So I've replaced the PC's power button and status light with this very nice chrome-accented, back-lit button. And frankly, if I can do it, so can you.
What you'll need:
- A cheap tower PC. I have no idea how I'd do this with a laptop or compact desktop.
- A button.
- Some cables. I happened to have the Extension Harness Pack from Ultimarc on hand, which is pre-terminated with exactly the lengths and connectors I needed. Or you could chop up the cable that's running to your old button and re-terminate it with these.
- The willingness to put a 1 1/8" hole in something. I like my Forstner bit for that job.
Unplug your PC and take it somewhere well lit. Keep the AC unplugged until you're done poking the motherboard, please. Tear the side and plastic front off your PC. You'll end up with something like the picture below. The black plastic cube on the right, below the DVD, is the mechanism behind the shiny power button facade. That's what we're replacing.
Use a camera phone to peek around inside the PC, behind the old button. In person, it was obvious that the red and black cables are for the button, and the blue and green cables are for the power LED. The yellow and white cables are for the hard drive indicator, which I'm now living without.
OK, now you can drill a 1 1/8 in hole in your cabinet (or use one of the pre-drilled button holes. I wanted this out of the way, on the back near the floor) and mount the chrome body of the button. Then put your PC back in the cabinet, and snap the switch-and-LED assembly into the chrome button body. Gorgeous!