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cynan
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Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:57 am

I have an ASRock X79 board where the rear bank of 4x USB3.0 ports have suddenly stopped working. I think this must be a software or resource conflict issue, but I just can't figure it out.

A quick primer. X79 did not have native USB3.0. I believe all USB3.0 ports are controlled by an ASmedia chip. I currently have 6x USB3.0 ports: 4 on the rear I/0 panel and 2 front from a header. None of the 4 rear ports work. The front 2 work fine. I've tried upgrading the ASmedia driver from Intel, and from ASmedia, as well as the most recent one from Microsoft for Win 10. To no avail.

The strange thing is that the front ports work fine, given all 6 should be controlled by the same controller.

Further, this happened a couple of years ago when I was on Win 7 and I was somehow able to get the rear ports working again. However, a while after, they stopped working. Then when I upgraded to Win 10, they worked for a while. Then suddenly a couple of months ago, dead.

I've seen reports of this issue with Asus X79 boards as well... I'll probably just get a PCIe USB3.0 card eventually.

I realize that the Sandy-E platform is over 5 years and counting by this point. But I was wondering if any savvy gerbils may have come across something similar and found a solution.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:09 pm

This is completely normal for a 5-year-old motherboard. Separate-controller USB ports are the first thing to fail, followed by add-in SATA ports.

I could go through all the failure states and the order they happen in, but to summarize you're on a 2-year warning for board replacement. You're correct that you can just replace on-board functionality with PCIe cards, at least until it no longer will POST.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:22 pm

From what I know ports are generally grouped together on a single fuse.  It can be used for four ports, 2, or even seperate fuses for all, though that's not that common.

So if said fuse goes out, they're all useless.  I'm not saying that a blowout is definitely the problem but it sounds like it's been on the way out a while.
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cynan
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:15 pm

Thanks.

It could be a hardware failure or power delivery issue (the latter seeming more likely). However, it seems a little odd or coincidental that a fresh install of Win 10 a couple of months ago would result in bringing the ports back to life in either case, no?

Perhaps the ASmedia controller chips themselves were just on the flaky side.

The board itself is just under 5 years old. That's not that long to expect a motherboard to last that hasn't been used 24/7 or abused. And I first had this issue only a couple of years in. Heck, I have an Asus x48 board from 2008 that I use practically daily and everything on that seems to still work.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:35 pm

cynan wrote:
I believe all USB3.0 ports are controlled by an ASmedia chip.

There's your problem.
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cynan
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Mon Feb 06, 2017 2:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:
cynan wrote:
I believe all USB3.0 ports are controlled by an ASmedia chip.

There's your problem.


Yup. You're probably right. Though you'd think a company like Intel would have selected a half decent 3rd party provider to provide such an important (and at the time, cutting edge) bit of functionality to their flagship desktop platform.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:11 am

Had a lot of issues with the Asmedia USB ports on X58 refresh boards. Maybe 1 out of 15 boots they would work at POST, but not after loading the OS as the handoff process didn't work. Sometimes they wouldn't work at boot, but initialized fine after the OS loaded. I could tell by the numlock light on the keyboard, it was frustrating to put it mildly.

After updating your BIOS you should try all four BIOS options under the "Legacy USB Support" and see if one of them makes a difference. Legacy USB 3 will determine if they are USB 3 or not, you may disable this and try the four settings again just to see if the back ports can function in USB 2 mode. ASRock doesn't really give you more settings from the looks of the manual, for ASUS there are options to enable/disable the front and back ASmedia ports independently from one another and you might quickly check if ASrock has the same setting hiding someplace.

cynan wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
cynan wrote:
I believe all USB3.0 ports are controlled by an ASmedia chip.

There's your problem.


Yup. You're probably right. Though you'd think a company like Intel would have selected a half decent 3rd party provider to provide such an important (and at the time, cutting edge) bit of functionality to their flagship desktop platform.


My understanding is that it's the choice of the motherboard makers as to what 3rd party chips are used if they want extra ports or features not included on the Intel chipset, and so it is up to them to decide the implementation. So the only role Intel had in the mess was their decision to delay for so long incorporating USB 3 logic into its chipsets.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:17 pm

Kougar wrote:
My understanding is that it's the choice of the motherboard makers as to what 3rd party chips are used if they want extra ports or features not included on the Intel chipset, and so it is up to them to decide the implementation. So the only role Intel had in the mess was their decision to delay for so long incorporating USB 3 logic into its chipsets.

It was for a good cause. Intel Light Peak / Thunderbolt is a better interface with a glorious future. It just needed some help from the chipset division for a while.
 
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Re: Rear USB 3.0 ports on X79 not working

Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:46 pm

If you are using the USB3 multi-cable to get USB to the front of the case, check that it has not wiggled out. I had all my usb3 ports stop working. When I noticed that cable header was loose and reseated it; all my USB3 functionality returned after a reboot.
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