consumption). Go to Top

  5. In our location, we experience occasional electrical voltage drops and outage. What is your recommendation?
    We recommend the use of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or a Line Conditioner. Sudden power off without shutting down your system properly first is one of the worst enemies of your PC. It is particularly bad to the integrity of your hard drive. Go to Top

  6. Can I fit an ATX mainboard in an AT case?
    Not really. An AT case and AT power supply can neither power up nor house a new ATX mainboard. ATX and AT are two different form-factors. The AT case was designed before ATX. Most of the computer cases built before late 1996 were AT form-factor. For over 10 years, from about 1985 to 1997, the AT form-factors, founded by the original IBM PC-AT, provided the standard for 90% of the PC industry. Today, the majority of new systems ATX form-factor. The ATX is also known as the Extended AT form-factor.

    In the ATX form-factor, the onboard I/O is placed closer to the devices it connects. (i.e. the IDE drive port is close to the drive bay.) This decreases the required length of cables within the computer. Additionally, the external I/Os (serial ports, parallel ports, game port, or even sound and video) are built on the mainboard. This removes previously required connecting cables increasing reliability and reducing system costs. For the external I/O ports, a special ATX shield/plate is provide by either the mainboard or computer case manufacturer.

    Therefore, we recommend purchasing a new ATX case, which will come with a new power supply with one-year warranty, which makes your new system more reliable. If you however insist on placing an ATX motherboard in an AT case, you have to change the power supply and the back I/O shield, which may be more trouble than it's worth. Go to Top

  7. Can I fit an AT mainboard in an ATX case?
    Yes, you can use an AT mainboard in most ATX cases. However, when using an AT mainboard in an ATX case, an AT I/O shield (back plate) and appropriate power supply connection is required. Some cases come with such I/O plate, but some donít. Check out our case accessory section to see if you could find one that fit your case.

    Currently, most of the new AT mainboards have both AT and ATX power connectors. An ATX power supply, with suitable adapters, can also be used to power an old AT style mainboard with only P8 and P9 connectors. Go to Top

  8. What are the differences between AT, LPX (all in one), ATX, NLX, microATX, and flex ATX form factors?
    Well, in a nutshell, the form factors are changing and improving with time to make motherboards smaller and more efficient with more components. LPX and NLX are very rare. MicroATX and FlexATX are just starting to get popular. However, the standard is still ATX. Please check Intel's web site for more details. Go to Top

  9. What warranty do you provide for your cases?
    We provide one-year limited warranty on all our new cases unless specified elsewhere. The warranty period starts from invoice date. No refund or credit will be issued once a case is assembled because we cannot resell an assembled case. 30-Day money back from receiving date with 15% restocking fee for non-defective returns. No credit or refund after 30 days. Customer is responsible for returning manufacturer defective products including DOA unless testing is paid before shipping. Go to Top

  10. My case is damaged during shipping. What do I need to do?
    Please file a shipping damage report within 7 days after receiving the goods. Directron.com is not responsible for any damage claims after 7 days. Follow the instructions on the damage report page for details. We may call to verify the damage and send replacement only for the part(s) that were damaged. Please do not ship the entire case back to us unless we instruct you to do so. Go to Top

  11. May I buy a case from you without power supply?
    Yes. We now have added an option in most cases to remove the power supply. Youíll find that you would not save the entire cost of a power supply because there is labor involved for us to remove a power supply. Go to Top

  12. May I use an Athlon power supply in a non-Athlon system?
    Yes. An Athlon-certified power supply is also a standard ATX 2.01 power supply. It should work in any ATX case with ATX motherboard. Go to Top

  13. Do I have to use an Athlon-approved power supply for my Athlon system?
    Yes. Actually, any standard ATX 2.01 power supply would work. Athlon approved means that AMD has evaluated it and passed AMD test. Our experience shows that Athlon-approved power supplies are often of high quality. It definitely gives us a way to judge a power supply, although the judgment is not exclusive. Go to Top

  14. Why there is no switch connection on my power supply?
    The power switch on ATX cases is connected and controlled by your motherboard. You should find the power on/off cable together with your system speaker cable in your case. There is no direct wiring between your power supply and power switch. Go to Top

  15. What direction should the fan inside the power supply blow?
    By design, the power supply fan should suck hot air from inside the case and blow it outward. The front case fan should suck fresh air from outside the case and blow it into the case. The side on a fan that has the manufacturer label should be the direction the air is blowing into. Go to Top

  16. The power supply in my new ATX case does not seem to work. After I plugged the power supply and turned on the switch, the fan did not turn. I did not detect any voltage coming out of the power supply, either. Is this a defective power supply?
    ATX power supplies require a working motherboard with a working CPU, memory, and video card to function properly. ATX power supplies are turned on only through motherboards. In other words, it needs to be connected to a working computer before the fan inside the power supply starting to run and the voltage from the connectors can be measured. That's how ATX is designed.

    If the power supply is connected to a motherboard, make sure that the processor, memory and video card are properly inserted. Then check the voltage selection switch on the back of the power supply. Make sure it is set at 115V for the North American market.

    If the system still does not power up, see if the new power supply in question would work in another working computer or see if another working power supply would power up the new system you are building.

    If the power supply is confirmed defective, file an online RMA request and ship back only the power supply but not the entire case for exchange. Go to Top

  17. My ATX case will not shut off using the power button
    The ATX case and power supply receive a signal from the motherboard to shut down and are not directly connected to the power button (unlike the older AT styled cases). The motherboard "waits" for a signal from the operating system to insure proper shut down. If it is necessary to shut down the system with the power button, just press and hold it for approximately 5-10 seconds. Go to Top

  18. I Just received my new AT motherboard and AT case. After I installed the new motherboard and the rest of my parts in my case, I was not able to get the computer to power up. What could cause this?
    If the system is not posting, check to be sure the video card is properly seated and well in the PCI or AGP expansion slot. Also check to make sure that the motherboard is not grounding out on a motherboard mount or the case chassis. Makes sure that the AT Power connecter are plugged into where the black cables are in the middle on the AT power connector. Go to Top

  19. Why there is no instruction sheet for my case?
    Most OEM cases do not come with instruction manual, because they were intended for experienced system builders. If you are a novice in computer building, we now do offer our recommended instruction sheets at $2 for some of the popular cases we sell. Currently, the instruction sheet is text only. We are working on getting instructions made for more cases and improving existing sheets with diagrams. Go to Top

  20. How do I get tech support to use my case?
    The first place to start is our web site. 95% of the questions asked through e-mail and phone calls already have answers on our web site. You can search for your answer online 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

    If you can't get the answer online, please e-mail our tech support. Our normal turn-around time in answering tech support e-mail is 24 business hours (1-3 business days). If it is an emergency, please call tech support hotline 713-773-3636. Go to Top

  21. Why do I need more cooling fan for my case?
    Most OEM cases come with only one case fan inside the power supply. That's often not enough to keep the entire cabinet cool since most new components are more powerful and thus generate more heat than the traditional ones. Examples are newer hard drives that spin faster and have higher capacities, microprocessors that run at higher speeds, and video cards with more video processing speeds. We suggest at least one front case fan to suck cool, fresh air from outside the case into the inside of the case. For high-end systems such as Athlon systems, we also suggest a rear case fan to suck hot air out of the case. Please check out our case accessory section for more choices. Go to Top

  22. What's the difference between ball-bearing and sleeve-bearing?
    There are two technologies in constructing the central part of a cooling fan - the bearings. One is called ball-bearing and the other one is called sleeve-bearing (also called brushless). Ball-bearing fans are slightly more expensive, but in theory should last slightly longer in dust-free area. In a very dusty area, the two fans should have similar lifetimes. We use ball-bearing cooling fans whenever we can. Go to Top

  23. Something is missing in my case. What should I do?
    Please file an online Order Discrepancy Report within 7 days after receiving your order. Directron.com is not responsible for any missing parts after 7 days. Most missing parts may be due to the manufacturer's error. We can often supply replacements quickly. We may call you to verify what's missing and ship you only the replacement part. Please do not ship the entire case back to us unless we instruct you to do so. Please see the Discrepancy report page for more details. Go to Top

  24. How do I return a defective case?
    Please first determine which part is defective and whether it is still under warranty (one year from your original invoice date). Then file an online Return Merchant Authorization (RMA) request. Please ship only the defective part to us, NOT the entire case. For instance, the most likely defective part is the power supply. We'll send you a replacement power supply as soon as we receive the defective one. Alternatively and if you receive the product within 30 days, you can order a new one and send the defective one back for a refund (excluding shipping). Some small mechanical parts could also fail and we often send such replacement parts without getting the defective ones back. Go to Top

  25. May I buy a replacement power supply for the BookPC?
    Unfortunately, no. We no longer supply this product or its replacement parts.Go to Top


  26. May I use a Pentium 4 powersupply with a AMD based system? Certainly. A Pentium 4 powersupply/Pentium4 ready powersupply can be used just fine with an AMD based system. These types of powersupplies support P4, but they do not require you to use a P4. Pentium4 ready powersupplies have one extra connector on them, a 2x2 12v connector. When using a P4 ready powersupply with a non-P4 system you simply do not use the extra connector. Go to Top


| How to Choose a Power Supply? | FAQ-Power Supply | Glossary-Cases |
| FAQ-General | Hard Drives | Hard Drive(2) | ATA66 | Motherboards |
| Video Cards | Cases | Memory | AMD K7 | CD, CDRW&DVD | CPU |
| Monitors | Modems | Networks | Printers | Sound Cards |
(ud 10/03/02 lp)



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