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The front USB connectors are usually either molded into the front case or held in via a clip or screws. Unfortunately, when they go out due to the tab within the USB port breaking, they are not easily replaced as each manufacturer creates their own proprietary connector...not the USB part but the hardware to hold the USB in place. So you will find the hardest part of this project finding the right connector or "jerry-rigging" the new one to fit.
Another alternative is to remove everything from the old case...the mainboard, all the drives and whatever else can be moved, and put it into a new case. If your current power supply is good and of a standard size, etc...you can get a used case for around $10.00 and put all the other things from the old one in it. Fortunately, this series of Acer seems to be pretty much generic so everything should fit....just make sure the "new" case has good front USB ports.
If you wish to get some details; check the site linked here. Viewing it in "Mosaic" or "Magazine" will make surf easy. Pull up older posts. Surf the site with patience. Do a search by type in the brand name of your device at its search box and press "Enter". http://electronicshelponline.blogspot.com/
it seems to be a typical box PC, so I would try removing the side panel then look for some snaps on the front, and unsnap the front plastic bezel from the unit. (one side snaps, the other side is tabbed in with some plastic hinges that will just open as you pull the snaps back). once the plastic is off you should have access to the plastics inside the face panel.
I also have an Acer Aspire AM-3470G & just swapped DVD drives trying to troubleshoot a problem. Remove the one side panel with the finger tab that gives you access to the system board/HD's, etc. No need to remove the opposite side panel. With the panel off, there are 3 black plastic tabs holding the front cover on. Release them so that the front panel pivots to the opposite side which also has 3 black tabs. Those tabs will release themselves as you pivot the front cover. You may need a bit of force to pivot the cover so be careful not damage the plastic tabs. You'll now have complete access to the DVD tray area. The DVD is held in by 2 exposed screws, there are none on the opposite side of the drive. Unscrew them, disconnect the power & SATA connectors & slide out the drive. If you replace the DVD drive, test the new one before you reassemble all the covers to verify everything works.
You can reset BIOS setting by CMOS jumper
setting. Please follow the below steps: Open the Laptop back panel.
Locate the CMOS battery, remove it & then with the help of a screw
driver keep on pressing the terminal inside it and turn ON the computer
for 10 secs and Turn Off (make sure you keep on pressing the terminal
with a screwdriver while turning ON). It will clear the BIOS setting.
Now, fix the CMOS battery & restart the computer. This will take
care of the issue.
If the computer still does not boot, then it needs repair.
In many desktop computers you need to install the drive from inside the case and slide it outward along the runner. The piece of metal you are possibly referring to, will prevent it from sliding out too far from the inside. Alternately, but less likely, there may may some quick locking mechanism on the side of the bay drive which is in place and preventing your further movement inward. In this case simply remove, usually by twisting to one side or the other to release. It may be advisable to remove both side panels to ensure there is not one on the opposite side.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
You can only use components compatible with Aspire series computers. Before you choose new components, please ask your authorized Acer dealer whether the part will operate within your Aspire series system. This is noted in your manual pg. 6.
Compatible memory for your Acer. Don't forget your Acer uses an intergrated graphics card that uses your system memory to function.