General Question

Jack79's avatar

How do I fix my frontal USB ports?

Asked by Jack79 (11027points) July 26th, 2009

For some reason, things I connect to the USB ports located on the front of my PC are not recognised by the system. I try refresh, add new hardware, etc…nothing happens. Funnilly enough the light on flash drives or external HDDs that I connect works, which means that at least the device gets power and the port is working.

If I connect the same device to one of my 4 ports in the back, it works fine.

Both frontal ports worked fine until a couple of weeks ago, and I haven’t changed anything on my computer.

I have tried reinstalling drivers, disabling and re-enabling the device etc, nothing happens. Everything seems to be working fine, at least in theory. It looks as if it’s the flash/HDD that has the problem, but as I said they work fine in the back ports, so that’s not it either.

Any other ideas?

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7 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

Probably a lead has come loose from the MB.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Have you tried opening the case and checking to see if the wires connecting the ports to the motherboard is attached properly.

Jack79's avatar

No, I don’t see why they would, but the point is, if this were the case, shouldn’t the ports be dead? How does the external HDD get power if the cable is loose? (gonna try it anyway of course, you never know)

DarkScribe's avatar

@Jack79 How does the external HDD get power if the cable is loose?

A badly seated cable might still supply the 5volt rail but not the data.

Darwin's avatar

I have been told that the front USB ports are not as well shielded as the back ones, and so any upset in their workings will have greater effect. Thus, the information sheet that came with my external hard drive said to always plug it in to a back USB port, as the front one may not work correctly. This seemed to be the case on my machine in that memory sticks work fine in the front USB port, but the external hard drive and the cable for my phone both need to be plugged in to one of the back ones.

Jack79's avatar

Didn’t know about that Darwin, that’s actually quite helpful as I have vital information on that drive. I’ll try what you said DarkScribe, didn’t know that one either.

Thanks to all 3 of you :)

Bri_L's avatar

@Jack79 – Not a solution to your problem but interesting none the less and something I wish I knew before spending 4 hours troubleshooting.

I just went through this with my machine. Depending on how they are set up, if you have a faulty cable or connection running into them that will screw up the entire USB set.

Once we removed the cable all the ports were and have been fine ever since.

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