USB on front panel not working

By saltee
Jan 11, 2006
  1. Hi
    I don't know if this post belongs here, please feel free to move it if it doesn't.
    Be easy with me, I am pretty computer stupid, just know enough to get myself in trouble :) But I promised my internet illiterate husband I would try to find some knowledgeable people to help us...
    My basic problem is why aren't the usb ports on the front panel of the computer working- when all of them on the back are. I thought they were all connected (obviously not)
    Anyway we have a fairly basic system, desktop pc 2.4 ghz, 512 memory, dvd/cd rw, running windows xp. Trying to muddle through some old messages here, this is what I found in device manager under universal serial bus controllers, 3 SiS 7001 PCI to USB open host controllers, 1 SiS 7200 USB 2.0 enhanced host controller, 1 USB 2.0 root hub, 1 USB mass storage device, and 3 USB root hubs. (that confuses me- i thought a "hub" was something you had to buy and connect to a usb port so you could have more, kind of like an extension cord :) I do have a router, is that what it "sees"?
    Anyway,back to the original problem-this front panel thingie always worked before, BUT a few months ago the dvd drive died and it was sent back for repair and they had to install a new dvd, maybe that messed it up? In any case device manager reports everything is working properly. But it does not see any device connected to that port, (digicam, external dvd etc.) I don't even get that "tone" that sounds when a usb device is connected- I checked all the cable and devices on my laptop and all are fine- besides they work on back ports (but there are only four and I need five) What can I check (other than messin with the pins which I will absolutely NOT do, like I said, computer stupid, I already fried 1 mobo, besides this is my husbands computer :) Would really appreciate some help here... Thanks much .
  2. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 435


    It'll be hard to troubleshoot if you are uncomfortable inside the case. One possible scenario: when the shop installed the new optical drive, they may have unplugged/knocked loose the cable from the motherboard to the front panel, but the only way to check is to open the case.

    If you just need more USB ports, and they don't have to be necessarily in front, try:, or something like it, there are many options. If you have a walk-in like Fry's, CompUsa handy, or maybe even a Radio Shack, you could save the shipping, but maybe pay a little more. Just plug one into a known good USB port, and away you go! :knock: :)
  3. saltee

    saltee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply. I don't mind LOOKING, but if the scenario you described is correct, does that mean if I plug the cable back into the mobo the wrong way it will fry the mobo or will it just not work? If frying is possible, it will be a heck of a lot cheaper to buy a hub. Thanks for the link.
  4. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 435

    no fry zone

    No, it wouldn't fry the mobo, but, it could damage some functions on the wrong pins-it would help to know what kind of mobo you have, and if you have a manual for it. If you do, or if you can access it online, it would be a help. In order to save time and money, though, I would just get a hub. If your regular maintainence (cleaning, etc.) is going to be done by a shop, just mention this to them next time it's in there, and have them check.

    If you're interested in learning more about the guts, however, download something like Everest Home Edition (free, at, and it will tell you all about your system; give you mobo mfr., memory, HDD specs, etc. Educational, if nothing else. If you decide to explore, get that info and post back. Elsewise, a hub is inexpensive, and will solve your problem indefinitely.

    I just checked the lavalys site; they no longer offer Everest Home for free. Try instead; :wave:
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