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I've mounted my own motherboards in the past, and there were
always these plastic things that were used to keep the motherboard
up away from touching the bottom of the computer case ( box ) so
it wouldn't short out when the power was turned on. These plastic
things were sometimes called stand-offs I think. But in my new
computer case, only one stand-off is supplied. The case has little
rises punched into the bottom that I assume that the motherboard
is suppose to lie on and the one stand-off fits where for some
reason there is no such rise on the bottom of the case. So they
"saved money" not having to supply a few bit of plastic. But this
looks real dangerous ! You can't just sit the motherboard on
the bottom of a metal case without some kind of insulation between
the motherboard and the metal case, can you ? Somebody told me
this grounds the motherboard. Really ? Or will my motherboard
fry once the power is turned on ?
Can anyone tell me what is going on and what needs to be done
to correctly and safely mount my motherboard in the case ?
All motherboards have specific holes, usually 6 or 9 of them, intended for mounting the board on metal or plastic (usually metal) stand-offs, which in turn are screwed into pre-drilled holes in the motherboard mounting pan inside the case.
You CANNOT put a motherboard into the case without making sure that the underside of the board is completely lifted off of the case, i.e. DO NOT let anything on the underside of the board, contact the metal case.
You may want to go and purchase a little package of suitable standoffs, usually about 3/8 inch tall, to mount the board. Should cost very little. But don't mount the board without **some** form of stand-offs to hold it in place.
If you aren't confident with installing your motherboard in that case, then you should consider returning the case, or taking the motherboard and case in to your dealer and having them install it for you.
As Sasha mentioned, there are usually 6 or 9 screw holes to hold down a motherboard. If you look on the underside of the motherboard, you will see that those holes are surrounded by a "dot" of tinned (silver colored) copper trace. It is OK for those dots to touch the riser, but nothing else should.
Without being able to see your case, it's hard to say, but since you mention that there are raised areas punched into the case, I would think that those would be the proper mounting posts. One way to help you tell is to simply lay the motherboard on them and then see if a card will properly fit into the motherboard and position properly in the case. But, like I said, if you aren't comfortable, then don't do it.
I'd just go right ahead and fit the motherboard on the basis that:
The case designers (probably!) know what they are doing.
Stand-offs in many (better quality?) cases are made of metal (so a raised case floor is equivalent).
What Quakeboy02 said: "If you look on the underside of the motherboard, you will see that those holes are surrounded by a "dot" of tinned (silver colored) copper trace. It is OK for those dots to touch the riser".
On (better quality?) motherboards, the mounting hole surround is serrated, a technique used to provide better electrical contact.
Like others have said, each hole for the motherboard should have a stand-off. Any hole that is tin or silver should be placed on a metal stand-off for better ground. Yes, the holes that have been tinned or have silver around them do serve a purpose. Their purpose is making the motherboard be a little resilient to static electricity and power problems by shunting these problems to ground. The manual should tell where the stand-offs are for your motherboard, so this is a good reason to read the freaking manual. Sure you can use the other f-word.
If only one stand-off is given to you then buy a computer builder's kit or similar kit which has all the screws, metal stand-offs, plastic stand-offs, and other parts for building a computer. The following is what you could get.
One tip, just do not torque the screws for the motherboard or else the motherboard will be damaged. It is best to drive the screw until it is firm to the motherboard with your hand. Do not use a power tool.