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Thread: plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?




  1. #1
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    Angry plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?

    Hi. I recently built my first machine on a 970 Extreme4. I have the machine up and running with Win8.1, but have experienced a few different nagging problems (such as the rear & front audio ports not registering speakers being plugged in) and will be sending in the board to ASRock for servicing or replacement in the next few days. However, there's one issue I'd prefer to understand myself if possible:

    The board is housed in an NZXT Source 210 Elite case. The case features one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 on the front panel. I believe they both connect to the board via one cable - correct me if that sounds wrong. But the USB 3.0 (blue) on the right, works fine. However, the USB 2.0 on the left has acted strangely since I set the machine up. When plugging in a peripheral one of two things happens: either nothing (no hardware registration in windows), or the computer shuts down, not powered off but into a kind of suspend state (black screen), and must be manually restarted.
    I had purchased a Logitech webcam, which worked fine on my old laptop. When I went to test it out on the new computer, I think I first plugged it into the front USB 2.0 port and sure enough the computer went blank, as If I'd plugged in a boot drive with autorun. Nothing happened so I restarted. Now the webcam will not work on any computer, and does not appear to receive power. I think it's dead.

    I guess my questions are 1) has anyone experienced something like this? 2) Does this sound like an issue with the board, the case, or the connection? and 3) can a faulty or otherwise problematic USB port kill/fry a peripheral just like that?
    I seem to have also killed two separate mice in the process of building this computer and fiddling with USB ports, drivers, etc. but at least those mice appear to receive power, while this webcam just seems dead.

    Any help or leads would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by DentalAppointment View Post
    Hi. I recently built my first machine on a 970 Extreme4. I have the machine up and running with Win8.1, but have experienced a few different nagging problems (such as the rear & front audio ports not registering speakers being plugged in) and will be sending in the board to ASRock for servicing or replacement in the next few days. However, there's one issue I'd prefer to understand myself if possible:

    The board is housed in an NZXT Source 210 Elite case. The case features one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 on the front panel. I believe they both connect to the board via one cable - correct me if that sounds wrong. But the USB 3.0 (blue) on the right, works fine. However, the USB 2.0 on the left has acted strangely since I set the machine up. When plugging in a peripheral one of two things happens: either nothing (no hardware registration in windows), or the computer shuts down, not powered off but into a kind of suspend state (black screen), and must be manually restarted.
    I had purchased a Logitech webcam, which worked fine on my old laptop. When I went to test it out on the new computer, I think I first plugged it into the front USB 2.0 port and sure enough the computer went blank, as If I'd plugged in a boot drive with autorun. Nothing happened so I restarted. Now the webcam will not work on any computer, and does not appear to receive power. I think it's dead.

    I guess my questions are 1) has anyone experienced something like this? 2) Does this sound like an issue with the board, the case, or the connection? and 3) can a faulty or otherwise problematic USB port kill/fry a peripheral just like that?
    I seem to have also killed two separate mice in the process of building this computer and fiddling with USB ports, drivers, etc. but at least those mice appear to receive power, while this webcam just seems dead.

    Any help or leads would be appreciated.
    TweakTown has a review of your NZXT Source 210 Elite case, and has a nice picture of the USB and other cables:

    Attachment 7597

    Here's the review: NZXT Source 210 Elite White Mid Tower Case Review

    In the foreground of the picture, from right to left, we can see the HD Audio cable (the cable with two connectors, some of the wires to the second connector are red), then the USB 3.0 cable, with its large blue plug, and on the left the USB 2.0 cable and its smaller, black plug.

    Behind them is the Power, Reset, Power LED, and HDD Activity ribbon cable, and behind that one of the combination molex/three pin fan power connections.

    The USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 front panel ports on this and any PC case, have separate cables, since the connectors on a mother board for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are completely different, and each interface is provided by different hardware. The two are never combined into one cable, and even if they were, each USB interface has its own unique "header" connection on a mother board. A single cable would still require two connectors at the mother board end to plug into the separate USB 2.0 and 3.0 headers on a mother board. So a single USB cable for the two front panel USB ports is wrong.

    If the USB 2.0 cable from the front panel was not connected to anything at all, plugging a USB device into the front panel USB 2.0 port would cause nothing to happen. It could not affect the mother board or anything connected to the mother board in any way.

    Given your description of what happened when various devices were connected to the USB 2.0 port, I can only guess that:

    The USB 2.0 cable was plugged into the wrong header, or plugged into the correct header incorrectly. Normally it is impossible to plug the cable in incorrectly, since the plug is keyed to only go in one way. Connecting this cable to the wrong header on the mother board could cause devices connected to that USB port to be damaged, and/or cause the mother board to react in strange ways, like freezing up and not working.

    Or the USB 2.0 cable was not connected to the board, and the circuit board in the PC case for the USB connectors is so defective that it somehow connected the 5V power from the USB 3.0 cable to the data connections on the USB 2.0 port. That seems highly unlikely.

    Inspecting that circuit board in the PC case is the first thing I would do, assuming I knew the USB 2.0 cable was never connected to anything.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?

    Some USB connectors' pinout are:
    1 2 3 4 (5)
    1 2 3 4

    While others are:
    1 2 3 4 (5)
    4 3 2 1

    This should be considered first.
    This case has strangely a single head USB2.0 cable, which may have either a "double row, half used" or "single row" connector (not clear in the picture). At the latter case, probability of wrong connection is more increased.

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    Lightbulb Re: plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?

    Okay, thanks guys. To follow up on this, two things:

    1) I may have written the wrong case model, but I'm pretty sure it's the NZXT Source 210. However, it's the "Elite" version, in white. I am definitely sure that one front port is 3.0 and one front port is 2.0. One is blue inside, one is black.


    2) I discovered that indeed I had the front panel USB 2.0 port's cable plugged into the 1394 header instead of one of the USB headers. I guess I got a little impatient at the tail end of assembling my machine and since both those headers have 9 pins (10 minus the 1) in the same configuration and are near each other, I made the mistake. I remedied this and now the front 2.0 port works.

    I am RMAing the board because of the audio issue (as I mentioned, my rear audio ports, except for SPDIF-out, don't register at all in Realtek or in any hardware scan tool - I cannot get front panel audio either even though the HD Audio cable is plugged in correctly and enabled), but my question remains with the webcam:

    Could I have broken the webcam by plugging it into a USB 2.0 port that was incorrectly connected to a 1394 header? Could there have been a voltage mismatch or something like that? It's the only scenario I can conceive of seeing as my new webcam went from working to completely dead - no lights, no evident power, no recognition on three computers running Win7 and Win8.1 - seemingly overnight. The only other variable is that I had the window open overnight near the webcam and it was very cold.

    And out of curiosity, if I were willing to get some tools, is there any reasonable way of testing whether the electronics inside the webcam work? The tinkerer in me is now threatening to want to get to the bottom of this.

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by DentalAppointment; 03-05-2015 at 01:41 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?

    About your webcam, compare a USB 2.0 header to a 1394 header:

    plugging a peripheral into front panel USB 2.0 killed the peripheral? and suspends the computer?-usb-i394-png

    The main thing we can see is on pins 7 and 8 on both headers. Connecting the USB 2.0 cable from the front panel USB 2.0 port to the 1394 header puts +12V on the USB 2.0 pins 7 and 8 ground connections.

    Considering that a USB device operates on +5V, if the +12V from the 1394 header managed to cause power to flow through the webcam, it could cause damage.

    Regarding testing the webcam, all I can suggest is testing the continuity between the power and ground connections with a voltmeter.

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