Front USB Ports Not working on New MB

Howdy. I am having a continuing problem that's been dogging me for a month. I had a major issue with my work PC. It's an HP Pavilion 500-267c Core i3-4130, 8 GB RAM. It had the Memphis-S stock board that was actually a pretty good, but emasculated H87 board. I was unplugging and plugging in some monitors when it went bonkers on me- screen went all funky, the fans spun up to warp speed, and then back down. Then black screen perpetually. The power button was useless as well. So I did some diagnosing and ruled out memory, hard drive, and processor and condemned the board. I got a new Asus board B85M-G R2.0 mATX board and plugged it all in.

No, I didn't reinstall Windows because I was trying to do this on the cheap, and besides, it booted fine, ran and everything worked fine...except the two front USB 3.0 ports. It's got a single plug coming from the front of the case, but has two cables running into it. I tried installing the motherboard chipset driver, uninstalling the stock Intel USB drivers and reinstalling them, re-seating the plug, everything. No dice. So I figured the board was bad and sent it back to Amazon and got the other upgrade model of the B85-E/CSM board that's just better all around. I tried that board, and it's the same deal. No front USB from either port. No power, nothing. I tried my external drive, mouse, keyboard, and USB thumb drive. Nothing.

So here's where I'm at. I've tried everything I think would work, except blowing away the original Windows and reinstalling a new copy of Windows 10. Would that solve the issue?

Is it possible that the actual USB 3.0 deal in front is failed? I don't think there are any electronics in it, right? The audio ports all work fine and they are integrated into it I think.

Has someone ran into this before? I've swapped aftermarket boards into factory PC cases before and hadn't had issues, but I did reinstall Windows on them.

Any help is appreciated
Reply to sirstinky
4 answers Last reply
More about front usb ports working
  1. It's possible to have a bad, front USB 3 port but it's more likely you don't have the correct USB3 drivers working, though there are NONE TO DOWNLOAD as W10 is supposed to install them.

    *usually if you are missing DRIVERS there will be some indication in "Device Manager" (right-click start.. if W10).

    You can try doing an "in-place Upgrade of W10" (easier than it sounds by my steps):

    1. insert 8GB+ USB stick
    2. download and run the MS media creation tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

    3. once it's finished creating that (may be two hours or so depending on download speed) run SETUP.EXE from the USB stick, from within Windows.
    4. "keep data/apps" should be greyed out but if not make sure to select to KEEP THOSE.

    5. If prompted for a key just SKIP that
    6. Let upgrade finish

    7. Let Microsoft Updates finish (can check by right-click START, Settings, Update & Security)

    OTHER:
    Attempt to detect the USB STICK from within the BIOS while attached to the front (if you can see it then at least the BIOS detects it thus suggesting something's wrong with Windows software)

    OTHER:
    Can also boot to LINUX DISTRO on a USB stick (using back USB connector maybe) then see if the USB stick appears (maybe try Ubuntu)

    OTHER:
    If it seems to be the CASE USB cable/connector and you don't want to replace the case, then you can get something like THIS:
    https://www.amazon.com/Anker-2-Port-Front-Drives-Devices/dp/B00J4EZE4U

    That's a 3.5" adapter. You may need a 5.25" version

    There are also USB3 hubs that can utilize a rear USB3 connector so you can have easy access to the plugs, like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Portable-MacBook-Microsoft-Ultrabooks/dp/B00OQ0CYFE/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506299157&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=usb+3+hub&psc=1
    Reply to photonboy
  2. photonboy said:
    It's possible to have a bad, front USB 3 port but it's more likely you don't have the correct USB3 drivers working, though there are NONE TO DOWNLOAD as W10 is supposed to install them.

    *usually if you are missing DRIVERS there will be some indication in "Device Manager" (right-click start.. if W10).

    You can try doing an "in-place Upgrade of W10" (easier than it sounds by my steps):

    1. insert 8GB+ USB stick
    2. download and run the MS media creation tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows10

    3. once it's finished creating that (may be two hours or so depending on download speed) run SETUP.EXE from the USB stick, from within Windows.
    4. "keep data/apps" should be greyed out but if not make sure to select to KEEP THOSE.

    5. If prompted for a key just SKIP that
    6. Let upgrade finish

    7. Let Microsoft Updates finish (can check by right-click START, Settings, Update & Security)

    OTHER:
    Attempt to detect the USB STICK from within the BIOS while attached to the front (if you can see it then at least the BIOS detects it thus suggesting something's wrong with Windows software)

    OTHER:
    Can also boot to LINUX DISTRO on a USB stick (using back USB connector maybe) then see if the USB stick appears (maybe try Ubuntu)

    OTHER:
    If it seems to be the CASE USB cable/connector and you don't want to replace the case, then you can get something like THIS:
    https://www.amazon.com/Anker-2-Port-Front-Drives-Devices/dp/B00J4EZE4U

    That's a 3.5" adapter. You may need a 5.25" version

    There are also USB3 hubs that can utilize a rear USB3 connector so you can have easy access to the plugs, like this:
    https://www.amazon.com/UGREEN-Portable-MacBook-Microsoft-Ultrabooks/dp/B00OQ0CYFE/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1506299157&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=usb+3+hub&psc=1


    Hello. Thanks for replying. I did check in the BIOS to see if the items plugged into the front ports were detected, and no dice. They were detected if plugged into the back though. No issues in device manager.

    I figured Windows would detect the drivers and install the stock ones, and you're right, there are no board-specific USB3 drivers for Win. 10. There weren't even any for the stock HP board 8/

    I am thinking maybe downgrade to Win. 7? Would that help? I want all of the HP guts off it anyway. I wouldn't mind doing that as there isn't much to back up as all the important material is in the cloud. I really want the front USB's to work, but don't want to do a standalone hub (this isn't my PC), and don't want to replace or modify anything. I can't see how the ports went bad because they were working fine when the stock motherboard took a dump. If nothing else I try works, I will call Asus support and see if they have answers. If not, then I'll just live with no front USB. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

    Help is appreciated!
    Reply to sirstinky
  3. Stick with Windows 10, and no it's not likely W7 would be any different.

    W10 tends to include the latest drivers, whereas W7 is more likely to require you to find them from the motherboard site and install them.

    *Also, since the BIOS can't detect the USB front panel it's likely a HARDWARE problem with the case.

    I wouldn't bother calling ASUS since you changed the motherboard anyway, so again I think the case is the problem.

    I would consider the 3.5" or 5.25" USB3 front panel device. I have one and it works fine. If the issue is the USB3 cable or front USB connection then this solves the problem.
    Reply to photonboy
  4. Since you haven't mentioned the two USB 3.1 ports at the rear of your mobo, I assume they work fine.
    Hence you don't have a driver problem, but
    photonboy said:
    Also, since the BIOS can't detect the USB front panel it's likely a HARDWARE problem with the case.


    That seems to be pretty obvious.
    Check whether the cable leading to the mobo's Internal I/O USB 3.1 Port is fixed to your case's front USB ports properly.

    If it is, the cable itself may be bad, or the case's front USB ports are faulty.

    If the cable isn't connected properly to the case's ports ... well, problem solved.

    Cheers,
    Gaius
    Reply to gaius_iulius
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