sumo, ergo bloggum (delta)

November 27, 2006

Dell Computer – Defective USB Ports – Update

Filed under: Computers,Technology — Rob @ 6:07 pm

Well, it’s been six months since my USB ports crapped-out on me. I bought an internal hard drive from Best Buy so that I could easily copy the data and applications on the current hard drive before reformatting it.  You don’t want to know the gory details but basically the ribbon cable I was hoping to attach the new drive to was actually connected to the Zip drive and there wasn’t an available ribbon connector for a new hard drive. At least not one that I could locate.

So I took a different tack and installed a board with 5 USB ports on it (this took less than one minute) and, presto! I now have 5 new working USB ports  (Yea!!!) in the rear of my computer despite the fact that 6 of the original 8 USB ports are still dead. The really good news is that I can now use my multi-card reader to upload photos from my digital camera to my computer.

Still, the 6 dead ports continue to piss me off. So the revised plan is to exchange the unusable internal hard drive for an external hard drive that connects via USB. Then I’ll copy my data and applications to the external unit. Once that’s all good, I’m going to contact Dell again to have them help me reformat my original hard drive and reinstall the OS, etc. That should fix the defunct USB ports. If it doesn’t, then Dell’s going to have to send out a tech.

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1 Comment »

  1. Regarding paragraph three, above, Best Buy would not allow me to exchange my drive because the original purchase date was more than 30 days previous. So then I anguished about buying an adapter that would allow me to use my interal drive as an external drive. But while I was anguishing, a friend dropped by and helped me resolve what I thought was an installation problem. All we had to do was move the existing hard drive to the adjacent slot and then drop the new, second drive into the slot previously occupied by the primary drive. Sounds simple, huh? Well, not with Dell’s ribbon cables it wasn’t. They’ve got this little notch in the plastic on the side that is missing a pin in the center. So the cable wouldn’t line up with the connectors on the drives. Fortunately, the Western Digital drive came with a ribbon cable that didn’t have this little notch, so orientation wasn’t an issue. After another minute or two, everything was done.

    We closed the case and fired her up and — nothing. The computer didn’t see/find the new drive. After more farting around, we realized we hadn’t connected the 4-pin power cable to the back of the new drive. So we opened the case, connected the cable, closed the case and fired her up again. This time the computer found the drive. We then ran the installation program from a CD that came with the drive and suddenly, as if by magic, I had an operational second internal hard drive in my machine. So sweet! And it only took 4-1/2 months to get it done. Whew! 😉

    Comment by Rob — February 22, 2007 @ 1:52 pm | Reply


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