Solved Dell desktop front & back USB ports cut out intermittenly

December 17, 2013 at 07:26:46
Specs: Windows 7
Have had intermittent issues with front and back USB ports on my Dell Optiplex 960. These are incorporated into the motherboard of the unit, so I am assuming swapping them out is not an option? I have re-installed Windows 7, as well as upgraded drivers, but still ZIPPO!

My question ... Is there another hardware option that I can add on to this workstation to give my some type of USB option i.e. 32 bit USB card?

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December 17, 2013 at 08:35:46
Rather basic I appreciate - but...

Are these ports (the actual physical sockets) hardwired/soldered to the motherboard; or are they via connecting ribbons/cables?

If the latter... Have you checked the quality of connection at both ends? Perhaps remove connectors, clean if possible all contacts (a soft pencil eraser may work if it's possible to access contacts easily). Then re-insert/restore connectors and see if things are any better?

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December 17, 2013 at 08:46:00
If your USB ports are integrated onto the motherboard, then in order to troubleshoot this take another device with a USB plug and try it in all of the questioned ports.

If the other device works in the ports, then your initial device is bad you'll need a new one or at least a new USB cable.

Otherwise if a different device doesn't work in all affected USB ports, then yes you'll have to replace the motherboard - or as a workaround if you have at least 1 working USB port then get yourself a USB Root Hub - most computer/electronics stores should have them.

If your motherboard is out of warranty, this will be the cheaper option to go with.

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December 18, 2013 at 00:35:59
✔ Best Answer
First make sure they're not shutting off as a power saving measure. My # 2 here describes how to do that for XP. I assume windows 7 is similar:

If that's not it, you can always add a PCI USB card.

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December 18, 2013 at 06:34:10
Thanks for all the great responses! The ports started working after I popped the shell and hit it with some air, go figure! I also disabled power management, after reading "dave..." reply (thanks)

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December 18, 2013 at 18:57:01
You're welcome. Hopefully they'll keep working.

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