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Has this USB hub failed permanently?

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March 1, 2013 12:17:40 AM

I have a two year old Alienware desktop (Aurora model, Win7, 64-bit) with two USB hubs in the front.

One of the two hubs has mostly stopped working. It very rarely works, mostly doesn't work at all (with no errors... whatever I connected just doesn't show up at all, but will show up immediately when I switch to another hub), and a few times it threw up an error saying there was a power surge. This started happening about a month ago after I used that hub with my new iPad and connected to iTunes... or maybe I just really want to blame this on iTunes.

It's really annoying, because the front hubs are the ones that are easily accessible and I use them all the time. Now I only have one that works. :( 

Well, I'm outside of the warranty period and I would never drag my computer into a shop over something so silly, so I just want to know if this sounds like a permanent failure or if there might be some way to fix it. Does it sound like it just burned out or something?
March 1, 2013 12:38:03 AM

LucyS said:
I have a two year old Alienware desktop (Aurora model, Win7, 64-bit) with two USB hubs in the front.

One of the two hubs has mostly stopped working. It very rarely works, mostly doesn't work at all (with no errors... whatever I connected just doesn't show up at all, but will show up immediately when I switch to another hub), and a few times it threw up an error saying there was a power surge. This started happening about a month ago after I used that hub with my new iPad and connected to iTunes... or maybe I just really want to blame this on iTunes.

It's really annoying, because the front hubs are the ones that are easily accessible and I use them all the time. Now I only have one that works. :( 

Well, I'm outside of the warranty period and I would never drag my computer into a shop over something so silly, so I just want to know if this sounds like a permanent failure or if there might be some way to fix it. Does it sound like it just burned out or something?


It sounds like the front USB port is dead and really there isn't much you can do. Usually the front USB ports on todays computers are connected to a small PCB which is screwed into the front bezel. First I would see how the front USB's are connected. If if they are connected like above you might be able to go on Ebay and find a replacement PCB/USB for that model.
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March 1, 2013 12:45:02 AM

Ok this is what I am talking about in case you were confused

This of course is what you are looking at from the outside.



This is how a front panel will look. Notice the small PCB that the USB and sound headers are connected to and the screw holes. For whatever this model is for you can just pop out the old screws and screw the new PCB in. Then connect the wire header to the motherboard USB header on the motherboard and you are done. Of course like I said you have to see if the front headers can be removed first on your computer first then try to find a replacement.

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March 1, 2013 1:30:58 AM

I maybe talking horse *** here, but here's a suggestion.

Can you remove the cable's USB plug from the motherboard, and plug it into another free pin connector head. My motherboard has 3 such USB headers.
Maybe the one your current using got fried somehow, but its worth checking if the other headers still work :) 
You can try this before buying a new USB PCB. All the best :) 
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March 1, 2013 1:39:31 AM

rds1220 said:
It sounds like the front USB port is dead and really there isn't much you can do. Usually the front USB ports on todays computers are connected to a small PCB which is screwed into the front bezel. First I would see how the front USB's are connected. If if they are connected like above you might be able to go on Ebay and find a replacement PCB/USB for that model.


Thanks!

Do you think keeping it is dangerous to other components (in particular the usb port that is still working)?

Replacing anything on Alienware's "special snowflake" case is a huge pain! This is what it looks like, it's all curvy and the power button is right on top of it (making me afraid to even touch that whole area in case I mess something up). The two usb ports are on the right side. I don't even know what the thing on the left does, but it probably has something to do with sound since it's next to where the headphones plug in.

Well, I'm going to see if I can open the front and see what it actually looks like inside. Maybe it's simpler than it looks. The only hardware I've installed before is RAM and video cards.

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March 1, 2013 2:15:10 AM

You can try connecting the USB wire to a different motherboard USB header but I really don't think that is going to work. It isn't compleatly out as a possible fix but on most of the computer I have worked on with dead USB ports it is the port itself that is bad and it has to be replaced if a person really wants to use the ports.

No if it's broken and you just don't use it I don't see it hurting anything else. The way I see it you have two choices either leave it alone and use the back USB ports or replace it. If you can't replace it yourself I would take it to a shop and let them fix it. And next time save yourself the trouble don't buy a POS Dell Alienware
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