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One of the front panel USB 3.0 ports on my computer is not working properly.

The system is a custom built PC running Windows 10 with an ASUS H87M-E motherboard and a generic case with two front panel USB 3.0 ports. and here is what happens:

  • When I plug in a USB flash drive it makes the "new device" noise but the USB flash drive is not mounted.
  • The same USB flash drive mounts in a different port (have reproduced with a number of different brand/model USB flash drives).
  • But when I plug in an external (but unpowered) hard drive it does mount.

Is the port just a bit broken? Or is there something I could look at.

I think this issue is similar to but not a duplicate of these other SuperUser questions:

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    Odd. When the external hard drives are mounted, what type of USB connection is happening? Are they at USB 3.0? Or is the connection downgraded to USB 2.0? – Giacomo1968 Nov 3 '20 at 4:38
  • Good point. The hard drive is USB3, but all the sticks are USB2. So yes, that is one difference. – Sodved Nov 3 '20 at 8:09
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    When you say "unpowered", do you mean "not with an external power supply" (i.e. USB-powered), or "not USB-powered" (i.e. with an external power supply)? Have you checked the connection of the USB ports to the motherboard? – jcaron Nov 3 '20 at 14:02
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Since other drives mount in that USB port, assuming they're also USB 3.0 (which uses additional pins), then the likely issue is a faulty key in the Windows Registry, which tracks every USB device ever connected, rather than being due to physical damage to the port.

It is usually safe to delete an external USB device's entry, since this data would be regenerated the next time the device is connected. You can examine the Registry and remove the key(s) manually using Regedit at

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceClasses\

However, it is safer and much easier to use a utility such as Nirsoft's free USBDeview. You can identify the USB port in the list by saving the list, inserting a brand new device, e.g., a mouse borrowed from another PC, and comparing the saved list with the new, noting where the new entry appears.

Remove or disable any entry for that specific port concerning USB flash drives, and try again. Likely, you could remove all entries for that port, with the only issue being an initial delay when connecting a device, which would be re-identified.

  • Great, thanks for that tip, I'll try it out – Sodved Nov 3 '20 at 8:08
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    @Sodved Did it work? – Mast Nov 3 '20 at 16:44

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