How to Install a Mini USB Hub on Your Computer Case

Installing a mini USB hub on your computer case can be quite confusing. To begin with, before moving on to any instructions for installation, you must first check to see if your motherboard supports USB expansion. Follow step 1 and 2 below for instructions. If it doesn't, alternatives are to use adapters that convert from USB to other port types located on the back of your computer. Otherwise, you may want to consider upgrading your motherboard. If your motherboard does support expansion, then you're ready to expand. Here is a step by step guide containing instructions on how to install a mini USB hub onto your computer case.

Step 1-Opening Your Computer's Case

Unplug your computer from its power supply as well as any devices plugged into the back of your computer. Likely your case opens from the side and to do this, locate the large finger screw. Turn counter clockwise until it releases from the frame. There may be standard screws holding your side panel on as well. If so, remove them and set aside. Now, slide the panel toward the back of your computer and set it aside. Next, remove the face of your computer by depressing the click and lock tabs located behind the face cover inside your computer. Note: Place your computer on an electrostatic mat before handling delicate parts inside.

Step 2-Check Motherboard for USB Expansion Capabilities

To add a USB hub, you need to check your motherboard to see if it supports USB expansion. The most common location for this plug is near the CMOS battery. Locate this battery by looking for a silver round object that is the size of a quarter. Once you have located it, look for two rows of pins. One of them has four pins and the other has five pins. If you do not find the plug pins near the CMOS, look over the rest of your motherboard to see if you can locate it elsewhere. If you locate it, your USB expansion is possible.

Step 3-Choose Expansion Slot and Mount Mini USB Hub

Choose an open slot on your computer's expansion bay that fits your mini USB hub located on the front side of your computer. You may need to break away a metal or plastic plate that is used as an expansion placeholder. Slide your hub in from the front of your computer and secure the frame of your expansion slot to your USB hub with screws.

Step 4-Plug In To Motherboard

You will plug in your mini USB hub using its attached cable into the the five pin row of the plug-in that you located in step 2. Align plug with pins and carefully slide the plug onto the pins, making sure it is secure.

Step 5-Put Everything Back Together

Once your hub is in place and plugged in, put everything back together. Align your case's face up to the click lock tabs with their slots and snap back into place. Then, align your side panel with the guide runners on the frame with the ones on your panel and slide toward the front of your computer until it snaps in place. Screw all the screws back in and plug the power supply and devices back in.

Finally, turn your computer on and you should see the "Found New Hardware" window appear. Follow the onscreen instructions for adding new hardware on your computer.

Adding physical components to your computer may seem a bit advanced for the average computer user, but most things are a snap to perform. Just follow the simple steps and you should have no trouble installing a mini USB hub yourself.