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Possible to Damage a Motherboard from Improper Front Panel USB?

Last response: in Motherboards
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April 25, 2011 5:51:34 PM

Hello,

Currently I'm dealing with a two-fold problem caused by an improper front panel USB connection (reverse-polarity).

The first and most immediate issue was the potential loss of 2 external hard drives (presently waiting on a universal drive adapter), documented here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/268603-32-external-hard-drives-reverse-polarity-front-connector

During this research I came across speculation that any kind of USB device that utilizes an external power supply (such as the external hard drives) *might* pose a threat to the motherboard itself :o  . I suspect this might be due to the reverse polarity presenting an input electrical charge into the system.

My basic question is if anyone is aware of such a thing. In other words, would it be safe to simply install the front USB port correctly and go about my business? Thanks.
April 25, 2011 5:53:32 PM

I should also add that when the two external hard drives were plugged into the system there seemed to be no aberrant behavior (e.g., pops, clicks, sparks, smoke).
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April 25, 2011 7:26:05 PM

The only way to find out if something broke is to try it and see. If you didn't see any signs of distress, you might have gotten lucky.
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