|"It doesnt even show that anything is plugged into a usb prt"|
Use a rear usb port & make sure the laptop drive is jumpered correctly.
If the PC is Sata, the laptop drive jumper setting is Master.
If the PC has an IDE hard drive, you will probably have to configure both drives, let us know what you have. Take the cover off, if you don't know.
How to Get More Power to Front USB Ports