Onboard USB fried...options?

cornelious0_0

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Hey everyone, little bit of a weird issue I've run into that frankly, is quite frustrating. Recently I plugged a USB cable into one of the front USB ports on my case and I somehow ended up frying my USB ports on the mobo. I was properly grounded (as I always am when plugging anythng into the computer) so I'm not sure what happened.

Aside from that, since none of my USB ports are functioning (front or rear) I am forced to boot the machine with a PS/2 keyboard and mouse. The system takes much longer to boot then normal, more then a couple minutes to go from post to desktop. I was worried that something else might have been "zapped" in the process.

When the system does eventually get to the desktop everything is perfectly fine, nothing seems any less responsive, and my 3DMark2001 score (a very cpu/mobo dependant test) is more or less what it used to be.

My question is this, if my USB ports seem to be the only thing damaged, do you guys think it's possible that if I buy a PCI or PCI-E USB card and disable the onboard ports that things might clear up? I would normally just RMA the mobo, but cash is very tight and this is the only computer in the house. If I can use a USB card as a bandaid fix for now I'd be happy until I am able to RMA the board, I was just looking for some input on the topic.
 

Zero82z

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I don't know if it would fix everything, since it is possible that whatever fried the ports also caused some other damage. However, it couldn't hurt to give it a shot. Purchase a PCI card at a nearby B&M and give it a shot, so if it doesn't work out you could always return it and not end up short any cash.
 

cornelious0_0

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I'm hoping nothing else was damaged, once the system eventually boots performance is exactly what it should be. I'm guessing that the boot time is increased because of dead USB ports that the system is (more then likely) trying to access/initialize.

I'll let you guys know how things go, but I'm gonna try turning off the onboard USB as is without the card and see what happens.
 

cornelious0_0

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Well, good news is that if I disable all onboard USB controllers everything boots as fast as it ever has and seems perfectly fine.

I'm fairly convinced at this point that its nothing more then the USB controller(s) that're shot so I'll let you guys know what happens with a PCI or PCI-E USB card installed.
 

cornelious0_0

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This might be a little bit of a stupid question but if I install a PCI-E USB card, does it have to plug into a USB header on the mobo or does the card carry its own USB controller that operates completely independantly of the motherboard?

I only ask because many of the PCI and PCI-E cards I see say that they offer (as an example) 4 external ports and 1 internal port. Is that internal port an actual USB port or is it a header that has to plug into a header on the mobo for the card to function?
 

Zero82z

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The card will have its own USB controller (that's kind of the point). The internal USB port is literally just an internal USB port. You don't need any special cables or anything; just plug the card into the card slot, boot up, install the drivers, and you should be good to go.
 

cornelious0_0

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I thought so, and I realise that it's probably a stupid question to ask, but I HAD to make sure. I really really don't wanna RMA the mobo quite yet and can't afford to be without the system. If there is ANYthing that enters my head that causes doubt I'm gonna question it...sry for that. :p
 

cornelious0_0

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Another (possibly stupid) question...if the PCI-E USB card says:

"Compliant with PCI-Express Revision 1.0a"

Is there any reason that it wouldn't work in my DFI Jr?
 

Zero82z

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It will work fine. PCI-E 2.0 is fully backwards-compatible with PCI-E 1.x.
 

cornelious0_0

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I figured so, again...just me being over paranoid. :p

Sry guys, I think I've got a handle on this now, just gotta figure out where I'm getting the card from.

In a way this might not be a big deal. I'll do my best to stress the system as much as possible after I get the card installed, but if all is well then I may or may not even RMA the board. I'm not at all against one less onboard controller being used, a dedicated card will almost always be better and less CPU dependant, and if I need more ports I'll just pickup a powered USB2.0 hub.

Just like when my shuttle died and I was lead to buying my current hardware, this may be another tragedy that turns out to be a blessing in disguise. :)
 
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Get the card from anywhere, even a local screwdriver shop. You shouldn't have to pay more than $15 for it so you're not out a lot of money even if it doesn't work.
 

cornelious0_0

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Get the card from anywhere, even a local screwdriver shop. You shouldn't have to pay more than $15 for it so you're not out a lot of money even if it doesn't work.

Only thing is that with my GTX260 installed in the bottom PCI-E slot (where I want it for asthetics) I only have PCI-E 1x slots available for the card, and I don't know if I've seen many local shops carrying PCI-E cards where I live.

If I can't get something locally I'll be ordering it from NCIX, there's a really nice 4 port card (that's actually black to match my mobo) for $30 or so.
 
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