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I just bought an ASUS Z97M Plus motherboard.

It has an M.2 socket. Here's a pic of the socket:

Image of the M.2 socket.

I want to install this M.2 SATA drive:

Trascend M.2 SATA drive

The drive is held in the socket by a screw in a standoff, circled below:

Screw & standoff in motherboard

The problem is, the screw & standoff arrived fused together. I stripped the screw trying to get them apart.

So I need to replace this:

Picture of a standard standoff, what the motherboard came with and a quarter for comparison

I called ASUS support twice, but it was simply impossible to explain what I wanted. They kept asking if I needed standoffs to attach the motherboard to the case. It was ABSOLUTELY clear that they were NOT willing or able to help me with this. They advised me to return the mobo to Amazon.

I showed the part to the staff at a proper, local, full-service hardware store. They said they definitely didn't have it.

I also took it to an electronics specialty store. The guy said they don't have it. It's a special kind of standoff made of aluminum.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Silly question, but are you 100% sure the screw is fused? Because while it’s in the 2280 slot it does seem like it would a proprietary part that manufacturer would be installing as a part of the default set of parts a system has when purchased. – Giacomo1968 Apr 23 '15 at 1:06
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    ASUS's manual contained zero guidance on installing an M.2 drive, so I turned to YouTube. This video demos installing a 2280 M.2 drive on an ASUS mobo. It's clearly a standoff & screw there, two separate pieces. I don't know if it's proprietary or generic. ASUS phone support had no idea either. I guess it could be proprietary? If so...return the mobo? – Ethan Apr 23 '15 at 1:16
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    @Ethan - This is actually a good question. The screw itself doesn't appear to be anything special. I should say its your typical hex-shaped screw, but I could be wrong, the clarity of the shape is not perfect. The stand-off just needs to be for the correct size screw. See if you can ask to email the ASUS support, that might help, and I would try their Support again. The stand-offs for the motherboard, are they perhaps similar, because all you need is a stand-off and a screw. – Ramhound Apr 23 '15 at 11:15
  • Maybe I'm missing the point, but why not just measure the dimensions of the original and purchase something similar? – James Mertz Apr 23 '15 at 19:34
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    @JakeGould Thanks for the help. Yes, that was actually the first thing I tried -- separating them using a wrench and screwdriver. I made sure to use exactly the right size driver bit. The bit won: there's no Phillips-head cross anymore, just a round hole. I appreciate the suggestion about hand-crafting a replacement. However, I need the mobo to be free of issues in case I ever sell it. So, hard to believe but at this point I think exchanging it is the best option. – Ethan Apr 24 '15 at 23:49
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This is baffling since—if what you are saying is true—the M.2 mounting screw being fused makes no sense; it should simply be a standoff with a small screw in it.

Looking through the official ASUS Z97I-PLUS manual doesn’t help much either. The only thing I can glean from all of this is your motherboard can handle 2242, 2260 and 2280 sized SSDs; 22mm is the width and 42mm, 60mm and 80mm are lengths.

While you state:

I think my best bet is just to order a bag of these online somewhere for 89 cents.

Your point-of-view on the cost of these screws is understandable in broad terms. But I am pretty sure that kind of “89 cent per-bag” pricing is for very commonly available screws; not for odd-ball parts like this.

That said, I would say your best bet to find a replacement is to either successfully get through to someone at Asus who can better help you, or contact a specialty supplier such as LaptopScrews.com and see if they can assist you. And yes, they seem to have tons of screws but no standoffs/sockets. But I am pretty confident a place like that—which has seen close to everything—would be a good neutral source of info that might be able to help you out of a bind like this.

  • Right -- I think the part was supposed to be what you said. But they put the screw in too tight and it became inseparable from the standoff. Thanks for the reference to the vendor. I'll see if they can help out. – Ethan Apr 23 '15 at 4:17
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    Your solution is reasonable, but assessing the tradeoffs, I'm going to exchange the motherboard. Thanks for the help, though. – Ethan Apr 24 '15 at 23:59
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I just picked up a Asus 797-A motherboard with the standoff screw fused in exactly the same manor as discussed above. The motherboard standard scews are two large and local technology shops don't have the smaller stand-off screw. Ended up taking a 15mm standard bolt with same thread, measured the placement height of the Samsunf Evo m2 card and screwed into that height. Bolts avaible from electrical retailer / hardware shop.

Asus are beyond a waste of time. They spent more time telling me that the screw and standoff can't be fused than offering a replacement.

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I had the same problem. I used a needle nose pliers and a tiny wrench to hold them. They didnt move. I put some heat to the stand off and twisted again and POP, It came right off. Make sure to not get it too hot, its soft aluminum.

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Here is a link if you do not mind the cost....The standoff male thread is M2 while the screw with oversize flat phillips head is also M2. ASUS is a failure with cusomer service. This M.2 standoff does not appear to be available anywhere in the US. after exhaustive internet search and ASUS was no help. You must go to a supplier overseas for OEM parts. here is the link.... http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=AS_20160429150508&SearchText=m2+standoff

  • I think you may have created a second account. Please see here to merge your accounts. – Burgi May 6 '16 at 17:08

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