Rear Shield Panel Assembly

Submitted by dave on Thu, 08/03/2017 - 17:27

Placing the Rear Shield Panel Assembly:
After you have screwed in all the standoffs needed to give good support to your motherboard, but before you actually place the motherboard into the case assembly you will then check the box the motherboard came in and find a rectangular piece of tin or aluminum that has holes and slots cut into it that match the plug-ins in the rear of the motherboard.

Image removed.

This is the metal shield that helps to protect the inside of the computer assembly from excessive dust buildup and helps to reduce radio wave interference both to and from the computer itself.

You will see several different shapes of holes that match up with the different shapes that will stick out of the rear of your mainboard assembly so you can connect things like the monitor, mouse, video and other cables needed for interfacing with your PC.

Placing panel protects the computer from excess dust.
Placing panel protects the computer from excess dust.

You will probably see some areas that have covered cutouts that are  blocking some of the connecters in the back.

These plates are made to fit all combinations of connectors for that model of motherboard.

These are made to push out much like popping out the parts to model airplane and car kits.(If you've ever built a model car or airplane kit that is) and match your particular combination of connectors.

Check first by placing the panel up against the motherboard connector area to see if you need to remove any areas that may be blocking a connector.

and it doesn't look professional.

After you've checked and made sure that all connectors that are available for the motherboard you have fit properly through the metal shield you will press it into place in the rear of the case where you will see the rectangular opening that was made for it.

You will notice that there are very different surfaces on the two sided of the shield.

The side that has a raised area around the outer edge is pressed (gently) from the inside of the case until it pops into place.
That ridge is the area that holds it into place.

Make sure that the proper edge is up before you press the shield into place or the motherboard connectors will not line up with it.
The shield has a definite right and wrong way of fitting. Trouble is it will snap into place just as easily the wrong way as it will the right way so make sure that the shield goes in with the proper side up. Then carefully press it into place. Some shields will snap into place and stay there nicely. Some shields I have seen fits in so loosely that I have had to hole it into place while installing the motherboard, not a fun thing to do either.

Now Motherboard Assembly Placement:

I usually pick it up by the fan assembly on the CPU giving me really good control with one hand.

You might want to stop and look things over carefully to find out what method is better for you. I'm right handed and not sure if this method is good for lefties or not.

OK here's the plan, you're going to very carefully place the motherboard assembly onto the screw offsets you put in earlier making sure you touch the motherboard to nothing and that the offsets touch only the hole areas they are intended for.

If you accidently scrape any of the circuits against a metal standoff or sharp edge or anything hard or sharp you may damage the motherboard leaving it useless.

Now that I've got you worried let me reassure you.

Just take it slow and easy on this part and  it should go well. I've never yet had a motherboard damaged inserting it into the chassis but I always work like this time is the time it's going to happen. That makes me go very slow and careful.

As you're placing it into the case I usually find it easier if I tilt the rear connector side of the mother board assembly down a little.

There are flap like panel protruding out of some of the connector holesin the shield.

This is the only part of the assembly that is extremely touchy.

CAREFULLY pick up the motherboard assembly

These are common grounding areas that have to press against the top of the metal cased connectors that are usually rectangular in shape.
These grounding flaps make for a better circuit connection to the motherboard and help protect it from static shock as well.

Tilt the back side of the motherboard assembly down just a little so you can slip the connectors into the holes intended for them and under the grounding flaps so that the grounds will be pressing against the top metal part of the connectors as you gently lay the rest of the motherboard assembly down onto the stand off pins.

Now and probably with a flashlight if your area is not brightly lighted.
Check each of the holes in the motherboard assembly that is intended to take a screw and make sure they line up with the stand off pins.


Carefully tilt the inside edge of the motherboard up just a little to clear it from touching any of the standoffs and fit it against the metal shield tighter that it was so the pins line up properly.

If you have put the standoffs in the proper place then the screw down holes in the motherboard assembly will line up properly.

Again I stress the importance of checking the manual that came with the motherboard to make sure you have the right pattern. Before you fasten everything down. Or even placing the motherboard onto the standoffs.

If you have the proper pattern and the  connectors are snugly against the rear shield poking through properly then all the screws will line up right.

After the motherboard assembly has been properly placed onto the standoffs then one at a time screw in the screws provided with the case for the standoffs.

Every new case should come with a compliment of standoffs and screws to fit them.

Bag of screws for the Cooler Master Haf 932.
Bag of screws for mounting different parts of the computer.

The above bag is how the different screws and standoffs are usually packaged with cases.

You should now look very carefully at your motherboard and locate the holes in it that are made just for the screws that will bolt the motherboard to the case.
These holes are quite often metal lined looking almost like small slats or staples around the edge of the hole.

The owners manual that came with your motherboard should have a picture or a drawing of these holes that clearly indicate where the standoffs are to be mounted to the computer case.

The different styles of motherboards will have different patterns that the standoffs will be placed in. Depending usually on the size and shape.

Make sure that the screw holes you choose in the computer case or the mounting plate if your computer case is the tool-less type, match up with the hole pattern on the motherboard.

You will find more holes in the case than you actually need.
That is to insure whatever board the customer buys, the mounting area of the computer case will have the proper hole placement for it.

There are only a few patterns that are used and so all the holes for all configurations are usually punched into the computer case or mounting plate in the area where the motherboard will be mounted.

This can give the impression to the first time builder that there are too many holes. Just screw in the standoffs that match the pattern of your particular motherboard and forget about the left over holes.

Case showing the holes for screw placement.
Case showing the holes for screw placement.

By carefully looking at the holes in the motherboard you will be able to see which holes in the computer case you can screw the mounting standoffs into so they will align with the holes in the motherboard.

Your job is to find the proper holes and screw in finger tight the standoffs needed only for your board


You may also find some foot-pad stands that are usually made of plastic.

This is a footpad standoff.
This is a footpad standoff.

The above is a footpad most plastic screws for mounting the motherboard will have a small protrusion on the top instead of the flat area you see here for catching in the holes for motherboard mounging.

If your motherboard has holes at corners where there is no place to screw in the standoffs then you will place one of these plastic footpads in each hole and the pad end will sit on the case supporting the motherboard where there are no holes for the screw-in standoffs.

You should not have to use more than two of these to brace the motherboard corners.

Examine the area where the memory sticks go and see if there are any holes in the motherboard but no corresponding holes in the metal underneath.
This is also a good place to put a footpad to help brace the memory area in case you add or replace the memory sometime in the future. This will help to keep the board from bending when you press on the memory to install it.

Also I have come across one board that had only one screw in the area that the PCI slots were and had an area left unsupported. I placed one of these plastic footpad stands here in a hole on the motherboard that had no corresponding hole in the case to help support this area when cards are inserted.

Motherboards usually have one or more holes that have no corresponding place to screw a standoff in the case so don't worry if you have more motherboard holes than you have standoff holes to brace it with.

The main idea here is to  insure the motherboard has a solid foundation that keeps the circuits from coming into contact with the metal case except where the areas clearly made to put a standoff in.

The areas where you fasten the metal standoffs to the motherboard are usually metal or metal banded. This makes a common return for the current to flow through so don't worry about the metal screws making contact with the metal screw holes and the metal case.
It's the metal traces you see running around the underside of the motherboard that needs to be protected from the metal areas.

A really simple and easy way to ensure proper placement of these standoffs is to place the motherboard on a piece of paper the same size of the board and insert a pencil or pen into each hole making a small mark on the paper or even punching a hole where each mounting hole is.
Then placing the paper on the case area where the motherboard is to be mounted you can clearly see where to screw in the mounting standoffs.
In fact you could actually screw the standoffs into the computer case through the paper then pull the paper out over the standoffs making sure you don't leave any pieces of paper in the case.

When properly placed the connectors at the rear of the motherboard will line up with the large rectangular hole in the back of the case.

The picture below shows the rectangular connector region on the back of the motherboard and the picture below that shows the rectangular hole at the back of the case it should fit into easily.

Rear view of a motherboard.
Rear view of a motherboard.