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Front USB slots on new PC not working


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#1 faye raye

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Posted 29 March 2016 - 07:55 PM

I have a 9-month old Dell PC with Windows 8. The other day, a just-purchased portable cell phone charger was plugged into one of the front slots, and I didn't use the PC anymore that day. But the next day, when I tried to plug an external drive into one of the two front slots, it didn't light up as it normally does, it didn't respond at all. I rebooted and restarted the PC, I tried other devices, nothing works in either of the two slots now. The ones in the back are all right.

 

All I can think of is that that portable charger somehow caused the slots to short out. I didn't see any sparks or anything unusual at all, but unless something I don't know about prior to this happened it's all I can think of. Is there anything I can do?



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#2 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:02 AM

You may have another USB header on the systemboard that you could move the front panel cable to. What would be best would be the Dell's service tag number; but, the model number would, at least, help.
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#3 dc3

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 11:14 AM

Press the Windows key windowskey_zps092d5c75.png and the X key at the same time.

 

In the menu that opens select Device Manager.

 

Go down to the Universal Serial Bus controllers and see if there are any yellow warnings or red error showing.


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#4 mjd420nova

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 01:13 PM

This has become a big problem for some users.  Many of the chargers for the advanced L-Ion cells draw too much current for the charger to operate correctly.  Eventually, a small (tiny) surface mounted resistor opens and the port(s) become dead.  Not a serious repair but does take some searching to find the part.  I have added fuses on pin stand-offs to both units used by my children.  I encourage everyone to use a USB hub for all USB devices, just so the current draw doesn't come from the MOBO.



#5 faye raye

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 07:24 PM

The Service Tag Number is 1VHQ822, and the model is Inspiron 3646.

 

The Device Manager doesn't show any kind of indicator on the USB ports.



#6 mjd420nova

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 10:40 PM

A serious inspection of the area around that USB header cable and pins.  It does mean a complete disassembly and should only be attempted by a skill technician.  I was able to view the board layout (google "dell inspiron 3646 manual) but couldn't blow up a clear image  enough to help where to look except a general area.  Dell is a bit like HP, it's cheaper to send a whole new machine than a tech with the parts (maybe) to fix yours.



#7 MadmanRB

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 02:12 AM

yeah this is why its a bad idea to just leave a phone to charge for long periods of time on a computers ports.

Using it to charge something is normally fine but only under a day of use.

Yeah better off sending it to dell for repairs, those slim cases are normally hard to repair on your own


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#8 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 06:16 AM

Here is the support page for your PC: http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/servicetag/1VHQ822/diagnose?s=DHS
And here is the owners manual: http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_inspiron_desktop/inspiron-3646-small-desktop_owner%27s%20manual_en-us.pdf
Save the manual somewhere, open it, and, on page 11 ( Technical Overview -> System-Board Components ) is a picture of your system board. USBF2 (#7) is where the front USB ports are plugged in. USBF1 (#11) is where the "media card reader" is plugged in.
They are both USB ports so you ought to be able to switch which header (the rows of pins) each of them is plugged into and then test. If the card reader stops working; but, the front USB starts to work again, USBF2 is bad.
You should test the media card reader before you do it.
BTW, you have a Next Business Day warranty through September so Dell will send a tech and the part to replace it. You'll need your proof of purchase before you call them. If you go that route, do not let the tech leave until you see everything work.
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#9 faye raye

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:46 AM

Thanks very much for the info. I was also wondering if resetting the BIOs could possibly fix it?

#10 MadmanRB

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 09:47 AM

Maybe, hard to say.

I would not do it anyhow, mucking about the bios can cause it to void the warrenty


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#11 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 11:53 AM

You can try the clrcmos jumper listed in that manual and it won't hurt a thing though I doubt that will fix it.


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#12 faye raye

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 07:36 PM

Maybe, hard to say.

I would not do it anyhow, mucking about the bios can cause it to void the warrenty

Oh, I didn't know that!

 

 

You can try the clrcmos jumper listed in that manual and it won't hurt a thing though I doubt that will fix it.

Would it be difficult to do this?



#13 mjd420nova

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 11:48 PM

According to the manual, the drive bay has to be removed to access both the battery and jumper.



#14 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:19 AM

The battery you can easily pop out without removing the drive cage.  Its about the size of a quarter, says CR2032 on it, and is in a black, circular holder.  It pops up if you push the metal clip sideways with a small flat screwdriver.

ALWAYS unplug the power supply and try to turn it on (push the power button for 5 seconds) before you take the cover off.  There is a "standby" voltage which can take several minutes to dissipate if you don't.

If you leave the battery out for 10 minutes and then put it back in, the BIOS will forget everything and you should fix the date and time as soon as you turn it on.  Hit the F2 key when the Dell logo appears. Date and Time will be in the settings and 9instructions are usually on the screen, somewhere.

Yes, to try swapping the USB cables, you would need to remove the drive cage and, unless you're mechanically inclined, you might want to call Dell before you do it.


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#15 dc3

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:56 AM

Clearing the CMOS will only set the BIOS back to it default settings.  I doubt very seriously that this will affect the USB port.

 

This computer only being nine month old should still be under warranty.  I would call Dell support to see if they will repair or replace the computer.

 

Playing around in the registry probably wouldn't be recognized by Dell, but if you make an error while editing the registry it can turn your computer into a very expensive door stop.  If you are not experienced in editing the registry I would suggest leaving it alone.


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