How to add more USB 3.0 ports to PC when onboard USB 3.0 header on mobo is broken?

So long story short - I broke the pins of the mini-ITX motherboard of my gaming PC. They are bent though I might be able to bend them back into place properly. My case is the Fractal Design Nano S. Sadly it does not have a CD Drive slot but I wanted to build my own wooden enclosure for an internal CD Drive, a small speaker, and an internal usb 3.0 hub that fits into a five-and-a-quarter inch drive bay.

I know this probably isn't possible but there is a small hole in the back of my PC that I could route the cables through from either the motherboard or PSU. If need be I could cut a small hole into the bottom of my case. Or somehow route them through the front panel if I remove the bottom dust filter.

Has anyone done a mod like this? I know there are external cd drive/usb hubs out there but I don't want to have tons of devices plugged in and would rather have one central hub that I can just use and connect everything to. I can't install a CD Drive into my case sadly and have to constantly install drivers or just want to play movies and stuff or music cd's but no CD Drive so no CD's. So I thought instead of buying external ones perhaps I could make my own DIY USB/CD/Speaker hub all wrapped up in a nice wooden enclosure.

The only problem is that I don't know how to connect them all since I want USB 3.0 but only have one extra USB 2.0 slot since the other USB 2.0 slot is occupied by my Corsair Link from my Corsair H100i V2 CPU Cooler. I have some extra molex/sata/data cables from my PSU and old HDD's, etc. Any thoughts on this project?

Is there a chance I can mod this? Or would it be better to just buy an external CD Drive and USB Hub?
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  1. Best answer
    only other way to connect ports would be through a pci card. they make plenty of those and they are rather cheap. but that would be on the back of the case and not front. i know they have riser connections for pcie slots but don't think they make a long cable like connector for the pcie slot so you could connect it to the front of the case.

    i don't know of any way to do what you are thinking. all the front panel stuff connects through the usb header on the mobo. with that out, can't think of a way to do it
  2. The only problem with that solution is that my graphics card occupies the PCIe slot. Is there a way to convert a SATA cable or DATA cable? Or am I stuck with USB 2.0 headers? I don't mind USB 2 if I can't get USB 3.
  3. there may exist such a panel that connects by sata or sata express but i have not seen one. though honestly never looked for one. go to newegg and see if they have such an item. the filters should let you sort by connection type. should be pretty quick to see if such a thing exists.

    i'm on my way out of the house in a couple so don't have the time to look for you :) but it should be a simple search and filter to see what the have in usb port connections
  4. Eh no worries. Sorry to bother you. I will search the net. Just wondering if anyone else on this site had previous modding experience in this matter. But no probs the search will go on!
  5. its no bother. looking a bit i don't see anything internal that connects any other way besides the usb header.

    they do make the cards for mini pci. i assume there is an open slot of some kind on the mobo you could use. may only be 1 pcie but many of the add-on cards are mini slots which most mobo's have at least one on.

    you could of course just get a usb hub that plugs into a current usb port and then creates a bunch of new ones. those are easy to find. and rather cheap. that's the best i can do right now without some google searching on the topic.
  6. Do you have an available PCIe x1 slot?

    Something like this gives you an internal 3.0 header:

    I believe variants exist that'll give you 3.0 ports on the rear of the case in addition to the 3.0 header, but I can't find one to link
  7. hhhhmmmm, did not know they actually had cards to add the header in. that would be an ideal answer. the mobo HAS to have some other slot on it other than the pcie one.
  8. I just got a USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 converter cable so I can use the front panel USB headers again! Not USB 3 speed but at least they work so I don't have to go to the back of my PC all the time.
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